Weekending

Our view of Dead & Co, pre-show. Our VIP seats meant we had to walk backstage which would have been much more fun if I weren’t on crutches. Sadly, I didn’t have any celeb sightings.

Would you believe I didn’t take many pictures on Thanksgiving? I’m not sure if I was relaxing a bit too much or missing my oldest a bit too much. Either way, I don’t think we took more than one or two photos the entire day. It was a good day. Quiet and we were a bit sad to not have Addison with us, but it really was a nice day. I didn’t do any cooking this year – a first! I have to say I did miss it. I’m curious to see how our Thanksgiving menu changes once our world traveler comes home.

Good-bye horrible walking boot.

The day before Thanksgiving was my appointment with my surgeon at nine weeks post-op. I think I could also call it freedom day. I was given the green light to ditch the book and drive. I mean, I’m not to overdue it but…what a huge relief! I drove around our neighborhood Thanksgiving evening and again this morning to Mass. And no one is sorry to not be driving me to and from school tomorrow.

I am going to physical therapy twice week and working so hard to regain strength in my leg and foot. The exercises are getting much easier and I was able to return to my second floor classroom the Monday before Thanksgiving. I’m also using some scar salve on my incision sites twice a day – they are looking so much better and not nearly as angry as they did. One section has faded so much I’m hopeful that they won’t be as noticeable by summer.

All dressed up for Thanksgiving

Can you believe Advent begins on Sunday? I’m thrilled to get updates from my son on German Advent. I remember first finding Eva’s blog, Avelinux, around Christmas time several years ago and being captivated by her photos. I know Addison is taking lots of photos so I suppose if I don’t see them in 2017, I will in 2018.

Coming up this week ~

  • House inspections (we’re moving!)
  • Advent wreaths come out at home and at school
  • Christmas shopping wrap-up
  • Walker Stalker Con
  • Christmas knitting

Two and Done

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My husband’s birthday is January 1st (sadly not the first baby of the new year in his place of birth) and we’ve ushered in the New Year for many past years at Madison Square Garden watching Phish. The other night, in fact, folks were figuring how long it’s been since their first show and I got the longest (November 1991 in DC).

Usually we stay in the city but Greyson just got back from Nigeria a few weeks ago and we just didn’t have our ducks in a row. So we opted for two long commutes from Connecticut. Actually, I do love the ease of taking the train but at 1:30am I’d much prefer sleep.

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We attended the Phan Art show at Hotel Penn, too, and got some more artwork. They shipped from the show so our goodies won’t get here until next week but I told Greyson it would be like Christmas again.

So as Greyson heads back in for Night 3, I’ll be happy curled up on the couch with my knitting, my book, assorted pets and children.

Thankful for…

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Popping in after a day of cooking and feasting for a bit of reflection. My husband is getting ready for a humanitarian trip to Nigeria which has me thinking of how much we have to be thankful for.

  1. Love
  2. Motherhood
  3. Kids who make life crazy and fun
  4. Education
  5. Family, near and far
  6. Home
  7. A career I love
  8. Knitting
  9. Good books
  10. The sound of the waves on the beach
  11. The beach
  12. Food on the table
  13. Money in the bank
  14. Healthcare
  15. Creative friends
  16. A supportive community
  17. Amazing teachers
  18. Crisp autumn weather
  19. Snowflakes on the window
  20. Coffee dates with my daughter
  21. Early morning talks with my son
  22. A husband who humors my crazy ideas
  23. Nantucket!
  24. Manhattan
  25. Pets

I am sure this could be an endless list but I’ve got some post-feast tidying to get to! Hope you had a fabulous holiday!

Top 10 Holiday Movies

There are some people in my house who have felt the need to limit some of my movie watching because, for some odd reason, they feel watching A Christmas Story in May is just not ok. So to keep the peace, I try to keep some movies to certain times of the year which makes me look forward to them that much more.  Today I’m doing a top 10 round up of my favorite Holiday movies since they are free game come Thursday!

a-christmas-story-1983 A Christmas Story – I adore this movie. I love the 40s feel and the innocence of the movie. And the dad reminds me of mine sans the Leg Lamp which would have made my father gag. I also love the department store scenes. I remember going to Woodward & Lothrop and Garfinkel’s as a child to marvel at the Christmas displas.

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Miracle on 34th Street – the original, no remakes please. This is such a hard movie to catch on TV. I swear they play it on Thanksgiving when 99% of us are watching the actual Macy’s Day Parade. But this is just as much of a holiday season kick off as the parade itself and imagine being able to watch the parade from your apartment. Hello?

51yqackba2lDeck the Halls – this is a recent addition for me but I adore how OCD Matthew Broderick’s character is when it comes to Christmas.  I may, perhaps just a little, but of similar persuasion.

loveactuallypubfLove, Actually – sadly this is one I can’t watch with the kids because my daughter might faint seeing John Watson (aka Martin Freeman) as a porn star and Alan Rickman as a would-be cheating husband but I try to catch it at least once during the season.

scrooge_stewartdvdA Christmas Carol – Patrick Stewart only, please. This one is my absolute favorite. I also like the Alastair Simms version, but Patrick Stewart is Scrooge doesn’t get much better. I couldn’t find it listed anyone two years ago and bought it from Amazon Prime so I can watch it whenever I want.

the-polar-expressPolar Express – This is definitely more of a classroom watch but I enjoy it. The book is one of my all time favorite read alouds and I love how the film expanded the visit to the North Pole. I’m planning a whole Polar Express Day for my class the day before we get out for Christmas Vacation.

movie_46864Holiday Inn – It doesn’t get much better than Holiday Inn for giving a person the Christmas Spirit. Give me some hot chocolate and some Bing Crosby, maybe throw in some knitting, and I’m all set.

national-lampoons-christmas-vacation-52b7196f0cc1bNational Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation is a movie everyone in the house loves. We went out and chopped down our tree during our first year in Connecticut that was so huge it has become family lore as the “Griswold Tree.”  This is the one movie we will all agree to watch without too much complaining. (I do have teenagers, after all.)

christmas-in-connecticut-movie-poster-1945-1020427380Christmas in Connecticut is such a fun movie. Can you tell my parents were older when I was born? I love these old movies.

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It’s a Wonderful Life, believe it or not, is a recent addition. My mother never liked this movie so I never saw it growing up. Grey just couldn’t believe I’d never seen it so he sat down with me last year to watch it. I’m not quite sure why my mother doesn’t care for it, but we definitely enjoy watching it as a family.

So those are my Top 10 Holiday movies. Are there any you’d recommend?

 

Thanksgiving Preview

Somehow Thanksgiving, despite being my favorite holiday, snuck up on me this year. It might have something to do with my husband’s upcoming trip oversees or my son’s application process to study abroad. It might have to do with a new job and the children being at TWO new schools. But I suspect poor planning on my part to be the main culprit.

Happily, however, a turkey was purchased just after applying for my son’s passport (were you aware both parents have to be present for this?).  Once that turkey is in the house, I feel like I can relax…somewhat.  We’re fairly traditional and our menu doesn’t really change much from year to year. The only real difference is that I am no longer mother to picky eaters so I can dispense with things like multiple stuffings.

~On the Menu~

Roast Turkey and Gravy
Mid-Atlantic Stuffing
Mashed Potatoes
Green Bean Casserole
Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Cranberry & Apple Pie

I’m considering, if time allows, some fall/Thanksgiving themed cookies like Sarah Vickers posted on Instagram. My baking skills are passable and my frosting skills even less so, but perhaps I can convince my daughter to help…

 

Menu Monday, er, Tuesday

I hope everyone had a great Fourth. We had family visiting so we packed in a lot in just three short days. Although, really, most of it was at the beach.  For two nights, our beaches here in town, down the CT shoreline and across to Long Island were lit up with fireworks and bonfires – both of which are illegal although the police really just work to keep order.  A facebook post this morning alluded to citizens “showing their independence.” 🙂

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Apparently there's something called Fish Racing which, if you didn't know that was a thing, don't feel bad.  I had no idea.
Apparently there’s something called Fish Racing which, if you didn’t know that was a thing, don’t feel bad. I had no idea, either.
Snapchat continues to provide ridiculous amount of entertainment.  But I also realized it works like a little scrapbook when you add a filter.
Snapchat continues to provide ridiculous amount of entertainment. But I also realized it works like a little scrapbook when you add a filter.
Chilly New England evenings make long sleeves almost a necessity so I thought my DAR shirt would be just right.  The back reads "Celebrate America with the DAR"
Chilly New England evenings make long sleeves almost a necessity so I thought my DAR shirt would be just right. The back reads “Celebrate America with the DAR”

On Sunday, we all piled into the car and drove into the city.  It was our first time driving (we usually just take the train) but I think we’ll be driving in all of the time now.  A quick trip in the car and $27 to park on the Upper East Side all day!

Our main objective was to take our niece to American Girl for her first doll since her 5th birthday is coming up.  It’s so much more fun to go to the shop and just order one online. But before we got there, we headed down to Battery Park for the views of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. While we didn’t ferry out to the islands, we did head over to the Seaglass Carousel.  I highly recommend doing this.  For $5 you get to ride in iridescent sea creatures and feel like you’re swimming underwater.  Even my fourteen year old was impressed.  And, trust me, there isn’t a lot to do in Manhattan for $5 per person.

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After Battery Park, we headed up to Central Park to go to the zoo.  Central Park Zoo is the perfect size for little kids.  And for big kids who have walked all over creation. And, if you followed the news from NYC on Sunday, we were in Central Park, very close to where the explosion occurred.  My SIL was a little nervous about being in NYC after that, but watching how quickly the NYPD and the NYFD descend upon things like that makes you feel very safe.  My only concern was keeping the big kids with us just in case we ended up having to leave the park. No worries, though, that city is amazing in an incident and we never felt anything less than 100% safe.

Clearly my eleven year old showed no concern while chatting with her friends.
Clearly my eleven year old showed no concern while chatting with her friends.
In the Tropics House - so many beautiful birds.
In the Tropics House – so many beautiful birds…
And very friendly.
And very friendly.

Now that everyone is out for the day, either traveling back to Virginia, on their way to work, or heading down for the first day of work as a Junior Counselor (!!), it’s back to laundry.  I think we used every single towel we own and there is a layer of sand on the floor.  Which, I personally think is a good reason why we need to include an outdoor shower in the backyard renovation.  Just sayin’.

Tuesday – Cajun Chicken Alfredo (from the Buzzfeed app or search for it on Facebook)

Wednesday – Greek Salad Tacos with Cucumber Dill Dressing

Thursday – Grilled Steaks with Tomato Mozzarella Salad with Balsamic Reduction

Friday – Phish

Saturday – Phish

Sunday – Maia’s Birthday Dinner

Long Weekend and Meal Planning

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Newport was filled with lilies everywhere we went so I had a very hard time resisting them at the store. And I had a vision of orange tulips on a blue and white tablecloth.
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Easter baskets were really candy-free for the most part –  lots of trinkets and books.  Addison’s joked about bacon bowls for a few years ago so when I spotted them at Five Below, I couldn’t resist.  It was a good thing they were inexpensive because they were a complete failure.

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Greyson’s socks are slowly coming together. I’ve been caught up in reading Anna Karenina so I haven’t given them much attention. Addison has a service learning project before graduation and he’s knitting a baby blanket which means we’re logging some knitting time together at the moment.
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We decided to see “Raiders of the Lost Ark” at the movie theater Easter Sunday so I found a microwaveable cake. It didn’t look great but it was delicious.

We are getting a full set of new appliances (!) so I’m trying to use up what we have in the refrigerator. I’m ignoring the need to do a proper grocery trip.

Tuesday – BSA movie night

Wednessay- spaghetti and meatballs

Thursday – spinach and goat cheese fritatta

Friday – dinner out

Saturday – homemade pizza

Hello, 2016

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The turn of the year is always an exciting day in our house since it’s Grey’s birthday.  And he usually chooses to spend it in New York if Phish is playing.  Which, of course, they are.

We left bright and early on the 31st to avoid a lot of the New Year’s rush to Times Square.  The train was still packed!  We were quite a group piled in our six seater section but it was a nice, quiet trip.  Plus, I got some knitting done for Maia.

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The socks are the Rose City Roller Socks by Mara Catherine Bryner.  They’re pretty much like my beloved Susan B Anderson socks but with a 1 1/2″ stockinette “cuff” to create a roll.  Maia got some Uggs from Grandma and Grandpa for Christmas and needs something to wear in them.  Going sockless in Uggs in our family is not an option.

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We did our first Air B&B in Gramercy Park.  Awesome, awesome experience.  And my new favorite place in Manhattan.  It was just a little studio but it was perfect for the two of us.  The person who owns this also has a two bedroom nearby which we’re thinking of renting for a long weekend with the kids.  It’s so much easier to go into New York for two or three days and to have a landing spot.  The days of just going in for the day are long behind me unless I’m going somewhere specific.

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When we made it to Madison Square Garden, it was packed and balloons were all set up for midnight.  We had amazing seats all three nights!

 

Yarn Along :: December 9, 2015


So little knitting time!  I am glad to teach in a Catholic school, though, because Christmas is woven throughout so much of our lessons. I’m at least getting my holiday fix.

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My last Christmas sock has been hibernating since last year. I grabbed a skein of electric purple Koigu from Purl, not realizing in the midst of crowds that it would not make up a pair of socks. And did I ever try to order another!  I finally faced the train and headed back to NYC a few weeks ago and grabbed another skein. Hence knitting one little sock. I may pull it off before Christmas.   It’s another of Susan B. Anderson’s How I Make My Socks.

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I just finished Christmas at Cold Comfort Farm and found myself on a bit of a Stella Gibbons kick. Nightingale Wood has a nice group of characters and I’m enjoying it very much.