Monday, February 23, 2009

PUPPIES!!


The jury is still out on the new family members, but for now Cosmo is not amused.



Good hygiene follows barking at squirrels.


What a face...

Sunday, February 22, 2009

New members of the family

Well, we did it again.

We loaded up all our crazy this morning, gave Dutch his anti-gas cookie, and headed south. Our mothering, fretting, worrying dog Sophie in tow.

You see - we're suckers. We know that our dogs are getting on and that Sophie is easily bored with no one to mother over. And Dutch - well, we know Dutch is nearing the end of his time with us, so we want to be prepared for the transition.

3 hours later - we're headed home - two dogs the better for it. We returned to the animal rescue organization where we adopted Dutch - Pets Alive, in Middletown, NY.

Without further ado, we'd like to introduce you to the young ladies who were "Sophie approved" to join our family for the next couple of decades:

We'll start with the entertainer - our own Baby June. "Duckie" (don't worry, we're changing it) came in with four of her littermates and is a 7-month old Terrier mix - we think there's some beagle in there. She is the class clown and the tomboy. She loves to get under the bigger dogs and give them kisses until they growl at her.


Duckie is in constant motion when awake - and the cutest little angel when she's asleep. But you know you're in for round two when she wakes up.


Then there's our little "lady," - Nikki. (Working new name: Blarney - thoughts?)

Anyway, she's the shy and prim little lady our mothers wanted us all to be. She's tiny and sleek and refined. She arrived at Pets Alive from Tennessee with a litter of four. She, too, is about 7 months old.



Here's proud papa, Brian, playing with his new little girls (and being slightly overwhelmed by them, in actual fact)

And here, the girls are paying their respects to Dutch, our elder statesman. He seems vaguely aware of them and actually seems to like the constant kissing he gets from Duckie.



We haven't had any cat chasing as yet - please keep us in your thoughts and prayers as we adjust to this newfound level of youth and energy in our pretty stodgy household.

Come see the puppies! They want to meet you!!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Top Chef in 10 seconds


Fabio goes home. I blame the douche hair cut and that bizarre pink scarf.


Pretty doesn't cut it for Jeff.


Hosea goes through in spite of his squinky eye.


Douche makes it to the final. Ugh.


KARLA WINS AND GOES TO THE FINAL ELIMINATION!!!

There - now you're up to speed.


Friday, February 13, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

Courtesy of my sister-in-law - who happens to run a lovely "green" B&B


But don't let that sway you - one way or the other - her B&B totally rocks. You will LOVE it.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Happy happy joy joy


My favorite Top Chef from this season is in the final four! She may look a little crazy, but she is bringing the love! (and the pizzazz!)

Go, Carla!!!





Gail?!

Gail!



You just gotta L-O-V-E Carla!



Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Goings on - off Broadway


On Saturday, B and I ventured into Manhattan for a dinner and show with Aerial PJ and his boyfriend, E.

We were blessed both with a wonderful, sunny day pushing 50 degrees (a welcome relief after an extremely long and icy cold snap) and by the the gods of Amtrak for giving us two trains on the same day that actually arrived and left on time - nor did they suffer a catastrophic breakdown or strand us in the middle of nowhere.

Ask anyone who regularly rides the Empire line to and from New York City and you will find this was a miraculous day indeed.

Anyway - we detrained at Penn Station - rested and ready (and since it wasn't Metro North, we all had napped during the 1.5 hour ride - calm in the knowledge that no one would attempt to steal our shoes while we slept.)

Fearlessly, we waded happily into Times Square even though B had been called a scumbag by a shouting black Zionist for laughing at him after he called us "crackers." B's pretty fearless that way.

We had reservations at B. Smith's restaurant, on Restaurant Row. We'd never heard of it but E had eaten there previously with some of his team from work.

Apparently, B. Smith is some kind of alternate universe Martha Stewart - she cooks, she models and she has bedding and houseware lines that carry her name. The restaurant alone tells you of her accomplishments - with photos and magazine articles and her advertisements plastered on every conceivable vertical surface in the joint.

I was bemused to see a 1980s era advertisement in the restroom with B modeling tan Florsheim strappy sandals. It set off the crepe paper striping on the walls ever so deliciously (despite the fact that you can see the raggedy-ass ends of the crepe paper where it meets the ceiling and wainscoting - it's so nice of her to hire the mentally challenged to help decorate).

Anyway - like many restaurants on Restaurant Row, B's place offers a Prixe Fixe menu for the theater-going crowd. A reasonably priced meal designed to get you fed and get you off to your show before curtain call.

AerialPJ had a delicious braise of black eyed peas and beans with pork tips, while B and I enjoyed some snappy steamed vegetable dumplings with Hoisin sauce. E tested the baby farmer greens salad.

For dinner, AerialPJ and I ordered the meatloaf which was nice but not remarkable, while E tucked into some kind of stuffed chicken thing. B opted for the salmon, which, unfortunately, was less than edible. It was a lesser cut of the salmon and had been cooked with lime rounds and wrapped in a plantain leaf.

Dessert lifted our spirits with a Bourbon Street bread pudding for B and AerialPJ, which was delicious. E and I had a chocolate mousse flavored with Colombian coffee that, frankly, tasted like the pre-packaged mousse mix I can make at home.

Anyway - a bit disappointed but fed (and with a couple martinis under my belt), we headed off to the Westside Theater to see The Marvelous Wonderettes.

The show - AerialPJ and E gave us the tickets as a Christmas gift - was definitely a feel-good kind of show that was charming and quirky and funny. It centered around a group of high school girls who had formed a singing group and were enlisted to entertain at their 1958 prom. It all takes place in their school gymnasium, festooned with crepe paper and "Chipmunk" pride - their school mascot.

The music featured all standards from the period - with the girls portraying very believable and nervous young ladies with so-so voices and some really cheesy choreography at the start. However, as the show unfolds, and you find out more about each of the four, they began to display some very impressive Broadway-esque pipes.



After intermission, you are back in that same high school gymnasium ten years later for their 10 year reunion. The music switches gear to the more hard-hitting music of the 60s and its revealed that these ladies have all lived in the interim - with one pregnant, another estranged from her husband, and another still trying to get her high school crush - Mr. Lee - to marry her.

It was great fun - people sang and clapped along. The audience was extremely diverse with both older people who grew up with this music and children in attendance.

An uneventful stroll back to Penn Station and a - thankfully - on-time 11:45 pm train whisked us home so that we could walk thru the door, dropping clothes, shoes and programs along the way - all the time kvetching about how much it hurts to be up at 2 am at our age.

But humming the songs all the same.... : )


And I can't wait to wear my new "Prom Queen" t-shirt from the show!

Ciao!

Monday, February 09, 2009

Progress is being made

After many coats of paint, some emergency paint matching at the local home improvement superstore, copious amounts of champagne, and lashings of bourbon and ginger - progress on the kitchen re-painting is indeed being made. (click photos to enlarge)

A little carpentry remains to replace the molding over the doors that had been so poorly and sadly and unevenly chopped off to accommodate the hideous cabinets we ripped down.



We're very pleased with the two tone plus trim combination. My little pantry area has been re-arranged and feels so much fresher and more functional.

Some days I just stand in it and giggle...and spin.

We added neutral roman shades from Pottery Barn to brighten up the and unify the kitchen and pantry. Using more than one color also makes a feature of the original built-in ironing board cupboard - which just blended in previously. Having the extra trim "pop" adds a lot of period charm to the whole room.


Our dear, dear friend, the Angry Baker ("shut up and buy something!"), helped us solve a dilemma by suggesting that we create display/storage space by removing the useless knotty pine section connecting the cabinets to the (crooked) ceiling - and re-purposing the old trim.

As you can see, despite the fact that we still have grotty 1950's knotty pine cupboards with tragically colonial hardware - the kitchen looks bigger and less crooked. And we may even tackle stripping and painting the cupboards.

And, thanks to the Angry Baker and her smashing idea - I am now able to display some of my lovely Italian pottery which will no doubt become a huge pain in the ass over time by insisting on becoming repeatedly covered with a greasy dust film.


And finally - an energy-efficient and period-friendly light procured to replace the cheesy dust collector with those annoying little screw-on-rings to hold the shades in place that are designed for long slender girly fingers to unscrew and screw back on just to give the filthy shades a good washing. Plus, the pivoting lamps on this one allow me to pinpoint specific work areas - and really show off how filthy my range is.

More news and updates as we progress!

Friday, February 06, 2009

Sadly....

...I have entire days like this.

Thursday, February 05, 2009