Thursday, December 24, 2009

The excitement builds...

Dear Santa Claus,
I hope that you are safe becuse there is a alligator in the lake, so don't park your sled by the lake.
Love, Lily

Monday, December 21, 2009

Merry Christmas to Us!

The Demon Beep is gone! For the past 16 months, we've had an unwelcome house guest - a mystery beep coming from somewhere deep inside the walls. Every 35 seconds, it beeped its mocking, taunting metallic chirp. That's 403,201 shrill little tweets. It went out fighting - 24 hours of strangled whining, and then - nothing. Silence. Sweet silence.

Here's the original post.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Snowpocalypse: Day One, Afternoon

2 pm

The Snowpocalypse: Day 1, Morning

Woke up to 6-7 inches of pretty snow, but the weather is getting worse - cold and windy. Michael and Lily went for a hike in the woods. The streets are pretty bad. Still have to buy some Christmas presents and run a million errands before Tuesday. But we have hot chocolate.


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Winter Concert

Tonight was Lily's first holiday concert. The kindergarteners sang three songs, one of which was - I kid you not - "Feliz Navidad, Feliz Hanukkah, Feliz Kwanzaa."

They enjoyed throwing styrofoam snowballs at the audience.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

A Unique Style

Lily went duck pin bowling Saturday night with her friend Ellie. She's got quite a distinctive style.

Michael and I went out to dinner to celebrate our 17th anniversary. Went to a Belgian restaurant, Mannequin Pis, for Belgian beer, mussels, and french fries. Mmmm. Many thanks to Ken and Maggie for giving us the night off!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thankful . . .

...for family. The Baldwins and Claire were here for Thanksgiving.

... for Mary, who did a ton of the cooking. Claire too.

...for Chloe, who kept things hopping.

And that maybe, just maybe, my Dad is noticing some improvement from the stem cell therapy.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Ferretería Efren

My relatives in Spain have run a hardware store since 1870 - that's three generations. They have a web site that contains a history section, with these old photos. I did my best to translate the Spanish.

1915 - hardware store and bar.
The little boy all the way to the left is my grandfather, age 4. He had 4 brothers and two sisters.

1936 - the business was hard hit by the Spanish Civil War, with supplies being requisitioned and sent to the front.

1940 - starting to recover from the war.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

For Sale

Anybody need a house in Southwest Florida? Here's the full listing. I can vouch for the current owners. ;-)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Because the TV Told Me To

Lily: Can we go to
Mom: Why?
Lily: They said to go there on tv.
Mom: Do you know what it is?
Lily: No. Is it far?


And raking and raking and raking...

And that's just the front yard.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Halloween Past

No good pictures of Lily from tonight, so here are some old ones:

Late 1960s - me, Frankie, Mary, Manny, Joey, Linda, Michael. I'd love to know who that is with the red sock on the right. I'm wondering if this was Halloween or some other party?

Maybe this is what started my fear of clowns.

Lee in the infamous clown costume. I think every kid in our extended family wore it.

Me as a witch.

October 31, 1929

This Halloween would have been my grandparents' 80th wedding anniversary. Leo and Anna, or Jimmy, as everyone called her, were married in 1929. Sadly, no one can recall ever seeing their wedding photo, and there's really no one left to ask about the wedding. All my Dad remembers hearing is that it froze the night before, and all their mums died.

We don't need a wedding photo to know, however, that they were a sweet and loving couple to each other and to their family and friends. They were truly loved.

With 4 of their 5 grandchildren, sometime in the 80s (look at our hair) at the Bavarian Inn - I think celebrating Grandpa/Bebop's birthday.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Halloween Parade

Today was the annual neighborhood Halloween parade. As always, the weather was perfect (10 years in a row, it seems). Unlike always, I stayed home to try to sleep away a bad cold. Michael took the photos. I did watch the parade from our front steps with Baci - who for some reason spent the whole time facing away from the parade and toward our house, with the occasional bark at the reflections in the front door. She's just not quite right these days.

Parade kickoff.
Lily and her new school friend Gina.

It was a fun-filled weekend - and we have a whole week to go until actual Halloween.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Halloween Party

Lily hosted a Halloween party this afternoon for some of the kids she graduated with from daycare. They haven't seen each other for a few months, and it was sweet to see them hug hello.

Very specially decorated cupcakes.

A lot of effort went in to decorating the basement!

Lots of fake cobwebs. I did note the irony of vacumming up the real cobwebs only to decorate with fake ones.

The gang. The ghost on the wall was for "Pin the Boo on the Ghost."

And this is what happened two seconds later when Michael, who was hiding in the furnace room, jumped out.

Pin the Boo. Michael made the ghost.

Chowing down.

Later that evening . . .

Sunday, October 18, 2009


Lily and I took a fast trip to Florida this weekend. We flew to Orlando and spent the first night with Grandma and Grandpa at Disney's Not-So-Scary Halloween party. Lily loved seeing Disney all decked out for Halloween, and said the parade was her favorite part of the trip (#2 was seeing Chico, #3 as G&G's pool). Speaking of the pool:

#4 was Grandma's waffles.
A lovely time was had by all - thanks Mom and Dad!

Monday, October 12, 2009

She Meant Well

Conversation that took place while waiting for Lily's eye exam:

Deb: Lily, you look so tall and grown up.
Lily: What do you mean?
Deb: You look like you're 6 or 7, not 5.
Lily: Is that good?
Deb: Sure, I mean you look and are acting like a big girl. I'm very proud of you.

Long pause.

Lily: Mommy, you look 63 not 43.

Monday, October 5, 2009


We took a spur-of-the-moment trip to Charlottesville, VA, this weekend. Perfect weather, beautiful town, learning-filled day at Monticello. I'm reading Annette Gordon-Reed's Pulitzer Prize winning book The Hemingses of Monticello, which triggered the visit.

The hotel (which was free because I had Hilton points) had an indoor pool and was full of people in tartan because the Clan MacGregor was having its annual reunion. Lily busted a gut at the guys in kilts.

Dumplings in the historic downtown.

UVA Rotunda, designed by Thomas Jefferson.

Rotunda dome

Monticello garden.



I was impressed that Lily asked why there were no statues of slaves at Monticello. However, my pride at her budding sense of social justice was dashed when she said she hoped they sold refrigerator magnets with slaves on them...a 5-year old sometimes misses the nuances.


There are a few more photos on my Flickr account.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

And the Kid's a Comedienne

Last night, Lily called out for us in the middle of the night. "Mommy, I need you!" Michael found her sitting up in bed, awake, and this is what she said to him:

What do you get if you cross a cocker spaniel, a poodle, and a rooster? A cockerpoodledoo!

And then she laughed and went back to sleep.