Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year from NYC!

Well ...sort of... We were there December 23 but I'm guessing other than the addition of a million people or so - Times Square looks pretty much the same today as it did then. You can see the ball at the top of the Toshiba sign and below is me, in the black coat wishing ya'll a very safe and Happy New Year!

10 random shots of 2009

I thought today I'd share 10 random shots of 2010 that I thought I would share with you all at some point in the year but then stuff happened so...... here it goes now. In no particular order since I can not get how to format these in blogger ....damn you blogger!! The sunset shot is off our back patio. Then we have a shot of some art work in Valparsio - that was such a cool visit and I would go back in a heartbeat. Then we have some shrunken heads in a museum in Valparsio.

Next is Hubby in this very cool cafe in Buenos Aries - the colors were so bright! Next is open pit grilling at a

restaurant we ate at in Ushuaia,Argentina. It was all you can eat and boy was it good. I think we were the first ones for dinner since we ate at 7:00pm
instead of the usual 10 or 11:00pm

Back in the states is a pic of our wood shed - we split about 3-4 cords of wood preparing for the winter and have almost burned through half of it. We enjoyed our trip to NYC for hubby's b-day and this is some of the great architecture (old buildings) in Greenwich Village.

A gorgeous quilt from the Lowell Quilt Show - another fun trip we took and a shot of a beautiful fall day in Vermont. Finally I am posing with Nelson and some purple beaded mitts I made for Nico's Mom for Thanksgiving/Christmas. They turned out better than the picture shows and are so 80's fabulous! We both love them & I am knitting a black pair for me!

You could never tell by this page formatting that I was the editor of our yearbook in high school - sorry Mrs. Muellar for all the trapped white space!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas Week Happenings

Whew - last week was a little crazy but good crazy for us. A brief re-cap with photos.
I finished the quilt for my mother-in-law's Christmas present. It is not really my style but it is hers & since it was her gift - I was very pleased with how it came out. It's a scrap quilt but all the colors seemed to jive together - here is a close up.

We got all the gifts mailed and then went to NYC on Wednesday to take in the holiday festivities. On the train, we decided we'd go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art - we have never been because we always get side tracked - usually by a good pub crawl. So we were set on the Met thing, but we'd go after we went to Union Square Farmer's Market. Can I tell you - the Farmer's Market was so nifty. It was only in the 20's but since it was sunny it was a beautiful day and all the vendors had their fresh products, veg, meat , cheese the usual farmer's market stuff sitting out under big tents. We wanted to buy some great stuff but didn't want to lug it all to the Met so we just bought some hot cider and walked around looking. We needed to get an up to date guide book of NYC and there was a Barnes & Noble across the street - we thought we'd pop in, buy a book and go to the Met. We popped in and our Met plans were totally derailed by this guidebook. We decided not to fight fate and went into the Heartland Brewery across another street and plot our pub crawl. When we looked through the book, we were surprised to find we had only been to one of the pubs mentioned. And trust me, we have been on some serious pub crawls in the city starting with our first visit 2 days after we moved to CT. We concentrated on mostly dive bars around the city so we could go check out different neighborhoods. We did make it to Central Park - farther North than we have usually gone so that was new. In the interest of time (I need to get to work) I'll be brief and say we enjoyed the tour and spaced out the stops enough so we remember every place we went to. We actually had a sit down dinner that was most amazing (usually we just snack on stuff like a slice of pizza, hot dog, etc.) at Turkish Cuisine. As usual, after a trip to the city we were beat up and happy to get on the train back home.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Making Cookies, finishing quilts and FRED!

It has been a little bit busy here in my neck of the woods. All good! Sunday I had the joyful experience of making Christmas cookies with an almost 5 year old - seriously - we had a great time. Of course martinis and wine were involved for Training Buddy & I - all Princess (the almost 5 year old) needed was the frosting. We had great fun, created a great mess and really isn't that one of the best parts of Christmas?
I'm almost done with the quilt I have been making for my mother-in-law - it will be finished tonight and in the mail tomorrow. I think she's gonna love it.
And speaking of love- The Training Buddys' and Hubby & I went to see my all time favorite performer Fred Eaglesmith at a show this week in Willimantic. he was awesome as ever but out of about 200 people who were there- Training Buddy & i were the only ones up dancing. Sometimes these Yankees can be so restrained here in Connect the Dots. But hell, we had fun and even got to talk to Fred a little bit after the show. Go check out his web site - if he is going to be playing somewhere close to you - GO! he is an amazing song writer and performer.

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Saturday, December 12, 2009

Making my list and checking it twice

Good morning! My fun task today is wrapping gifts to mail out to family & friends. Historically, Hubby & I wait till the last possible day and then get the pleasure of single handily supporting the USPS for the day by paying a huge amount of money to insure our gifts get there on time. In the spirit of getting my sh*t together this year, I'm going to get everything that has to go west of the Mississippi wrapped, packaged and mailed out today. And I'm only drinking herbal tea now - since this isn't my most favorite job we'll see if the tea holds me or I need to bump up to a bloody mary...

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Our trip to Bethlehem...

Last weekend we make the pilgrimage to Bethlehem CT so I could get our Christmas cards all mailed out. We try to get over every year. It is a little hokey but we manage to have fun and this year we discovered the roasted chestnuts booth sponsored by the Lions Club - I have never had chestnuts really roasted over an open fire - they were awesome! I got about 95% of the cards mailed (some got left behind at home by accident), hand stamped by Hubby with the "this card was mailed from Bethlehem" stamp. We also went to the Abbey Of Regina Laudis and bought a Women in Chant CD (amazing & very spiritual even though it's in Latin - you can feel the love, really and I'm more of a heathen and even I can feel it), cheddar cheese the nuns make (really - it's world famous) and yarn spun from wool from sheep on the farm (because I don't have enough yarn sitting around). It is a funky place to go but I like it. We ate lunch at one of our favorite places to go The GW Tavern in Washington Depot. Very New Englandy and right in the middle of prep school central so we saw several current prep school kids and parents with their future prep school kids. It was snowing the whole day and those of you who know us know what that means - WE GOT TO DRINK PORT!!! We came home, drank some port and tortured the cats - see the photos. The llamas were in the holiday spirit at the Christmas festival - our cats?? Not so much...

Here is Get Me the Hell Out of Here Grinch Casey

And Ebeneezer Scrooge Nelson

Monday, November 30, 2009

How to pack on 6 pounds in 5 days - it's super easy!!

For those of you wanting to bulk up this holiday season, (and seriously who doesn't?!) I have found the perfect diet. The cooking is a little labor intensive but so worth the results you'll get. Since I seem to be a little lazy with the blog posts and two loyal readers called me out on it this weekend - I'll share this most awesome diet with you tonight.


Breakfast - whatever

Lunch - a sandwich with chips

Dinner - Lobster bisque, grill cheese sandwich (snobby, creamy cheese with lots of butter), individual chocolate souffle

To drink - A couple French 75's; wine with dinner and martinis apr`e dinner


Breakfast - A couple of pieces of Harvey Wallbanger bundt cake

To drink - Harvey Wallbangers of course!

Lunch - some white wine

Dinner - the most fabulous Thanksgiving dinner ever (eaten at 8 pm for better fat absorption)

Brined turkey (22 lb'er to guarantee enough left overs for 6 months)- don't forget that nummy skin because look at the picture of our bird - it looks as amazing as it tasted, home made corn bread/sausage/cranberry stuffing, mashed potatoes, home made giblet gravy, peas, sauted brussel sprouts with hazelnut butter, cheesy cauliflower casserole, bourbon apple sweet potato casserole, pumpkin cheesecake and cranberry torte for dessert.

To drink - white wine and sherry


Breakfast - Harvey Wallbanger bundt cake

Lunch - skip that and don't hydrate

Dinner - left over Thanksgiving dinner

To drink - martinis & wine


Breakfast - nothing you are going to a party later so save your calories

Lunch - Turkey sandwiches on hard rolls w/ chips

Dinner - snack on the snacks at Mr. Neighbor's 40th birthday party. Stay away form the veggie platter concentrating only on the Tyson chicken pieces, assorted sips and chips, taquitos and anything else remotely fatty

To drink - martinis pre- party, wine at the party


Breakfast - sleep through it, drag out of bed around 10:30

Lunch - no time, the Training Buddy's are coming over for football

Early dinner - turkey ala king over white rice with toasted cashews and fried Chinese noodles, leftover cranberry torte

To drink - chocolate martini, champagne, copious amounts of white wine as the Dolphins lost

The big bonus of this diet is that there is no exercise involved at all - it is strongly discouraged if you want to experience the full bulk up benefits.

Now that I am filling out my pants again, I have stopped the drinking alcohol for awhile, sticking with water & iced tea and dragging out to walk with Mrs. Neighbor at 5:30 AM. The healthy stuff is going to kill me......

Sunday, November 22, 2009

More Veteran stuff

Because really...our soldiers sacrifice A LOT. It's not just not sleeping in your own bed or not going to your favorite restaurant. It's missing time with families and pets - go check this out (thanks June for the original link).

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Thank You

Like a lot of people, my Dad was in the service. He served during the Korean War - no heroics other than giving up his comfy life-style for 4 years and risking a chance at getting shot for the love of country. My grandfather was a Marine during WWI - I believe he did get shot at - he didn't talk about it to anyone when he was alive. I have always had the utmost respect for our troops, whether I agree with the war doesn't matter. So today - in my return to the blog world I don't want to bitch or moan or be snarky or try to be funny - I want to honor and say thank you to those who serve our country, my country, every day - in the US and around the world. I am TiVo'ing this show tonight on PBS - it looks great, go check out the trailer and read the reviews - I hope you get a chance to see it, too.

The Way We Get By - Trailer from The Way We Get By on Vimeo.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

"Do you need a bawtenda?'

I have been living the life let me tell ya. Actually I have tried to stay off the computer and get some stuff down around the house, working on stealth Christmas projects canning 30 lbs of peaches and 40 lbs of pears and yes that is as much fun as you are imagining. But seriously, life has been good. We went to Baltimore to watch a Red Sox game and I think all of Boston was there. So, because posting pics on blogger is so much fun and so easy - I'll spend the next 2 hours sharing my photos of Baltimore & Annapolis with you. And I apologize for the formatting - blogger does tend to suck with formatting ...

This is left over crab cake(s) from our first dinner at the most amazing crab cake restaurant ever - Timbuktu - if you ever ever ever have to fly into BWI - this place is a cab ride away and worth the trip. We met an old friend for dinner & had a great time. You'll notice there is no breading in this cake - all crab meat, baby.

Our first breakfast in town involved more crab - my personal goal was to eat crab something at every meal. Breakfast did not disappoint at Miss Shirley's - another must and walking distance to all things downtown. My choice for breakfast both days we ate there was the Crab & Fried Green Tomatoes Benedict - need I say more?
The only bad thing I can say about this breakfast is, since I ate every last bite I didn't need to eat the rest of the day.

Hubby had the Smoked Salmon Benedict and of course we had mimosas - it was Friday morning but we were on vaca! We walked around the Inner Harbor - did some tourist stuff, had a few beers at the ESPN Zone ( it was the only outside seating bar open where you didn't have to eat something) and then around 6:00pm wandered over to Camden Yards Park. We walked everywhere since it was all pretty close and we had the big ol' breakfast.

The area we hung out at before the game- a sports bar called Pickles Pub was really like Cask n' Flagon South. It was packed, and I mean packed with Sox Nation. I was waiting at the bar to order a couple for beers and one of the patrons (pictured below), who I thought was a local, until he asked me "Do you need a bawtenda?" and when I answered affirmatively he and his buddy started yelling at the poor, unfortunately named bartender Amber. "Amba! Amba! Amba! We need a beer!" But she was good natured about all of it and took good care of us and that is me getting my beer. It was a little crazy out side so we stayed inside Pickles until game time then walked across the street to the game. We had club seats on the third base line - cheaper than most seats at Fenway. Clay Bucholtz was pitching & the Sox won. It was great fun!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Ten On Tuesday - Wednesday Edition

Ten Things That I Think are Cool - well it seems I might be a little out of step with popular culture but these are things that i definitely think are very cool - in no particular order....

1. My friends - I have the coolest, greatest friends ever. And that means all of you!

2. My cats - even Dillon who is in kitty heaven had an air of cool about him.

3. Hubby having a martini on ice waiting for me when I get home from work on a Friday night - so 50's cool.

4. Hand knit socks - nerdy but so fun. I am really almost done with my first pair - over 6 years in the making!

5. The first snow fall.

6. Hot spiced cider in the fall.

7. Christmas Eve - love it.

8. Traveling out of town to watch the Red Sox play - more on that later!

9. The library - again nerdy but man you can check out so many books for free!

10. Cooking a great meal - making good food is very cool!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

I Gotta A Feeling.....I'm getting old

Until this morning, when I was watching my TiVo'd Oprah episodes I had not heard of this song. Now I have heard of the Black Eyed Peas - I'm not that old. But this clip (excuse the ad at the end but this clip had the best resolution) is so cool - really you have to watch it... and I gotta a feeling I am going to go buy this CD..

Sunday, September 6, 2009

The Haddam Neck Fair and heads in freezers..

I was only going to post photos from our trip last night to the Haddam Neck Fair but then read one of my favorites blogs Bye Bye Pie and June posted about this great google image.. go here to Google Image 241543903 and then tell me if you understand what it's all about....

Growing up , we always enjoyed to Montana's Biggest Weekend and always went to the rodeo at least one day. The fairs in New England have their similarities: animals - check - carnivals - check - fair food - check but alas no rodeo. We now go to the fair to watch a tractor/truck or animal pull. It sort of feels like these things should only take place in the Deep South but there we were, last night watching the truck pull. A good time was had by all, The Training Buddy Family & Hubby & I. Here are some more photos...

Had to add the sheep since Training Buddy, Princess & I had visited the CT Yarn and Wool Company and helped them with their inventory problem by buying some great sock yarn.

The very horny, well endowed goats - photos posted at the request of Mr. Training Buddy and to the delite of Miss Nose Dive - a long story for another post...

The trucks hooked up to the trailer and then pulled it.. weights were added and whoever didn't blow out their engine and could still pull the trailer won. We did see a guy blow up - lots of sparks and black smoke but he was Ok - they had to tow the truck.
And Princess on her pony ride!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Peace & Quiet...

Hubby is out sailing with Mr. Training Buddy and me and the cats have the whole place to ourselves - YEA! I think I have wasted enough of this gorgeous day on line so this will be a short post - another random vaca shot so I can go sit on the deck with a cup of joe and chill...

This is a shot inside Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aries. You can go check out this web site & learn all about the place - very spiritual stuff going on inside and not all the spirits were happy ones...

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Ten On Tuesday - Wednesday Edition

10 Things you Hate About Traveling

This is sort of easy - without sounding whinney because I'm lucky enough to go on vacation every once in awhile.... in no particular order.

1. Leaving the cats at home - always makes me feel guilty even though we have a really good sitter.

2. Packing - I always save it until the last minute.

3. Waiting in airports - when I did a lot of business travel this seemed like such a waste of time.

4. Staying in crappy hotels that you thought weren't going to be crappy.

5. Getting stuck in a smoking room at the hotel.

6. Feeling vulnerable over seas because you are an American.

7. Getting sick over seas - oh that is a bad one especially in a Third World country when you really need a doctor. An incident in India comes to mind.....

8. Fighting with Hubby because we are both tired & stressed - this is supposed to be a vacation, right??

9. Thinking that you lost your passport - a whole other post.....

10. Being ready to come home and you still have a week on the road.

I won't blame security delay on any misery as I would rather get to where ever I am going safe. These are random vaca shots from Ushuia, Argentinia and our trip to South America...

Monday, August 31, 2009

It has been a crzay couple of weeks...

We have been busy for the last couple of weeks and my "face time" with the computer has been way down. But as I wait for Hubby to drop off my keys (I left them in his car so he is driving home from work right now...just for drop off the keys) I figured I'd write a line or two.

We went to one of the last shows at Club Helsinki in Great Barrington, MA. The show was great and this is one of our favorite clubs to go to so a bummer they are closing. The YouTube link is from the show we went to. We got home at 3:00am and it took us almost all week to recover!

We went and picked over 30 lbs of peaches. The only thing more fun than picking them is peeling them & trying to figure out what the hell to do with them. We made peach jam, peach chutney, brandied peaches and then froze the rest because we got tired of dealing with all the canning stuff. Now Hubby wants to go pick pears....... and apples aren't far behind....

Yesterday we met Mr & Mrs. Training Buddy & Princess at The Place for a good ol' fashioned clam/lobster bake. It was good, a little touristy and sort of pricey but we enjoyed ourselves. Until poor Princess fell off a stump ( no chairs here - just tree stumps) and bit her lip. Hope you are feeling Ok today, Princess!

Here comes Hubby - better get off to work myself!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

He's home!!!

Nelson is home! We found him in our neighbor's shop/garage. Our other cat Casey spent three nights in the same shed about 4 years ago so we thought (really hoped) he might be there. We had been checking with our neighbors but last night peaked in the window and noticed all the food we had set out for him in the garage was gone. So either mice ate it or a cat did. We had to wait for Mr. Neighbor to get home as he had the key to the shed and we couldn't see too much peaking in the window, other than the food was gone so we were hopeful. When we got in the shed I started calling him and after about 5 minutes he meowed back. He was stuck in a cabinet - this garage shed is huge. We got him out & he clawed into my shoulder like he was never letting go.

I know he is just a cat but since we don't have kids, our cats are like kids to us. I haven't eaten or slept much for the last three days. I have lost 5 lbs but feel like it's taken a few years off my life. It sure felt good last night to fall asleep with our two cats snuggled up against us on the bed. is indeed good.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Ten on Tuesday

Top Ten Traits in a Romantic Interest

1. Fun to be with

2. Likes to play games

3. Also knows how to chill

4. Good snuggler

5. Keeps me warm when it's cold out

6. Welcomes me home from work

7. Hot feet

8. Man of few words

9. Cute butt

10. Likes to kiss my nose

(With apologies to Hubby)
Nelson come are breaking my heart.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Friday Fill - In and It's Cocktail Time!

Quick - I have to get to work!

1. Dusk is my favorite summer time part of the day.

2 My favorite John Hughes movie is Ferris Bueller's Day Off.

3. Lamb's ear plant is something I love to touch , I can't pass one by without touching it - weird I know!

4. The full moon is always welcome, it gives me energy and charges my crystals!

5. I'm enjoying my cup of coffee right now.

6. When daylight fades I love watching all the bats come out!

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to dinner in a new restaurant tomorrow my plans include going to the New England Quilt Museum Quilt Show in Lowell Mass. and Sunday, I want to sleep in and hang out with my tick buses!

Quick cocktail - a Cucumber Martini with this new, organic very nummy liquor. Go check out this review web site - they have lots of other flavors I'd like to try as well. We saw the product in Imbibe magazine and my friends at the local packy happily order it for me - it's good stuff!

Refreshing Cucumber Martini

1 oz Thatcher's Cucumber Liquor

2 oz your favorite vodka

Pour all ingredients in a martini shaker - shake gently & pour into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a thin slice of cucumber and enjoy!


Thursday, August 6, 2009

I am the Tick Bus stop

Above is a loverly picture of a tick bite - sort of looks like the one I have. I feel great but just knew this type of bite wasn't normal. So now - a month of antibiotics - yuk. But it could be worse & hopefully I got it early enough to avoid all the other symptoms of Lyme. But I'm luckier than a lot of people, I have health insurance, a job to help pay my out of pocket deductibles and I caught it early.

We have a cat that loves to go in and out and even if we dowse him in tick meds, he still has them, he is a tick magnet. My doc said cats and dogs are just tick buses and people are the bus stop for the ticks. I suppose it was a matter of time.

Lesson learned? If you get a bite, watch it and if it doesn't go away in a couple of days - go see your doc! Now, off to the pharmacy to get my drugs!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Where have I been?? What have I been doing??

I can't really answer that because I have been doing the same old same old. I think I am fully recovered form the most wonderful fun visit from Ms. Lillie B and Nico's Mom. We had a great time - ate pretty good except for the KFC - God that was good and worth waiting in the parking lot for 30 minutes for the place to open!), drank too much (!!) and stayed up way too late. In other words, had a great time! We told old stories and created new funny memories, just like great friends do! And we all survived renting mopeds on Block Island. Thanks guys for coming up and thanks to the Training Buddy clan for our post BI happy hour - also good fun!

I'm surprised at how sad I am about Big Papi and his positive drug screen. I am a big Red Sox fan and although not naive enough to believe that some of the Sox must have been juicing, I held on to the myth that Big Papi was above all that. I think I am more disappointed because I just finished reading Heart of the Game by S.L. Price - it will break your heart but it a fabulous look at the life (and in this case death) of a minor league baseball player.

On to a happier topic - It's Cocktail Time! We discovered a very good, but dangerous flavored vodka and if you don't believe me, go here to read how great this stuff is. I like sweet tea but only form down south, like South Carolin which is where this stuff is made. We made a very adult Arnold Palmer - you can go check out other recipes here.

Very Adult Arnold Palmer

2 oz. Sweet Tea vodka

Paul Newman's pink lemonade

fresh mint for garnish

Pour vodka into ice filled Collins glass - top with lemonade and mint on top. Gently stir and enjoy!


Friday, July 17, 2009

Friday Fill - Ins

We are so enjoying our company but I actually have time to do a quick post - in between cocktails & getting ready for the Greenriver Festival.

1. Sandwich and chips make a quick dinner.
2. Girls in Trucks is the book I'm reading right now.
3. July brings back memories of sleeping outside growing up.
4. That I wouldn't live in Montana was obvious.
5. They say if you tell your dreams to yourself, they are sending you a message.
6. I'm not real good at slowing down to think it over.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to chilling with my friends, tomorrow my plans include hanging out at the Greenriver Festival and on Sunday we'll be sleeping in!

We are drinking Moscow Mules tonight so no new cocktail - cheers anyway!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Ten Favorite Songs of the 80's

Ten on Tuesday is sort of fun this week. I love music and although I cringe now when I look at some of my albums (yes I still have albums) I do remember the good times I had listening to some of this stuff. I'm expanding it to favorite groups instead of just songs - less of a brain drain with my second cup of coffee. At the risk of being late for work ( damn you You Tube!) I'll start my post!
In no particular order....

1. Journey - I still think Steve Parry had an amazing voice.
2. Cheap Trick - Live at Budakon - who doesn't love it?
3. The Cars - until they got big & famous - I really thought I was cutting edge here. Did I mention I grew up in Montana?
4. The Police - loved Message in the Bottle.
5. Styx - I fought hard for our junior prom theme to be The Best of Times but you know what, Lee Ann you were right - it should have been The Tide is High.
6. Ratt - I loved those big hair boys.
7. Bon Jovi - now too mainstream - Ok he was then too but I still thought I was cool when I liked him.
8. AC/DC - the Bon Scott version.
9. Def Leppard - again the early stuff.
10. REO Speedwagon - the Montana thing.

If I had more time - I could post a bazillion more. Enjoy the videos & trip down memory lane - so what are your favorites??

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Summer is here...

Finally - no more rain for awhile. Since I'm busy cleaning - I'll show you another random vacation photo. This is the harbor at Valparasio, Chile. this view is from a restaurant we stopped at for lunch.