Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Happy Birthday, Christian! ♡

Our Man-Child, Celebrating 41
When my birthday rolled around 41 years ago, I thought it would be the day Christian was born. I went to my obstetrician's appointment armed with a packed suitcase, confident he'd say we were ready to go. Still, I chuckle. Already with a mind of his own, C held out for today, the 22nd! It was fun to share our days, on Sunday.




While Dawn and Lyla unselfishly stayed home to prepare an al fresco dinner fit for royalty, the rest of us went to the town pool, where Hunter and Chloe demonstrated their gravity-defying dives from varying boards. Of course, Gramps and Christian had to get in on the act, too.

Happy Birthday, Christian. We love you so much and wish you continued love, happiness and high-dive flips in all you do.



Sunday, July 20, 2014

The Roller Coaster

So torn, today, as we head out for a family celebration, knowing the agony that Andrea, Frank, Michael and Marc shall be enduring… not to mention the suffering of scores of extended family members and friends. Michelle left her mark on this crazy roller coaster that is life, in so many ways.

It's exactly a year ago today that I posted the beautiful photograph of hers, gifted to me for my 2013 birthday. Since that time, she had received incredible recognition for her talents. I hope you'll follow this link to read and see for yourselves.

As for my gift, it has long been a prized possession, displayed on the fireplace mantel for  all to enjoy. A treasure by which to remember a treasure.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Michelle ♡

Forever a princess in our hearts, Michelle lost her courageous 5-year battle, yesterday morning. She'd just turned 18. There are simply no words.
July 10, 1996 - July 18, 2014

We Had Fun

Gav enhances the view by the lakeside "surprise"

Some very cool artwork


"G'ma, maybe you could put this picture on your blog!"

Friday, July 18, 2014

Mouths Of Babes - Gav

Gavin is hanging out with us, still in dreamland as I type. We've concluded that he loves his two-on-one time to relax and escape the rigors of sibling rivalry. Tongue-in-cheek, here. I'm laughing…

No visit would be complete without a trip to J's for ice cream. Three little brothers were hanging out with their mother, while we were there last night. The oldest had a super-sized cone, about which Gavin commented…

"He must have a really nice mom."

I asked, "As opposed to?" He laughed.

Then, he said it would be cool to have a bunch of brothers. I agreed, telling him how much fun his Daddy and Uncle Christian had as boys. But then, I mentioned how great it is to have a big sis. He confirmed that he loves Aubs, after which I asked him why he picks on her so much...

"That's how I have fun with her, G'ma… by picking on her!"

LakeHouse - Big Steps!

It's difficult to contain my excitement about the daily progress at the lake. I feel so indebted to Bri for recommending his Rock Hill Fire Company buddy, Aaron, as a carpenter. Aaron is clearly a master of his craft… a perfectionist…. and full of surprises.
Yesterday, he and his fabulous crew not only built new steps and installed side railings...
they laid the bluestone walkway, as well. 
Please stay tuned. Something wonderful is coming by way of the deck's lakeside rail - Aaron's recommendation, so that we can capture every bit of gorgeous view that is ours. Can you guess what it might be??

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Bedecked, Bejeweled 'n' Beloved… C'est Moi!

I'm a lucky gal. With a super-duper family and great friends, it's a win-win sort of deal. Always, I think of my parents, as I awaken on my birthday. Imagine. Two full-term pregnancies lost… three babies - a boy and twin girls. And yet they tried again. Here I am. And again, three years later. My brother. They deserved purple hearts for bravery, especially considering that this happened so many years ago, before the age of medical miracles. Must have been G-d's own. 
My Joe. He makes me feel like a queen every day, but always manages that extra touch on my special day. Balloons and jewels, card and cake… and pure, sweet love. Thank you so much, Honey. And thanks for transplanting that "baby" holly tree from the Old Homestead to the LakeHouse, where tradition continues and where…
We are really and truly being bedecked by a great crew of carpenters, headed by Aaron. The rain held off, the sun came out in its brilliant glory and the work actually started. And then...
In spite of long days at work, camp and karate, BKAG came over to celebrate with a swim, pizza and cake. We fêted Kelly, as well, in honor of her July 12th birthday. Enjoyed every second of noisy fun.
Special thanks to Kim, Vick, Ron and Mary, Tigger, Andy, Karin, Christiane, Evelyn, Linda and Howard, Mads, Bonnie and Dale, Michelle and of course…

Can't forget Mambo, out on the portico bright and early with me for a first cuppa and breakfast with Bambi.
And still… STILL!... there's Sunday, when we head to CDHCL's for a shared birthday celebration with Christian. Can't wait to continue the party with more of my beautiful family.

Color Me!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Thoughts To Journal While Burning The Midnight Oil… Don Draper


"We’re flawed because we want so much more.
We’re ruined because we get these things and wish for what we had."

Season 4, Episode 8: “The Summer Man”

Monday, July 14, 2014

LakeScape - Sunday Sun 'n' Sunfish

Sunday Sun was nowhere to be seen, yesterday, replaced by dark and threatening clouds.  That did not deter Sunfish racers from participating in the weekly event. What a pretty view, though we were told there were many more boats prior to our arrival.
We must resurrect our snazzy, aqua-sailed vessel from storage and teach the GrandLoves the art of sailing.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Aubrey's Project

Aubs painted her entire canvas black. She liked Gavin's triangle effect and decided on an altered version to complete her sack. Very cool!

Split View

This morning, I missed our resident doe by seconds. Thing is, the twin fawns were by her side, as they left their woodsy bedroom to cross our peninsula and head towards feeding grounds. Pity. The babies heard our door open and bolted beyond Momma in a Kodak moment lost. C'est la vie. Still, I took my garden stroll. It's colorful around the Old Homestead. Gorgeous. Meanwhile, satisfying projects continue at the LakeHouse, in between pleasurable moments depicting just why we're doing all this.
Last Friday, I painted shutters bright red and Joe hung them. He's still working on the second dresser, so that I can keep my brush-in-hand streak going. The wood seems to be shrinking again, but shall need sanding and possibly planing to make drawers work.

This week should be exciting, as we graduate from baby steps to a deck remodel. A couple door replacements have arrived at Home Depot, as well. Let's see if our crews show.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

3:30 A.M. and Craving A Summer Blue

What would you do?
Best Blues Recipe

LakeHouse Project - Gav's Completed

Remember Wednesday's thunderstorm and those big pieces of art canvas the kids painted?  At the time, Gavin's comment was:

 "My favorite painting is when I have a big empty paper (canvas) and I don't know what to do…"

After intense analysis, he decided upon triangles. Last night, I sewed his across the bottom and up the sides, as per the talented
Alisa Burke's instructions. Voilà. Storage Sack #1 is completed, unless Gav is inspired to add more color.
How fabulous is this project??!!
Color Me!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Chipper

Some find beauty in this. But I'm here to tell ya that Chipper had better move on, if he wants to live. I need to weed that bed!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Studio Space

After the storm...
Free-Painting is fun...
Baby steps at the lake...

Sure, we're anxious to get beyond baby steps and into the hardcore renovations pending at the lake. But that gutted room with its stripped sub-flooring is sure a fun studio. When the storm-of-the-day passes through to spoil kayaking, what better place to paint dressers and barn stars and fantastic stretches of canvas that shall be turned into nifty junk containers for kids' rooms? Even Mambo got into the act and enjoyed a little reckless abandon, walking across the wet paint of Aubrey's creation. In no time, we'll all be back to the regime of cautious, careful painting. But for now… just give us some color and brushes.
video
Tired car ride home...

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Pilfered Pic

Kim sent this to me, yesterday. Funny thing is, I was touching up one set of dresser drawers, at the time. Apologies to other friends of CMI for the inside reference, but she'll understand.
"Matilda" by Kim
I don't have permission to post this. Seriously, though, what is she gonna do to me?? I just LOVE Matilda in this shot; she looks so shiny and surreal… like she was shellacked  Kim's prolific peppermint makes a perfect background for her.

Thanks, Sweetie. 

Inspired

Here at the Old Homestead, wrens have leased some space to raise a family of their own. BKAG gifted us this fabulous birdhouse. At six a.m. this morning, I planted myself on the portico in an attempt to capture some action, but these elusive little guys did not cooperate, landing instead in a nearby tree. This went on for about thirty minutes. I know, I know - I'm losing it. But honestly, if you're missing sunrise and early July mornings, you've allowed the crème de la crème to escape. Back to wrens... 
They are so tiny. Can you find one?
Meanwhile, my friendly doe quietly stepped out of the woods, immediately detected me and stopped for a good look. Evidently, I'm no threat to her. She strolled across the peninsula, munching on the leaves of high branches.
At the LakeHouse, Joe was inspired to take a picture of the newly planted window box. Sure, it needs a bit of Miracle-Gro to catch up to July; but nonetheless, it looks fetching. I love, love the lake reflecting in his shot. 
We managed to salvage my parents' dressers that have been in the L-H basement, since Mom passed away. Our infamous tenant never turned on the dehumidifier. Need more? The drawers were stuck fast and all needed sanding, in order to make them work again. Thanks, Honey. We've one more stubborn one on Dad's dresser. These have been in my life, forever. They are solid bleached wood of tongue-and-groove construction. Expansive, deep drawers have had lives of their own. As a kid, I loved to explore the top drawers of each. Dad's was filled with odds and ends like sunglasses, pocketknives and bow-ties. Mom's was always dedicated to jewelry, with fine and custom pieces mixed together. When they were burglarized in Massapequa, the intruder very efficiently separated the two, stealing old family heirlooms. Such a shame. Nothing was recovered. I digress. My parents had them refinished decades ago to an antiqued white, which had yellowed over the years. But other than discoloration, there was not a chip in either piece. I'm refinishing to black. Hardware shall be pewter. They're a work in progress, but here's a sneak peak, especially to satisfy Tigger's curiosity.
Won't you please stay tuned??

Monday, July 7, 2014

Sixties Reality?

"Mad Men" has us - hook, line and sinker. We find ourselves watching a couple episodes at a time, now. The characters are so interesting. We're always guessing at what might happen and then amazed by what does unfold. There is nothing like a nighttime show that we're still talking about in the morning. The attention to 60's detail is incredible. Stuffed celery, a Magnalite roaster and ATLAS SHRUGGED… I'm still chuckling. But the smoking!! Granted, Lucky Strike was a significant client for Don Draper and crew. Herbal cigarettes, nearly as deadly, are substituted in the show. But seriously, 74 hits by one character in the pilot?  Well, according to this interview with John Hamm, the writers crave verisimilitude as much as the Sixties Set craved smokes. Well, there's a word to remember...
I maintain that my Big Apple office was not like the one depicted. Of course, we dealt with international TV and not tobacco. But Joe and I do recall other smoke-related issues, over the years. One in particular - an early 70's dinner party with two puffers in attendance - ruined a night's sleep for our family. The upstairs bedrooms reeked from the lingering effects. A household rule was set, that night:
Sorry, Charlie… No Smoking In This Residence