Friday, June 26, 2009

Things are LOOKING UP

Firstly, it seems a little strange viewing the photo of our old house on the top of this blog. It's sinking in that someone else lives there now and I won't be back. In about a month I'll put a picture of our new house. Perhaps I'll change it before then.

Secondly, yesterday I submitted the red sky photo to the Look Up Challenge at Apples for Poppy Anne. She challenges creative souls to make interesting photos on a theme and submit them. Yesterday we took a National Park Ranger tour walking through downtown Boston. Did you know there was a National Park there? I didn't. But we walked on parts of the Freedom trail and saw where the ideas of the American Revolution were debated, where the Boston Massacre fueled the fires of freedom, and Paul Revere rode. I was Looking UP.

Here is a statue of Samuel Adams in front of Faneuil Hall. Sam Adams was a brave revolutionary and a master propagandist. His rousing of the populace, staging of provocations of the British soldiers, and promotion of his view of events did much to foment the Boston Tea Party and Boston Massacre. Freedom fighters/Rioters/Terrorists... it all depends on your point of view in any age.

On on a lighter note we headed through the North End of Boston. The Italians still celebrate their saints in the streets and in the skies.

Thirdly, as you can see, after 6 days the sun has finally come out. We had a terrific day. We went back to the rainy fountain we had visited a few days before only this time it was a lot more fun.

After the walking tour, lunch in the North End. Jack and I shared tomato & mozzarella salad and a spinach/salami calzone. Renee had pasta with butter (she lives on this now).

Then some lucious deserts from Mike's famous Italian pastry shop. Cannolis and Eclaires anyone?

Much splashing in the fountain:

Doug walked over from work to share a bit of cannoli.

And finally drying out before we walked back to the hotel.

Overall, an awesome day.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Raining Buckets in Boston

Here is the view at night from our hotel balcony. The vertical red lights indicate bad weather. We haven't seen them any other color. Behind the lights would be the Prudential building if it wasn't hidden by mist.

The rain may subside today after 6 straight days. But we've made the best of it. Since being in Boston we've visited both the kids' new schools in Wayland and the Wayland library. We even found the Wayland Whole Foods. Now I can feel at home.

We've revisited the Boston Aquarium, saw Doug's office, went to the MIT museum (so many cool kinetic sculptures by Arthur Ganson), and spent some time in a great used bookstore where we purchased a book on making great sandcastles. We'll try it out next week at the beach house we're renting in Marshfield. And the best thing to do in rainy Boston, visit a giant fountain in the greenway where I93 used to cut through the city (thanks Big Dig).

And finally celebrate a moment without rain with smoothies from Faneuil Hall.

We've also spent too much time in a hotel room, but escaped every day to the hotel pool. I also thought I'd be happy not to cook for a month. But I'm missing it. Restaurant food is salty, fatty and expensive. We are limited in the kind of restaurants we can visit because Renee is quite a picky eater. I'm sticking with oatmeal at the hotel breakfast to make sure I have at least one healthy meal. Next week we'll have a kitchen. Hooray.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


We had a wonderful weekend at Rossfest, even though the rain tried to ruin our fun. Rossfest is a weekend long party honoring a fraternity brother of Doug's who died of cancer in 2002. Since then Paul and Kristen have SO GENEROUSLY hosted the brothers and their families at their home, so we can make great memories, not remember sad ones. Around 100 people come for shared meals, music, dancing, sleeping out in tents, and fun, fun, fun.

Guys setting up the tents.

Kids and puppies, what could be more fun

The band was great, as usual.

Not everyone minds the rain.

Smiles under the big tent (Jack is almost smiling, he doesn't like having his picture taken these days).

Friday, June 19, 2009


The closing is today at 3 pm. Last night Doug and I camped in our bedroom on the floor. The kids slept at my mom's. I didn't want them to be here when we closed and locked the door for the last time.

Here's the huge truck that has taken all we own. They will bring it to the new house on July 23rd.


Thursday, June 18, 2009

Packing Up

The boxes are packed. They left the beds to pack this morning so we slept as if we were still living in this home, but trying to navigate around in my early AM wanderings was a challenge. But I managed to put in a last load of laundry at 5:30. Movers will be here with what I can only imagine will be the biggest truck I've ever seen. Jack counted more than 150 boxes and stopped counting.

I realized from this photo that Renee's favorite doll is packed. I hope she doesn't realize it. Perhaps she's outgrown it though it's been in her bed alys. It will probably be back once we're in the new house. We'll see.

Jack's room is finally very neat. He even nailed on the back of his night table which has been loose for years.

And the main floor. It looks so plain with all the personal touches removed. But much better than when we moved in. I do love the wall papers, the beautiful floors... What will be my favorite things in the new house?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Three More Days

Today we've packed the items we'll need for the next month. Everything else will be packed tomorrow by the movers and will be in storage until it is delivered to our new house next month. Doug replaced our dining room fixture with a cheap replacement. I went back through our closets looking for stuff to throw away before the move. Yard mowed for the last time.

I'll try to get up some photos of the emptying house tomorrow if our router isn't put away. To those of you here in Jersey. We will miss you. But keep checking in. Next month we'll reassemble our home in Wayland, MA.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

For your listening enjoyment...

Here is a song from our bell concert. I am slightly to the right of center. Sadly, Jack is 2 to the right of me behind someone's head. It was a wonderful concert. We loved making music with this group. If the rain holds off, we'll say goodbye at the bell choir picnic this afternoon. So many goodbyes.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Ringing and Roses

Too much emotion to write too much about yesterday yet. Graduation took place. While Jack didn't graduate, he did get to play a piano solo. He would have graduated next year after being there since he was 2 1/2. The directors' speeches were full of hope and celebration of the individual spirit making a difference in the world. I'll try to pull some quotes off my video tape when I get the chance.

Then our Bells and Whistles concert. This was my second year playing with The Pilgrim Ringers and Jack's first. I was so proud of myself for at last feeling like I can play difficult music without making too many mistakes. I can read well, change bells, quickly switch to chimes and back, do different ringing methods, and sometimes even follow the director/conductor in volume and speed, even during page turns. It was not easy, and only recently do I feel comfortable. Not so Jack. He came right in reading and ringing well. Last night during our rehersal, Gloria said everyone should look at Jack to see his graceful ring circles. He was terrific. Again I'll try to get some video up as soon as Jack helps me! I will miss making music will this group. It's wonderful to be a small part of something beautiful that takes the work of many. I am going to look for more of this type of experience in our new place.

Thank you to everyone who made the effort to come to see us in the pouring rain. Doug, Renee, Grandma R, Andrew, Avery, Grandpa, Grandma M, Ellie, Jimmy, Colin, Keara, Mary and James. We had a great cheering section!

Renee and I made a trip to see the Roses at the Botanical Garden last weekend. We've belonged to the Garden for years and would admire its beauty in all seasons. I loved when the dogwoods and lilacs were blooming. Renee loves the roses.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Seeing Red

On June 3 Lisa Leonard made a post that celebrated her white dishes. She commented that she's also like red, but it wouldn't match her decor. Here's my cranberry red dining room and flowered dishes. (The color seems a bit off in the photos.) I've been looking a lot at color lately inspired by Poppy Anne's It Begins with Color challenges.

I love these dishes and glasses. The large plate and bowl are creamy white with leaves and red to cranberry flowers. The salad/dessert plates have a cranberry backround. And check out the glasses, cranberry glass water and wine glasses. I found the set (8 each) in a coffee house/vintage consignment shop that has since closed.

Luckily, I get to take them with me to Boston. Not so the great wallpaper, pine floors and bay window seat in our current dining room.

Hooray, I finally learned to make links on my blog!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Therapeutic Destruction

OK, now making up for yesterday's out-of-control post. Doug is obviously feeling disgust too. And thus when he got home last night from Boston, he attacked the stairs with a crowbar. In 15 minutes it was a slope.

The town inspector told us at first that any slope we replaced the stairs with would have to conform to the American's with Disabilities Act (?!?!?!?!?!). But after a chat with our lawyer they decided a slope was OK.

We'll smooth it and grow some grass. Notice the raspberry bushes on top of the stone wall on the left. There are hundreds of flowers and immature berries on there. They will not ripen before we leave, but I've potted some young canes. They are being cared for by Doug's parents in CT until they can take up residence in our new garden.

Thursday, June 4, 2009


Perhaps this is how it works. When you first find out you're going to have to move, you are sad, uncertain and depressed. By the time you are ready to go, you are so disgusted with the process that you can't wait to move 250 miles away.

Today some workers came and took about 1 cup of dirt out from under two sections of our sidewalk so that the town will give us a certificate of occupancy. I would have taken a before and after picture of the "trippable" sidewalk (the town standard) except that you would have seen no difference except some dirt moved around. There doesn't seem to be any money in it for the inspector or the town, so I can't see why they bothered to fail us for this except to exercise what little power a minor town bureaucrat has. The only worse sucker is the homeowner.

Then I called the alarm company to inform them that we would be moving. They informed me that unless the new buyers take a contract with them, we'll be responsible for a contract until 2012. This is not the company I had do the alarm, but rather a group that bought that company. Well let them come after me. Everyone wants to take their pound of flesh and I have no more to give. I am rubbed raw!

Yet to come, trying to figure out what to do with a flight of rotted stairs in the yard (didn't pass inspection). Closing a CD a week early before we move without losing all the interest and paying penalties. Figuring out how to get our mail and bills when we have no address. Stay tuned for the fun.

Sorry about this post. I am so angry and have no one to vent to.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Many Endings

So many endings, and soon a new beginning. But first the endings:

Today was my last Monday library day. I'll read for the red, blue and pm classes on Thursday (Shirley Hughes, always my favorite story teller for the last library week of school). I've been coordinating the library program at my kids' school for 3 years. It's been so much fun introducing kids to great stories and seeing many of them become readers and book lovers. Some even learn my name, although most say "hi, librarian" with lots of excitement when they see me. Among the books that have been favorites with the kids and me:
Superhero ABC by Bob Mcleod
Mouse Mess by Linnea Riley
Leo Leoni stories, especially Fredric
Papa Get the Moon for Me by Eric Carle
Actual Size and other animal nonfiction books by Steve Jenkins
Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert
I Can Read with My Eyes Shut & Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss
Duck on a Bike & The Rain Came Down by David Shannon
and so many more.
Alas my kids have outgrown most picture books. Being in the library let me hold onto those special moments reading to young children a little longer. It's been a pleasure.

The neighbors are having a goodbye barbecue for us this weekend. It should be fun and sad. The neighbor who is hosting the party has been a parenting mentor for me. Her lovely girls are 21 and 18 now. When we moved here, the little one was 2. I was the fun young woman down the street who would swing the little girls in circles on the lawn after I got off the bus from work. By the time Renee was born (she's 8), there were 14 children on our dead end with 9 houses. The kids spent time biking, swinging, exploring the woods, blowing bubbles and playing with chalk, playing ball games, and learning how to get along.

Another goodbye, this past weekend was my 25th high school reunion. It is probably the last time I will see many of these people. There was even a memorial service for 3 women who had passed away (2 of whom were close friends). The reunion has added to the feeling of closure I'm having with this place, a symbol of time passing. Bergen County, NJ is the place I grew up, endured my parents' divorce, went to high school, came back to live with my husband, had my children. My mother still lives here in the house I grew up in. It's less than a half hour from where I live now. Soon, I will have to make new friends, figure out new places to shop, eat, play. Today I find places through instinct. I learned to drive on these roads. Now I'll need a GPS and so much more to find my way.

Andrea, senior year of high school (I love this picture).

Andrea and Doug, at my 25th high school reunion.

I've changed so much, grown so much.
I hope I've learned how to make a new place my home.