Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Rock you like a hurricane...

You know you're a New Englander when you're in the midst of a hurricane, and you're sitting on one of your decks, watching the trees blow in the breeze and instead of worrying about them falling on your house - you're excited at the thought of them falling into the woods - with a glass of wine in your hand, and wishing you were at the beach to watch the waves.  Just sayin'....

So we made it out of Sandy unscathed, fortunately.
I have one casualty - my outdoor gazebo that was on my deck did not survive.  Those 80+MPH winds tore that bad boy down.  Truth be told, it's not as strong as the one I had in my last house so I wasn't shocked.  But other than that - we got off scot free, which is fantastic considering my house is literally carved into the forest.

My town however, not so much.  3700 without power - thankfully, we were not one of them.
Storms make me want to cook, even more so than usual.  So we feasted on banana pancakes for breakfast, Shrimp, Clam & Corn Chowder and crab cakes for lunch; tuna burgers for dinner.

My heart goes out to the people who live in my 2d favorite city - Manhattan.  From what I hear everything from 40th down is a disaster.  Heartbreaking...how does NYC go through all these devastating events and pull through each and every time?  I always think "how will they get through this?" and yet....they do.

I couldn't help but think of Atlantic City as well; when G and I went to Barbra Streisand a few weeks back, we were sitting with the owner of the Boardwalk Casino & Hotel who was a great guy and fun to talk with. I can't help but think that he is beside himself at the moment.  We've had floods in our Beacon Hill store and there was one that we thought was going to do us in - fortunately, we survived; I couldn't imagine damage the magnitude of what the Boardwalk is suffering from.

(Seriously, it's downpouring right now - the most rain we've had in days since we barely got any yesterday - and wait, is that thunder I'm hearing?  Really?? )

Uh-oh.  That means this girl needs to run out and save the jack-o-lanterns the kiddies made before they become water bowls!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Who doesn't love Salem at Halloween time?

Don't get me wrong, I love Salem year 'round.
But it is so much fun in October.

Even though we had no rain today and lots of sun - there was a beautiful upside down prism in the sky!

My son's friend came along and got into the fun! (My son is the zombie... who clearly attacked his friend and his sister - or so he'd like you to think!)
And of course, there's myself and my Vampire Princess Zombie victim.

The man in the background is the monster artist extraordinaire.  Funny, I didn't notice the faux wound in his forehead at the time, and yet now - it jumps out at me. 
I guess "when in Rome.." it all blended in!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Thoughts of design....

So this dining room is the look that inspired the transformation of my dining room's color palette.  While the initial impulse was to go with traditional velvet/crimson red - this is much more my taste.
And since we couldn't find this exact wall paper anywhere - we came up with something similar but not quite as dark.  Keeping in mind the photographs really do no justice to the wallpaper. It looks almost baby blue here, but trust me - it's not.  Below is a gorgeous metallic silver Anna French Wallcovering in "Japonica".  Very Chinoiserie-esque.
While I tend to prefer more traditional, masculine light fixtures with a mix of antiqued feel and crystal - my designer (who is also my MIL) said "absolutely all crystal".  It's going to look beautiful, as my dining room has 2 walls of pretty atrium windows and french doors to the outside,  so I have an abundance of natural light which should really just shimmer off the chandelier. 
The sconces above my fireplace match as well.
And while my dining room set is a bit more traditional with a darker wood structure and cream seats, we're adding silver parsons chairs to the heads of the table to mix it up a bit.
And then lots of greens! 
There's nothing I love more in a room than green plants, topiaries, grasses and of course - flowers.
We're trying to find artwork or prints for the room as well, but we haven't found anything just yet.
And this to be done by Thanksgiving....well, that's the goal anyway!
We shall see!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Weekend wrap up...the food, the friends the fun.

Overall, this weekend was really nice.

Saturday, I had some girls over for a Sunless Tanning Soiree.  My sister has started a sunless airbrush tanning business where she travels to you - rather than you going to her.  So to get her jumpstarted, I had a few girls over for some fun in the faux sun and of course - food and wine.  It was such a good time!  Just a small, intimate gathering and it was alot of fun.  It's been a long time since I've had some good girl time, and it was well worth it.

Sunday, was but of course - Patriots Football Sunday.  Which translates into relaxing and eating food.  It's my favorite day of the week to cook.  It was an easy day actually...leftover calzones and then I made Artichoke & Marscapone raviolis with a pink sauce - complete with home made pumpkin pie.  I love, love, love pumpkin pie.  I do think, I may have to do an encore presentation of dessert next weekend for the London game.  But next week, I'm thinking it's chili & fajitas for the meal du jour...

The next big event at the "I'm just a girl" household is Thanksgiving.  As of now 27 people will be gracing my dinner table, which is partly why we are redesigning our dining room.  Actually, we've flipped our den to our dining room - and vice versa.  Which of course means we have electrical work going on to swap the chandelier, and had to have wainscoting placed in the room - and now, it's the design aspect.  I want all silver chinoiserie and crystal - but to find the right pattern is where we're at right now....ah, the fun of prepping for the holiday.  Two turkeys at a minimum, and I'd like to get a little creative on my menu.  I'm thinking Squash & Apple soup (which I'm making for dinner right now actually....) as a course.  But we shall see.... To be truthful, while Autumn is my favorite season, Thanksgiving is my least favorite holiday meal. 

Because this girl...is all about Christmas.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Totally Random...totally.

So, I burned my bottom lip badly.
Really badly.
How did I do that, you ask?
Well... I have two words for you my friends:  Cherry Tomato.

I made a really delicious roasted chicken dish on Sunday and I added fresh cherry tomatoes while it was cooking.  I thought I had pierced them all prior to cooking so that they'd ooze and make the sauces all juicy.  Well, clearly I missed one and my fork didn't really pierce it enough so when I bit down....OUCH.  I have never, ever burned my lip before.  I almost look like I've been punched in the lip.  Thank God for good lip gloss that can distract from it.  But yikes does it hurt at times.  Even a good bottle of wine can't take the discomfort from it...

I helped Princess Petunia with her math homework tonight.  Funny, she's in third grade and had a minor stumbling block in the same arena as my Son did in 3rd grade:  Regrouping, aka Cancelling & Borrowing.  I had made him a "cheat sheet" to reference on how to remember to do it while he was in school so he wouldn't feel embarrassed asking for help; he needed it for about a day until it really clicked.  Petunia, picked it up immediately.  Both kids are pretty great in math, which is something that I never really have been good at.  Truth be told, I was afraid of it -- it's something that doesn't come natural to me and so it intimidated me abit.  Especially since when I was younger there was still that stigma that "girls aren't good in math...." and so my teachers may have perpetuated that a bit which didn't make me feel any better about my shortcoming.  So, I avoided it most of my life when I could.  Hard to believe that I'm in retail where it's ALL about numbers.  And yet the funny thing is - I get it now.  It's not so scary or intimidating, it's pretty much straight forward.  I guess I really have grown up....

Friday is my 3 year anniversary of the store opening.  I can hardly believe it's been that long already.   It seems like only yesterday I was planning and waiting and hoping and planning... I've got a huge celebratory tasting happening on Thursday, to say "thank you" to my customers.  I'm hoping for a good turnout; the weather looks promising and while there are a lot of other events going on in town that night - I'm cautiously optomistic that free wine and food will inspire good attendance. 

I can't believe the Dalai Lama was in Medford today and I didn't know about it!!  See what happens when you're off your yoga mat for far too long.  I'm hopeful I'll get back to it soon... but I wouldn't say I'm optomistic...not even cautiously.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

People who need people...are the luckiest people, in the world...

So, you may have noticed I hadn't blogged since last Wednesday.
That's because I could barely conceal my excitement about where I was last night, and I don't like to post online when I'm not going to be in my neck of the woods, you know what I mean?

G and I flew to NYC, roomed at the Four Seasons - and had front row tickets to see the one, the only....Ms. Barbra Streisand.

(insert sound of angels choiring here....)

It was a last minute decision actually; we were toying with going to Atlantic City or Newport....possibly even seeing WarHorse open in Boston.  But we had been eyeing the tickets all week and sure enough...they came down as the show got closer and we couldn't resist.

She wasn't just good - she was AMAZING.

Yes, you could tell at times she was just getting over being sick - but it was nothing short of just added character.  She sounded almost exactly like her recordings.  I've never seen someone so immensely talented and so natural and effortless at singing.  She is nothing short of a living legend.  And we are so priveleged to have been there to witness up close and personal - concert #84 of her career.

She bas always seemed to me, to be a beautiful person - both inside and out.  Yes, I have always thought she was so pretty, though unconventionally so.  Her personality just makes her that much more beautiful and she was nothing short of that last night.

It was a fantastic way to celebrate our anniversary...a little bit of jetsetting and shopping....a night with probably our most favorite singer of all time (short of Elvis who my husband is enamored with - me, not so much...) and a little bit of pampering for us both.

So it's the laughter....we will remember...when we remember....the way we were.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

You learn something new every day....

So, here's a little somethin'somethin' I learned today.

Coca Cola - is available in a Spanish version.
Complete with a glass bottle, and instead of high fructose corn syrup - it has real sugar.
Oh, and it's sold in the Latino section of a supermarket, rather than in the regular tonic section.
Who knew?

One of my sales reps lives in a more urban city and he mentioned that he stumbled upon it this weekend.  So he bought it....and he said it's absolutely freaking delicious.  Sort of like Coca Cola from years past.

(This girl, has never been a tonic drinker - so I don't really know, but I've got to think that anything made with real sugar instead of the other stuff, has got to be good.)

Interestingly enough, they also have a Kosher Coca Cola, complete with a yellow cap - symbolizing the Star of David.  Seriously?  Seriously.

Because what in a bottle of Coke would need to have special preparation in order for it to be kosher?

Now if that's not a little meshugna, I don't know what is...

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

There is love....

Thirteen years ago today...it was a little warmer out, a beautiful day for an oceanside
 (or technically, bayside) wedding.

We may be a little older, and we may have two little people that have entered our lives since that day - but we're still kids at heart.

Happy Anniversary to Us.

Friday, October 05, 2012

“You can seek the advice of others, surround yourself with trusted advisers, but in the end, the decision is always yours, and yours alone. And when it’s time to act, and you’re all alone, with your back against the wall, the only voice that matters is the one in your head. The one telling you what you probably already knew. The one that’s almost always right.”

Boy am I glad it's Friday.

As I sit here drinking my Pinot Noir (Carmel Road, incase anyone was wondering....) I'm finally feeling relatively caught up given the week I've had.  Even yesterday I had a hard time realizing it was Thursday; it's like being in a vaccum when you're in a hospital it seems.

Given my many rants about child abuse and murder of children, you can imagine I was beyond excited to hear that Thomas Mortimer is going to have life in prison without chance of parole.  I won't link to his story because truthfully it was one of the most gruesome and sickening I've heard of in some time and I don't want to burden anyone who is blissfully ignorant with the details.  Just trust me when I tell you he's a monster - and I'm thrilled that he did not try to plea insanity or some other invalid defense.

Bobby Valentine .... gone from the Red Sox.  Ah yes, well this girl felt the "kiss of death" was when the Red Sox ownership went on and on to dispel the rumors that they were going to fire him and insist that the love affair they have with him would extend into his second contract year.  Doth protest too loudly it seems.... poor guy.  While I wasn't a fan, you still have to feel badly for someone who clearly was almost set up to fail.

This weekend I have my niece and nephew over for a sleepover for a night!  They're arriving tomorrow morning and it looks like the weather will cooperate enough for us to go pumpkin picking at a local farm - which of course means pumpkin carving is on the agenda! How fun, right? They'll get to take their pumpkins home, but for one night I'll have 4 pumpkins on my front porch instead of the regular 2. I'll have to take pictures to share....

However you spend your weekend, I hope it's filled with laughter and love...and hopefully pumpkin pie and cider donuts and maybe a good bottle of wine (or two..or three...just sayin'...!)

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Oh what a night...or two, or three

This morning, my son and I will be checking out of what was an unexpected stay at the hospital.
It's been a crazy couple of days.

Friday night, the 4 of us went out for dinner....we all ordered something different: Sushi for Princess Petunia and myself, Pad Thai for G and General Gau's chicken for my son.

On the way home, he says to me "mom, I feel nauseous..." Funny thing is - I did too.  So I told him he was probably just a little carsick from the ride, he'd feel better if he went in and laid down.  I thought for sure my stomach was going to bother me, but while it felt odd....nothing ever came of it.  We all went to bed early.

At 5 a.m. my son comes in the room, high fever, headache and ready to throw up.  So clearly, I tell him he's got a stomach bug and let's get some Tylenol/Motrin in his system and some rest.  That will do the trick.  Not so much.... without getting into all the details, by Sunday morning I knew this wasn't just a stomach bug.  I couldn't get his fever to break...he was too lethargic, and he had abdominal pain.  I call the pediatrician and off to the ER we go....

We spend a good part of the day there, because he has signs of appendecitis.  But after a bag of IV and some antinausea medicine, he feels better so they send us home.  Two hours later, the symptoms return with a vengence.  By 9pm that night, his stomach pain is worse than it was that morning and you can imagine, I'm now thinking that his appendix might rupture and that would be a nightmare.  So back to the ER we go.

The doctors examine him, and now they're really convinced it's his appendix and we're talking about potential surgery.  So they put him on IV, antinausea medicine and prep him for a CT Scan.  In case anyone has never had an abdominal CT, they make you drink this liquid in 4 cups - one cup every 40 minutes.  So in pain, exhausted, uncomfortable and nauseous my poor son tries to choke it down.  By 3a.m. they fortunately decided that he had enough in his system to have the CT performed and off we go.  Excited that we're nearing the end, but frightened that surgery was around the corner...

At 5:30 a.m.  they come in to tell me that we're being admitted; his CT came back showing that it is not appendicitis -  but colitis.  Not ulcerative colitis - but a colitis attack, due to infection.  The doctor said they were shocked, he had every single clinical symptom of needing his appendix out but the CT showed otherwise.  Such incredible relief that my little guy didn't need surgery.  He was nervous, I was nervous - G and Princess Petunia were wrecks. 

6:30 a.m. yesterday we were finally admitted to a room - and we are awaiting discharge later this morning.  We can't wait to go home....

Few things are scarier than when your child is sick...and it's not the normal run-of-the-mill type of illness.  I don't know what would've happened if I didn't bring him back to the ER; maybe nothing...but I didn't want to take that chance. 

We were both up for over 36 hours...and I spent two nights away from home, but it's all a part of being Mom. (there's an "S" on my chest hidden under my clothes.  All of us who are a good Mom have one, it's like being in a secret club!)  But I certainly hope to not have too many more nights like this in my future!