Friday, October 27, 2006


I've mentioned a couple of times that my husband travels for work. He started a project in April that had him traveling 5 days a week. He would leave each week on Sunday afternoon and come home late Thursday night, after the boys went to sleep. He is not a consultant and we were definitely not used to that kind of travel. It was a difficult adjustment for all of us. My older son's sleeping problems started during this time, and I don't think it was a coincidence. I think part of the reason I started this blog is that I wanted to keep a little photo log going from home so my husband could see how we were getting along without him. We were fine, but we missed him terribly!

Now he's home. Home for good! The project is over. Last night was the last Thursday night arrival after a long day of rental cars, airport food, and flight delays. From now on he stays here, and that's just how it should be. We are so thrilled to have him back. Everything is just better when we are all here together.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

table for 2

My big table was taken away yesterday for the painting project, so I put this little table in its place for my kids. This was breakfast. They look so much more comfortable sitting at a table that is just their size! I like how they are sitting right across from each other, too. It looks like they're on a date.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

the lamp story

So, I'm a hopeless fanatic when it comes to MacKenzie-Childs. My husband is partially to blame for this; it was through him that I was first introduced to these lovely products, as his mother and sister are both die-hard collectors as well.

I was bit by the collecting bug and bit hard. At one point in my life I had a 9-5 job during the week and worked at a boutique on the weekends that sold MKC, just so I could get an employee discount and buy all the pieces that I needed in order to build up a full set of dishes. It took me about a year to do this.

The culmination of my obsession for all things MacKenzie is this floorlamp. It is outrageous and way too big for my space and I am crazy about it. A home decor store in upstate NY used to have a 30% off + free shipping sale once a year that included MKC. Knowing this, I saved up for a long time in anticipation of buying this lamp.

When sale time finally came around, I called right up on the first day. The sales associate was so nice, but so apologetic - it wasn't in stock. They could get it for me directly from the company, but I'd have to wait awhile. No problem, I said, could I still get the sale price? I could. What about shipping? We'd have to charge you, she said, since it would be coming directly from the company. She felt bad. I told her I understood (frankly, I was just happy to get the discount.) When I asked how much shipping would be she had to get off the line to check with her manager. I braced myself while I waited. I wasn't sure what to expect but I imagined the worst. I knew the lamp was heavy. I wondered if it was possible that the shipping charge would cancel out the discounted price altogether.

When the sales associate got back on the line she had good news: $6. That was the standard for freight. $6! Needless to say, I didn't hesitate in completing my purchase.

That store still has their 30% off sale each year, but it doesn't include MKC, and when they do have free shipping promotions, they never include MKC products. I've wondered before if my floorlamp sale somehow contributed to a policy change on their end. Maybe not, but you never know...

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


Kim from One Woman's Cottage Life had a great post the other day about all the small and simple things she loves about her house that make it home to her. I must say, Kim, that the picture of your fireplace had me thinking about mine.

This is mine. It used to be functional, but the woman who we bought our house from had it sealed at some point. We had a chimney guy come out last year to take a look at it and figure out what needs to be done to make it work again. Basically, it's possible but it will require $$$ (of course!) We would need to have a new gas line put in to replace the old one, have new chimney caps put on that are for gas-burning fireplaces (this is too bad, considering I actually had the chimney caps replaced about 6 months prior with apparently the wrong kind of caps.) Then we'd need to have the tiles around the fireplace replaced. When it's warm out we don't think about this project at all. But then it starts getting cool and the mind wanders. I think how nice it would be to have a little fire burning much it would help to keep us warm in the we'd love it.

Monday, October 23, 2006

the fab four

This weekend I spent some time cleaning out our storage room in the basement. For such a small house, I think our storage space is pretty good. Still, it's challenging to not let the area fill up with unnecessary junk.

A small section of the room down there is devoted to toys that are on hiatus. Long ago I heard from a parenting expert that toys should be rotated, so that what children play with is always changing. I'm not very good about doing this regularly, but I have noticed that when I put things away for a little while, they get an enthusiastic response when suddenly they are put back into the mix.

One toy that still hasn't made the rotation, and probably never will, is our Teletubbies set. Say what you like about the Teletubbies, they have a cult-like following in this house. Last Christmas on a whim I bought the plastic playset on eBay when I couldn't find it through any retailer. I feared I'd spent too much until I realized a few months later that they were still the hands-down favorite present from Santa. And I'm beginning to think that nothing he brings this year will knock them from their #1 spot.

Friday, October 20, 2006

knobs & pulls

Getting ready to have my furniture painted (Merry Christmas!) and I am looking around for new hardware. This site has been recommended to me for its variety of hardware and also its prices:

Just wanted to pass it case you're looking around for the same.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

new couches

My couches aren't new, but I washed the slipcovers again this week, so they are looking new to me. We have two couches like this, purchased last year, both from Arhaus. This is the apartment-sized, and the other one is a loveseat.

Washable slipcovers are great. I add my name to the long list of people I used to read about who swore by theirs. I was always reading about these people in Cottage Living. Cats and dogs, sand and dirt - it seemed there was nothing in these homeowners' houses that could destroy the couches, and all because the slipcovers could be thrown into the washing machine. We don't have pets, and we don't live near the shore. I do have my fair share of dirt, and I suspect with two boys the dirt level will only increase around here over the years. So I'm optimistic that our couches will continue to look good and wear well. That's what those people in the articles always said.

Monday, October 16, 2006

movie night

Today is not a good day for pictures outside, otherwise I would be out there with my camera to take one of the house. Yes, that means that the painter is gone. Hooray! The house looks terrific. Dramatically better. You'll see.

Tonight my husband is otherwise engaged and I'm treating myself to a movie. My selection is Ice Castles. Not sure how I decided on this one. I was looking at the movies in the library this morning and there it was. I think the last time I saw this I was 11. My parents had gone out of town for a few days and I watched it with the babysitter, a sweet older woman named Olga, who used to babysit during all of the out of town trips. We sat in these 2 big wing-back chairs that my parents had at the time in their family room. It was the middle of winter, so it was freezing cold and there was snow on the ground. Perfect conditions for watching a movie about snow and ice and skating. Anyway, Olga and I loved the movie. We liked it so much that we watched it again the next night. And I remember all of this so clearly because at the time I just couldn't believe that she would indulge me by letting me watch it again the very next night. And she watched it again, too! Did I mention this happened in the middle of a school week? It was fabulous.

Friday, October 13, 2006

things I love

Lots of blogs I read have a section '100 things about me'. Big long lists. I like reading them. But I can't do that here. Who wants to read '100 things about my house'?

I could do 'things I love'. I've seen that out there on other blogs as well. Mine is more like, 'things I love about my house'. The title is a little corny, but it's true. There are a lot of little things about my house that I love. I love a lot of big things, too.

Here's one thing I love. My rounded doorway into the kitchen. We just have this one rounded doorway, so it's special. I like the old fashionedness of it. It's cute, it's homey, it's us.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

a picture's worth a thousand words

This was 8:00 a.m. today, when it was 34 degrees out. It's melted now and the sun is out, but it's still quite chilly out there (the painter's wearing gloves and a hat.)

We're not ready for this. I'M not ready for this! Wasn't I just writing about people in swimming pools a couple of weeks ago...? I'm not ready to say goodbye to light jackets and shoes without socks. We have a Halloween party to go to in a couple of weeks and I'm hoping it will be mild enough (like last year) that we can sit outside around the firepit at the hosts' house. Sitting around it with big parkas on? Over our costumes? Not the same!

P.S. After I typed it I wondered about the origin of the phrase I used in my title. If you're curious, here's Wikipedia's take on it:

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

catching z's

This is my older son's room. This is where he's supposed to sleep. I may be biased, but I think his room looks comfortable. I'm not 4, but I think if I was I would like to come in here at night and stay asleep for at least 10 hours.

We've been having sleep issues with our little guy over the past several weeks, and in fact this afternoon I'm taking him to the pediatrician about it. He's been waking up in the middle of the night and is unable to get back to sleep. Hard to believe this is the same little boy, who as an infant would sleep so deeply that we would have to prod and poke him a bit to rouse him! Needless to say, I hope that this is just one of those phases, and that we're all able to sleep better....soon.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

a cozy corner

It's fascinating how our painter keeps working and working, but there's not much new to see. It must be the tiniest details that are taking up his time, I'm not sure. He's up on the roof right now. I have no idea what's going on up there. Thank goodness we are not paying him by the hour. Who'd have thought that a job estimated to take 1 week could stretch out so?

Apart from roofing work, it's a quiet day here. A little cool, a little cloudy. Perfect for curling up with a good book or a new catalog. This is where I curl when I can. My doggie tray table holds a surprising amount of stuff. No fears about balancing a drink here, or a dinner plate for that matter. Today it is handling all my reading material. Right now I'm trying to get through The Time Traveler's Wife. A friend and I were just talking about our struggles with this book. I expected to be swept up by it in the first few pages, but it's taking awhile. I'm trying to get through it for book club. Did you like it? You probably loved it. Everyone seems to, so why not me?

Monday, October 09, 2006

stop and smell the flowers

Nothing could top the weather this weekend! It was the most beautiful autumn weekend I can remember here. Just gorgeous, and just right for my out-of-town guests who were here to help celebrate the big 2nd birthday.

We visited the pumpkin patch on Saturday and came upon this gigantic arrangement of mums. It was fun poking through the pumpkins and finding ones that looked right for each of us. We even saw a number of green pumpkins, which I admit I have never really paid attention to until I read about Homedaisy's son wanting one (Homedaisy - how far would you be willing to travel next year for a green pumpkin??) :)

And so that was the weekend. The new week brings with it more painting (yep, still going) - and I'm hoping our painter finishes soon. There's a chance of snow on Thursday. Yikes!

P.S. Here's the red door. We love it!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

sneak peek

very excited to see the finished look after this coat dries and second one is applied...will post picture!

mac & cheese

So, here's what happens when I boil water on the stove in the little cottage. Steamy windows! This was a serious case last night, as I had the Kraft original recipe going in one pot and some veggies steaming in another. Even my windows in the front room got a little cloudy. Nope, we don't have a fan in the kitchen, which is probably a violation of some code. I take it back, we do, but it's old and doesn't work and my husband had to stuff the vent pipe on the outside of the kitchen last winter so cold air wouldn't get in. But, we don't mind. I can always open the back door to let a little breeze in, or crack a window. Or, just enjoy it! Seriously, who needs a facial when you can get this kind of steam at home?

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

bottoms up

Do your kids do this? Whenever I change the sheets on my bed, my down comforter becomes a landing pad for little bodies. Even though I was trying to be quick about it yesterday, I just had to stop and play with them here. At this particular moment they were pretending to sleep and even doing a little snoring for me.

Talk about entertainment!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

in the works

Still working on the paint out there. The painter has so much more to do...paint the storm windows and put them back on, finish painting the upstairs windows and clean them, paint the door hand railings (2), put 2-3 coats of red on the front door, paint the chimney, paint the garage door. He's also installing our new outdoor lights. He wanted to be finished last Friday, but it looks like this Friday may be more like it. Especially with all the rain that's come through and will be coming through. It's really interrupting him.

I have an appointment today with a rep from an awning company. She is coming to the house and bringing samples. I'm very excited to get that part of the project going!

P.S. Yes, those horizontal, trampled-upon plants were once my thriving tomato plants. They'll be making a permanent exit this weekend into yard waste bags.

Monday, October 02, 2006


Everyone's talking about it this morning. On the radio, on tv, in the newspapers. Big story around here today.

All the football talk has me thinking of my cousin's young daughter, who is a YFL cheerleader this fall. Here's one of her cheers - with a warning that it might get stuck in your head (it's stuck in mine):

Cookies and Cream!
Cookies and Cream!
What's the matter
with the other team?

Nothing at all!
Nothing at all!
...they just
can't play ball!!