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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Crazy People

live here.
We decided that it would be a good idea to strip wallpaper and paint the master bedroom and bathroom during Christmas week. This is because we got 2 feet of snow and we couldn't split wood... The chore we'd been planning for a while now. (I thank the Lord we got 2 feet of snow because if we didn't, I'd still be looking at 1986 blue floral and bow wallpaper.)


Our master bedroom is a whole lot bigger than we thought... Fortunately, our master bath is teeny tiny in comparison...

It took us a whole day to get the wallpaper off the walls - and it came off relatively easily. We washed and rinsed and spackled as we thought we'd paint the room the next day. It took 2 days to paint that room, but it is lovely.

Just as we finished painting the master bedroom, Mr. mentioned that since the bathroom was upside down, too, we may as well do that.  How long could it really take anyway...

The wallpaper in the bathroom was interesting. It was not the quality of that in the bedroom. The top half came off in sheets - I'm sure it's from years of being steamed from the shower. The bottom half - not so much - that came off one itty bitty piece at a time.

We washed those walls and spackled... The next morning, we painted. It took no time at all!  Now we have to put it all back together. I got a new medicine cabinet and am on the hunt for a new "over the toilet" cabinet. For now, we'll use the old one and I'll get new knobs.  Those will be hung this morning so we can begin to put stuff away.  I'm going to paint the sink base in the bathroom -- unless I can convince Mr. that a new one is in order.  (Measurements will be taken and prices will be compared because honestly, the sink is from 1986 and has definitely seen a better day...)

Tomorrow Mr. and Grandpa will be putting the crown molding up in the bedroom. This is only because the bathroom threw up into the bedroom and we need to clean it all up so we can get to the walls to put up the crown!  I will admit to cheating on the crown. I got the corner moldings pre-made... you put them up, measure between, make straight cuts and slap the crown in there.  They aren't cheap, but in the long run, it will save much angst and gnashing of teeth to do it this way.

I've ordered new bedding - we'll see if it stays or goes...  it was on sale and it is in the style that Jackie Davis,  the HGTV designer (and dear friend) told me to get when she gave me the colors for the room. I'm not sure the colors are exactly right - the colors on the monitor are often a wee bit different in person, but I'll know when it arrives.

Pictures? Well, you'll have to wait until it's all done and picked up and dusted...

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Chez Nous



Ladybug Crossing in the snow at dusk.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

As Abraham Lincoln Said...

You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.
You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
You cannot lift the wage earner up by pulling the wage payer down.
You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
You cannot build character and courage by taking away people's initiative and independence.
You cannot help people permanently by doing for them, what they could and should do for themselves.

........Abraham Lincoln



Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!


Merry Christmas from our house to yours!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

How to talk and understand...

Bostonian...

I'm originally from Boston.
This is how we say things - now those of you who know me personally will understand me a little better -- maybe...

Information on Boston and the surrounding area:
There's no school on School Street, no court on Court Street, no dock on Dock Square, no water on Water Street.
Back Bay streets are in alphabetical 'oddah': Arlington, Berkeley, Clarendon, Dartmouth, etc.
So are South Boston streets: A, B, C, D, etc.
If the streets are named after trees, (e.g. Walnut, Chestnut, Cedar), you're on Beacon Hill.
If they're named after poets, you're in Wellesley.
Massachusetts Ave is Mass Ave; Commonwealth Ave is Comm Ave; South Boston is Southie.
The South End is the South End. East Boston is Eastie.
The North End is east of the former West End. The West End and Scollay Square are no more; a guy named Rappaport got rid of them one night. Roxbury is The Burry, Jamaica Plain is J.P.

How to say these Massachusetts city names correctly:
**Say it wrong, be shunned**

Worcester: Wuhsta (or Wistah), Gloucester: Glawsta, Leicester Lesta, Woburn: Wooban, Dedham : Dead-um, Revere: Re-vee-ah, Quincy: Quinzee, Tewksbury: Tooks berry, Leominster: Lemin-sta, Peabody: Pee-ba-dee, Waltham: Walth-ham, Chatham: Chaddum, Samoset: Sam-oh-set or Sum-aw-set but nevah Summer set !
 

Definitions: 
Frappes have ice cream, milkshakes don't. If it is fizzy and flavored, it's tonic. Soda is CLUB SODA. 'Pop' is Dad. When we want Tonic WATER, we will ask for Tonic WATER. The smallest beer is a pint.
 

Scrod is whatever they tell you it is, usually fish. If you paid more than $6/pound, you got scrod.
 

It's not a water fountain; it's a bubblah. It's not a trashcan; it's a barrel.
It's not a spucky, a hero or grinder,...it's a sub.
It's not a shopping cart; it's a carriage. It's not a purse; it's a pocketbook.
They're not franks; they're haht dahgs; Franks are money in Switzahland.
Police don't drive patrol units or black and whites; they drive a 'crooza'. If you take the bus, you’re on the 'looza crooza'.
It's not a rubber band, it's an elastic. It's not a traffic circle; it's a rotary.
'Going to the islands' means Martha's Vineyard & Nantucket.
The Sox = The Red Sox. The C's = The Celtics. The B's = The Bruins.
 

Things not to do: 
Don't pahk your cah in Hahvid Yahd .. they'll tow it to Meffa ( Medford ) or Summerville (Somerville).
Don't sleep on the Common. ( Boston Common)
Don't wear Orange on St. Patrick's Day.
 

Things you should know: 
There are two State Houses, two City Halls, two courthouses, two Hancock buildings (one old, one new for each).
The colored lights on top the old Hancock tell the weather':
'Solid blue, clear view....' 'Flashing blue, clouds due....'
'Solid red, rain ahead.....' lashing red, snow instead....' - (except in summer; flashing red means the Red Sox game was rained out).
 

Most people live here all their life and still don't know what the hell
is going on with this one. Route 128 is also I-95 south. It's also I-93 north at some point. 


The underground train is not a subway. It's the 'T', and it doesn't run all night. (fah-chrys-akes, this ain't Noo Yawk).
Order the 'cold tea' in China Town after 2:00 am - you'll get a kettle full of beer.
 

Bostonians... think that it's their God-given right to cut off someone in traffic.
Bostonians...think that there are only 25 letters in the alphabet (no R's - except in 'idear').
Bostonians...think that three straight days of 90+ temperatures is a heat wave.
Bostonians...refer to six inches of snow as 'dusting.'
Bostonians...always 'bang a left' as soon as the light turns green, and oncoming traffic always expects it.
Bostonians...believe that using your turn signal is a sign of weakness.
Bostonians...think that 63-degree ocean water is warm.
Bostonians...think Rhode Island accents are annoying.
 

Send this to your friends who don't live in Boston (and the ones who did!!)
P.S ...........Don't use your spell checker on this if you send it; you’ ll never get thru it?

Monday, December 21, 2009

That's a lot of snow!

This is Zeb standing in the snow... There is still about 3 or 4 inches packed underneath him...

Yes, he's short, but really... that's a lot of snow!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Snow... snow.... and more snow...

LLB took this yesterday...





That's a lot of snow!!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Party in T minus 2.5 days

OMG! The annual Christmas extravaganza is this Saturday.
I am NOT ready... well, I am, but my house is not...  My poor sweet house is strewn with ribbons, wrapping paper, bags, and various types of wrapping shrapnel. My floor needs mopping. The clutter needs decluttering. My disaster of a desk - fortunately, that has doors that I can just close up...
It's not all doom and gloom. There are a couple of bright spots

The dining room is set.
The living room is set.
That's two bright spots... A couple is two, right?
The craft room - where we serve the drinks and desserts --- that's not set... not one bit. Today I'll tackle that. My scrapbooking needs to be put away... or done.. and since I'm out of time.. it will be put away.
I need to vacuum and dust.
I won't be home on Friday to do any of it.
I won't be home this afternoon to do any of it.
It's now or never... Hey - isn't that a song???

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Big News...

LLB made All District Band!!

She auditioned on Saturday.
We arrived at the venue later than we have in years past. She was the last trumpet - #37.
She hung around and waited for her audition time with her friends - they were a little ahead of her, but she laughed and enjoyed their company. I think they helped relax her. Once they went off to audition, she warmed up a little and then played Tetris on her Nintendo.
When she came out, I asked her how she thought she'd done.
She said that she had nailed the etude and most of the scales. She thought she did okay on the sightreading - she said she had a little bit of a rough start, but had it down by the end of the piece -- oh and she thought it might have been a Mozart piece.
She still didn't think she'd be one of the 12 chosen. After all, she is just a freshman...
She found out yesterday that she'd made it.
She told me she was jumping up and down in the hallway and that she dropped all of her stuff so she could hug the two trumpets that told her she'd made it. Those two boys will never be the same!!
She's either #9 or #11. Either way it's terrific!!

AND

She got second place for the Hero paper she wrote and narrated for an English competition.

She had a banner day.

AND

She had a run-in with her History teacher. It seems the teacher threw a notebook at a fellow student. She went toe to toe with the woman. You don't throw things at students -- ever.  When LLB confronted her, the teacher told her that she could do whatever she wanted because the notebook was incomplete. LLB just looked at her - with "that look".  The teacher came and found her later to apologize.  I am sure the woman is afraid LLB will tell me what happened and that I'll turn her in. Too bad, Lady.. She  did, and I will... later today.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Greenworks Laundry

I was asked to try out the Greenworks Laundry Detergent (the one with the green cap) and Stain Remover.
I'm a Tide girl... I grew up with my mom using Tide. I have always used Tide. 
It would take a lot for me to change my ways.
I have been converted.
I LOVE this Greenworks Laundry Detergent.
I used this stuff on everything from undies to towels to jeans to sweaters.
My whites are white. My colors are bright. And the scent is simply divine!
The best part? You don't need to use a lot - just a little bit goes a long way.
I do over 10 loads of laundry a week and that little bottle is still going. I don't think I've even used half of it yet!
I also used the stain remover and it worked on the basics... except for red clay - but nothing works on red clay. 

So - try it. You'll love it!

"I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Clorox Green Works and received a bottle of Green Works Natural Detergent and Stain Remover to facilitate my review and a $20 thank-you gift certificate."

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Snow


This was the scene out the back door on Saturday morning...
This has not been photoshopped, edited, or manipulated in any way.
I did not turn it black and white. This is just the way it was...
And it was awesome!

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

20 and Counting

20 years ago today I married my best friend.
It was a cold December day. I had class in the morning - my last graduate class and the teacher made me go. I wanted snow (yes, I was young and stupid). I got a few flakes as I walked into the church - my blessing from heaven I called it.
My memories of that day are few and far between - I remember standing at the altar thinking that I was going to remember all of it... that's pretty much it except for the "I do", the kiss, and the ring getting stuck half way up Mr.'s finger... 
Our pictures are hysterical!  I was so vain - I got contacts for the day -- blue ones to make my eyes look bluer - heaven forbid my glasses "date" the picture!  There's the one of me walking up the aisle with my dad - I had the biggest smile on my face.  Mr. looked dapper (and a wee bit nervous) in his tux.  Then there's the minister -- he looked like he smelled something bad in every single picture - neither of us farted -- honest!
Our reception at The Andover Inn was a blast! We danced. We ate. The men made a pyramid with Mr. at the top. I have the picture to prove that stunt, too. Our families had a marvelous time.
We honeymooned at Stowe - our room had no heat during the coldest week of the year. Our champagne froze, as did we. We actually went to Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream to warm up!
Now, 20 years later we've got 2 kids in high school, a house in the country, and a life we love.
Would I do it all again?
You bet!
Happy Anniversary, Mr. Bug.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

'Tis the Season

We've been busy out here at The Crossing.

We had snow over the weekend and that eliminated our internet connection - the dish fills with snow and we've got no internet... they don't tell you about that when you sign up for satellite service. Without internet, there's no shopping, no email, no blogging, no facebook....  Mr. and I braved the snow to pick up my new glasses on Saturday. I'm still not sure I like them - they are progressive lenses and they make me a tad nauseous.  I've been told I'll get used to it.

I rang bells on Sunday - all day - as in 5 hours... And yes, my hands are sore, thankyouverymuch.
 If you want the real scoop on the evening concert, go on over to the other place I write, and I'll fill you in. Some of it was good, but some of it was more than annoying.

Yesterday I went on a field trip with LLB. We went to see the Terracotta Warriors at the National Geographic Museum. It was terrific! We enjoyed seeing them, but felt that the time away from school wasn't worth the trip as the exhibit is relatively small.  (I would have preferred that the teacher recommend that the kids see them with their families - we would have taken LLB and #1 in to see them and then stayed to see the rest of the museum.)  If the Terracotta Warriors come to your local museum, definitely go see them. 

Today I'm going to wrap up some goodies that arrived yesterday. I'm also going to do some laundry, pick up my house, and take Mini Kitty and Zeb to the vet. Getting the cat into the carrier is always an adventure... An adventure that only the bravest can attempt - umm... that would be me.  I have bandaids, peroxide, and leather gloves at the ready.  The appointment is at 2:30. I'll start to put her in the carrier at 1 - that should give me enough time to get her in the carrier, clean my wounds, take another shower, and get there. Wish me luck. I'm going to need it.

Friday, December 04, 2009

It's like this...

It's Merry Christmas - not happy holidays.
It's a Christmas tree, not a holiday tree, a Hanukkah tree, or even a Kwanzaa tree...
I'm not shopping for holiday presents. I'm shopping for Christmas presents.
If you don't celebrate my holiday, I'm fine with that, but 'tis the season, you know? If you don't celebrate Christmas but you shop the Christmas sales, that's absolutely terrific, but please realize that without my holiday, you wouldn't be gettin' these sale prices.

So, when I go into a store that has Christmas trees for sale. I'd like them labeled as such.
Ditto for the ornaments to go on said trees.
The stockings that are hung - those are Christmas stockings... it's okay to call them what they are.

Like it or not, it's the Christmas season.
So...
Don't tell me to have a happy holiday...
It's "Merry Christmas!"... dammit.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Soldier Shopping

My LLB signed up to shop for gifts for a soldier for Christmas. Her soldier has become a really important person to her. He is on the front lines and she is worried about him. (I wish we had a name - all we have is a number...)

When I asked her what her soldier needed, she told me to get wool socks to keep his feet warm. That was first on her list.  Then she told me to get him things that would make his box feel like a real present. So that's what we did. Her soldier will receive a real Christmas stocking filled to the brim with goodies - the necessary like toothpaste and toothbrushes - and the not so necessary like candy and puzzles.

Shopping for her soldier was a challenge. Nothing seemed good enough. We wanted the best of the best for this person. It was almost surreal. How do you fill a box with all the love and thanks you feel for the required minimal amount of cash?  You don't. We gave up trying to do that after the first 5 minutes! We filled the box with what we'd send to our own... because, someday, someone might be shopping like this for my kids.

So, if you know the soldier who gets the stocking - please tell him LLB sent it.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

The Elf

I am the Christmas Elf at our house.

I do the decorating - although this year I actually had help with the tree and I almost fainted from the shock! Usually they help me for 5 min. and disappear. This year they stayed and decorated and laughed and giggled for over an hour until the tree was done. And I loved every second of it - even though I've spent another 2 hours primping the tree without their knowledge. (Ornaments need to hang, not sit on the branches.) Some things have to be done right, you know?

I do the shopping.
I'm the crazy person out at 5am on Black Friday.
I'm the one who is up at all hours surfing the internet for bargains.
For me, it's the thrill of the hunt...  I take pride in finding what they want at a price I'm willing to pay.
(Mr. only has to shop for me and I even tell him what I want and where to get it at the best price.)

I do the wrapping.
All of it.
I should train them, but really... I like to wrap.
This year I decided to beautify my presents with real bows made with real ribbon that I purchased at a real bargain after Christmas last year.  (We haven't had presents with ribbon in years.  I used to use curling ribbon, but the cats used it as dental floss. By the time Christmas day rolled around, it was quite disgusting and no one wanted to touch the ribbons to open the gifts. This is not exactly the response you want on Christmas morning. Trust me...)

I usually wrap gifts on our island in the kitchen. It's warm with the fire going, and it's a large expanse on which to spread out the paper, tape, and other wrapping goodies.  Mr. sits and works on his computer on a small corner of the island while I wrap.  We keep each other company and he gets a sneak peek at the kids' gifts.

I was in the midst of wrapping when Mr. had a realization:
Christmas is easy when you have an Elf in the family.

I grinned.
Yes, Dear, it is.

He is a very lucky man.
And I am one appreciated Elf.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Eyes..

I guess I have a "look" that makes me appear "mean".
Now I know that I can give a look that will melt ice and freeze fire. If you cross me, you'll be on the receiving end of that... It's a classic and I learned it from my mother. :-)
But that's not what we're talking about.

The women in my family have piercing blue eyes. We are watchers. We take it all in. We aren't fake or phony. We just are. We tell it like it is.
Maybe that combined with the piercing blue eyes makes us look mean scary?

What do you think? Do these eyes look mean?