Friday, March 26, 2010

Old Sturbridge Village

Wednesday my girlfriend Diane and I met up with our friend Cecelia (Because I Said So blog) for a day at Old Sturbridge Village in Sturbridge, MA. We'd been planning this day for about two months when Cecelia told me that she would be in MA for business on March 25.

We practically had the historic village entirely to ourselves so it gave us the opportunity to spend time talking to the Village staff in the various houses and businesses and we learned so much. For those of you not familiar with OSV, it is a historic village set in the 1830's time period. Buildings from all over New England were moved to the Village from a tinsmith shop to a Quaker Meeting House. It is a fantastic place and a wonderful way to transport yourself back to the early 1900's.

After leaving the Village and shopping in their large, fantastic gift shop, we went to the Publick House for dinner. The restaurant was a former colonial stagecoach stop and country inn. The inn/restaurant is brimming with charm and the food is excellent.

Before we knew it, it was almost 9:30 and time to say goodbye. Cecelia got on the highway to go to her hotel while Diane and I hit the highway for our drive back to CT. Another day of friendship and fun. We wish that we lived closer so we could get together more often.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

At last - SPRING!!!!

Even though it hasn't officially been spring, it arrived here in CT about 4 days ago. It is sooooo nice to have all the dirty piles of snow gone, to be able to open the windows during the day, hang out laundry, have crocus and snow drops blooming (close to the house) and be outside working in the yard.

I couldn't wait for the weekend to be outside. I gathered the lingering leaves from the perennial beds and raked them. I even planted an Evening Primrose today and dug up a couple of perennials to give to a friend.

Liesel was outside a good part of the day of the deck with a couple of her chew toys within view/ear shot. She loves being out there and even got to see a neighbor's cat in my yard (staring down a mole hole). Of course that brought on very loud, constant barking so I had to put her inside for a break.

I will be back outside tomorrow afternoon after a few chores. Loving this weather.
I need to get some pansies to plant.

Hope you are sharing the same kind of spring weather.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


People meet and become friends through many ways. They can meet through school, work, their neighborhood, clubs, talking to a stranger, sports, activities, hobbies, pets, social functions, in a restaurant and through their kids.

Three years ago my daughter and granddaughters were at the Hard Rock in Moscow on a late winter Saturday. The girls were playing in the bounce house and there was a little girl in the bounce house that they met and this little girl was having the time of her life. She'd not only never been in a bounce house but she'd never even seen one. The reason is because it was her first day out of the orphanage and she and her mom had just arrived in Moscow on the train from St. Petersburg to finalize her American passport and paperwork before flying to her new home and joining her family in the US. Well this little girl's mother and my daughter met and my daughter invited them back to their apartment for dinner. Both moms had never done anything like this but just had a trust in the other person. Well, the two moms and the 3 girls spent the next few days together and my daughter showed them some of the highlights of Moscow. The mom and the little girl flew home to the US and were met by the dad and the 2 brothers and 1 sister at the airport.

The little girl's mom had been blogging about their adoption journey and my daughter started reading the blog. I then started reading the blog and from it went to her sisters and mom's blogs and often left comments. About 6 months later the mom's mother was coming to MA on a business trip so my girlfriend and I drove to Sturbridge to meet her for dinner. My girlfriend had heard me talk about the blogs I'd been reading and about the little girl's grandma that is our age so she wanted to come along. Well, we met at the Public House and the three of us had the most lovely evening and felt like we'd known each other for years. We'd brought pictures and gifts for each other and hated our evening to end.

Fast forward another six months and I was devastated when my sweet dachshund died. My new friend was driving home one night and saw a sign advertising dachshund puppies for sale so she stopped and then called me later that night. She found a new puppy for me, bought the dog, had her vet check her out and took very loving care of her for the week (even bringing her to work each day). My friend and I drove up to their house (about 5 hours away) for overnight on the weekend to pick up my dog and visit. We hated to leave as we had such a wonderful time and felt like we were guests in a B&B as their home is beautiful and their hospitality was beyond words.

A year later the mom and the little girl (and one of her brothers), the grandma and moi all decided on a last minute trip to visit my daughter in Moscow over Mother's Day weekend last May. Then last summer when my daughter was at my house, the 4 of us drove up to the grandma's to visit as the little girl, her mom, 2 brothers and sister were at grandma and grandpa's.

Next week the grandma is back in MA on business and my girlfriend and I are meeting her at Old Sturbridge Village for the day and dinner at a local restaurant.

Isn't this a wonderful story about how friendships can happen?

Reflective Markers for the Snow Plow

Last winter the town plow did a job on the front edge of my lawn. In the spring, I called the highway dept. and they came out to look at it. They refused to fix the problem and that really ticked me off. I had my neighbor's son fix it and paid him as I wanted it back like it should be.

This fall I went out and bought reflective stakes and lined them up at the end of my lawn. They did the trick and my front lawn is not ripped up from the plow.

It's now March 17th and in the mid 60's this week in CT. Those reflective stakes sure do look silly still at the edge of my lawn and I should take them down. But, it's CT and we still could get a freak snowstorm even in the beginning of April.

This weekend I am going to give my perennial beds a freshening up as the plants will be sprouting and then it's much more difficult to do. I might even buy some pansies and plant them in hanging pots for out by the road. Those reflective stakes will really look weird. Of course I have a ditsy neighbor across the street that threw her Christmas tree out her front door in January and it's still at the bottom of the steps. Wonder how long it will be there decorating the front door?

It's spring weather this week here in CT and everyone is loving it. My dog was at doggie daycare today and the dogs were outside a lot so she's a tired doggie tonight. As I sit here typing, she is curled up right next to me sleeping.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Wet Weekend in CT

The rains came on Friday night after hearing the local weather forecasts for days on the local TV news. With the coverage, you'd think we were going to be flooded out and needed to evacuate. It's March and rain happens.

Yesterday I hit a scrapbook tag sale at 8:00 AM after waiting for a half hour in the car for the doors to open. I picked up some "deals" and "finds". Then I did errands, went grocery shopping and got a haircut.

Since we turned the clocks ahead an hour last night at bedtime, I knew I would want to sleep in. Add in a dark, drizzly day and the dog and I spent many hours in that comfy bed before getting up. Oh how we love days like this. Sleeping in, reading in bed, napping in bed and no guilt.

When I finally got up, I did some laundry and made a spaghetti sauce and did a little scrapbooking.

It has been a flannel and sweatshirt day - love it.

Monday's P.S. - I guess the rains were very bad in the southern part of CT with lots of flooding, schools closed in Fairfield today and there were deaths over the weekend relating to all the rain and flooding. I found all this out this morning on the local TV news while getting ready for work.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

My Addiction

Yes, I confess I have an addiction. It's all my daughter's fault as she is the one that got me into this and thus began my addiction. You are probably thinking, "How can this sweet grandma who loves little girls' smocked dresses and dachshunds have an addiction?" Well, I do.

I started off slowly 5 1/2 years ago scrapbooking and accumulating paper, stickers, organizers and carriers. I then went on to embellishments such as chipboard, stickle, inks, stamps, ribbon, brads, buttons, tools, etc. When I'd go to a scrapbook store and see something I "had to have", I bought it. I am a weekly shopper at Michael's Crafts. Gradually my collection grew and grew. I added more storage things, had shelves built in a closet, bought a Queen Anne highboy for my dining room (to fill with scrapping stuff). My scrapping stuff has overtaken my dining room as I have not been good about putting new things where they belong. My daughter and the girls will be here at the beginning of the summer and I have to get it all organized before their arrival as I don't want her to think that her mother has lost her marbles. Really, it's not my fault but all her fault for getting me into scrapping.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Signs of Spring in CT

1. Warm sunny weather with temps over 50
2. Walk along the river with Liesel and friends for the first time in 2010
3. Clothes hanging out on the line and actually completely drying
4. Snow mostly all melted
5. Chipmunks in the yard
6. Crocus and snowdrops ready to bloom close to the house's foundation
7. Made a spring arrangement on grapevine wreath for front door
8. Bought Easter candy for gifts
9. Thinking of cleaning perennial beds before bulbs start coming up
10. Doing errands without a jacket as sweatshirt is warm enough
11. Planning trip to NH and not taking a snowstorm into consideration
12. Washed down coat and put it away
13. Able to wear Crocs and not worry about snow
14. Thinking I should remove reflective stakes to define my lawn so snow plows won't destroy it like last year but afraid I'll jinx it and a snowstorm will appear
15. I love winter, snow, cold weather but am ready to bid it farewell until next December.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Things You Didn't Know About Me

Annie from One Mother's Day challenged me to do this post. The rules are that you are to share 10 things about yourself that no one or only a few people know and then tag 7 people to do the same. Cecelia, Amanda, Tami, Katya, Rachael, JoJo, Elle J - you're tagged.

1. Flannels, turtlenecks and sweatshirts - These are my winter "at home" favorites. The older the better as the cotton and flannel get softer. Holes in the turtlenecks - Who cares?

2. Cleaning - Those that knew me prior to about 6 or 7 years ago knew me as "Mrs. Clean & Organized". Well, age and life (plus scrapbooking) have changed that. Now I do a really big overhaul before my daughter and the girls arrive twice a year from Moscow. In between, light cleaning as I have things a lot more interesting to occupy my time.

3. Sleeping with a dachshund - Ask anyone that has a dachshund and they'll tell you that their doxie sleeps with them burrowed under the covers.

4. Thin thighs and arms - Oh how I wish I had them.

5. Boy's dorm room - The summer between my junior and senior years of college, I took a couple summer courses at my college and commuted from home. One afternoon after classes, I was walking by the two rooms on the ground floor of the large men's dorm and two of my friends called out to me. We started talking and they wanted to show me something so I went into their room. The were both RA's and had one of the two RA rooms on the ground floor by the large lounge. This was back in the days when women were not allowed in men's dorms but for the lounge area and the same for men in women's dorms. All of a sudden there was a knock on the door and it was the housemother. What to do with me? They opened the closet door and in I went and inside a big laundry bag. Whew! If we'd been caught, it would have been serious business. Boy, have times changed.

6. Swimming - I can't remember not knowing how to swim. My grandmother lived across the street from a lake and she took me to swim all the time when I was at their house. Starting in 5th grade, I went to a Y overnight camp. At the end of the session, those that qualified could do the across the pond swim. I did it.

7. My older granddaughter will be going off to overnight camp for the first time this summer and I'm hoping she'll go to the same camp. My dad went to the camp along with my cousins and my college roommate's son.

8. Work in Europe - Near the end of college I decided that I wanted to go to Europe to work on a US military base or Embassy. I was interested in Northern or Central Europe. I started looking into it but my father's health was deteriorating so I didn't pursue it and went to work at Electric Boat in Groton, CT.

9. Where the Boys Are - If you're in my age group, you'll remember that movie from the 60's that centered around college break in Ft. Lauderdale. Well, it was true as Ft. Lauderdale was full of college kids and plenty more boys than girls. Three of my college friends and I drove to Ft. Lauderdale from RI after exams in January in one of the girls' mother's new car. Her mother must have been extremely trusting. We had a cooler packed with sandwiches, fruit, snacks and soda in the backseat. Also packed were our fake ID's, two piece bathing suits and promises to call home often. Off we drove for the time of our lives. I remember meeting a gorgeous blond (Richie) that was from Ohio State. He told me that I was the kind of girl to bring home to meet his mom. Yup, that was me. We wrote for a few months that winter and he wanted me to come out to Ohio State for a big college weekend but that was out of the question as I didn't have the money and my parents sure weren't going to spring for that.

10. Vinegar - I love vinegar on my fresh green beans and French fries. My dad put vinegar on his green beans and I must have tried one and liked it. I grew up in a town in CT with a high Canadian French population and I was told that it's a French Canadian thing. I also like to dip crusty bread in balsamic vinegar and not olive oil. My favorite potato chips are salt and vinegar.