Thursday, March 13, 2014


The snow is finally melting here in New Jersey.  And when the snow recedes, the beauty that is new spring life is revealed ...

pushing up through the snow to reach the sun ...

Like this bloom -- native to the area -- from the genus "Hewlett Packard".

Long before the storms set in, we gentle homeowners put things in the ground. Winter came, worked its magic and then retreated, leaving behind blossoms in abundance --

A fragrant bouquet of Old Carpet Padding.

O, Spring!  Thy beauty ever new!

And you wondered why they called us "The Garden State."

Monday, February 10, 2014


 OR ... guess once and go to the fabric store twice!

Yes, I did this.   I guessed at the amount of fabric needed for my son's curtains, and I was wrong.

It all started because I am giving my younger son's bedroom a makeover.  The two boys used to share a room "back in the day".

This is how it used to look.  "Kid" art on the walls, two matching beds, etc.  That is, before my oldest turned 13, when he decided he wanted his own room and moved to the third (very small) bedroom. 

Now my younger son is 13 and I want to update his room to give him more of a "teen" room.  But he doesn't want to look at catalogs for ideas, he doesn't want to go to fabric stores, and when I ask what he does want he says "I don't know."

So I went to the fabric store without him, texted him pictures of 3 different fabrics, he picked one, I bought enough to make curtains for his two windows.  Or so I thought.

However, when he saw the too-short curtain made up, he didn't like it anyway.  From the picture I sent, he thought the fabric was black.

I'm going to the fabric store today.  I am going to measure the windows first, and I am going to buy the same fabric he picked, but in black and white.

On the plus side - there's wine in the fridge.

Don't forget to measure, y'all.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014


I know that everyone is sick of the snow ... but when my street looks like this ...
it feels like magic.  I don't mind getting bundled up ...

and neither does Baxter!  On our early morning walks, some people still have their lamps on ...

Walking through this deep snow is a workout in itself.  Especially when you're getting dragged by a 16-pound Olympic racer ...

who is bounding through snow as deep as his chest.  He wants to "go" against a telephone pole ...

but the snow is piled so high it is quite a climb for him.  Nonetheless, we stay out for a long time ... enjoying it all ... even though

our furry legs get encrusted with snow balls! 

Snow is meant to be celebrated!  And ... to really make it wonderful ... after all the fun, and a big dry towel, we can go back to bed.

Wishing you all a cozy day.

Sunday, December 22, 2013


We don't have our tree yet.  That's because we've been painting the living room, so the place where we would normally put the tree looks like this.

On a positive note, I did get the front door done.

Yes, I know.  It's a bit minimalist.  It looks great at night with the spotlight shining on it.  Also, I still haven't finished the shopping, done no wrapping at all, and we are just now going to take our family Christmas photo today.  That would be December 22.

Do you feel better now about where you are in your holiday chore list?  I hope so.

This has been a public service announcement.  Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 14, 2013


Yes, it did.  I came home to find this.

The hook came off the door.  My husband said it was because it was too cold for the glue to work.  Really?  Is that a thing -- glue that doesn't work in winter?

Anyway, as advertised, it did NOT damage the paint.  I decided to put a nail in the back of the door (on the inside of the house) and hang the wreath on a long ribbon looped over the top of the door.

I know ... you're in awe of my creative thinking.

I found a nail.  But I couldn't find a hammer.  That's because our tool drawer looks like this.

And trust me, there is no hammer in there.  There's supposed to be a hammer in there, but there isn't, and no one seems to know where that hammer is.  We also have one of those little utility hammers that features a screwdriver inside, which we keep in the kitchen, but when I found it,

only the screwdriver was left.  The hammer was nowhere to be found.  Perhaps my teenage boys are eating hammers.  They eat everything else.

So then I just began to hunt for anything I could use to pound a nail into a door.  I considered rocks (too cold outside to hunt for one) and various heavy items around the house, but finally settled on this.

I don't what it is.  But it did the job.  I pounded the nail into the back of the door, and looped a lovely red ribbon over the whole shebang.

Looks great right?  Or ... is it a little low?

After worrying over it for a day, I raised it up.

And I haven't even started on the front door.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


I haven't posted recently, and I feel terrible about that.  I have just been too busy with other obligations.  But now it's time to get back to blogging, and to enter the spirit of the season with some holiday decorations.

We order a lovely Christmas wreath every year from the Boy Scouts.  It was delivered this weekend, and I always hang it on our side door.  This year, we had just painted the door, so the hook that I had used last year had been removed and I needed to apply a new hook. 

No problem.

I used one of these stick on deals.  They apply easily and don't damage the paint, which will make my husband happy, since he is the one who painted the door to begin with.

First you have to swab the area with alcohol and let it dry.  I had to go upstairs and get the rubbing alcohol.  I wanted to use a paper towel, but the kitchen roll was empty, so I went down to the basement to get a new roll and saw this.

An appalling pile of laundry.  I have been doing 5 loads a day for a week - and it still looks like this.  The boys went camping (lots of smokey smelling clothes and long underwear), we went to Florida over Thanksgiving (bathing suits and tennis clothes), and the dog had a couple of baths (TOWELS). 

So I threw in another load, and then went up with the paper towels.  On the stairs up I saw this --

Flip flops - from the Florida trip.  Still not put away.  I put them away.  Then I swabbed the door.  I waited for it to dry.  Then I peeled off the sticker and pressed the hook against the door for 30 seconds, per the instructions. 

Then you have to wait, a full hour, before you can use it.  During the time I:  did 2 more loads of laundry, dragged piles of clean laundry upstairs to leave them on the beds, went through 3 days of mail, paid the utility bill, packed up a birthday present for shipping, unloaded the dishwasher, talked to my mother on the phone, ate dinner, cleaned up dinner and then ---

OOPS, that was way more than an hour.  Just as I was getting ready for bed, I remembered, I can hang the wreath!

But it was dark out by then and I could barely see the stupid hook.  So I hung the wreath first thing the next morning.

Holiday decorating is so easy!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013


We had a fun Halloween this year.  The kids didn't dress up, really, but we did decorate.   I always put a skeleton on the front door.

This was the first year in a while that we had good Halloween weather.  Last year, the holiday was ruined by Super Storm Sandy.  And the year before that

 it snowed.

We've had that skeleton a long time -since the boys were so little they couldn't even pronounce the word skeleton.  He's pretty dusty and torn in a few places, but he must be holding up well, because he can still ...

touch his toes.

We had friends over, and ate fried chicken and drank margaritas, so I didn't feel so bad that my kids were too old to dress up and trick or treat ... (sob!)  At least I got to eat a bunch of fun-size Three Musketeer bars - my favorite.

Then the skeleton went back to the attic with his friend Frank.


Happy November!