Friday, January 27, 2012

Friday Funnies

Sticky situation . . .

stickeysKnow what these do?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

De-Cluttering and Beef Stew

What do these  have in common?

Nothing, except that I was doing both today – removing clutter andIMG_9057 making dinner. It’s been a busy start to 2012 with lots of indoor tasks as we try to downsize and clear out some accumulated STUFF that Grenville posted about earlier this month. And, we’re trying to keep the house elves and their friends from bringing in any more STUFF !

Our dinners have been quick and easy ones. Today’s dinner was crock-pot beef stew. It’s a favorite repeat of a  basic stew recipe from this booklet that came with my first crock-pot. It’s an easy recipe that you can customize by adding vegetables that you enjoy. I added beans and corn from last summer’s garden.
IMG_9059As for the de-cluttering project, it’s been ongoing since we returned home from our post-holiday road trip. As soon as several bags are filled with STUFF, they go into the back of the Jeep for delivery to local thrift stores the following day. It’s important to get STUFF out of the house as soon as it’s collected, so nothing can escape and get back in.
Favorite teddy bears were stuffed into containers for storage.
teddy bear collage
When trying to get lots of things done, time really DOES goes by fast . . . and now I’m really OUT of thyme.IMG_8973
Hope that your January is going well, whatever is taking up YOUR time – we would enjoy hearing about it.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Happy Anniversary Frog & PenguINN

Eight years ago this month (2003) we bought the Frog & PenguINN. No, it wasn’t named that when we bought it. To the locals it was, and still is the Warner Young house. Warner and his wife Mildred were the second owners, but had lived here as renters since they were married. So much for history.

We bought in January of 2003. We had been looking at houses here on and off for about two years. We were here to look at some more over a weekend and happen to drive past this one, which was ‘For Sale by Owner’. Long story shortened we looked at the house on Sunday morning just before we left for NJ, fell in serious like with it, saw lots of potential, and bought it that day (on a hand shake, common around here).

Since then, we have added on, installed central heat and air, gutted, enlarged, and modernized the kitchen. We’ve painted, sanded, replaced, repaired, ripped out and replanted, and enjoyed the past 8 years. Some looks then and now.
Frog & PenguINN 2003

Small Kitchen 2003

Library 2003

Dining Room 2003

Yard 2003

And so, we thank everyone who has joined us on this adventure, and hope you'll stay with us for the next chapter.


Friday, January 20, 2012

Friday Funnies

Lunch on the Road . . .

Travelling home from our recent road trip, we watched this flight of birds overhead.

011312 lunch stop (1)Every time, traffic halted at a light, birds swooped down on this feed truck.

011312 lunch stop (2)We’re not sure if they found anything, but they sure kept trying.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Ever Hear Voices?

No, not from your loved ones, but those unexplainable inner voices – often called premonitions – cautioning you before you go somewhere or do something. Some studies claim that folks who have premonitions about the simplest or silliest things in daily life, could be on the way to developing psychic abilities. Most advise listening to these inner self messages.

If ONLY I had done that today!

Here’s why – heading to the recycle center, I stopped at the post office for our mail (no street delivery in our part of town) and decided to separate the “junk” from the “important” mail, placing each in a white envelope. I heard  a warning voice, “don’t throw out the wrong envelope.”

Off to recycling, then to an appointment and a thought to check the “important” mail envelope, YIKES it was the “junk” envelope! Luckily, the recycling center was less than a 5-minute return trip, although I might have made it in 3 minutes.

WHERE was the right one? IMG_0328
SOMEPLACE in here . . .

After explaining my dilemma to the recycling attendant, he handed me a long grabber pole and wished me luck – LOTS of luck.

Finding a white envelope in this pile would be a challenge. IMG_0327

What was in the envelope? Bills, end of year statements, new insurance cards – items which could be replaced but not without some MUCH frustration.

After a seemingly hopeless 10 minutes of reshuffling, some of the recycled paper started to look “familiar.” YES, it was recycling we had tossed out when EUREKA, the envelope ! IMG_0331

Amazingly, all the inserted paperwork was still inside. despite all the reshuffling I had done.

Basking in my good fortune (and saying a few many prayers of thanks), I went to the local CVS retail store to pick upIMG_0333 cough suppressant for Grenville (he’s feeling better, but still coughing). A sale advertised “buy one, get one half-price”  so I did and was going to toss the receipt. But, “something” advised keeping it until I got home. Too bad it didn’t advise me to check it too !

WHY?  both had rang up full price.


IMG_0335A return trip (another 5-minute drive) to correct the overcharge. The cashier redid the purchase and got a $3 rewards toward future purchases.

So, the next time that nagging voice comes around, I’m going to listen to it the first time !

Monday, January 16, 2012

New England Weather

Driving through several New England states on our way home last weekend, produced various weather elements – snow, sleet, rain, fog and within a few hours clearing skies. A quote attributed to American humorist Mark Twain describes NE weather:

“If you don’t like the weather in New England, just wait a few minutes.”  

clouds1In a speech delivered at the New England Society's 71st First Annual Dinner, New York City, Dec. 22, 1876, Twain expounded on New England weather at length, some excerpts:

“I reverently believe that the Maker who made us all makes everything in New England but the weather. I don't know who makes that, but I think it must be raw apprentices in the weather-clerk's factory who experiment and learn how, in New England, for board and clothes, and then are promoted to make weather for countries that require a good article, and will take their custom elsewhere if they don't get it.

“There is a sumptuous variety about the New England weather that compels the stranger's admiration -- and regret. The weather is always doing something there; always attending strictly to business; always getting up new designs and trying them on the people to see how they will go. But it gets through more business in spring than in any other season. . .”

clouds2“I could speak volumes about the inhuman perversity of the New England weather, but I will give but a single specimen. I like to hear rain on a tin roof. So I covered part of my roof with tin, with an eye to that luxury. Well, sir, do you think it ever rains on that tin? No, sir, skips it every time.”

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Stuff,,, part,,,,,I'm not sure anymore!!!!

I know we’ve talked about STUFF before but as we start downsizing and getting ready to ‘stage’ the house before putting the For Sale sign out, we are learning about the evolution of STUFF. 

Some of you may remember that occasionally we have told about being invaded by ‘Card Fairies’. Now if that wasn’t dangerous enough, having to watch out for random greeting cards showing up, we just learned that Card Fairies are direct cousins to House Elves. And you thought only Harry Potter was plagued with them…. NO,,, NO,,,NO…., And since Card Fairies seldom remember to close doors or windows after themselves, the House elves have been sneaking in over the years. But they don’t show up alone,,,,,,, they bring their pets, Dust Bunnies.  Those cute fluffy little critters that hide under your bed and behind heavy furniture. And of course they bring STUFF. BUT that isn’t the worst part,,,, they leave this stuff behind when they go. Yes, it’s all true…. Even their pets are left behind. You don’t think they got there by themselves do you?????

Now I know you are all horrified at this revelation, but there is more. These devious House Elves go around teaching math to your stuffed toy critters. Yes, before the House Elves showed up not one of our stuffed toy critters knew how to multiply, let alone be fruitful…. Now they are all over the place.

Poor Beatrice has been chasing them down since we got back. She has found them everywhere. On shelves, in baskets, lurking over doorways, literally everywhere.


Friday, January 13, 2012

Friday Funnies

Transportation for smart people?

road scholar

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Whether or Not . . .

You like what the weather is doing outside, just drive through a few states and it can change – just like today.

This was the scene as we left the Extended Stay in Nashua, NH. By that time, Grenville had stopped singing “snow” songs.

trip home1There was more of the same as we headed south through NH, then into MA with alternating periods  of snow and sleet. Thankfully, we only spotted a couple of fender benders; in both cases, the driver had slid into the guard rail and not another car.

trip home2By the time we drove through Hartford, CT, roads were just wet from rain; heading into NY and then NJ the roads were completely dry with no snow to be seen.trip home3Thanks for the safe travel wishes, fellow bloggers. We continue our homeward bound travels tomorrow morning. Grenville knows where there’s an IHOP along the route – did you expect any less, remember it’s one of our “brake for” stops.

Here We Go (Again)

Hey, Folks – Grenville got his wish . . .  he’s  singing Jingle Bells and Let It Snow . . .
NH snow1
This was the scene outside our room at the extended stay in NH when we awoke today. It’s a replay of what happened the last time we were here in Oct – and again on the LAST day too cause we head home today.
NH snow2
Good thing we brought the snow brush in last night . . .
Stop laughing, Grammie G.

More photos to follow from the road trip home. We’re stopping for an overnight stay in NJ – last fall it was PA and it snowed there too!  Guess what’s predicted in NJ tomorrow . . . begins with S, ends with W and there’s NO telling what’s in the middle (according to Grenville).

There are rumors running around that Grenville is a snow-monger who may not be allowed to take road trips and wish for snow.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Well Read in NH

When Grenville and I go on long road trips, we always explore the towns we’re passing through. His special interest is town halls; mine is libraries. During our month-long NH road trip last fall, we stopped into as many libraries as possible and, of course, I photographed them inside and out. Some were closed, so just have exterior views.
Travel Tips:  libraries are a great stop: If it’s raining out they are a great place to hang out; bring your own PC and access the Internet without having to buy anything; there’s always a rest room; and librarians are always very helpful  in providing information.
(right Daisy?)

In 1849, New Hampshire was the first state to enact legislation that authorized the establishment of public libraries.
The Bethlehem, NH library is located in the town building. It contains 13,308 volumes, circulates 13,356 items per year and serves 2,407 residents.
Bethlehem NH Library
The Conway, NH Public Library started as the Conway Village Library Association. The Conway Woman's Club and interested citizens created this Association in 1895, providing library services to the community until the current building was dedicated on June 13, 1901.
Conway NH Library
The Dover, NH public library did not come into existence until 1883, but the city has a long history of private and subscription libraries.
Dover NH Library
The Dublin, NH library was shrouded in fog when we visited as was the town of Dublin. The library is open limited hours, usually 4 to 8 p.m. and closed on Friday, the day we visited. Everything else in town was closed on Friday, including the town offices.
Dublin NH lib101 (2)Dublin NH lib101
The Goffston, NH library contains 27,495 volumes and circulates 59,706 items per year. It serves a population of 17,784 residents.
Goffstown NH Library
The Hollis, NH Free Social Library serves the Town of Hollis which was chartered 1799. It is one of the oldest public libraries in the country.
Hollis NH Library
The Jackson, NH Public Library houses a collection of 8,736 volumes. The library circulates 12,354 items per year and serves a population of 872 residents.
Jackson NH Library
The Laconia, NH library was dedicated in 1903. Napoleon Bonaparte Gale, a local banker died in 1894 and left the bulk of his fortune to the City of Laconia for a park and a public library building. The Gale Memorial Building houses the Laconia Public Library and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The main library building is an example of Romanesque Revival style, which emphasizes weight and mass through rock-faced masonry, heavy arches, broad roofs.
Laconia NH Library
The Littleton, NH public library is a Carnegie Library. In 1902, Littleton received a $15,000 grant from the Carnegie Foundation. Funded by Scottish-American businessman and philanthropist, Andrew Carnegie, 2,509 Carnegie libraries were built between 1883 and 1929; 1,689 in the U.S. alone.
Littleton NH Library
The Meredith, NH public library opened its doors in 1882 with a meredithNH library1021 (18)collection of 800 books purchased from a former resident. In 1899, Benjamin M. Smith of Beverly, MA offered to build a public library as a memorial to his parents, both of whom died in Meredith. If the town agreed to purchase the land adjacent to the Baptist Church, he would pay to have a library built on that spot for not less than $10,000. The town agreed and purchased the land.
Meredith NH Library
Meredith NH Library2
The William W. Wadleigh Memorial Library, Milford, NH  contains 66,213 volumes. The library circulates 189,768 items per year and serves a population of 14,860 residents.
Milford NH Library
The Whipple Free Library, New Boston, NH public library is named for one of New Boston's prominent citizens, J.R. Whipple. After recovering from a failed Boston grocery venture, he become one of the country's leading hotelmen and a millionaire. In 1887, Whipple constructed a new building and reserved a floor for a library collection of 1800 books with chairs and a table for those who wished to read and relax. The library was donated to the town of New Boston in 1913 by Whipple's family. By 1923 ,the library was reported cramped and moved to the Wason Memorial Building.New BostonNH old library (2)
The old library is still standing, but no longer in use. In 2010, a new library opened. (Note the new Apple desktop PCs and very comfortable reading area.)
New Boston NH library
In 1833, the town of Peterborough, NH became the site of the first public library in the U.S. It was not the first library for public use as such libraries existed before 1833. Instead, its importance is that it was created on the principle that: the public library, like the public school, deserved maintenance by public taxation and should be owned and managed by the people of the community – not dependent on private generosity. peterboroNH library 1015
Peterborough NH Library
The Wentworth Library, Sandwich, NH is housed in a stone building, which was closed on the day we visited. The library’s collection contains 15,500 volumes; it circulates 19,319 items annually and serves 1,359 residents.
Wentworth NH library
The Wilton Public and Gregg Free Library, Wilton, NH dedicated in 1908 is named after the Hon. David A. Gregg of Nashua, NH, who was a summer resident of Wilton. The building is an example of the “Neo-Classic” style prevalent among monumental architecture between 1900 to 1920. Gregg sponsored the entire cost of the land and building (estimated at over $100,000). According to several newspaper accounts, it was considered “one of the finest library buildings in the state.”
Wilton NH Library
Wilton NH Library2
NOTE: The information on library statistics is from lib-web-cats (library web sites and catalogs) an online directory of libraries throughout the world.