congrats to you!

My adopted hometown of Rhinebeck is all abuzz, as pretty much the whole world knows! Today Chelsea Clinton will be getting married here and people seem to be either very excited (like me!) or very annoyed because of the inconveniences. There are lots of signs all over town wishing the couple the very best. This one is at the Migliorelli farm stand by the Kingston-Rhinecliff Bridge.

Although I’ve been very tempted to go into the center of town and take in the three-ring circus of news crews, celebrities and dignitaries, and nosy sightseers, I’ve talked myself out of it and will be staying put today. Yesterday one of my girlfriends saw former Pres. Clinton eating a late lunch at Gigi’s, and I’ve been getting a kick out of Facebook and Twitter updates from the shopkeepers in town, who have been keeping everyone in the loop. It’s been surreal seeing the stores I walk by and shop at all the time on the national news!

They lucked out with the weather, that’s for sure. Earlier in the week it was in the 90s with oppressive humidity. Today? It’ll be in the high 70s and it’s one of the nicest days we’ve had so far this summer. I wish Chelsea and Marc all the best and I hope their life together is as beautiful as today is.

american pickers

We don’t have cable or satellite TV at Chez Carol, so I’m really out of the loop when it comes to TV shows. However, over the last couple days my dad got me hooked on American Pickers on the History Channel. It’s way more interesting than Antiques Roadshow ever was, and the two guys have very likeable personalities. Basically, they drive around looking for old barns full of junk, yards full of junk, or houses full of junk. They do get tipped off for some visits, but a lot of times seems to be spent on cold calls. I love when they spend time talking to the people who own this stuff. I heard some great stories on the few episodes that I saw; I can only imagine how many amazing stories don’t make it into the show.

They types of things they pick out are interesting. They go after a lot of old signs and motorcycle/car parts, but I do think anything goes. Who knows — maybe one day they’ll pass through New York and they’ll try to talk to the guy down the road that has the Kohler kitchen sink next to the rusted-out station wagon in front of his house. At any rate, if you have any interest in antiques, Americana, or vintage items in general I think you’ll like this show!

narragansett, ri

narragansett, riWhile Drew was in Quebec with the boys and his mom and aunt, I spent the week with Laura hanging out with my parents. On Wednesday we took a drive down to Narragansett, RI. My parents have gone down to the Point Judith area a few times and love it, so they thought it would be a fun outing. My mom especially wanted to take Laura to see the ocean for the first time. For as long as I can remember, my mom has always loved the beach, so sharing it was going to mean a lot. So after breakfast we packed up the beach chairs, the stroller, some drinks, and hit the road.

Traffic was a bit heavy getting down there, but we still made good time. Our first stop was Iggy’s, which I wrote about in a previous entry. I’d totally go back for the chowder and clam fritters — so good!. Then we headed over toward the Point Judith Lighthouse, which I was not able to get a great picture of, unfortunately. I took this one later on, but you get the idea.

narragansett, ri

We spent a lot of time just hanging out, watching the boats and gulls.


It’s been years since I’d been to the ocean. The last time I went to New London, CT and the beach was nice, but nothing like Rhode Island. It’s so beautiful and relaxing there.

narragansett, ri

I’m not a big beach person by any means, but I did enjoy the trip. There’s something about the salt air that feels so good. I bet that if you could bottle it, you could make a therapeutic eczema herbal treatment out of it, LOL. Well, it certainly feels good if nothing else.

narragansett, ri

Along the way to the beach there are these pretty fruit bushes. I’m not sure what they are, but my mom said she thinks they’re quince. The photo from my phone doesn’t do it justice — they were really cool!

narragansett, ri

I loved dipping my toes in the ocean. The water was cold, but not as bad as I’d expected. Laura, however, was not impressed at all. I was a mean, mean mommy for letting her feet get wet, LOL! I’m sure someday she’ll be a little waterbug.

narragansett, ri

It really was a lovely day. The cool ocean breeze felt wonderful and it was nice to just watch the waves and enjoy the peacefulness.

narragansett, ri


After hearing my parents and my brother talk about Iggy’s down in Narragansett, RI, I finally got to experience it for myself this week! Oh boy, do they hook you up with some good eats. Good think I’m not concerned about my weight at the moment or xyphedrine side effects — no, no diet pills here. Especially not when you’re heading down to the ocean for some deep-fried deliciousness! My brother likes to get the Iggy Burger, a special with fried onions and peppers. I decided to get fish and chips, since that’s something I don’t have very often. Look at the size! This was quite the lunch:

iggy's narragansett

My dad got clam strips, which were amazing:

iggy's narragansett

You can see a little bit of the clam chowder he ordered, but I didn’t take a picture of the clam cakes. The chowder was to die for. Laura could not get enough of it. The clam cakes were really good too, but they were more like fritters — doughy and soft. I imagined they’d be more like a crab cake and that was not the case.

We got there shortly after they opened. Our order was 21. Shortly after we dived into our lunch, they were already calling for order 46! Yes, this place is hopping, and apparently the line often stretches down the street. I’d love to go back, but definitely during the off-season, or first thing when they open again. The food was really yummy, but I’m not sure I’d wait in a long line for it, LOL!

thrifting fun

While I was at my parents’ house this week, I had time to do a little thrifting at a new Goodwill shop. I loooove thrift shops. In high school, college, and the first year out of college I’d say 80% of my wardrobe was thrifted and I had some great clothes. With the kids, it’s a lot more challenging to head out for an entire morning of second-hand fun. And the Goodwill nearby isn’t the greatest. The one in Palmer was great, though. Most of the clothes were really nice. You can tell some people don’t take the greatest care of their stuff, though, because some of the mediums were more like x-x-small! They were totally shrunken and if I ever wanted to fit in them I’d have to investigate quick weight loss diets. I had a couple great finds though (that fit perfectly!). First was a very cute floral and lace cotton tank. I’ve been looking for something like this for a while, and for $3, the price was right. I scored another $3 win when I found a plum-colored Eddie Bauer silk and linen cardigan. It’s light and lacy and I will wear it a lot. But best of all were the jeans! For $6 I got a pair of perfectly fitting, barely-worn jeans from White House Black Market. I love the clothes in that store, but it’s a little too pricey for me, so this was a score! It’s always such a thrill to find great stuff 🙂


I should remember to always take appetite suppressants before visiting my parents — I am fed all too well! Last night we enjoyed dinner with my brother, his wife, and my sweet niece and I stuffed myself full of lasagne, salad, and cake. Oh yes — carb overload! Well, at least there was salad, right? It was nice not having to cook, too 🙂 Laura and E. were so funny together. They are a few months apart, but Laura is actually smaller than her younger cousin. I can just tell they’re going to be trouble together. And then when you factor in my cousin’s little girl, well… we’ll have quite the trio on our hands!

bows, boats, bb guns, and bbqs

Jake has spent the week in Cub Scout camp and has been having a fantastic time. He’s learned about boating safety and gone out on the lake several times. He also had the opportunity to learn about gun safety and shoot a BB gun for the first time. He brought home his target and man — he did all right! I’m thrilled that he’s learning how to properly use a gun; we don’t have any in our home, but I think when you know what it can do that makes a big difference.


The other favorite activity this week has been archery. He first shot a bow and arrow at the Cub & Partner weekend back in June and he took to it right away. When you consider that he hasn’t had many opportunities to practice with the bow, he’s really quite good. In fact (shh!) I think we’re going to get him his own youth archery set for his birthday. Jake can be a little scattered sometimes, but he really focuses when he’s out on the range. Not to mention that it looks pretty cool!


Last night was a BBQ for the scouts and their families, and that was pretty fun. Noah loved going down the waterslide and it was fun walking around the camp and getting a sense of the thing Jake has been doing all week. As much as take issue with some of the policies of the BSA as an organization, the men and women who volunteer and put this camp together are just amazing. He’s learned so much in such a short period of time and it’s the kind of stuff you can’t learn from textbooks, which makes it valuable in a whole different way. I’m sure he’ll be a little bummed when I pick him up in a few minutes, since today is the last day of camp. But he’s made some great memories and learned new skills which he can continue to hone if he chooses. It was a good week.

oh deer

Last night Drew and Jake went to the Hudson Valley Renegades game (which ended up getting rained out). They stuck it out until the final announcement was made, though, and they were rewarded with two tickets for another game in addition to their tickets last night acting as a rain check for the rained-out game. So it all worked out. Still, they got home pretty late. After Drew put Jake in bed he was telling me about a woman he saw pulled to the side of our very dark country road. Her hazards were on and he rolled down the window and asked if everything was okay. She was fine, but she had just hit a deer and needed to know the name of our road, the cross street, and the town.

Turns out she was driving a Porche SUV. Yikes! Which of course made me joke about the name — the Cayenne. I feel sorry for the lady, and this is no slight against her, but I just think it’s a dumb name for such a big vehicle. A lot of cars have kind of silly names, don’t you think? The Aviator (does the car fly, too?), the Probe (um… you can make your own joke there), the Brat… Of course, maybe they reflect the drivers’ personalities sometimes. You know what I would love to see? I think it would be hysterical for an auto manufacturer to roll out a new convertible, market it to middle-aged men in their mid-life crisis mode (because who else buys those things?) and call it (drumroll…) the Extenze. 😉

Thank you, thank you! I’m here ’till Friday and don’t forget to try the veal!

lazy, hazy…


I can’t believe it’s only mid-July. Is this summer dragging for anyone else? The boys haven’t even been out of school for a full month, yet it seems like so much longer than that. I know I’ve complained about it ad nauseum, but the heat and humidity is not doing much to make things pleasant. The kids are constantly covered in sweat, and poor Noah has little pimples because he won’t let me wash it every 10 minutes like I want to. He’s not even five yet. Do I really need to check out the best acne treatments that CVS has to offer? Tomorrow they’ll get a break at the lake, and they’ve enjoyed the splash pool and our slip & slide here in the yard. But it would be nice to do some outside activities in some nicer weather.

Next week is scheduled to be outrageously hot, too. At Cub Scout Camp Jake will have time in the lake every day, but I’ll have to think of something else for Noah. They had openings for the library mini-camp, so for three afternoons he’ll do that, since he’s having such a great time this week at the week-long camp.

I’m also running out of hot-weather recipes. How many grilled chicken salads can one eat? I’m inexplicably craving foods like meatloaf and split-pea soup, but they’re not exactly summer foods. (And no, don’t even think that the cravings indicate anything besides just that — cravings, LOL! Just trust me on that one!) Maybe I’ll splurge on some shrimp this weekend. I need to get out of this cooking rut!

ebay slacker

With time ticking away, I still have not received payment for one of the auctions I sold on Sunday. I require the winning bidder to pay within three days (which is pretty standard, I think). The end of today will be three days. I’ve sent two e-mails (well, one invoice and a reminder e-mail), to no avail. Its all very puzzling because the winning bidder has a high positive rating. What happened? After the fourth day I can flag her for non-payment, and I certainly plan to if she doesn’t make good on her end of the deal.

I’ve had mostly good experiences on eBay; this has never happened to me before, but I know it’s common. I mean, I wasn’t selling supplements for a pricey health or quick weight loss program. It was just a couple of baby dresses that sold for a dirt cheap price! Oh well. I guess I’ll have to leave negative feedback and re-list the item or something. It’s just so frustrating.