May, 2008

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Visitors from Way Out West

Wednesday, May 28th, 2008

Dave’s brother, Chris, and his family from Idaho are here visiting this week. We’ve had such a nice time with them. Their son, BJB, is awesome and so cute. Chris’s wife, Angela, is a Creative Memories Consultant and makes the prettiest albums. Angela asked if we could have a day of “scrapping” while she was visiting so Angela, me and another sister-in-law, Lisa, got together here at our house for the day. We had a great time chatting, oh, yeah and scrapping…

Last Sunday, Dave and I hosted his parent’s, his brother Steve’s family and Chris’s family for a cook out. We had a great time together. That was the first time we’d hosted a bigger family get together and it went perfectly. There are four of us sister-in-laws (married to the four boys) and since I’ve been part of the family we never really had any opportunities to chat with one another by ourselves. We had time this visit and we had so much fun together…it was really a great visit.

Poor Chris has been plagued with awful allergies and now a backache this week so I don’t think he’s had as much fun as his wife. Both Chris and Angela have enjoyed the New England weather since it is so much drier out there than here. We have had nice cool days and a really good rain storm.

Maybe Friday Dave and I will take Chris & co down to the coast for a seafood dinner. Living in Idaho, they don’t exactly get to a coast very frequently. Dave says that we don’t actually live “on the coast”, but being a former Midwesterner myself…if it takes less than an hour to get to an ocean…you live “on the coast”.

Finished the Cross-Stitch Sampler

Monday, May 19th, 2008

On Friday I finally finished the cross-stitch sampler for my mother. I ended up sending her flowers for Mother’s Day instead of the sampler, but she really likes flowers so that was okay. As soon as I find a pretty frame, I’ll mail the sampler to her. I’ll post a picture of it here soon.

Cross-Stitch Sampler for My Mother

Tuesday, May 6th, 2008

My mother is amazingly gifted at crafty stuff. She can sew spectacularly, she can paint a beautiful face on a porcelain doll, she can cross-stitch, crochet, quilt and even has been known to weave a basket or two.

I can make scrapbooks and sometimes a decent card. I can sew in mostly straight lines in order to make very plain curtains. But where my mother creates beauty, I struggle to make something look just okay.

I am bound and determine to get the crafty genes I am positive are in me somewhere to start working. So I bought a cross-stitch sampler and have decided to give it to my mother for Mother’s Day. Since it is Tuesday, I don’t think I’ll make Mother’s Day, but hopefully she’ll get it within the week following Mother’s Day. So far it actually looks pretty good…we’ll just not discuss the whole decorative detail I had to remove completely after I noticed I had counted over too many spaces. The fact that I am mostly deficient in math should have been a cue to do embroidery instead of counted cross stitch. But I really want to finish something nicely to send to my mother. She’s made zillions of crafty/sewn things for me (including a beautiful wedding gown) so ’tis time to return the favor.

When I complete it, I will put a photo online.

Electricians

Tuesday, May 6th, 2008

I’m kind of confined to the office for the time being because there are two electricians running around in the house. Actually, one fellow is currently hanging precariously from a ladder outside the window to my left casually yelling at the screws and drill he is using to attach a large new cord to the outside of the house. The other is upstairs working on one of the four electrical jobs we’ve got going on up there today.

By the end of the day though we should have a new outlet in the living room, a new outlet below the window at the top of the stairs, a new circuit box in the attic, two new lights and a new outlet in the attic too. Let there be LIGHT in the attic, finally!

Hmm, the guy outside the window is having great gobs of “fun” trying to drill through the asbestos siding. At least he doesn’t curse, most fellows probably would have been cursing up a storm by now with all the fits he’s having with that cord.

Our Sunday

Monday, May 5th, 2008

This morning we got up bright and early for mass. Father Richard had a nice homily this morning about Blessed Virgin Mary, reminding us that May is Mary’s month. At the altar, he had placed several paintings, icons, and other religious items depicting Mary. The neatest of all was an antique “home altar” someone had purchased for him. I say, “home altar” because I don’t know the proper name for this item (and knowing the Catholic faith as I do…I’m positive there is a proper name for this item.) It is wooden framed shadow box-like item with a depiction of the Pieta behind decorated glass.

Below is a little door which opens to expose two candle holders, a card of prayers and possibly a font for holy water. The purpose of this “home altar” was to place it in the room of the very ill/dying. It would have been appropriate for the family to have gathered around this “altar” when the priest was anointing the sick or offering last rites. These “home altars” are antiques nowadays since persons frequently do their dying in hospitals/hospices/nursing homes instead of their own homes. Side note: It is very interesting how our culture of death/dying has changed with changes in medicine.

After church, we went to brunch at a local restaurant then came home. I worked on scrap booking pictures from our cross-country trip in September 2007 (eeek, I’m behind) and Dave worked diligently on some computer work for his mother. Around 1:30, I noticed how beautiful it was outside so the plan was to go for a walk at Bigelow State Park…on the pavement as it has been rainy lately and I didn’t want to get muddy. Hmmm, then Dave noticed the availability of trail maps… Soon we were hiking. Since both of us are rather out of shape, a .9 mile hike through Connecticut woods isn’t a cake walk. 3/10 of a mile into our adventure I was certain we were lost in the Alps. At 4/10 of a mile, I was pretty sure we’d past Mt. Everest’s base camp. 5/10 of a mile, I think we were past by a sherpa. After that, my feet just plain hurt so I stopped being sarcastic about finding Sir Edmund Hillary and wasted oxygen bottles. We did make it out and back to our car, but on the map, that short squiggly line running along side the lake isn’t an easy route!

Speaking of Sir Edmund Hillary, I was just looking him up online to make sure to spell his last name properly and I noticed that he died earlier this year on the same exact day as my Grandmother (January 11, 2008). May God bless your soul, Sir Hillary.

Yummy Review for John Henry’s Restaurant

Thursday, May 1st, 2008

I’ve heard it said that people will complain to 10 people if they did not like something, but only tell one person if they really enjoyed something. So in an effort to correct that imbalance, I’m going to brag on a home town restaurant to the couple people I know read this blog.

John Henry’s here in Stafford Springs is awesome. (Slightly expensive…but awesome!) Dave, his parents and I went there last Friday and had a truly good meal. Dad B and Dave had clam chowder and I had a vegetable beef soup for an appetizer, both outstanding. Then for dinner I had top sirloin served with green peppercorn demi glaze, green onion cheddar whipped potatoes and broccoli rabe. The steak was perfection, the glaze yummy and the potatoes were better than I can make. The broccoli rabe wasn’t in my realm of yummy, but it seemed of good quality and others enjoyed it. So the meal wasn’t this extraordinary culinary feat, it was just plain good. The quality of each ingredient was superb and the quantity was perfection. It is rare that a restaurant actually buys a quality ingredient all the way through the menu, but this place puts a great plate on the table.

Thanks to Dad B for the great meal!

Dave Speaking at the Somers, CT Historical Society

Thursday, May 1st, 2008

There was a brief article in today’s “Journal Inquirer” about Dave speaking on May 27th at the Somers Senior Center. The title of his talk is, ” Our History in Maps”.