Thursday, June 28, 2012

Pittsburg Bound

Tomorrow we are going up to Pittsburg, the most northern part of NH. It is our most favorite place in the world. We have rented the same cabin we rented last year,on First Connecticut Lake. The trip is about 4 hours,give or take. The ride is always beautiful,because you have to go through the White Mountains to get there. We always take our time,stop for breakfast and where ever we feel like along the way. We are coming home on Monday.

Rick is excited not only for the relaxation,but for the fishing.He is hoping that Zach will catch a land locked salmon.Last year,the fishing was not that great because we went later in the summer and  it was so darn HOT. We hoped to avoid that this year,but we heard that this weekend temps are going to spike to the 90's again. However, up in Pittsburg it's going to feel like the mid 80's,so we shall have to see. There are four CT Lakes,named,oddly enough, First,Second,Third,and Fourth :) Fourth is right on the Canadian border,and you have to hike to get to it.Since we haven't gone that far north,we have never been there. We go as far as Third,and that's it. Also in Pittsburg is  Lake Francis,Round Pond,Black Pond, Middle Pond,and a whole host of ponds and streams to catch fish in. We are renting a motor boat again to troll First. I am bringing a stadium seat with me this year. I don't fish,so while Zach and Rick fish,I read. Sitting in a boat with no back rest does horrible things to my lower back,so this year I will be comfortable and able to enjoy myself more.

I love waking up early,getting a cup of coffee and sitting outside. There is something about seeing the lake and mountains,hearing the birds,loons,and ducks,and smelling that fresh Balsam pine filled air that relaxes me and fills my soul with with contentment. It's fabulous. How can one not be relaxed and happy with this as their daily view? See you next week!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Summertime And The Livin' Is Easy

We are on day three of a heat wave here in NH. Temps have been near or at 100 degrees,with at least 60% humidity. It's been pretty brutal out there. Yesterday Zach and I met My Dear Friend Michelle and her kiddies (plus a couple of friends) up at Alton Bay on Lake Winnipesaukee. We sat in a nice shaded area on the water enjoying the cool lake breeze while the boys swam and jumped off the dock. It was a nice time for Girl Chat. I shared some of my fresh strawberries that I had picked the day before:

Our strawberries are producing the most that they have produced for the June harvest so far. We only have 25 plants,so it's not a whole lot,but enough that we can enjoy a bit of dessert or freeze some. I still have some that are in the process of ripening,so our June harvest isn't quite over yet. We will have three more harvests before the season is over. The trick is to get them before the chipmunks do !

Thankfully,this heat wave is going to wind down over the weekend and then we will get back to more normal June temperatures,though the weather this year has been anything but normal!

Tomorrow it's a bright and early day.Rick and Zach are going white water rafting with the troop,and they have to meet down in Rochester for 4:00 AM for the 3 hour + drive up to Bingham,ME. Bingham is actually where Rick's Grandfather McQuilkin (his Mom's Dad) was born and is buried. Rick spent many summers up there as a child,and we have been camping up there many times. It's a very,very small town,with just a few hundred folks. They will be rafting the Dead River,which is controlled by a dam. Thankfully,they will miss the damn surge which creates Class VI/V rapids,so they will have more manageable Class II/III,which I think is more appropriate for kids who have never been rafting before. I have to drop them off in Rochester,so me thinks I will go back to bed when I get home! They should be home between 1:00-2:00PM on Sunday afternoon. It will be a great time for them.

Today brings speech in Manchester,watering the garden,feeding the Girls,and Rick finishing his homework.

Have a fabulous day all!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

I'm Still Here

Yes, I am still around,and I know I haven't been posting.It seems like I haven't had the motivation to do so. Perhaps it's because the every day just doesn't seem like it would interest anyone,or maybe it just doesn't seem interesting enough to write about .I seem to be suffering from a bit of writers block I guess.

The big news around here is that Zach has graduated 8th grade, so he is moving up to high school! Yahoo! The "Step Up" night was very nice,with speeches from the principal,the Title I teacher (who the students picked to give a speech)and the acting SAU 61 Superintendent. All were filled with great motivation,words of advice,and love for the future class of 2016.

Zach had a bit of trouble in the 3rd quarter,and missed Honor Roll by one C+.It was the first time he did not make Honor Roll or High Honors since 4th grade.However, he did very well this last term and made the Honor Roll.He also received Achievement Award for Science for the 4th qtr. We are very proud of him!

My Mom,sister Linda,and of course,Uncle B,were all there to cheer Zach on as well. Since we didn't have time that evening to have a celebratory dinner,we had it last night.Zach's favorite-my lasagna,and for dessert,an ice cream cake. 

Zach is growing so very fast,in every way.As you can see from the photo,he is now taller than I am. He is also maturing mentally.It's fabulous seeing him turn into a nice a young man.

This weekend he and Rick are going white water rafting with the Troop.It's not my cup of tea,so I am staying home. However, Rick has been several times. They are going over to Maine to raft the Dead River,which has Class IV and some Class V rapids.It should be a fun time for them.

The garden is starting to grow,and today and tomorrow are going to be near 100 degrees-yikes! A heat wave arrives the same day as the first day of summer-perfect timing,if you like 100 degree weather-which I don't :)  If the pool was up,I'd be in it today and tomorrow.The pool is going to be put up this week,though. Yesterday Rick raked out the area and today,Rick and Brother B are going to put the pool in it's proper spot,and let the sun heat it up so they can unfold it without cracking anything.

Stay cool wherever you are!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

New Counter top and Sink

I have been laying low the last few days with a head cold that came out of nowhere. It hit me on Thursday,which would explain why I was so darn tired in the days leading up to it. Of course,it had to hit on the day the sink and counter top were being installed,so while I was happy it was finally getting done,my happiness was dulled somewhat. We put the dogs in our bedroom while the guys were here to keep them from getting underfoot,and I couldn't wait until everything was done so I could go and lay down.

Anyhoo......after six months,our new counter top and sink are in!

You remember what it looked like before,don't you? We had new cabinet put in where the stove was,and was using a board for a top.Not pretty to look at,but it worked. Our old laminate top and basic double sink served us well,but it wasn't what we wanted.We have never lived in a home where the home reflected US . It was time to make it OUR home! (You do know I am in charge of decorating,but everything goes by The Man of The Place technically,it is our taste,right? LOL!)

We had a new bottom board put in the sink cabinet (our old one was nasty,remember?)and Brother B installed all new pipes and shut off valves. The counter top guys were here for about an hour and a half or so.The wound up having to shave about an 1/8" off of each side of the counter top,it wouldn't quite fit in the space. The counter was in two pieces,with the seam meeting under the faucet. You can't tell it's there. They did a great job. We had to install the faucet,but they set the sink up.

My first choice was a lovely white porcelain apron sink with pretty decorations on the front...until I saw it was over $1,000. Uh,better go with the second choice...this stainless steel one with a bowed front was nice and about a third of the cost. It came with a large grid that rests in the bottom of the sink to rest your dishes on. I have always wanted a goose neck faucet for filling large pots-comes in handing with stock pots or canning pots! Sorry the photo came out a bit blurry :(

Next step is to get the tin back splash up and redo the window molding...but that counter top and sink sure look pretty!

In this light,the counter top gives off a more pink look.I wanted a counter top that brought out the various colors in the room-and the tin back splash when it's put in.

In this light,you can see the counter has a beige background. I love having a counter top that runs the length of the wall! It makes the room look much larger and to me is the focal point of the kitchen. Now I have to figure out how to set the counter top up. The Menfolk have put the basics back on the counter-coffee pot and microwave. Everything else is still on our kitchen table waiting for me to feel good enough to deal with it. 

Next on the list:
-back splash
-window trim
-closet next to the fridge
-paint touch up
-see if I can make a pot hanger out of an old ladder and have it hang over the window next to the oven (see above photo)

I am very happy with the new look!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Dapper Zach

Friday night was Zach's first semi formal. He missed last year's because he was at an Order of the Arrow camp out earning his ordeal sash.He wasn't going to miss it this year,though! We had some good mother-son time buying him new clothes and new shoes-he's outgrown everything!

Just sharing a few photos with you:


This is Zach's friend Sarah.They "went out" from 3rd-6th grade-which basically means they thought each other was cute and went a few places with either us or Sarah's mom,such as swimming or the movies. They do make a cute couple,don't they? No romance,though...which is fine with me.Plenty of time for that! She loved her little pink rose corsage :)

Friday, June 1, 2012

Sneak Peek

A few things have been going on lately. My garden is finally planted! Brother B and I sifted composted soil and refilled a few of the beds.This year,we are growing onions,sugar peas,green beans,garlic,tomatoes,potatoes,cukes,pumpkins,zucchini,summer squash,broccoli,beets,lettuce,and spinach. My herbs did not take,so I will have to buy some plants.

Yesterday we got 12 more Girls-four Buff Orphingtons,four NH Reds,and four Silver Lace Wynadottes. We had the dogs outside and they heard and smelled the chicks,so of course we let them investigate. Brother B held a chick in his hand,and Sasha just smelled the chick and left. Samson,however,immediately tried to put the whole chick in his mouth! Luckily,Brother B has quick reflexes and pulled the chick away before Samson could get the poor thing. It reminded me of the Sylvester and Tweety cartoons where Sylvester chomps down on Tweety whole and has feathers hanging out of his mouth (before Tweety manages to escape,of course).

The local carpenter,whose name is also Rick,came out and refitted our sink cabinet for the new apron sink.He also attached the new cabinet that we bought around Christmas to the rest of the cabinets,and then he also had to try and get them even.Since nothing in our house is flush,that wasn't surprising.

We had to take the drawers out,and clean out under the cabinet.We didn't have the proper saw to cut the sink out,so Carpenter Rick had to do when he got here.Under the sink was awful-we have had leaks from the pipes and the bottom board got horribly warped. Here is a close up:

Carpenter Rick made a new bottom for the cabinet,as well making supports for the new sink. You can see the bottom in this photo,as well as the new area for the sink:

Not only did we have to have our cabinet refitted,but of course,since the sink is much deeper,we had to have new doors made.Mr Ames,who is a great woodworker and lives a few streets over,made up our new doors for us. Carpenter Rick also had to make sure we could put our old sink back until the counter top is installed.

We had to slide the new sink into the space so the counter top guy could take the proper measurements for the counter top. He had to use strapping to create a template-though soon they are going to go digital.

I took a quick photo of the new sink in place to give you an idea of what it will look like,with the new doors.Counter top and sink should finally be installed next Thursday: