Tuesday, January 31, 2006

nowadays you can't be too sentimental*

Seven years ago, this week, I met this adorable man (perhaps he was more boy back then). One of his many endearing traits, was his lack of interest in what other people thought. He seemed impervious to peer pressure, whether it be regarding parties, alcohol, clothing or music. At 20, this was remarkable to me. Finally, here was someone that was uninterested in popularity and what I'd already termed- "college drama." This isn't to say, of course, that we didn't have our struggles. We were always crazy about each other, but there were many moments where he gave away his thoughts that he didn't want a girlfriend, and I refused to bend on my expectations. Even now, there are songs that immediately take me back to late nights of long cries to my girlfriends and dancing around our dorm room swearing off of boys forever.

It seemed fitting then, that last night we danced together in the aisles at the Billy Joel concert at the Boston Garden. Josh has always loved Billy Joel, and it was this revelation early in our relationship that used to make me laugh. He'd rock out in his car to "Movin' Out" when he drove to pick me up from campus, he'd play "She's Always a Woman" while we danced in his apartment. There was never a sense that he cared whether people thought his love of Billy Joel was "cool" or not. He just did.

The concert was so much fun, and the audience sang along with most of his songs. I even took notes during the concert so that I could better list what songs he played:

Angry Young Man (in tribute to APL, I accidentally said to Josh, "yay! Angry Boy!")
My Life
Everybody Loves You Now
Seeing the Lights Go Down On Broadway
New York State of Mind (which he said he sang on a dare, because it was in Boston)
Downeaster Alexa
All For Leyna
Goodnight Saigon
Movin' Out
Innocent Man
Keeping the Faith
Always a Woman To Me
River of Dreams (my favorite! And this one got everyone up and dancing)
I Go To Extremes
We Didn't Start the Fire
Big Shot (he was hysterical dancing around on the stage for this one)
Still Rock and Roll To Me

You May Be Right
Only the Good Die Young
Scenes From An Italian Restaurant
Piano Man

I kept glancing over at Josh while he rocked in his seat and sang along loud enough that I had to shush him a couple of times, and marveling at the way things change. As Josh pulled me to my feet for some of the tunes, or threaded his fingers through mine during the slow songs, I wondered how I could have so much sweetness in my life. How can it get any better than this?

* points if you know what song this is from

Monday, January 30, 2006

shocking news

I had to break some unfortunate news to Josh this weekend.

Namely, there is no fairy that changes your sheets every week.

It is, in fact, (drumroll please)........... Me.

As you can imagine, this was more than a tad bit shocking to him. That, and the subsequent realization that I am also the one that vacuums, feeds the dogs, changes their water, and cleans the bathroom.

I'm sure this is akin to children finding out there is no Santa Claus, but since Josh is Jewish, he's never felt a shock quite like this one.

Now that the truth has been set free, I hope to report back to you that other players shall be occasionally taking over the role of cleaning fairy. Stay tuned.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

crafty projects: "french" bulletin board

I had a burst of energy this weekend, and didn't just pull up the tiles in the bathroom... At 11pm on Friday night, I also started a project I'd been planning for months.

I'd been wanting to make a picture board for our guest room. I wanted a place where I could put all my favorite pictures of the friends that would be frequenting the room. I eyed some of the ones being sold at Pottery Barn and besides being the wrong colors, I thought they were pretty expensive for what they were. Additionally, the fabulously talented Chatty Cricket made a picture board last year and it turned out beautifully. I knew I could do it.

So I picked out fabric that matched the room.

Green fabric on green walls would have been too much, so I picked a slightly contrasting tan that pulled a color out of the curtains.

I also purchase a canvas at an art store, whatever size is best for you. Mine is pretty big because the area above the bed where I'm hanging this is rather large. Any canvas that has a wooden frame will work. I waited for a sale, because a painter's canvas is expensive.

Then I gathered my tools:

Staple gun
Tape measure
Color-coordinated ribbon (I needed two rolls)
Scissors (good for trimming fabric)

And I got to work. I criss-crossed along the length of the board first, forming a big X. I'd wrap the ribbon around the back and staple it down, holding it very taut. Then I started alternating sides, criss crossing each side, and measuring the distance to make sure the gaps between ribbons was equal.

Make sense? For example, I'd measure halfway between the right side and the top, and make sure I was starting the ribbon in the middle on both sides. Once I'd done that in on the four corners, it formed a diamond shape on the picture board. Then I'd start stapling down the ribbon again on the diagonal.

In the picture above, three sides of the diagonal and the initial big X are done.

The only trick I didn't realize until it was complete, is that I could have alternated all the ribbons and they would have interlocked against each other, thereby keeping pictures from sliding underneath. It turned out cute in the end, though.

Here is the finished product!

I've been trying to decide whether I want to add little upholstery tacks at the intersection of each ribbon, or whether I like it as is. What do you all think?

It was a pretty fun project, and took me less than an hour once I'd collected enough materials. I assumed one roll of ribbon would be enough, but I used every last little bit of both rolls. I'll also be using the fabric to make a seat cushion and pillows for the guest bed. Maybe this weekend?

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

happy blogiversary to me!

Today is my one year blogiversary!!! Hurray! Who knew that I'd keep this up for one whole year? I sure didn't. This was the second or third blog I'd started, only to let it go after a while, so it is a real surprise.

One year ago today, I wrote this. I am happy to report that my lovely husband is still my lovely husband, because today at work I received this:

I think I'll keep him.

Also, in honor of my blogiversary, I shall tell you two(!!) embarassing stories about myself.

In high school, I thought I was super cool. I mean, super DUPER cool. So cool was I, that 90210, the show, would be on television on Wednesday nights. It was my trademark to wear my hair on Thursday to school JUST LIKE one of the characters on 90210. I had long straight hair, so I could somewhat replicate the styles that Kelly or Brenda were wearing. And by somewhat, I mean, not really. I would even enlist my mom's help in doing it. I'd pull her out of whatever she was doing while the show was on, and then make her get up early to do my hair that way in the morning.

Like I said, super duper UBER cool.

I also used to fight with my friends in sixth grade over who the New Kids on the Block liked best out of all of us. Because, you know, they knew us. And the odds of meeting them was really high.

I totally think they would have liked me. I'm just sayin'.

Thanks to all of you for making this a wonderful blogging year for me!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

bathroom discoveries

I guess with a title like that one, we could go in any direction with this post, but I am pleased to inform you that this bathroom discovery was a good one.

A few nights ago, I shuffled into the bathroom to brush my teeth before bed, and my sock got snagged on the edge of a linoleum tile. The corner of the tile lifted up, and I was surprised to find real ceramic tile underneath. The tile was covered in blackish sludge and dirt from years of glue, as well as grime sliding under the edges of the linoleum that had long since separated to form gaps.

The prior owners of our house, or the prior owners to the prior owners of our house, did some strange things with the decorating. They'd put in hideously ugly carpet, different colors in different rooms, to cover up beautifully preserved hardwood floors. They put linoleum tiles inside the kitchen cabinets, and they're still there. Both the downstairs and upstairs bathrooms feature this non-matching random colored linoleum, even though the upstairs bathroom is yellow tiled and the downstairs bathroom is pink tiled.

It was a little late to be pulling up linoleum, especially because I didn't know what the state of the tile underneath might be. I'd normally assume they covered up damage, but since I've glimpsed some of their strange workings in the past, I thought there was a chance it might be okay.

Sunday night, I got down on my hands and knees, grabbed an old wallpaper scraper and got to work. With each piece of linoleum I pulled up, I made a little wish that it would be okay underneath. For the most part the linoleum came up in whole pieces and I only had to work to scrape up a few sections.

I cleaned each square after I'd pulled up the tile with Goo Gone, which worked beautifully! I was too lazy to go to Home Depot and ask about other products, but Goo Gone ended up being perfect and got all the glue up without any problems.

Josh had to recaulk around the tub and the toilet, but this is what the bathroom looked like in the end.

Thankfully, there is only one spot next to the toilet where a tile was cracked and removed. Unfortunately, it is right near the entrance to the bathroom, so it is easy to see. I'm assuming I can try to find some cream tile that will somewhat match and then chip it down to size. Has anyone encountered a similar problem?

There wasn't any wrong, per se, with the old linoleum, but I somehow feel that the bathroom has more charm now. it seems more authentic, funkier, more interesting. Now I'm looking for a black rug to throw down next to the tub to complete the look. The one in the above picture ended up having a hole, and that was the last one in stock.

I also received a postcard that Restoration Hardware opened up an outlet store in Boston, and I picked up some old fashioned canister looking containers, soap dispenser and garbage can at their super discounted prices, and the bathroom is starting to shape up!

Now the question is, do I take the same leap of faith in the downstairs bathroom? From the gaps in the linoleum, it looks as if the downstairs tile may be color coated with pink and black tiles to match the walls. Ick. But will pink and black be better than tan, yellow and green linoleum?

Monday, January 23, 2006

so much to say

This weekend was a busy weekend, with blogger meetups, surprises in the mail, bathroom decorating work, projects and general errand-running. I have so much to write about, I'm torn on where to start.

On Saturday morning, I met Phantom Scribbler and Songbird for some book shopping and chats. I have met the wonderful Phantom before, but meeting Songbird was a first. She is as lovely in person as she is on her blog. Very kind and considerate, gives good advice, and is a great listener. All of what you'd expect. Plus, her dog Molly is ADORABLE, and we all know how I feel about dogs. We started out thinking we'd do some book shopping, but couldn't stop the conversation so we headed to a nearby Starbucks to talk uninterrupted. It was warm enough for a long walk outside, even though it is January! Funny, but it didn't feel as if we were meeting for the first time, it was so relaxed and comfortable. I hope we can do it again soon!

When I arrived home later that day, I was surprised to receive a package in the mail from Ninotchka!

When her beautiful daughter was born in September, we made some guesses on her birth date and her size, and I guessed the closest for sweet Anna Sofia's weight! Look at this beautiful wrapping job! You really outdid yourself, Nino!

Nino was sweet enough to send me a prize package! Thank you, Nino! I loved everything!

Josh enjoyed the prizes also. He was more than happy to eat the gummy fishes on Saturday night!

He's just like a kid, this one.

I have so much more to tell you, like all of the projects I've undertaken this weekend. I was right in assuming that my energy for indoor projects would return once the weather went sour. I spent much of the summer outside enjoying our brief summer, and now that the snow has begun to fall fast and furious, I am back to my projects. Saturday it was close to 60 degrees, and this morning my front yard looked like this!

My poor tulips are so confused that this weekend I noticed that a few have sprouted. Does anyone know what happens? Will they freeze and die or just hold out until April? I'll be so disappointed if my first venture into planting bulbs fails miserably!

Hope your weekends were equally fabulous!

Friday, January 20, 2006

show and tell: hats

Blackbird's son has requested that we show him some hats. I have very few hats, because I believe they look comical on my head.

I do, however, own a hat that I received in the mail shortly after the Red Sox won the World Series, with a note that said:

"Who's your Daddy-In-Law?"

Best. Hat. EVAH.

For obvious reasons.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

indigo leaf magazine

Karen over at Chookooloonks, has started a fabulous new online magazine- Indigo Leaf Magazine- and I encourage you all to go visit! She is highlighting some wonderfully talented unpublished authors!

Indigo Leaf is also taking submissions for future issues, so all you amazing writers out there, submit!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

you people with your sock fetishes...

Who knew that you all felt so passionately about socks? Josh and I spent a good hour on Sunday afternoon chuckling over all your answers. I am happy to see that I have been vindicated, except apparently when socks are worn while engaging in naughty activities. Josh wins on that one.

I am feeling wholly braindead on the blogging front. Plus, I'm having trouble sleeping at night. This is very disturbing, because if there is one thing I need, it is my sleep. I can't figure out what is going on with me, but it had better stop soon. I was pleased to read in my gardening book that during the month of January we gain an extra hour of sunlight. So if my inability to sleep has to do with being seasonally affected, maybe the extra sunlight will help.

The other thing that might help, will be a vacation to a warm spot. And since all of you were so helpful on the 3 day trip Josh and I took, plus you are all so opinionated on socks, I want your assistance on the vacation front!

Here is the caveat, however. We don't have a dogsitter, so we have to bring the pooches along. We have fun with them and they are very mobile, but it is a bit of a bummer because we'd hoped to meet friends in London and London doesn't allow dogs.

Anyway, we are looking for a warm location, preferably beach, and we have to be able to bring the dogs. Dogs are permitted in the Caribbean, Mexico and Puerto Rico, in addition to all the other US States except Hawaii.

Oh, and we don't have lots of expendable funds so it has to be cheap. What about all of these vacation spots I hear people talking about in North Carolina or South Carolina, or any of those other states I've never visited. Are they warm in March?

This is what I'd like to be doing:

I'll even bring you back a present from one of these exotic dog friendly locations if you provide me with a fantastically wonderful vacation! I'll come up with something.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

very important poll

I'd like to conduct an informal survey of the Internet to satisfy a certain argument the husband and I often have.

1. Do you wear socks to bed?

a. Yes, my toes are freezing cold and my significant other is a selfish bastard that refuses to let me warm them up against him or her.

b. Yes, I'm "pathetic"** and I like my socks. In fact, I have several different types and colors depending upon the temperatures.

c. No, my significant other is a kind and considerate person that emits enough heat as to allow me to snuggle my chilly feet against her or him.

d. HAVE YOU GONE MAD? The very notion of wearing socks to bed is strange and unnerving, I particularly would not have "relations" with someone wearing socks. EWWWWWW.

Discuss amongst you.

** This does not reflect the views of the management here at Lots and Lots of Nonsense, who finds having different types and colors of socks perfectly normal. Hrumph.


If you happen to make a cucumber and tomato salad yesterday morning, and you forget to eat it yesterday for lunch, and you just assume that you can eat it for lunch today and you pull it out of your bag to eat it, DON'T.

Because what you'll find is that there is green mold growing ALL OVER the salad, and it is really really really gross.

Have a nice day.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

comment if you love dogs! (or cats! or horses! or goldfish!)

All the cool kids are doing it, so I gotta join in...

Sheryl has declared this week- International De-Lurking Week!

I'm not sure I have any readers besides those of you I know, but if I do, I'd love to hear from you! Tell me where you're from! How long you've been around! And please share your blog with me if you have one!

Tango and Murray want you to comment! They (and I) love new people! Welcome!

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

lighthouses, beaches and afternoon tea

In the span of two days, we went from this:

to this:

It's amazing that I took that shot between moments of drizzle and freezing temperatures, and yet the beach always looks the same. Peaceful, quiet, beautiful.

Exactly what we needed.

We settled on Chatham, Massachusetts, mainly because it is in the middle of the Cape, at the elbow, or right at the junction where it turns up toward itself. Once we were stationed at our bed and breakfast in Chatham, we could travel up and down the Cape with ease, so that's what we did.

We drove up the South side on Wednesday morning, stopping in Falmouth for lunch, and along the way if we spotted a nice view or a cute store. We arrived at the Captain's House Inn by nightfall, just in time for afternoon tea of pastries and English Breakfast in our room. I am beginning to think I should institute afternoon tea and pastries every day.

On our way to dinner, we drove out to the Chatham lighthouse to get a glimpse of it in the dark. I doubt I've ever seen a night so devoid of moonlight. I couldn't distinguish the shoreline from the water through the veil of darkness except for the precise moment when the beam from the lighthouse passed across the waves. It was a second of reflection and then black again.

Photos weren't quite working in that kind of darkness, so we drove to the recommended neighborhood pub for dinner. We were back at the bed and breakfast in time for their nightly hot chocolate and cookies. Lack of food was not a problem on this little voyage. The inn also had a large video and reading library for the guests to borrow, and since we were one of two occupied rooms for the two nights we were there, we had our pick.

The next morning, Thursday, we explored the tip of the Cape: Truro, Orleans, Nauset, Wellfleet, Provincetown, all of which are predominantly summer towns with very little in the way of winter life. We veered off the main roads to pass by the lighthouses along the way and admire the scenery and the homes we saw. Provincetown is my favorite town on the Cape, but only one sad little pizza place had its lights on, and we scarfed down a sandwich and continued on our way.

There is something wildly beautiful about the beaches around Provincetown, the way the wind sculpts the sand and the grass eats up the hillside. My favorite pictures feature fences that are slowly worn away by the wind and the water.

It is equally beautiful throughout the seasons, although obviously far more crowded in the summer months.

On the way back to Chatham, we did the same detours off the main roads, but on the opposite side that we'd driven down. More lighthouses, more beaches, more lovely views.

We stopped for a few minutes in Orleans, at Rock Harbor to get pictures of their rocky shores. These trees intrigued me. They look alive, but Rock Harbor is the scene where Orleans militiamen in 1812 turned back British troops. The trees at the entrance to the harbor mark the channel for the fishing fleet. Strange and beautiful, aren't they?

And then, in what may be the best decision we made on this trip, we found a spa that did couples' massages and splurged on one. I feel relaxed just remembering. It is something we very rarely do, but a luxury we discovered on our honeymoon that we love.

I was pretty groggy post-massage, so we headed back to the bed and breakfast for another afternoon tea with cookies, and then out to a local fish joint, before turning in for the night.

After breakfast Friday morning, we packed up and visited all of the shops in Chatham. The week after New Year's is their slowest, so every store featured huge 50% off sales. I picked up some snowmen decorations for next year, and as I mentioned yesterday, the dogs received a new bed and some miniature toys.

On the way home, we drove down the North side of the Cape, passing through adorable fishing villages like Brewster, Dennis, Yarmouth, Barnstable, Sandwich and Bourne. Josh and I dream of being able to have a shack in one of these towns, just enough to pile in to sleep after a day at the beach or strolling through the towns. They are just too cute.

And thus ended our lovely getaway. Not even the continuous rain over the three days could dampen our good time. The pups gave us a nice welcome when we arrived home, and my parents enjoyed the few days exploring our neighborhood and relaxing at our house. It was a great choice, and 3 days was just enough to get a flavor of Cape Cod, especially without the crowds or traffic. Next stop, Portland, Maine. I hope soon!

Monday, January 09, 2006

happy new year!

I took a little unintended blogging vacation, apparently. I was swamped with new year's preparations, then I wasn't feeling well on new year's day, and then I (thankfully) wasn't near a computer for the rest of the week. I'm back at work now, struggling to catch up on all my emails and start the long process of getting up to speed on what I missed last week. I owe you all some information, though.

1. The smokin' booty jeans are Lucky Jeans. I have an older pair that I love in the Sweet and Low style, but the newer booty jeans are Dream style. They are rather low, though, and perhaps wouldn't work for someone that isn't curvy. My hips fall into the curvy, rather than smaller hipped style I so covet. The jeans are fabulous, though, I highly recommend them.

2. Thank you SOOO much for all your suggestions on our little getaway! I have a post with pictures in the works, but we finally settled on a three day trip to Cape Cod this time, and in February we hope to take another trip to Portland, Maine based on all of your suggestions. Cape Cod is lovely, although very very very quiet in January. The first week in January seems to be a vacation time for many innkeepers and shopowners, so I'd pick a different week next time, but we did get tons of good deals on the stores that were open. In fact, we stumbled upon an adorable dog store that was offering 50% off of everything, so Tango and Murray made out quite well.

3. My eye is still twitching, although more sporadically now. I am beginning to suspect that a one week vacation isn't quite long enough. Or maybe I need a beach vacation next time?

4. Last night I opened the trunk of our station wagon, and then promptly ran into it with my forehead. I am now sporting a bluish black lump close to my hairline of the likes that I haven't seen since I was a child. Aren't we supposed to grow out of running into things? AREN'T WE?

I hope all of your new years have started out well! Longer and hopefully more exciting post to come...