This Week

Country Living Fair 2014

Ah… the school year is finally winding down. The last few weeks have been so busy! Four concerts, Field Day, Court of Honor, and Preschool Graduation (just to name a few) have kept us on the go. But summer is actually in sight!

Today was Laura’s preschool graduation. What a sweet ceremony her school put on! Drew wrote and performed a song with the kids — abosultely adorable. She was in tears the other day because she’s going to miss school so much. I reassured her that most of her friends with be in Kindergarten with her in the Fall. “But it won’t be the same!” she said. Awww… So bittersweet.

Laura's preschool graduation

Last weekend a friend and I went to the Country Living Fair here in Rhinebeck. I will have to do an entire post just on the fair because it was SO much fun. Next year I think I’ll opt for the two-day pass and get my mom to come on one of the days. So many pretty things and creative ideas. But more on that soon.

My crochet has been tucked away for now, just because there hasn’t been the time for it. But I have been busy in the garden planting blueberries, rhododendrons, various perennials… My dad was able to get me some lilacs another lady had dug up, so tomorrow my parents are bringing those down and I’ll get them in. I adore lilacs and just pray they take so I can have blooms next year!

Hope you all have been well. I miss my little corner of the bloggy world!

Chilly Sunday

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Hello, hello! Hope you all have been enjoying the weekend. As usual, it’s been pretty busy around here. It’s easy to gripe and say I’d rather be at home (which is true), but at the same time I’m thankful for a part-time job that I love, friends to see, and activities to keep everyone happy.

Friday night was our Cub Scout pack meeting and we held a rain gutter regatta. For those who don’t know what that is, the boys build boats (similar to Pinewood Derby cars) and then by blowing throw a straw, they sail them down the channels of an inflatable rain gutter. This was the first year we used the inflatable “gutters.” In previous years we used actual rain gutters, which were bulky and messy.

Rain gutter Regatta

Rain gutter Regatta

The boys all had a great time! We just raced for fun. Then I suggested that the parents race their kids’ boats. At first there were a couple moans and groans but you could tell everyone secretly wanted to do it,  ha ha! It was great!

Yesterday I worked at the library in the morning and then we went to a friend’s birthday party in the afternoon. I did a little shopping at Michael’s and Sam’s but let me tell you — I am not exactly digging the “holiday spirit” out there, especially this early in the season. Everyone is impatient and rushing and angry. Kind of the opposite of what this time of year is supposed to be about, isn’t it? We did what we had to do and came home. Between people’s attitudes and crazy traffic, I had really had it.

Today was much different. I helped set up the parish center for tomorrow’s very special preschool Thanksgiving feast. I made a quick run to Stop & Shop (again, it was crazy but at least being by myself it was easier to handle). And that was about it. It was freezing out there today, so I was happy to come home and make a big pot of chicken and rice soup. I also decided to bake a pie since I have so many apples in my refrigerator for some reason.

Now I’m just getting dinner ready: the soup, some oven fries, and sandwiches. Easy! Though I’m mostly looking forward to a slice of pie for dessert 😉

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This week should actually be pretty relaxing. I’m not cooking Thanksgiving dinner this year — I just need to make the sweet potatoes and cole slaw — so I can relax a bit. The kids have a nice break for the holiday. And yes… I am very much looking forward to putting our Christmas tree up at the end of the week!

What are you all doing for Thanksgiving this year? Staying home? Travelling? It is my favorite holiday, and I just can’t wait!

 

Oh, Hey September!

Well just like that a couple weeks go by and you forget all about blogging! Actually, it’s been on my “to do” list for several days now, but I just have been too busy to get to it. I know I keep saying that I’m really going to pay more attention to my blog, but with the back-to-school schedule ironed out and things moving along nicely, I really mean it!

In the meantime, how about a laundry list of what’s new?

  • The boys started school last week. Noah is in 3rd grade, which is a big deal because it means he’s now upstairs and has a locker! Jake started middle school which is a big deal for obvious reasons. It’s a total change, but he loves it. Our morning routine is also very different now, as our district has staggered start times, so I have three kids, three different schools, three different times!
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  • That’s right — I said three! Laura started preschool this week and judging on the first two days, she loves it 🙂  It’s just a few days a week for a few hours, but it’s just enough. And honestly, the extra time will really be great for me! It’s been 11 years since I’ve had kid-free time that I can count on!
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  • During some of that kid-free time this week I got a haircut. I got four inches chopped off, but man it’s still long! I also got a little bit of swoopy bangs. That might have been a bad idea. We’ll see.
  • I got my new Erin Condren planner for next year. Love, love, love the paisley! 
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  • I’ve done a bit of canning — just some apple butter and some salsa, but considering I didn’t do anything all summer it’s been fun hearing those “pings” as the jars seal! I’m trying to plan ahead for Christmas gifts. That is, assuming I can keep the goodies from getting eaten.
  • Otherwise, I’ve just been cleaning and reorganizing and doing all that day-to-day stuff. I haven’t picked up my crochet hook in over a month. I’m hoping to get back to my blanket next week, though.

Hope your September is off to a great start!

Back from Vacationing at Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg
Hello! Well, the last week and a half have just gone by lightning fast! I have so much to catch up on… Where should I even start?

Well, before I get to the details of our trip, I have to mention that Noah turned 8! After a breakfast of his chosen “sugar cereal” (something I don’t usually buy except on the kids’ birthdays), he opened presents.

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Then we headed over to Walkway Over the Hudson State Park. Even though I am terribly afraid of heights, I love it there (as long as I don’t get too close to the edge of the railing, LOL). 

Mid-Hudson Bridge

Walkway Over the Hudson

We decided to have an early lunch at IHOP, and then headed home. I made Hawaiian pizza for dinner (Noah’s request). All in all I think he had a great day.

Last Monday we got in the car for the very long drive (ugh, 8 hours) to Colonial Williamsburg for vacation. It was a lot of fun! I’ll be honest — I wish you could poke around some of the buildings at your leisure, but you’re limited to what you can see during a tour. I understand — there’s a lot of value in some of those buildings — but it would have been nice.

Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg
Some of the shops are only open certain days of the week, so there are a few we missed (like the Apothecary — something I had really hoped to check out). But we spent a lot of time at the Blacksmith shop. The boys were fascinated.

Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg

One of my favorite buildings was Bassett Hall, the Williamsburg home of John D. Rockefeller Jr. and his wife Abby Aldrich Rockefeller. It was styled as the Rockefellers would have had it. Oh, I could so easily have moved right into that kitchen! 

Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg

On our last night we had dinner at Shield’s Tavern and it was excellent! I had the ale potted beef, which was like a pot roast with vegetables served over the most delicious mashed potatoes. Drew had “a dish of pork” — a huge, flavorful hunk of pork on the bone. Seriously, it was so good! I loved that the children’s meals all came with applesauce and mixed vegetables (a blend of carrots, broccoli, and green beans) and not just the standard potato and entree.

Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg

There was a gentleman playing music, encouraging everyone to participate in a sing along. Such fun! After dinner we had tickets to the Tavern Ghost Walk. The boys were riveted by the spooky stories about some of the haunted buildings in Williamsburg. I kept snapping away with my camera, hoping to capture something — but I didn’t, LOL!

Colonial Williamsburg

The boys learned a lot, and although I’m not sure Laura was as entertained, she liked the horses and playing with some colonial toys. Speaking of which, Noah turned out to be an absolute champ at hoop & stick. So much so that he decided to use his souvenir money to buy one for himself!

Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg

We got back on Friday after spending the night in New Jersey to break up the trip home. And now we’re in the back-to-school “home stretch.” It’s our last full week of vacation. Oh summer, I will miss your lazy days!

Eleven!

It’s hard to believe that 11 years ago today I was at the hospital, having just given birth to my very first baby. While my White Plains Hospital experience left a lot to be desired (thankfully I only delivered there once), we came home a few days later with a pudgy, 9 lb. 6 oz. bundle of love! It seems impossible that over a decade has come and gone, but yesterday Jake celebrated his 11th birthday.

We had a party with family over the weekend, and yesterday was pretty low-key. I guess he has aged out of our sugar cereal breakfast tradition. He asked for pancakes and sausage instead! Nevertheless, we still set up a special birthday place setting — confetti and all 🙂

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He was thrilled with the frame pack we gave him! It will make those Boy Scout camping trips a little easier, I think. It should also last him well into college, if not longer!

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Jake wanted to invite a friend over, which turned into an impromptu sleepover, LOL… Anyway, the kids had fun playing and I made Jake’s requested dinner of chili dogs, chips, pickles (that my dad made), and I made a salad because well, you need vegetables even on your birthday 😉 Instead of cake we opted for make-your-own sundaes.

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It’s been amazing watching this kid grow from a colicky baby to a smart, imaginative, caring tween. Middle school starts in a few weeks, which is just crazy to me. Wasn’t I just enrolling him in pre-school?

jake at 11

As the saying goes, The days are long, but the years are short. So very true!

Lake George in the Off Season

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Yesterday we took the boys to Albany ComicCon — a smaller, much more manageable comic book show than the big one in the city. Laura came too, and was a real trooper, braving the crowd all in the hopes of seeing Spider-Man (which she did!). Afterwards, we surprised the kids with a little sidetrack before going home, though. We figured since there is no school today in honor of Veteran’s Day, we’d spend a little extra time together as a family.

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We usually go to Lake George at the end of the season (on Labor Day), but this time of year it is really the off-season. It was so weird seeing all the stores emptied and locked with “See you in the Spring!” signs hanging in doors and windows. Even the McDonald’s in town was closed! But some stuff was open, and really all I wanted to do was walk around the lake so I didn’t care much about the shops. It was an absolutely gorgeous day to be up in the Adirondacks. Mid 60s in early November? Why yes! I’ll take it! It was such a relaxing way to spend the afternoon.

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A co-worker told me about The Mystery Spot, something that was in her kids’ book Weird New York. We’ve been to Lake George so many times — I can’t believe I’d never heard of this, even though I have walked over this spot on every trip! (Though Drew tells me we discovered it on our first vacation there when we were still dating — but I can’t remember!) If you stand in the middle of this circle and talk or even whisper, there is this weird reverberation.

“Local Indian legend says that it was the spot that an ancient god called Katchalototail had appeared at a long time ago and since then his wisdom still echoes around the lake.”

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It’s not exactly an echo, but definitely some bizarre sonic anomaly. We all got a kick out of it! Definitely try it if you’re up there.

What a Week

Well, I had every intention of writing a few blog posts this week, but… it just didn’t happen. So instead I’ll give you a quick recap. It was such a weird week here. Hopefully things will get back on track next week.

I’d planned to tell you all about the Lewis Black show Drew took me to for an early birthday present. It was so great! His mom watched the kids and we went into the city last Saturday night. Times Square was ridiculous. I know that it’s the place most tourists like to see, and I try to keep that in mind, but I don’t have the patience for it anymore, LOL… Nevertheless, it makes for a cool picture.

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Then it was over to the Richard Rogers Theatre!

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I loved the eclectic mix that comprises Lewis Black’s fan base. From young to old, it ran the gamut! The show itself was very funny and included topical bits (including spouting off about the VP debate) that were just right on target. Love him!

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But when we got back home Sunday night, after the trip to the Botanical Garden and ComicCon, we quickly realized that something wasn’t right with our cat. To make a long, heartbreaking story short, we made the difficult decision to put her to sleep on Tuesday. Her bloodwork came back with very bad news, and considering her age… well, she was just not well at all. I do love this photo I took of her, not long before we talked again to the vet. I’d spread out a tablecloth to take photos of a recipe I plan on posting, and as soon as I carried the bowl back to the counter, she plopped down to watch the world outside.

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Drew had her for 15 years, and I’ve been with him for 14 of those. She definitely had personality, and she is missed. I keep thinking that I hear her coming through the cat door. So sad!

It was a hard week.

But the weekend is here. We don’t really have anything going on, so that’s nice. After all our driving around last weekend, I’m looking forward to just hanging out at home.