Friday, August 31, 2012

Sibling Reunion

I may be MIA for a few days. My brothers are coming back to NH with their women for a visit.

I don't get to see my brothers that often. They both live in Wisconsin,so they only get back here maybe every other year or so,if that. They have made more of an attempt since my Mom is getting up there in age. Sometimes it would be 5 years or more before I would see them. All my siblings were out of the house by the time I was in 7th grade,so I am used to not seeing them much.

I have the honor of being the baby of the family. We are rather spread out in age. My oldest brother, Valmore (a good, French name..he's named after my Dad's brother) was born in 1948,a year after my parents got married. My sister Linda was born in 1951. Dennis was born in 1960. I then came along,in 1967. I have heard two stories about how I came to be 1) my parents tried for another child after Dennis was born and had no luck,therefore they thought that my mother couldn't have anymore children and 2) the birth control they used failed .The latter  was revealed when I was older,and that is the one is that probably true. My mother's Mom (my Memere) was not happy about my impending birth. In fact, she made no bones about her anger to  my Dad- "Can't you leave her alone?" ( meaning my Mom,of course!) Remember,back then,a woman giving birth in her early 40's was considered highly dangerous. When I was born,my Mom was a couple weeks shy of her 42 birthday. My Dad was 53. ( Mom was born in 1925,Dad in 1914!)

At any rate,since Val and Linda are much older,they were out of the house by the time I was 5,so I had very little memories of them. Val rarely ever came home to visit ( he lived in PA,then WI) and Linda,being married to an Air Force man,moved around a lot. She did come home every year for a week or two,though. However,when there is such an age gap,you don' t have much in common. Now, of course,she lives only 30 minutes away,and the 16 year age gap isn't as great as it was when,say, she was 30 and I was 14. Dennis went into the Navy ( Sea Bees) after high school graduation in 1979. 

I have always been a bit envious of Rick and his relationship with his three brothers. When you have been separated most of your life,you don't really know your siblings very well. Rick and his brothers are pretty close knit. ( Hell, one of them lives with us!)  To be honest, I am closer to his brothers than I am to mine. I am not saying that to be mean, or disrespectful to my own blood,it's just the way it is. Once,when we went to WI for Dennis' wedding,we stayed at Val's house and talked about how little we saw each other. Val commented to Linda," Look at Donna. I don't even know her."

Sad,but true.

Which brings us to the reunion today. I am very anxious to see my brothers.Dennis is bringing his wife Lynette,and Val is bringing his girlfriend,Robin.( Do folks in their 60's refer to their unmarried partner as a girlfriend or boyfriend? It seems kind of high schoolish,doesn't it? Is it partner? Live in? Significant other? His woman?)

Rick,Zach and I are going down to Linda's tonight for a BBQ,then all the girls are going down to Portsmouth tomorrow for some window shopping and lunch. Sunday, everyone is coming up here for BBQ-hot dogs, hamburgers,venison,moose,or bear (depending on what exactly is in the freezer). They will be heading back to WI on Tuesday.

It's going to be a great time!

Have a fabulous day on this Fabulous Planet!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Beekman Boys Geek

I fully admit it....I am a Beekman Boys Geek. I love them. I adore them. I think they are a hoot.

For those who aren't familiar with who (whom?) I am talking about, I will give you a brief low down.

Josh Kilmer-Purcell and Dr. Brent Ridge are a couple from NYC who,on their annual apple picking weekend in upstate NY,found themselves in the tiny town of Sharon Springs ,and fell in love with much,in fact,that they bought an historical home known as The Beekman Mansion. Dr Brent worked for Martha Stewart's show,and Josh worked in advertising.  Their goal was to move to this lovely home and become heirloom farmers,while supporting local businesses and farms.

I was channel surfing one day when I wasn't feeling up to snuff,and let me tell you,Saturday programming is not the best. However, I stumbled across a mini marathon "sneek peek" of this show called "The Fabulous Beekman Boys" and it caught my eye.Normally,I stay away from TLC,because I have never  seen any show that I actually learn from on it. Parading toddlers in pageants dressed up like their 30,or women who have waaay more children than the female form is designed to have is not my forte. ( But I digress....)

I loved the show. It showed them trying to learn about farming,and realizing that they needed to create a business so they could both move up to the farm. Dr Brent had been let go when Martha started downsizing,so he was already at the farm full time. Josh,whose dream it was to be at this farm,had to stay in the city and work during the week to pay for the mortgage,business,etc. They did have help from Farmer John,who reached out to them when he had to find a new home for his 50 + goats.They took in Farmer John and his goats,and then they started a goat milk soap company,Beekman 1802,which eventually expanded to a store space in Sharon Springs,and various other products,including cheese. The show reveals the strain on their relationship that this endeavor caused,as well as Josh's frustration at not being able to live his dream  like all those around him seemed to be doing. "How much money do we have to make for you to be here full time?" Dr Brent asked Josh. "A million dollars," was Josh's reply,his head in his hands.


Not only was the farming,goats,and soap making appealing to me,but,I have to admit..these two crack me up. Their interaction was hilarious. I also liked the fact that they were who they were,good,bad,or indifferent. They were loving.They fought.  It was honest,not like some shows who like to give the impression that "oh I'm just a little old this or that and I do it all myself" even though they have millions of dollars and a team of helpers. These boys were down to earth. 

I almost forgot Polka Spot their llama! She is quite the diva.

I was sad to see that it wasn't a regular show on TLC,but on Planet Green,which at the time,we didn't receive (I also kept calling it Green Planet,it just made more sense to me). We did finally get Planet Green,and I was sad to see that only two seasons had been made. I kept hoping that it would be brought back,but apparently Planet Green did not do so well,because they folded and became Destination America. Happily,I did find their show on my Kindle,so I bought both seasons.

I recently found out that their show has been picked up by The Cooking Channel and is suppose to start in September. In the meantime, I read Josh's memoir about their journey called "The Bucolic Plague" ( it is a great,fun read) and a couple of weeks ago,ordered their cookbook, "The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Cookbook." I anxiously awaited delivery,and last Friday,I received it. It was like Christmas!

It was also excellent timing,because last Sunday was my Garden Club's Annual Harvest Luncheon. We make dishes from our gardens and stuff ourselves with the fabulous food. I needed a good recipe...and I found one for my Heirloom Rutgers Tomatoes-"Tomato Bread Salad with Cannellini Beans and Goat Feta Cheese." I did use some substitutions that they suggested,and the salad had rave reviews.

It's a beautiful cookbook,with places for your own recipes and notes.It's all based on seasonal cooking and veggies,designed to be handed down through the generations. I would post the recipe,but it's not out on the internet,just in their book,and I am not sure what the laws are regarding that. Suffice it to say,the book is marvelous.

You can check out the the self proclaimed "Beekman Boys" on their Here they have blogs,their goods for sale, gardening,and updates.

Have a fabulous day on this Fabulous Planet (no  pun intended)!!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

A New Chapter...And Yes,More Deck Photos (The Last...I Promise!)

Today is a Big Day,a New Chapter,if you will.

Zach starts High School. Sigh. My child is growing up and I am torn! On one hand,I don't want him to grow up. I want him to be the adorable little child he was,cuddly and cute. On the other,I am anxious to see him grow and become the amazing adult I know he will be.I just don't want it to happen too fast.

Last night there was an ice cream social for Freshman and their parents. The principal spoke about a new Wiki School program on line to help keep parents in the loop,and they are continuing another on line program (the name escapes me) in which we can see assignments,grades,teacher comments,etc. Today is Freshman Orientation,and they will be the only ones in school.Tomorrow,all high school students begin their classes. Zach was a bit nervous,which is natural. 

We,of course,had to give him a hard time as he got on the bus. As Audrey ( our great bus driver who loves Zach) pulled up,we started pointing at Zach and yelling,"Freshman! Freshman!" until he got on the bus. Audrey laughed hysterically. In the past when she pulled up on the first day of school,we have poured champagne,or jumped up and down cheering wildly. It's all in good fun,of course,and Zach is not embarrassed by it. If he was,he would not have any qualms about letting us know. Whatever we decide to do,it's never a surprise.He's always well informed! As the bus pulled away,he smiled and waved out the window.

And finally...yes,MORE deck photos. These are the last ones, I promise. Rick and I enjoyed a lovely breakfast of bacon,eggs,and pancakes the other morning on the deck.It was fabulous chatting with the background of birds and squirrels having their own conversations. Very relaxing!

You remember the old deck....

Lovely,wasn't it? Not the kind of place I wanted to relax on.

Here it is now,in all it's hard built glory.........

One of the nice things about the deck is we have a natural tree screen that blocks us from the road. You can see it (sort of) in the last photo. I took it from where I now sit-in the corner. The lattice work blocks me from my neighbors view,and with the trees blocking the road,it makes a nice cozy corner to curl up with a cup of coffee and a book ( or my Kindle,depending on what I want to read). Even just sitting and enjoying the birds on the feeders is fabulous. It also gives Zach a bit of privacy,because one of his bedroom windows is right outside the deck ( see the second photo) so when anyone is sitting outside they can no longer look right into his room.

Have a fabulous day on this fabulous Planet!!!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Deck Work!

Like I mentioned yesterday,we had some computer issues that have now been resolved. To be honest,the only thing I really missed was being able to blog....which probably sounds funny since I am don't tend to post every day...or every week (hanging head in shame). I am making an attempt to be more on the ball with it. I have lots of thoughts running through my brain that I am anxious to share with you,but for the next few days,we will play catch up.

The deck is...DONE. D-O-N-E ! It took almost a month,with the Menfolk and The Boy working in the heat and humidity,busting their butts,and it's finally completed.It was slow going,as our friend Glen is very meticulous.There were also days when they (especially Rick) just needed a break. Looking through these photos,I realized that I don't have a photo of it 100% finished...but I will take a photo today when the weather clears and post before and after shots. However, I do have some photos of work in progress. The guys did a fabulous job-and it only cost materials,some pocket money for our nephew,and two bottles of Skyy Vodka for our friend Glen,who looked at the photo I found on line and did all the planning for it. Talk about getting off easy (OK,getting off cheap!!) It's nice to have good friends...but of course,Brother B will be working up at Glen's camp helping him out,so it's a pretty good trade off.

Have a fabulous day on this fabulous Planet!

Well, looky here....steps that aren't supported by cinder actual  cement landing and railings  to boot!
The pergola
The pergola/lattice area.Great for filtering the hot afternoon sun!
The other end of the little cozy area
I realize as I post this that the lattice wasn't up yet in this photo...but it gives you an idea of what it now looks like

Monday, August 27, 2012


Sorry that I have been absent a bit...AGAIN (yes,I know...) but we had a bit of computer trouble. The main drive and the motherboard on our old computer called it quits. We are up and running again,and I will be posting  on a more regular basis. I have lots to chat about!

Have a fabulous day on this fabulous Planet!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Backsplash...and a Bit of Food

Here are a couple pics of the backsplash. It's all done except for a wee piece behind the faucet. Since the weather is finally nice,the deck work has resumed.

Here's a close up
Here's the overall look
And here's some pickins from yesterday!

Have a great day!

Monday, August 20, 2012

I had lovely Girl Time with My Dear Friend Michelle last Thursday. While the boys played we drank tea,had a few cookies,then she fed us all pizza and bread sticks.I told her she didn't have to lure me with pizza,I would've showed up anyway!  LOL!

As always,we chatted about a variety of subjects.Our conversations are never boring. We actually had one lady comment to us at the lake one day," I wasn't trying to listen,but you two have the most interesting conversations!"

My Dear Friend had organized her walk in closet (I fully admit I am jealous) and showed me her newly  made fabric covered storage boxes and board to hang her jewelry. She had gone through her old purses,and presented me with one she thought I could use for I travel to the VA,etc. with my Kindle. My purse is small,and it usually suits my needs,but when I go to the VA and have to store my sunglasses,reading glasses,Rick's reading glasses,and my Kindle when I know the wait will be awhile,it doesn't quite cut it.

Here is my purse and how I have to carry my Kindle. It makes for a tight fit. Yes,that is our new back splash,it's almost done,and I will post photos tomorrow. That is also a fresh little tomato :)

Ta Da!!!! Can't see that Kindle,can you? It has a perfect front pocket,and lots of other little storage areas so  I can lug what I need!

It's quite funny that My Dear Friend redid her closet,as earlier last week I decided that my job was going to be redoing our bedroom,and that includes MY closet. I have several photo albums,and they take up almost the whole top shelf of my closet. So I decided to buy photo boxes and get rid of the albums to save space. When I saw her closet,I was even more determined to get my stuff organized,and Friday I started taking all the photos out of the albums and put them in photo boxes. I got through four albums before I had to stop. It's rather monotonous work,and pulling the plastic page back and trying to scrape the photos off the sticky page without tearing them cut under my nails a bit. Saturday and yesterday I spent a good deal of time with some old high school buds,so that was as far I got. I will post photos another time.

Today I am going out to weed the garden and pick some veggies. Last night as I was walking our moose of dog Samson,I picked a couple of tomatoes. You saw the wee one in the photo above,but  I had to take a photo of the mutant looking one.
Piggy back tomato :)

One thing about Heirloom tomatoes ( I have Rutgers) is that they are not always pretty and perfect like the store bought ones. They have lovely cracks,crevices,and shapes. That's why they are so beautiful!

Hope you all have a lovely day on this Lovely Planet!

Thursday, August 16, 2012


We didn't have a very large corn harvest,only about 12 ears,but that is 12 more than we got last year!


This year,the ears were all edible,and ...amazingly enough,no corn worms! This is the first year where we didn't have one single one. It was so nice to peel back the husk and not see that gray little things squirming around. The corn was wonderful-so very sweet and fresh-best we have ever had!

I feel so bad for the folks in the Midwest that have failing crops. Here,we are not  dependent on our garden (our yard is not big enough-I wish it was ) for money or sustenance. I can only imagine what it must be like to see your money or food for the year dry up and wither away. I think about those folks often and hope they come through OK.

Today I am off to My Dear Friend Michelle's house for some Girl Time. We were going to go with the kids to the lake but it's raining outside.  Girl Time shall not be put aside!!

Have a great day on this Great Planet!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Deck Photos

Here are some photos on the progression of our deck.As of right now,all that is left is the stairs,the trellis skirting,and the pergola. It's slow progress,but the deck will be solid,probably more solid than the house! LOL!

You remember this sad old deck,don't you? The lattice skirting had already begun to be taken down. Please note the attractive cinder blocks that are working as our bottom step.Sasha doesn't look overly impressed.
Samson decided to take one last stroll on the old deck. Don't you LOVE the green moss/algae  growing on the trellis? Not sure what look we were going for with this.....Lazy Homeowner apparently :)
The deck is pulled away from the house.It wasn't attached,but the front supports were cemented into the ground,so pulling with the truck didn't work so well. Brother B had to take the old chain saw to the legs and then pull it from the house.
The new board  replaced the rotted one,which,we discovered,had been a hang out of some termites.Happily,they either died off or decided to go to some other home.
Dude-where's my deck???
Rick showing Zach where to hammer in the hangers.
Here is what the floor looks like. Each board has been routed smooth. No sharp ends! 
All the ballisters are now up.The tall supports are where the  pergola will be. The stairs are not finished yet,they were  put up temporarily for Rick's  party. Along the edge of the floor that you cannot see all the ends of the floor boards-we ran a long board on each side to hide them.It's a much more pleasing look.

Have a fabulous day on the fabulous planet Earth!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Birthday Bash

It's hubby has now reached his 50th year on this planet! I hope that this decade is kinder to him than the last one was.

Sorry,I have no photos-my battery died when I tried to take the first one :(  

The deck is not completely finished,though we could sit out on it. We put our outdoor table and chairs on it and put our pop up canopy on the deck in case it rained. Thankfully,it didn't rain,but the humidity was still quite high (over 70%). However,sitting still was not that bad.

Rick's Dad, Dick,brothers Spencer and Dale,Dale's son Brody,and my Mom and sister Linda all came up for the big day. I wasn't sure if everyone would want to hang outside in the humidity,but everyone did. ( Like I said,just sitting and chatting wasn't bad at all). Here in our house,on birthdays,the birthday person can pick what they want for their birthday meal. Rick chose lobster and steamers. Us minions had hamburgers and hotdogs. We all enjoyed gluten free macaroni salad (corn pasta-not too bad,and light tasting),potato salad,Utz chips (gluten free),and of course, gluten free birthday cake (packaged Betty Crocker) and gluten free french vanilla ice cream (Breyer's).

Brother B had asked Zach to make a list of things from 1962-top 10 songs,cost of bread,eggs,and a car,etc. Zach read these to Rick before he opened his gifts,and Rick commented,"Wow, I now feel old!"

Brother Dale gave Rick a battery charger station,a good sized one. Linda gave Rick a Home Depot gift card,Mom gave Rick money,Zach gave him a Smith and Wesson jackknife,and Brother B and I gave him a bass boat. It was our neighbor Kelly's boat,and it needs some work,but nothing major. We also bought a trolling motor and marine battery to go with it. Poor Brother B,he had planned on working on the boat the whole week that Rick and Zach were gone to Boy Scout Camp,but Rick told him he wanted to get going on the deck. Tearing apart the deck took a few days,then when Rick got back from camp,building it began and no work could be done on the boat,save a few hours here and there.So when Brother B was done sweating in heat and humidity working on the deck,he'd go to Kelly's for a bit to work on the boat in the heat and humidity. It wasn't fully done,but Rick has the registration and is anxious to help Brother B finish it up. The boat is light enough that he will be able to put it in the back of his truck and go. It's a two seater,but that is OK. Now he can troll around the ponds and lakes while he fishes,or take one of us for a nice little ride.

It was nice seeing my sister and Mom,we had a great chat. They were able to see our new sink and countertop,and Rick had started sizing the backsplash,so a few pieces are up in place just for a fitting. At least they were able to visualize what it will look like when it's done. It's taken a back seat to the deck,but that's OK. Our friend,Glen has been helping the boys and he is not getting paid-he only wants a bottle of  Skyy vodka. I feel bad because he has been working in this heat and humidity,but it's really a trade off,because Brother B has helped him numerous times up at his camp,building a dock,helping with the camp,etc,and will be doing more in the future. One hand washes the other :)

All told,it was a very nice day and Rick enjoyed himself immensely.He was quite surprised that he got a boat!

Last night I took a big old digger. I was going to watch a video (The Life of the Man Behind The King's Speech) on my Kindle,and the AC in the bedroom was up too high for me to hear,so I got out of bed to turn it down. I had shut off the TV and there were no lights on in the room. I had forgotten that our big old lug of a dog,Samson,was sleeping on the floor at the foot of the bed. I tripped over him and landed on my knees on the floor( bare floor) and laid there on my right side for a minute saying "OW....OW..." I got a bit of an upset stomach and moved rather slowly to a sitting position,and then went out to the living room to tell Rick what happened. "Why didn't you yell to me?" he asked. " Because I wasn't seriously hurt,it just hurt real bad for about a minute. If I couldn't get up,then I would've yelled,"I assured him. Today my left side is very sore and my knees hurt,my left more so than my right,since most of my weight landed on my left side. So I am popping Ibuprofen today. Sigh. Samson,by the way,is A-OK :)

No deck enjoyment today.It's foggy and (surprise!) humid again. The weatherman did say that drier air is coming in  later today and will be around for a few days,thank God! I can't take the humidity-working outside in it makes it hard for me to breathe-so I have been working outside as little as possible.

How are things in your neck of Planet?

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Happy Birthday!

Happy 50th Birthday to my best friend and hubby! I love you and am grateful every day that you are in my life!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Let's Play Catch Up

It has been very hot and humid again here in NH. So humid that it can get a bit hard to breathe outside so I have been working on my afghan after the outdoor chores were done in the semi cool mornings. Yesterday I finally finished it!!!

Last week,Rick and Zach were gone to Boy scout camp in Maine. Zach applied to be a Counselor In Training for next year. We are not sure when they will pick through the applicants. They had a great week,and lots of fun. I did miss them,and am glad they are back.

My cukes have started growing,and I have one little green pumpkin on the vine. The peas are doing great,as are the green beans. I had no luck with carrots or spinach. My summer squash and zucchini did nothing. I normally have tons of them,but this year,not one took.My lettuce has done well,and my tomatoes are nice and green. My corn ears look a bit small,but we have never had much luck with corn. We keep trying,however.We have begun getting strawberries for the second harvest.

The Little Girls and The Big Girls are all together,and though there was some indignation from the Older ones,the flock has melded together pretty well.

This past week,the menfolk have been working on building our new deck. Our friend Glen,who owns his own business remodeling,deck building,etc.,has been coming over to help out (and letting us use his air tools!) I found a picture  (this one to the left) of what I wanted and the deck will be pretty similar to it. I can't wait until I can sit on my new deck! It's been two years since I sat on the deck. It was bowed and just nasty-the old owners pretty much just slapped it together and it sank several inches. The new deck is seven inches higher,so one no longer has to to step down with a big old clunk!

Have a fabulous day wherever you are!!!!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Homemade Ginger Ale

Ginger ale is a great drink. It's good ice cold on a hot day,and when you are not feeling up to par,ginger ale is great at helping settle an unsettled stomach. Making it is very easy,and you can change the portions to suit your taste. This recipe makes for a smooth ginger ale,and it is quite yummy! (Smelling the fresh ginger as you chop it is fabulous as well!)

Recipe is from Simply Recipes ( don't have the patience to try and come up with my own recipes!

To make "ginger water"
1 cup peeled,finely chopped ginger
2 cups water

Simple Syrup:
1 cup sugar
1 cup water

club soda
lime juice ( I used sweetened)
lime wedges (optional)

1)Bring 2 cups of water to boil in saucepan and add ginger.Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit for 20 minutes.Strain liquid through a fine mesh strainer and discard ginger pieces.

2)To make the simple syrup,boil 1 cup of water,then add 1 cup of sugar and stir to dissolve. Set aside.

3)Make individual servings of ginger ale by mixing 1/2 cup of ginger water,1/3 cup of simple syrup,and 1/2 cup of club soda. Add a few drops of lime juice.Put a lime slice in drink (optional).

Makes four servings

I mixed everything up in a pitcher. You can double or triple the recipe,depending on how much you want,of course. Add more soda water,lime,or completely disregard the lime,it's up to you!