Thursday, July 30, 2009

Making Progress

The last 6 days: open a box, unwrap items from masses of paper (even a pine cone and hair clip were wrapped for safety, but no china was broken), find places for the items, move box and paper to basement recycling piles enjoying the cool basement air... repeat, repeat, repeat.

And, of course, the dryer stopped working amidst the chaos. But Doug diagnosed the problem, went out for the part, and it's fixed. (Yes we're in a new house and here's Doug hard at work, yet again.)

The temporary clothesline. We'll set up one that's not only 3' off the ground soon.

Finally we have made enough progress that all the big boxes are unpacked. Here are some rooms in progress.

Jack and Renee playing in her room.

Dining room
Family room

This afternoon we head off to the Outer Banks with Doug's fraternity bothers and their families. So much fun! A true week of relaxation once we do the long drive.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Finally A Home

Yesterday, the most mundane of tasks made me feel like I really had a new home. I went to the supermarket. I had spent the last three days unpacking boxes and living amidst chaos. It took an almost routine supermarket visit to make me feel more at home. I had to find the new market, which wasn't easy. I negotiated unfamiliar aisles (while I talked to my mom on the phone, my usual daily update). On the way home I found that the trip is really an easy one on only one road. The revelation about home, came as I crossed route 30 onto our section of road. I was driving down a street out of a fairy tale, winding through the wood on a path with tall pines at either side. It's difficult to see our home and a challenge to turn into the driveway. But once there it is oasis. I just felt so relaxed and happy to be there.

I proceeded to make dinner. There is almost enough space on the counter amidst the clutter I haven't found a place for. The dining room is clean and set up for dinner, but we chose to eat on the deck. It was so beautiful. Green everywhere, and you can see the bee balm in the garden (complex red flowers where each petal is like a tiny drinking vessel for humming birds). And they were flying around visiting the flowers while we ate.

This time of year the house is sits in a lush garden.

I saw a mouse crawl into this little house on the fence yesterday morning.

View from the deck. Bee balm is the red flower toward the right.

Dinner on the deck.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Food Musings

Oh no, the top of the blog still has a very dated picture of our old house. I'll change that in a day or two.

Just to tide you over until I am sorted out enough to do a more detailed post about our move, I'm thinking about food this morning. About how much I've missed regular cooking and knowing what's on our plates. The night after we closed on the house we went out for dinner at a local place to celebrate. (We also had no kitchen pots, plates, silverware, etc even though we now had a kitchen). It must have been one of the most salty meals I've ever had. This morning, 1 1/2 days later my fingers are very swollen and yesterday we only ate simple sandwiches, carrots, fruit and yogurt from a Whole Foods quick shop. By evening I had found enough kitchen utensils to make spaghetti in a too small pot.

The blog Beauty that Moves did a great post a week or so ago discussing the value and expense of feeding your family in a healthy way. She noted how even cooking whole foods from scratch most of the time can be expensive if you are choosing local, organic produce and dairy. Find the discussion and the interesting comments here.

I've done two quick Whole Foods shops for a few breakfast and lunch items over the last few days at a cost of over $30 each. I got bread, turkey, cheese, carrots, hummus, milk, yogurt, cherries, and a tomato. A local (VT ?) tomato was $3.99/lb. Beautiful looking heirloom tomatoes from California, $4.99/lb. Conventional plum tomatoes were $1.99/lb. I got 1 local it came to about $2 for a palm size tomato.

I am happy to report that the previous owners of the house left us some nearly ripe green beans and ripe raspberries (We missed ours in NJ.) The gardens also have large areas of thyme, rosemary, chives and other things I probably don't recognize. There are also grapes growing all over a stone wall.

I am looking forward to getting back into our food routine and adding more interesting grains and soups to our meals as the weather gets colder here in MA. I've seen signs around for Farmer's Markets on Saturday mornings. I can't wait. I'll also be looking around for a CSA for next year and local dairy delivery like I had in NJ.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Memories in Portland, CT

On lazy summer days in Portland, CT we walk down to the Connecticut river. We pass the house where my mother-in-law grew up, the house that her Dad built. Can you imagine living your whole life in the same town, all the people you know, all the people who know you and remember your family, all the memories you have? We also walked past the school that was Doug's middle school and his mother's high school. It's strange to think about that since we're moving to a new place and moving from the place where our kids were born, where they learned to walk, where the marks on the door frame showed Jack growing as tall as me.

But we carry the memories with us, and more are made on lazy summer days.

A relaxing game of croquet?

Building planes, flying planes, retrieving planes from high branches.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Together Again

Less than 4 days to closing, but we are back together as a family even if we are still not in our new home. This weekend we are at Doug's parents' house in CT. Then a couple nights in a hotel in suburban Boston. And Wednesday night in our new home (without furniture).

But I'm so happy to be with my honey. He is so terrific. He hooked up my computer so I can put pictures on my blog.

He brought me a mochalicious iced latte.

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you. I love you.

And thanks to you mom for your great hospitality, your suffering to turn down the air conditioning and for putting up with us. Remember, a little olive oil is a good thing.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Waiting, Waiting, Waiting...

Gosh, it's been a long time. My computer isn't getting internet so I'm on another with no pictures. And without my computer genius honey, I can't figure stuff out. The countdown is running...tick, tick, tick... 10 more days until the closing in MA. Until then I have no control. Not of my kids, not of my environment, not of my frustration.

Jack and I went for a hike at the Alpine boat basin on the Palisades yesterday. Two hours where the steepness of the terrain kept my mind focused on the present. Legs burning. Testing my fear of heights. Rewarded at the bottom with a waterfall and swings by the sea (actually the Hudson).

Inspired by visiting historical sites in Boston and battle sites in Fort Lee, NJ, I'm reading 1776 by David Mcullough. In the passage I read last night a young Henry Knox gets the idea to travel to Fort Ticonderoga in northern New York from Boston to retrieve French cannons. He musters courage, sleds and men and moves the more than 100,000 lbs of munitions by boat and sled across hundreds of miles and over the Berkshire mountains. He and his men even pull up a cannon from the bottom of a river after it had fallen through the ice with the help of the good people of Albany. Then it is George Washington who commands his troops to mount those cannons on the hills of Dorchester on one moonlit night in March. The British awake to find their position in Boston much eroded.

Reading of these endeavors is so exciting. People with such determination and bravery. Such purpose. What am I doing with my life?

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Purple for Poppy Anne

Here is a submission for Poppy Anne's color challenge. Today her theme was purple. Coincidence? I had taken this picture just a few days ago and called it purple. I love the way that little lavender bow on Renee's shirt frames Jack's head and matches the purple couch. The colors were even more vivid than captured by my camera.

Beach Play

Internet arrived at this house in Marshfield yesterday. I am streaming WNYC as I create this blog entry. I missed it. WBUR doesn't come in very well here. I'm sure I'll get used to that station once we're in Wayland.

Now for our Marshfield activities. Nearly all have taken place in heavy fog or misty rain. There have been about 3 hours of sun in the 5 days we've been here. But frankly, I'm happy to not worry about sunburn. And fog gives photos a beautiful glow when wading, sandcastle building or collecting shells and crab parts.

Check out the moment of sunny sky.

A pretty impressive sand castle.

Renee didn't like holding this starfish.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Quick Pictureless Update

No internet access for a while. We're in a rented house in Marshfield, MA. Lots to update in a couple days. For now we're taking foggy walks, exploring tide pools, building sand castles, and today we visited Plimoth (Plymouth) Plantation.