Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Simple Woman's Daybook

Outside my window...I see the cool morning dawning.

I am thinking...about how I am going to ask to get some of the morning off tomorrow so that I can go to the Honors Breakfast for N tomorrow.  I hope they will say yes.

I am thankful for...the simple, quiet pleasures of my life. I am grateful to let go of the craziness of the holidays and embrace the love of the season.

From the kitchen...I have rewed coffee, prepared sandwiches for lunches, cut pumpkin bread for the children, poured cereal for myself and mixed and kneaded pizza dough for tonight's dinner... and it is only 6:53!  A well used and well loved kitchen is what I have.

I am wearing...my 'uniform'! Corduroy's a long sleeve t shirt and a vest.  Today the pants are brown and the top and vest are black.  I go for the neutral look.  I'll jazz it up with a pretty scarf.

I am creating...beautiful images of flowers.  I have been playing with my Aperture program and hopeing to send some photos off to be developed so that I can turn them into cards to give as gifts this holiday season.  I better get busy as time is a wasting!

I am going...to work on cleaning my nice living room so that we can get more holiday decorating done this weekend.

I am reading...Guardians of Ga'Hoole book 4 in the series, still. It is a great series. I have just returned to making time for my reading.  N is very happy as he is several books ahead of me and would like me to catch up so that we can talk about the story.

I am hoping...that we have a positive day at school today.

I am hearing...the drone of the television and the children goofing around.

Around the house...I have much to do to prepare for the holidays, but I will take it one day at a time.

One of my favorite things...is changing into my warm cozy pajamas as soon as I get home from work.

A few plans for the rest of the week: working with n on her simple machine project due on the 16th, reading, and all my regular household tasks.  Nothing too exciting.  Oh perhaps a visit with an old friend on Thursday if everything works out.

Here is picture I am sharing..

Sunday, November 28, 2010

27 Days and Counting

Well the countdown begins!  Yesterday n informed me that we had 28 days until Christmas.  So now we are at 27 and counting.  I am happy to say that I feel much more settled about the holiday than I thought I would.  We are going to gradually decorate the house for the holidays.  One of the benefits of having an artificial tree is that we can put it up whenever we want and not worry about a fire. That was always a worry for me with live trees no matter how vigilant I was about keeping the tree watered.   We are planning to put the tree up next weekend.  Today n went to a friend's house and we were inspired by their beautiful holiday decorations.  We brought up a few boxes, unloaded them and then put them on display.  We then quickly put the boxes away.  Cleaning as we go keeps the clutter and messiness of the process at bay.  So we have decorated the top of the television armoire with the white ceramic tree and nativity set.  We have also displayed our collection of snow people on kosher salt in a large, square glass vase.  The display is rounded off with white and green candles and natural elements including an ivy plant, a beautiful rounded gray beach rock and a bumpy weathered piece of drift wood.  I love that this display is similar to last year but switched up just enough to make it fresh.  We also switched out the large paintings in the kitchen to the red white and green paintings.  n thought the paintings were not 'Christmasy' enough.  I think they look beautifully vintage Christmas.  We've hung up both of our holiday grapevine wreaths and the various holiday hangings including the Santa Sleigh that Dad made for us years and years ago.  I'll take photos tomorrow in the day light and do my best to post.

I hope you are all excited about the upcoming holidays.


Friday, November 26, 2010

Friday Fill Ins!

So...here we go! 

1. Three things I must have on my Thanksgiving table: cranberry sauce, sweet potato casserole and gravy.

2. So I busted my rump all day yesterday and by half time R was sacked out on the couch and we hadn't even eaten our turkey diner yet!

3. This is one of the best Thanksgivings I can remember... I thought it would be difficult but it was more nostalgic than anything else.

4. Now we can't wait to decorate for Christmas, yipee!

5. Oh, man, thankfully it's just Friday night and we have two more days for the weekend!

6. I am working to perfect the art of letting go and staying in the moment....not the past not the future... just the present!

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to and enjoying as we speak...watching movies with the kids, tomorrow my plans include getting N some new gym clothes and posting some Thanksgiving pictures and Sunday, I want to get more items on Ebay and get some work done for school!


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Gobble! Gobble!

So thankful for the blessings in my life, including the turkeys who like to travel through my yard and up into the woods behind my home.

Hope you are all enjoying a blessed Thanksgiving day.  For my friends around the world who do not celebrate Thanksgiving today;  I wish you all the blessings that this day brings.


A Note from the Universe

So I subscribed to a daily note(email) from the universe.  My question is why do they make me tear up and remind me of my parents?

Do you remember learning to ride your first bike, Barbara? How impossible it seemed at first? And how impossible it now is to imagine it was ever hard? Life within the illusions of time and space is like that, too.
First you checked it out from the sidelines, then you dreamed of your own, and the next thing we knew, off came the training wheels and I dutifully, dotingly, and reluctantly let you go while galloping breathless at your side, as you let rip one wicked, "HANDS OFF!!!!!!!"
And so I watch, beaming with pride over your first solo trips. Impressed beyond belief with your courage and determination. Stunned by your natural talent and ambition to grow. Humbled by your willingness to risk a fall. Comforted by knowing that you're exactly where you most wanted to be. And stretching even my own vast mind, as I ponder and contemplate just how far you will go.
Ride on, brave heart - 
    The Universe

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Online Holiday Magazine

Okay so I found this through Dragonfly Reflections.  This is sooooo cool!



Holiday Business

So today was a day of preparations in order to be organized and ready to celebrate Thanksgiving with my little family tomorrow.

I am so thankful that I had today off so that I could honor the memory of my Mum by baking her bread.  An all day process, Nanny's Irish Bread is a labor of love.  Over the past week I have also purchased the ingredients to put together a relish tray, including mixed olives, marinated mushrooms, marinated artichoke hearts and pepperoni peppers.  The only thing missing from the tray is sweet/pickled watermelon rind.   I'll put out the relish tray in the morning to enjoy throughout the day.  The relish tray was one of Dad's contribution to our Thanksgiving day spread.  I'll also be making his recipe for kielbasa with chili sauce and cranberry sauce.  I'm going to cook it overnight in the crock pot.  It will be so yummy.  So Dad's memory will by honored as we enjoy the relish tray and kielbasa.  I prepared Ma's recipe for stuffing today.  She will be remembered and honored during our Thanksgiving feast as well.  I am thankful for the memories of past celebrations and look forward to making new memories with my little family.

I hope you all have a blessed Thanksgiving.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Great News!!!!

We got the permit!!!!!! Yippeee..... hoorayyyyyy!!!!!  Yayyyyyyy!!!!

Can you tell I'm a little bit excited?

R went down to town hall yesterday and got the health department to sign off on the new septic plan and then went to the inspector/building department to complete the application process.  On top of it the fee was far less than I expected.  I was thinking thousands of dollars and it was only 500!  Yay for the budget.

When R came downstairs this morning I told him that I still couldn't believe that we got the permit.  (for some reason I had myself convinced that they would say no,  don't know why but that's just me I guess....) Anyway his reply to me was "Well it took a lot of perseverance."  I never would have expected that comment from R.

Anyway folks;  now rather than showing occasional posts of the destruction/demolition I'll be showing photos of construction and improvement.  I am beyond thrilled.  I'm thinking we may even make our  self imposed spring deadline.

I believe my parents are smiling down on us and very proud.


Monday, November 22, 2010

Mellow Yellow Monday!


So I'm always looking for something new to try out her on Surfside Serenity.   For the past couple of weeks I've been actively searching for a new Meme for Mondays.  Now I've found something right up my alley!  Mellow Yellow Monday has a couple of rules that you can find here.

As you may have figured out, either by looking at the photos or clicking through the link above, this meme is a photo meme.  Other than using your own photos the main rule is that there needs to be yellow in the photo or photos you post.  Yellow is such a cheerful color.  I think this meme might be just the thing to get us all through Monday!  

These photos bring me back to early summer.  Before we know it we'll be back in the warmth of the sun again.  For now I can dream through my photos.  I hope you enjoy. 


Sunday, November 21, 2010

After Pictures

So it has been a while since I posted these before pictures of the outside of Dad's house.  I finally made it over there with my camera to get some after photos.  I have to say that I think the white drylock paint has made a huge difference in how the house looks.  It is pretty amazing what paint can do!

Check these pictures out and click the link above to see the before pics.  I can't wait to get going on replacing the windows.  That is the first thing we'll work on when we get the permits.  New windows will make an enormous difference.

In the photo above you can see the work R did on the chimney.  He used hydraulic cement to fix many cracks that were in need of repair.  If we get another warm weekend we'll use the drylock to paint the rest of the chimney and hopefully cover the gray scars.  

For years this wall has been completely covered by an enormous overgrown holly bush.  When the bush was originally planted by my Mum I believe she envisioned a beautiful green bush covered in holiday red berries.  Unfortunately the bush never produced the berries and just grew and grew.  I love how the wall looks clean and crisp and white.  

Previously there were two other trees in front of the house.  R and I cut them down this past fall as they were unweildy and not the right choice for the front of the house.  We'll most likely be taking the last tree down as well.  We've talked to our septic man about regrading the land just in front of the house to prevent further water problems in the basement.  He seems to think he can do the work.  It will be good to have a professional regrade the driveway.   

Again I think the white paint has made a big difference in the exterior appearance of the home.  Can't wait to see how the landscaping and windows improve this view of our house. 


Saturday, November 20, 2010

From The Universe

So I get daily inspirational emails.  One email is inspirational quotes and the other is 'A Note From The Universe'.

I just opened one of my recent Universe emails and read the following:

Not ever, not once, Barbara, not since time began has there been someone who's actually made the kind of choices you've consistently made, year after year, your whole life long, in spite of fleeting fears, lingering doubts and moments of despair. Yet now, for the countless multitudes waiting on the sidelines for their turn, there's a path, an example to follow, and a light to show them the way.
Jolly good show, 
    The Universe

Yup, it made me tear up!

Thank You Universe.


A Little More Substance...

I just found a new blog. The post I found was entitled Bigotry is Easier Than Honest Introspection.   Annie of anniegirl1138  shared her perspective on the campaign against same sex marriage that is being waged across the country.   I find the subject both fascinating and disturbing.  I do not understand why anyone is threatened by the love between two women or two men.  I guess it is different and most people are afraid of different.  It reminds me very much of civil rights issues our country has faced in the past. How do you feel about this topic?


Harry Potter and The Deathly Hollows!

N and I went to see this movie this morning.  I was hoping that it would be good and I was not let down.  I enjoyed the movie from the beginning all the way through the end.  While I have watched all of the movies I have not read the book series.  I may have to rectify that situation over the next few months while I wait for the second part of this epic finale to the Harry Potter series!  Here are a couple of trailers I thought you might enjoy.

This next video also offers commentary from the actors and director.

The short television promo.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Follow Friday - 40 and Over!

So I found this new blog hop over at Lemons to Lemonade.  It looks like fun.  If you hop over to Lemons you can join too!  

Happy Friday!


More Good News!

I can hardly believe that we have more good news!  Today we were given an estimate on replacing the septic at Dad's and turns out that the cost is going to be a couple thousand less than what we budgeted for as we began this entire process.  We'll be getting the paperwork tomorrow.  Our septic guy has already pulled his permit so we'll be able to have the health dept sign off on our building permit and on Tuesday or Wednesday we'll go to town hall and pull our building permit!  I can't believe it!  I am knocking on wood as we speak.

On another note, even as I feel celebratory about the positive developments with the renovation process the reality of what was going on during this month last year is always just under the surface.  A month or so ago I went back and re read many of the posts I shared last year during the process of my Dad's illness and death.  I feel like I should go back and look at it again as this month proceeds but on the other hand, selfishly I want to put some distance between myself and that experience.  With the upcoming holidays I am also feeling very nostalgic.  Honestly we had not spent a holiday together since the year after my Mum's death in 2001.  Dad never wanted to venture out of his home so we would bring him a meal in the late afternoon of virtually every holiday.  It will be very odd not fixing him a Thanksgiving plate this year.  I am going to do my best to enjoy Thanksgiving without feeling guilty that I am enjoying Thanksgiving.  Do you know what I mean?


Friday Fill In's!

So...here we go! 

1. Why does bad stuff happen to good people?

2. n and I can't wait to travel together and see the world.

3. Thank you for the small gifts in my life that I experience every day.

4. I love Christmas but Thanksgiving  is my favorite holiday because it is a relaxed holiday all about food with no stress or worries about gifts and running around before the holiday, plus it is the official(for me) beginning of the winter holiday season. 

5. I am SO grateful and excited that we will be able to continue to work on 40 Mayflower and I can't wait to get going!

6. I have always thought that we can make up our minds to be anything we want to be and I hope to instill this belief into my children.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to relaxing with the family maybe with a glass of pino grigio, tomorrow my plans include spending the day with n - shopping perhaps the parade and then hosting n's friend L and Sunday, I want to plan Thanksgiving and enjoy hanging out and watching football-Go Pats!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Good News!

Finally we've received some good news.  Our appraisal came in above where we needed it to be in order to proceed with our equity line.  Thankfully we will be able to move forward with the renovations at my Dad's.  Now to get all the information so that we can get the permits done and start the work of creating a beautiful home.  I am beyond excited.  We have a long road ahead but at least now it appears that we will be able to travel down that road with significantly less financial stress than I was beginning to think would be involved.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

New Artist

Well I was listening to a random radio station on my way home and heard the following song.  At first I was not sure how I felt about the song.  As I listened to it in it's entirety I decided I liked it.

I just watched the 'official' video for this song. I felt the same way about the video as I felt about the song. Unsure at first but by the end I decided it was unique and powerful.

What do you think?


Monday, November 15, 2010

For Just A Minute....

Today after the appraiser left my house; for just a split second I allowed myself to go there.  Where?  you ask.  Well to the place where everything  works out just the way I always hoped it would.  I could picture our loan going through and 40 Mayflower completely finished.  In my minds eye it was all new and sparkly.  Three bedrooms, two full baths, a spacious eat in kitchen,  built in closets, a beautiful, functional laundry room,  a clean  modern utility room, two fireplaced living rooms and beautiful new decks.  There will be glorious ocean views from both living rooms, the kitchen and two of the bedrooms.  The yard will be meticulous.  Green grass mowed just right with beach grasses and other native plants in beds throughout the yard.  The interior will be done in a calm, restful, beachy, cottage style.  Think soft shades of seaglass and beach sand.   Oh I can't wait for everything to work out just the way I always hoped it would.


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Unavailable, Unknown Number

So do you ever get these phone calls at your house?  We seem to get them more and more even though I added our number to the 'No Call' list.  There are two schools of thought on how to deal with these calls in our house.  My school of thought is to not bother answering.  They never leave a message so it's not tying up our machine and we always know it's them thanks to caller ID.  Now the other school of thought is to answer the phone and mess with the telemarketer on the other end of the line.  R thinks this is hysterical as do the children.  It gives me stress but they find it amusing.  So this morning at around 9:30 the phone rang and it was Unavailable once again.  R picked up the phone.  So on my side of the line I hear:

      "How did you get this number?"...... "No there is no one by that name living here"
       "No he doesn't live here."......"No he has never lived here I can't take a message."

Hmmmm.....  So turns out the call was for our mail friend Steven Reilley.  Steven Reilley comes from Worcester and in the past year moved to our town.  He moved to a lane or ave not sure which with the same name as our road.  So we live at ## ABC Road and he lives at ## ABC Lane.  Well since he moved we get his mail on a daily basis!  One piece of mail came with a forwarding sticker which is how I was able to identify where this person lived prior to at our house!  Anyway last spring we had a message on our machine for Steven.  That started my quest to straighten things out.

Back to this morning.  When R told the caller that Steven didn't live at this number she asked if he would give him a message.  How dumb can someone be?

I wonder what Steven owes and to whom?

So that's how we started our day today.  Very funny!


Saturday, November 13, 2010

Work, Work, Work

So we worked at 40 Mayflower today.  Spent four hours painting the exterior cement with a cement lock paint.  This product was like painting with thick oatmeal.  We wanted to improve the appearance of the exterior of the house.  It was a bit like dejavu.  The last time the cement exterior was painted I was doing the painting.  It was probably 20years ago and I remember it like it was yesterday.  In my mind I could almost hear Dad's voice as I painted. I imagined him saying "It's good enough dear, come inside now." We're hoping that the cement lock paint will not only spruce up the appearance of the house but also prevent moisture from seeping into the basement.  We'll see if it helps.  It's all we can do right now until we get the final approval for the septic plan and our building permit.  Hopefully all the rest will fall into place next week.

Before we started the house looked pretty drab.  Here are a few 'before' pictures.  I'll take 'after' photos tomorrow.

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