Friday, July 09, 2010

Checkin In

It's been a very hot and humid week off but George and I have made the best of the steamy weather. Last weekend was very busy for us and I was very glad to have a couple of days with no plans at all.
We had a BBQ at my brother's home last Saturday and that was a lot of fun. Sunday we had all the kids here for dinner and fireworks. Jon and Nikki bought some very nice fireworks and once it got dark, off they went from our side yard. It was a really nice display that lasted around 15 minutes. We plan on all pitching in next year so we can have a much larger and longer display.
Monday my friend Rose and her husband Steve came over for a BBQ and a lot of catching up. They stayed until 8PM or so and Sara went home shortly after they did. We got the dishes done and took a deep breath and decided that Tuesday was a day of rest and we weren't going to do anything but relax.
Wednesday we slept late then got a lot of things done around the house. Late in the afternoon we went for a ride around Lake Winni and then had a nice dinner at Cactus Jacks.
Yesterday, it was almost 100 degrees outside and very humid but we took a ride to the beach anyway. It was hot but there was a great seabreeze at the shore so that was a nice relief. We walked around and although I am not a beach person, I did enjoy the day.
I woke up today feeling a little groggy so it took me awhile to get moving. There has been a very nice breeze outside so we were able to keep the air conditioning off and let some of the fresh air in for awhile. I think we will be seeing some rain in the near future, which will be welcomed since our front yard has a lot of patches of burnt grass all over it.
It is hard to believe that my 11 day vacation is almost over. I could really use another week or 2. Looks like there won't be any of that any time soon. Maybe Christmas?? That seems like a long time away but the way this year is flying'll be here before we know it.

Hope you are all having a wonderful summer.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Have A Happy 4th Of July

Hunter says Happy 4th of July everyone!!

Thursday, July 01, 2010

WOW...Half A Year Done Already

The 1st of July already! Can you believe 2010 is half over??

I am beginning my 11 day vacation today. I woke up around 6:30, which is a nice sleep in for me since I normally get up at 3:30. I took an early shower so I could get the laundry started afterwards. I have a lot of laundry to get through. 1 load of clothes, another load of towels and then 2 loads of linen. 1 load is the new sheet set I bought for Sara's bed and the other is the set of sheets that I took off her bed last night.

Sara is arriving tonight around 8pm for the weekend, and possibly more. I am going to do my best to convince her that she should seriously consider moving in with us for the time being. Sara has suffered a very difficult break up with Brad after three years together and she has been struggling to just get through the week. It's been very hard on her to be almost 100 miles away from her family. Luckily she has 1 good friend in Massachusetts that has been looking after her the last couple of days but she needs to be here with her family. Hopefully the long weekend with us will take her mind off her troubles for a little while. She knows she has a home here with George and me but her job is in Wellsley, Massachusetts and it will be about a 2 hour commute to work if she does move back here. She really has a hard time being in their apartment so I don't think she wants to go back there. So her options are either find a new job closer to us or find an apartment she can afford near her job down there. Either way, there is no immediate solution to the situation.
So last night George and I went shopping and bought a new comforter/sheet set for the spare room. Then we cleaned out the room and rearranged it, and today I am washing all the sheets and blankets. Hunter sometimes naps on the pillows in there so I have to wash everything to get the dog hair off of them. I have the bed half made, just waiting for the blanket to come out of the dryer now and will finish it up as soon as it's dry. I also bought a candle to make the room smell nice with her favorite scent, vanilla. We put my spare bookcase in there with a couple of books and some family pictures on it. It was a little difficult to find pictures that didn't have Brad in them but I found a few. Luckily I had some photos of her with George's nephews, who seem to be some of her new favorite people and I printed a couple of them out and stuck them in some frames. Not perfect but I hope the room looks inviting and comfortable for her. The room actually used to belong to Patrick so it is painted blue and red, not exactly girly colors but we did the best we could on short notice. Anyway, she is definitely spending the long weekend here and we've arranged to keep her busy for most of it.

On Saturday, we have a BBQ/pool party at my brother Dave's. That should be a lot of fun and the weather promises to be sunny and hot. On Sunday, the 4th, Jon, Nikki, Nicole, Matt and the kids are coming over for a BBQ. Jon is doing double duty since he is our resident mechanic and Nicole's car needs a little work done and we have a garage so he can work on it here. Sara's car also needs to be looked at so he has offered to do that too. We bought over $100 worth of fireworks to shoot off once it gets dark so it should be a good, fun time.

I am going to bake some chocolate chip cookies later this afternoon. Those aren't just for her...I've been craving them for awhile now and it's sunny but cool outside today so it's a perfect day for that. I kind of like being home and acting like a housewife.

George lucked out and also has next week off. We didn't make any plans but I know I want to get the other spare bedroom, which contains a lot of my stuff that I moved up here from my house, cleaned out and organized. That should take an entire day. I have also set aside one afternoon for my friend Rose and her hubby to come up and spend some time with us. We haven't seen them since just after Christmas and I miss my best friend. The rest of the week...who knows. Hopefully we will get to do something fun.

OK so I better get cracking and finish up my projects. Have a great rest of the week and a wonderful 4th. Be safe, no matter what you end up doing and enjoy!!!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Happy Weekend!

I had the day off today and it has been absolutely gorgeous outside. Mid 80's, sunny and just beautiful. It was very hot and humid yesterday but last night we had some pretty loud and heavy thunderstorms and that just pushed all the humid air right out of here.

This morning I went to the closing of my house. It is nice to finally have that albatros, so to speak, out of the way. The property was purchased by a developer who has plans to build a new home there. He got himself a good deal, and although I didn't get what I wanted, I did pretty well considering the economy is as it is and my house was on the market for 9 months. So after the closing, I headed to the bank and deposited the check. The good thing is most of it is free and clear since my house was paid off and didn't carry a mortgage.
It's nice to have a little nest egg now. I am planning to pay off a few bills and help Eric a little with the wedding. I'll be sure to put some away for when Sara gets married someday.

Eric's wedding is just 2 months away and things have calmed down some. Eric did speak with his father about the whole rehearsal dinner thing and apparently the whole spouses not invited to the dinner was because my Ex was making all kinds of demands. After thinking about it, Eric decided that he needed to get a handle on things and suggested to his father that he had better start getting used to George being in the picture since we are all family now in one way or another. Dave initially said that he wouldn't pay his half of the rehearsal dinner if George was there but has since changed his mind. He does realize that making demands on Eric and Jessie means he may sabatage his relationship with them. So for now, everything is well and he has promised to behave himself. Time will tell. I just hope everything remains stress free.

I have been searching online bridal shops for a dress and have narrowed it down to a few. I plan to go and try them on next weekend and hopefully I will get lucky and be able to purchase one. Will post a picture of it when the decision has been made.

This weekend we have a birthday party on Sunday. This is a quiet weekend compared to last weekend. We had to make an emergency trip to Ottawa to attend a funeral and left last Friday right after work. It was a long 7 hour drive but we made it and stayed overnight Friday just outside of Montreal. We continued our trip Saturday morning to get the the convent (George's aunt, who passed was a nun), and then started home shortly after the service. We ended up driving the entire way home Saturday night and got home just before midnight. It made for a long day but it was so much better sleeping in our own bed Saturday night and being able to spend Sunday at home.

Just a few days of work next week and I will have 12 days off. Can't wait! Hopefully George can get a few days off too but I doubt it. Maybe he will only get the actual holidays off but we will make the best of it.

Gotta go. I should be in the kitchen making supper.

Have a great weekend!!!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

I Need Advice!!

I need to pose a question to you and please don't answer in my favor just because I am your friend. I truly don't know if I am being unreasonable here.

As you know, my son is getting married in August. Last night I was presented with the rehearsal dinner plans made by my son and his fiancee and am less than thrilled about the outcome.

I've been divorced from my first husband for 10 years and our separation and divorce was my idea, not his. My ex has had a very difficult time accepting our divorce, suffers from depression and alcoholism, and we've had a very rocky road over the years. When he was told of my marriage to George he was very negative and did his best to sway my kids against him. Dave is very insecure and I believe he still had thoughts that we would someday reconcile. Anyway...the kids usually tiptoe around things so they don't upset him or avoid him altogether.

So...the plans for the rehearsal dinner include the rehearsal and a small gathering afterwards in a small function hall. I was told that only the bridal party and parents of the bride and groom are invited to attend. This excludes spouses and significant others of the members of the bridal party. Initially I was told that it is a space issue that no other people can be included. However, I am convinced that all may be because my ex will be uncomfortable in George's presence and Eric and Jessie are trying to be sensitive to Dave's feelings. I can understand that to a point...however...I am footing the bill for half of this dinner and I think my new husband, should be included. I don't mind telling you that my feelings are extremely hurt that George is not included, and I think my ex needs to suck it up and be an adult about this. Then again, it has been pointed out to me that no one's spouses are invited and there are several other people who aren't happy about this arrangement so I am not alone. When I asked Eric why can't we have the dinner elsewhere, if it is a space issue, he said that the reservation has been made and this is the way it is. Plus...if we invite more people, this will result in a larger bill and that is something my ex (who supposedly will pay the other half) cannot afford.

I am doubtful that Dave will even go to the rehearsal dinner for a couple of reasons. 1...he doesn't drive or have a car and it is at least a 30 minute drive to the rehearsal hall. 2...he doesn't have any money. 3...he's been known to bail out at the last minute. I being unreasonable to want my husband with me at this event? It is supposed to be a very happy time in all of our lives and am I ruining the excitement and happiness by having hurt feelings? Are my feelings less important than my ex husbands because I am stronger and can deal with the outcome better than he can? Basicly, my son told me that this is his and Jessie's day and they just want everything to go perfectly, which I can completely understand, and he told me that if it meant having his Dad there or George there, he would rather have his Dad. Ouch...that kind of hurt since his father has not exactly been the ideal father, but I can understand the importance. I also know that he is a little nervous of Dave drinking too much and making a fool out of himself but is that my fault??

I don't want to be known as the mother / mother in law from hell. I did have a long talk with Eric last night and told him exactly how I feel. He listened and said nothing is completely set in stone, meaning he does know there is a possibility that his father will not go anyway, but the plans are as they are and that seems to be that for now. He also pointed out that when there is a divorce involved...these kinds of things happen. True. Let me just say that last year when George's son got married, I was included in a lot of things but several things occurred on the day of the wedding which really hurt George's feelings and my kids were both there and saw how insensitivly certain things were handled. I asked Eric that very day to be mindful of those issues when his time came so we can avoid those hurt feelings.
He assured me that on the day of the wedding...those things will not happen. But this is 'only the rehearsal dinner.' Apparently to him, it is not that important. I guess I shouldn't be so upset?? I don't know.

What do you all think???
Thoughts on this no matter what you feel or think are welcome. Any ideas also, to make this an easier transition are greatly welcomed.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

My Front Yard

We had a very busy day today. We went to Cabela's in Scarborough Maine with George's son Jon and Jon's wife Nikki. George has been wanting to go for awhile now and Jon was looking for some ideas for George's birthday and Father's Day gift so we thought it would be fun to all go together and let George pick out whatever he wanted. We spent over 2 hours walking around the store and George got himself some hunting gear that he was in dire need of. I also bought him a lined fall jacket since he needed one of those too. What a great store and when Nikki sends me the pics she took today, I will post them.

We went to Famous Dave's restaurant for lunch after working up quite an appetite. The food there is quite good and I enjoyed my lunch very much. I got a combo plate with chicken and beef brisket (all BBQ) and it came with corn bread and I picked Dave's Mac and cheese to go with it. Very yummy with a little kick of jalapenos mixed in.

We just got home a bit ago so it has been a rather long day. I have a load of laundry going but that's all I am doing. The rest of the evening will be spent relaxing. But first, some pics of my front yard.

George has been working very hard this spring to get the yard in shape. He got his tractor all fixed up and now he can use it to mow the front and back yard and he has this nifty little utility trailer to pull all of his yard tools and buckets, etc. around. Sure does make life easier for him since we have a lot of space to mow, weed and take care of. So I have enclosed some pics of what our front yard now looks like, after several hours of weeding, mowing and planting.

This is to the left of the front door. I have no idea what the light colored bushes are called but there is a peony bush behind those and last year we only had about 6 flowers blossom from it. This year we counted 47 flowers just about ready to blossom.

This area is to the right of the front stairs. This little bear cub was used as a door stopper awhile back and then was just sitting in the corner of the kitchen collecting dust so I thought he would enjoy being outdoors and decorating (guarding) the flower bed. I loved the galvanized buckets George had on the side of the house. Before they just had weeds in them. Now they are filled with pretty flowers.

I found this bird bath at a tractor supply store, of all places. It was the last one they had and I got it at a real bargain. Off to the side you can see a large oepn space. That is where George does most of his bow target practicing.

A view of the front of the house

More shots

Before the peonies started to bloom

Yesterday one opened up

We had rain overnight and 2 of the peonies that are open were full of water and were hanging pretty low to the ground. I think tomorrow, I am going to see if I can tie them up somehow so they stay all bunched up and not laying all over the ground.


Friday, May 21, 2010

May Has Been A Crazy Month

I apologize for being a lousy blogger. Life, somehow, has managed to get in the way. Life and Facebook...ok I cannot lie. But I have today off and hopefully can fill you in on what has been happening in my world.

So last time I posted...I was excited about selling my house. Well, that deal has fallen through and we are back at square one. I dropped the price of the house significantly to accomodate these people mainly because I wanted to get the sale behind me and move forward with other things, not having that monkey on my back so to speak. Apparently people think that they can get everything for practically nothing and negotiations came to a complete halt. They saw I was willing to work with them so I guess they thought I would just give the house to them. Wrong! I am not desperate, I don't 'need' the money and I am in no hurry. So...that's that. I am hopeful something will happen soon but if not...I can hang on.

Last week was an extremely busy week, starting with Mother's Day. We met George's brother Ray and his family at a restaurant for brunch. It was also Ray's son Kris' 21st birthday so it was a nice surprise for Kris when we all showed up with cards, gifts and balloons.

We celebrated several birthdays during the week. Every 3 days there was a birthday in the family. Thursday we had dinner with George's son Pat and his girlfriend Renee, who were back here in New Hampshire from Colorado. Pat graduated from college on Saturday and he wanted to be here to walk with his classmates. He went to Colorado to do his internship for his Culinary Arts degree and has accepted a full time position there at the Broadmoor Resort. All is well with them and it was great to see them.
So Saturday we had Pat's graduation to go to and then a birthday party for my son-in-law Matt. The graduation was was outside and Saturday it was a little cold and raw but once the sun poked through, it got nice. The birthday party was also nice, we had a BBQ and I enjoyed the good company. Matt's mother, Marsha and I have become fast friends and it is always nice to talk to her. Here is a pic of us at the birthday party.

Sara also came home Saturday night to spend some time with her new cousins Kris and Keith before the graduation party. Ever since George and I got married, she has gotten really close to them and they have been finding a way to hang out quite a bit on the weekends. My sister-in-law Diane loves having her around their home and always calls her a breath of fresh air. That is so nice to hear and of course I agree. So having Sara here last weekend was a great help. Here is a pic of Keith, Kris and Sara taken during their night out.

Last Sunday, George and I hosted Patrick's graduation party at our house. We had about 35 people here altogether and it was a really nice day. We cooked burgers and dogs on the grill and had all kinds of other yummy foods to share like a veggie platter, cheese crackers, pasta salad, potato salad etc., etc. Nicole made 4 dozen cupcakes and George's ex-wife Donna was very helpful and contributed a lot to make the party a success. During the party we also celebrated 2 other graduates in the family. Kevin, who is George's nephew, graduated last week from Northeastern University and Keith who is also George's nephew, graduated from Southern New Hampshire University. A bunch of smart kids in this family! Here's Pat, a dual degree graduate, one in Culinary Arts and one in Restaurant Business and Management.

Tuesday was my birthday and Thanks to all who sent cards and messages via email, Facebook and blogger. I appreciate it more than you know. We just had a quiet dinner Tuesday night with Pat and Renee, who came over to see us before heading back to Colorado. The rest of the week was fairly quiet and I think this weekend will be a nice relaxing weekend for a change. I need to catch up on a number of things, mostly house related because the only cleaning I did was the essentials you have to clean before having company. And of course, you clean the kitchen and bathroom only to have to do it again after everyone goes home.

George is fine and he has been working a lot of overtime. Hopefully he will be able to relax a bit this weekend since his big project at work has been completed. But I know him and he wants to take advantage of the nice weather and get the flower beds all planted and tended to. He spent an hour or so last night mowing and I am sure he will be right back out there tonight raking and getting ready to mulch. Hopefully when he is finished, I will have some nice pictures to post of his handy work. Until is a pic of George and his daughter Nicole at one of the parties last weekend.

Off I go now to get the laundry put away and I've got some errands to run. Have a wonderful day!

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Sweet And Sour Saturday

Just when you think all your ducks are in a row...something has to come along and knocked their little webbed feet right our from under them. Last Wednesday I got a call from my surgeon...he spotted something in my lab results that made him want to double check my white blood count. He asked me to come in later in the day and have some blood work repeated and made an appointment for me to go in Thursday to talk over the results. After reviewing the results, he has concluded it would not be in my best interest to tackle my surgery at this time. My white blood count levels are just a bit too high which makes him think my body is fighting something, either an infection or some inflammation. Well inflammation wouldn't surprise me since my hip joint and possibly my knee is all screwed up. He likened it to when you have an infected tooth and you need to have it extracted. The oral surgeon won't touch it until all infection is cleared up. If he did indeed operate and the new hip joint became is a horrible miserable ordeal to remove the prosthesis, then I am laid up in a hospital without a hip until all infection is clear before he can put it back in. Needless to say, neither of us wants that. So here I sit with a batch of new meds while I wait for whatever is going pack up and leave my body. It sucks to be me, believe me. I am so disappointed but I have to accept and believe he is doing this for my own good. The positive thing is he has given me a stronger pain killer to help manage my pain. Unfortunately I can't take them during the day if I am at work because they make me drowsy. But at least I am able to sleep more than 30 minutes at a time at night. So...hang onto those prayers because I will be calling in my marker real soon! :-)

So...the sweet to my sour is that I finally have a very ambitious and potential buyer for my house. It's been on the market for 7 months now and this is the first legitimate and considerable offer I've had. Lots of people have looked at it. Lots of people have expressed great interest. But with the market the way it is...and the fact that it is an older mobile home, people have had a hard time getting financing. The house needs some TLC...a new carpet, some paint and a refurbished bathroom would really make it a very nice home. It is in a great neighborhood and on it's own land and this couple have three little kids who will make use of the nice back yard I have out there. They will also benefit from the $8000 rebate since we signed a purchase and sales agrrement before the deadline and they can use that money to make some cosemetic repairs. They're young and energetic and are very excited. So pending the house inspection, which will take place sometime next's hoping. I am pretty confident that everything is in good shape there. The roof is good, the furnace is only 7 yrs old, I have a new water pump and hot water heater. The stove and fridge are in good shape and I am throwing in the washer and dryer too. The septic tank was in good shape the last time it was cleaned and I know the water isn't contaminated. So the week wasn't a total bust, I guess.

George and Eric are at the house now removing the dog house that once belonged to my Siberian Husky and cleaning up the yard. Eric and Jessie have a lot of bon fires at their house so he is going to take all the wood from the busted and fallen trees from the last wind storm we had, and he wants the picnic table too. The only things left in the house were cleaning supplies and a couple of vaccuum cleaners and a gun cabinet that belonged to my ex husband. He doesn't want it so George is going to bring it back here and we'll put it on EBay or something. I have 20 years of mostly good memories there...I hope this family enjoys living there as much as I did.

I guess I will get to making my grocery list and then it is off to a trip to Wally World when George gets back. I will keep you all posted as to when this stupid hip of mine can be repaired. All I can say, if it doesn't happen soon, I will be utilizing the chain saw that I spotted in the garage. If I can get down the stairs to get it, that is.

Enjoy the day. It is gorgeous here today. Hugs and all that great stuff!

Sunday, April 25, 2010


Hope everyone is doing well. It has been a very busy month so far and looks like we'll be pretty busy right through May too.

Sara has been back in her dry and almost new apartment for a couple of weeks now. She had a bit of a hiccup the other day when the apartment manager told her she owed them for 21 days of back rent but after appealling to the landlord, she was told that they were going to credit her for the entire month. She still gets a bit nervous when it rains so they are going to start looking for a new apartment that won't be on the ground floor.

Last weekend we had a combo birthday party for my Mom and for Sara. We went to a restaurant called the Back Room and their specialty is their coconut chicken tenders. That's what I got and they were delicious. It was a fairly quiet but nice evening.

At work, we got some interesting news that the company was being sold to a company called 3L Communications based in New York. Our CEO felt the time was right to sell but he plans on being a big part of the new company in one way or another. As a gift to his employees...we were given a rather nice bonus for all of our hard work. He is a very gracious boss...very big on profit sharing. It was the biggest bonus I have ever received and I have put it away for a rainy day. Maybe next year we can use it for a vacation.
I believe they closed the deal on April 16th so it will be interesting to see if anything changes in the near future.

George has been very busy at work, plenty of overtime for him these days. He likes being busy, that's for sure. He has also been spending whatever free time he has getting the tractor up and running down in the garage. Since I have moved in here, that tractor has been in numerous pieces all over one side of the garage so I am happy to see that finally he is doing something with it. I actually heard it start up this afternoon and maybe he will be able to drive it out of the garage this evening. He is down there now tinkering with it.

I am just about ready for surgery on my hip. My date has been set for May 3rd and I just have one more appointment this week to go so hopefully all will be fine and I can finally be rid of all this pain. I am expecting to be in the hospital for 3 days and then physical therapy and recuperation for about 4-6 weeks. Say a few prayers for a quick recovery...I am a bit nervous but thrilled to know that relief is near.

We have several college graduations and parties coming up not to mention Mothers Day and several birthdays. May is going to be a busy and expensive month for sure.

I know it has been awhile since I have blogged anything but I've just been really busy. Hope the weather has been nice in your surely has been beautiful around here. Enjoy spring! More sooner than later...I hope. ;-)

Monday, April 05, 2010

This and That

Happy day after Easter. I hope everyone had a wonderful and springlike day. It was a beautiful weekend weatherwise here and we had a very nice day yesterday with family. Great company and wonderful food...who could ask for anything more?

Well my poor daughter could I guess. After spending 2 weeks in a hotel while the maintainance crew at her apartment building replaced water logged walls and carpeting in her apartment, she and Brad were finally able to go back home last Monday. They had to rearrange furniture but got their place pretty much back to normal in the few hours they had after work and before bed. Sara woke up at her usual time to get ready for work the next morning only to find the entire kitchen flooded again and the water was running into their living room all over their brand new carpet. Several feet of carpeting were soaked through. It was raining very hard outside and we were in for several days of heavy rain so she knew this was not going to end quickly. She got on the phone with the apartment manager and they came right over. Unable to do much at that moment, they made arrangements for Sara and Brad to go back to the hotel until they could clean up the mess and dry out the carpeting and walls. It has been almost a full week and they are still at La Quinta. Last she heard they might be able to move back home on Thursday. On the up side, she hadn't unpacked their suitcases and their computers were still boxed up and in the car. That was one less thing to do before heading to work, but all of the clothes in the suitcases were in need of some laundering.
To make matters worse, last Friday the toilet in the hotel room broke and she had to move all of their things four doors down to another room. She was pretty much at the end of her rope last Friday but she is now seeing the humor in everything now. After all is said and done, she will eventually see it all as an adventure I suppose. It's just kind of hard to keep perspective at this point.
The good thing is they don't have to pay rent this month and their room is being covered by management for their inconvenience.

Otherwise, things are moving along. We have birthday parties galore this month and next month we have 3 college graduations to attend (shell out money for). Hopefully things will stay quiet for a few months until Eric and Jessie's wedding in August. Somehow, I doubt that.

We've had some really warm and beautiful days lately and that means spring is here. No more snow! Now, let's hope all the rain is behind us too.

Gotta run. Have a great evening!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Yes I Am Still Alive

Hey all

Just a quick post to let you know I am still amongst the living. Hasn't been much to post these days. Just the usual work, home, sleep and eat. It's been fairly quiet around here which is a good thing.

Our weather has improved and all the snow is gone from our yard. The trees out front have buds on them so I think we have seen the last of winter. Ice Out was declared on Lake Winni yesterday (that's a big deal around these parts), so if anyone still had a bobhouse on the lake, I suspect it is now at the bottom of the lake.

Sara has had some bad luck the last couple of weeks. With all the rain we had, her apartment got flooded and her carpeting and a couple of walls were ruined. She and Brad had to move into a hotel room for the time being while the maintainence crew knocked down some walls and replaced them. They are painting today and should have the new carpeting down on Monday so they might be able to move back in by mid week. I think she feels like she is on vacation. :-)

Other than that, it's business as usual. I hope to catch up on all of your blogs, although I think it's going to take awhile.

Enjoy the weekend!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Pics From Dad's Birthday

It's taken awhile but I finally got the pics from my Dad's 80th birthday party at the Outback Steakhouse. My Dad is not one who is usually surprised because he tends to be a little controlling and usually is on top of everything. But even he had to admit we got him and we got him good. He thought he was going out for dinner with my Mom and my brother Henry for his birthday but little did he know that all of the immediate family was going to be there too. It's been a month and he is still talking about it. I wish we could have captured the look on his face when he realized what the heck was going on. Enjoy!

My grand niece Kendal sitting on my brother Henry. That's Eric sticking his tongue out at the camera.

Kendal is pointing at her favorite Auntie. That's my nephew Jason in the center.

My brother Dave on one side of me and George on the other.

Sara with the guest of honor. those blue eyes

Show us your french fries...

The caption under this pic should be "Typical" brother Dave enjoying his favorite beverage.

My Mom with her great granddaughter

Pepere and his sweetheart

Group niece Crystal beside my Mom.

So there you have it. Plans are in the works for my Mom's 80th birthday in April but we have already been warned to skip the surprise party. We won't get away with that anyway...she's not having that. It may not be a surprise but one way or the other, we are going to celebrate. You only turn 80 once.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Western Carribean Cruise 2010

Good Morning all. Hope you are all shovelled out from all of the record snowfall all over the US. Luckily New Hampshire was spared and we only got an inch or so yesterday and nothing at all from last weeks blast. We were also very lucky to not have our connecting flight home through DC like we did last year, although we did have a few concerns about Newark but managed to get home from our vacation without a whole lot of trouble.

The cruise was wonderful. 80 degree weather all week, mostly sun but we had a couple spells where we had rain and/or clouds. Still, no complaints from this lady. I was perfectly happy to be in the tropics.

We started out in Miami, which I found a little chilly.

The skies were overcast but the city was bustling due to the Pro Bowl football game and preparations for the Super Bowl game on the following Sunday.

We found our Stateroom to be cozy and we had a spacious balcony to watch the world go by. I got myself a fruity drink with an umbrella and let the festivities begin.

After unpacking and taking a quick walk around the ship we got ready for dinner. The dining room was beautiful.

We met our week long dining partners, Larry and Chris from Ohio. Very nice folks who helped make our week a lot of fun. As we got to know them over the next 7 days, we found we had a lot in common and we became fast friends. Even our head server thought we were long time friends and had trouble believing we had just met.

Speaking of our head server, Zuzannah is from Hungary and really made our dining experience on the Carnival Valor a wonderful experience. We had plenty of dishes to choose from such as lobster, prime rib, shrimp, baby back ribs, talipia, salmon, various pasta dishes, and George's favorite Flat Iron Steak with baked potato. I tried something different every night and my favorite meal by far was the ribs. Messy but delish. I also enjoyed the different desserts, one was the baked alaska and the other a rich and decadent chocolate espresso cake.

Here are a few pics taken from around the ship. Notice the exquisite art work.

First port of call was Grand Cayman. We woke up to a glorious sunrise and quickly showered and headed to the breakfast buffet.

Lovely area, clean and very nice and accomodating people. George and I walked around and shopped for a few hours. We ran into Big Black Dick and learned about his claim to fame. I thought it was hilarious and had to take pics to share.

Next stop...Roatan Hondurous. We couldn't dock at our original port because of the high winds so we had to dock at another spot. We were warned that the area might not be the most safe but there was lots of nice shops to enjoy as long as we stayed within the secured area. George and I also decided that with the storm clouds approaching, we weren't going to venture too far anyway. We did enjoy some of the native dances and did a little shopping.

I found that Santa even has a workshop in the Carribean.

We left Roatan around 6pm and George took these beautiful pictures of the sunset.
Isn't that a pretty sight?

In the evenings, after a wonderful dinner, we usually took in a show on board the ship. Unfortunately cameras aren't allowed in the theatre but we did see some really funny comedians, a magician and an awesome juggler. Imagine juggling on rocky seas. That poor guy had quite a challenge but he was really good.

Next stop...Belize. Lovely city and we visited my favorite store.

We sampled some rumcakes...yummm. Then stopped for a Belizian?? beer at Bandito's. This husband and wife entertained the crowd with some local music.

I really would have liked to have been able to spend more time in Belize. There is so much history there and I would like to be able to explore the ruins there one day. Several of the shore excursions that were offered to tour the ruins were 5-6 hours long and we had to pick and choose as to what we could fit in. We opted for a 1 hour tour around the city which just made me want to see more. Definitely plan to visit Belize again.

My favorite port of call though was Puerta Maya Cozumel. I really enjoyed my time there and would have enjoyed spending another day or two there. The beach was pristine, the water just a perfect shade of turquoise and the weather was perfect. We walked around and did a lot of shopping, we had a drink at the Three Amigos Bar and just enjoyed the day.

We left Cozumel on Friday and headed back to Florida. We had been hearing about all the snow being dumped on the mid Atlantic states and hoped we would actually be able to get into and out of the airports. As it turned out, we had no problems. Larry and Chris, our new cruise buddies, were not as lucky. They ended up landing in Indianapolis but had to stay at a hotel because the roads were impassible after 15 inches of snow. Several of the major highways were closed so their vacation continued for one more day. LOL
Anyway, we got back to cold New England and reality late Sunday night. Not sure when we will get away like that again so I made sure to enjoy every second of it. It was really nice and relaxing and spending our 1st wedding anniversary on a cruise was a wonderful second honeymoon. I hope you enjoyed hearing about our adventure and seeing the pictures. We took about 300 pictures so it was hard to pick and choose the better ones. I hope I did the whole trip justice.

On our last night on board, we managed to get a few nice sunset shots. Kind of makes me want to go cruising again real soon. On that note...enjoy.