Friday, March 30, 2018

Friday Funnies

Unusual way to park . . .
And, it makes getting out really challenging.

Enjoy your weekend, Everyone.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Book Bargain Hunting

Who doesn't like a good great sale and, for me, book sales are a favorite event, especially a recent one here in Nashua, NH. 

The Friends of the Nashua Public Library held their annual book and media sale a couple of weeks ago on the weekend of St. Patrick's Day. As Friends members, we were invited to preview the sale (and make purchases) on Friday night. Essentially, that means first choice. I got lucky with a few good finds.
While I would not have purchased these books if they hadn't been found at the sale and it's not that we needed any more cookbooks. But, at $2 each, these like-new books were too good to pass up; the original retail price of each was over $30. 

And who doesn't need a recipe book for Bisquick — apparently, I did at only $1.
Actually, my buying was quite modest with just a couple of other specialty cookbooks which fortunately won't take up much bookshelf space. Preview night is also open by invitation to those who buy books for resale. And they were a lot of these folks with  boxes and tote bags filled with their bargains as well.
In addition to fiction and nonfiction paperback and hardcover books, the sale included other items too: games, puzzles, music CDs, and DVD movies. I added a few classic films to our collection: Sabrina, The Way We Were, and The Wizard of Oz. More great deals at only $1 each.

Have you been to any good sales lately — books or otherwise?

Thanks to everyone for your comments on our recent apartment kitchen update. While clearing things out and putting them back was took some effort, it gave us a chance for additional downsizing and updating as well. 

In reply to a couple of comments: The replaced Oneida stainless cutlery was saved for get-togethers (much better than using disposable plastic utensils). The new set is not only nearly the same design, but the pieces are slightly larger and heavier. We expect to be using this set for a quite a few years.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Out With the Old . . .

It's been a very busy few weeks. As many who follow this blog know, in mid-February, we we (finally) completed the long-awaited sale of our VA home.

As soon as that was done, we prepared for an early March kitchen/bathroom renovation in the mill apartment that's now our only home. We'd negotiated the updates last November at lease renewal and they included new kitchen appliances, cabinets, flooring and new flooring and vanities in the two bathrooms. 

But, first, contents of the kitchen, bottom pantry shelves and floor and items in the bathroom vanities had to be emptied and relocated. Here's what our dining area looked like after stuff was moved to the dining area where it was covered or put in containers.
The new refrigerator was delivered the weekend before and placed in the dining area as well, so the current fridge could be emptied.
The old kitchen was woefully outdated as shown in these before photos taken after everything was removed; the toaster oven was still being used.
Ready for the after photos?
These photos show the difference after installation of new countertops (not granite), cabinets, and appliances. Basically, the appliances are identical to the previous white models, except for the stainless exteriors and with one additional item. 

We now have a microwave, something we'd done without for the past 2 years. The VA house had one and it was used mainly to reheat afternoon coffee. Since apartment counter space was limited and one wasn't included in the kitchen, we bought a new toaster/convection oven instead. But, the update included a microwave, unfortunately at the loss of over-the-stove cabinet space.

Moving on, the new kitchen flooring is an improvement over the previous flooring and it's the same in both bathrooms.

Lots of kitchen and pantry items did not go into the new kitchen (by choice). Some were donated to local thrift stores. A soon-to-married niece happily accepted duplicate and unneeded kitchenware. 

Of course, after the update and clearing out, we bought some new stuff. Our everyday cutlery set was over 18 years old — way past time to replace. This stainless steel Oneida set and the bamboo tray were bought at a local Bed, Bath & Beyond store. (We used a few of those 20 percent discount coupons that often come in the mail.)
Does your kitchen have a designated "junk" drawer where you place odds and ends? We used to have one, but one of the the new cabinets replaced 2 drawers (including the junk one) with a single large drawer. Our solution was two-fold: a bamboo tray to group knives and another with compartments for everything else (giveaways meant less items to store.) Now, we can actually find things in this drawer.
We've been using the redesigned kitchen for the past couple of weeks and really enjoy it. One drawback is the black stovetop is much harder to clean than the previous white top. After a few failures at cleaning it, we checked the manual which recommended vinegar and water. It works, but cleaning the stovetop is still harder than before. If anyone has a similar stovetop and can offer suggestions, please share in the comments.

Overall, this renovation was much easier than when we did it in our former VA home. The difference now is that if anything needs repair, we notify the management office.

We like that — a lot.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

We're Green Today

Isn't everyone on St. Patrick's Day? ☘️ Grenville is especially happy as everyone will be celebrating his given name today. 
The city of Nashua, NH doesn't host a parade, although in past years we've attended ones in NJ and CT. We'll celebrate later today with a corned beef sandwich and libation at a local Nashua eatery. Do you have any special plans for the day?
In our home, everyone celebrates ☘️ including the frog and penguin outside the door. 

Enjoy your weekend, Everyone.☘️

Thursday, March 15, 2018

It Ain't Over . . .

And it's also the same old story in terms of weather since last Friday's post. Like other New England cities and states, Nashua, NH, was slammed with another wintry  nor'easter on Tuesday. It started out s-l-o-w-l-y as shown by the 7 a.m. view outside our apartment window. 
The storm picked up intensity during mid-morning and snow and blowing winds continued throughout the day. The official total accumulation was listed as 15 inches. Needless to say, we remained indoors. That's why these photos look nearly identical to ones taken during last week's storm. These are from 2 different storms within 5 days with views from our apartment and hallway windows and the apartment building's front door.
Plowing continued throughout the storm on city roadways and in the apartment parking lots. It was still snowing at 5 p.m. when these photos were taken.
On Wednesday morning, the day after the storm, the  7 a.m. window view was very different than the one just 24 hours earlier
Most of Nashua's roadways were down to bare pavement within a few hours of daylight. In  New England, it seems that a foot of snow doesn't linger very long. (That's so unlike where we formerly lived on the VA eastern shore. There a 6-inch snowfall would shut down the county for almost 2 days.)
It's good that this city handles winter weather so well as yet another winter storm has been predicted for early next week. 

Spring might be a little late here this year — at least in some cities and states.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Snowed-In (Again)

Like cities in many other states, Nashua, NH was hit with another nor'easter for the second time in less than a week. Last Friday, we were pounded with wind and rain, this time it was snow —some 12-13 inches total overnight on Wednesday into most of Thursday.

The views from our 5th floor apartment were beautiful with the wet snow clinging to trees along the Nashua River. (All of these photos were taken in color, but the results were monochromatic.)
Thankfully, we did not have to go out an shovel off our vehicles or go to work. The benefits of being retired and having underground parking spots.
In a view from another window, the S-curve in this roadway was intriguing. And the photo below shows another curve in the roadway fencing.
If you were among the folks affected by this latest winter storm, we hope that you were safe we well. Many areas lost power, thankfully our building did not.

Remember that clocks get set an hour ahead this weekend for daylight savings time — yes, already and it does seem early to us TOO ! 
Internet graphic

Enjoy your weekend, Everyone.

Friday, March 2, 2018

House-less (in a Good Way)

Yes, we finally are without a house to call our own because . . .
The Frog & PenguiNN, which was what we lovingly named our home on the VA Eastern Shore (that was neither an inn or a B&B) has a new owner as of this past week. We're happy and overjoyed to share the news with everyone! 

As regular readers of this blog know, selling the Frog & PenguINN has been a very long time coming, nearly 6 years. It was a wonderful home, circa 1902, that we updated and enjoyed for the 12 years that we lived there. And, it was located in a great neighborhood with lots of friendly neighbors.

But,when it comes to selling, it came down to that well-worn phrase: location, location, location (somehow it's always repeated 3 times, not sure why). As many times as we showed photos of our house to other, we would get the same question?  "Why hasn't it sold yet?" Then, we reminded them of its location. The small town of Onley, VA (pop. 500) was located near many amenities such as a YMCA, Walmart, and a recently opened brand hospital. But it was definitely not a bustling metropolis. The closest major cities, such as of Virginia Beach, VA or Salisbury, MD entailed a 90 minute drive, north or south.

We thoroughly enjoyed the slower, relaxed lifestyle for the dozen years we lived there. Our original plan after buying the house was to make it a permanent home and we spent the years renovating the house and yard. We also enjoyed sharing those experiences on this blog. We met nice folks, shared fun times, and made good friends who we will miss.

But, 2-1/2 years ago we decided we needed a change and new experiences. We relocated  to Nashua, NH, which was closer to family and grandchildren already living in New England. Not only did this include a 10-hour drive from VA, but an entirely new lifestyle. We went from home dwellers to apartment residents (even though we still owned a house).  Instead of a single-family residence, we live in a former textile mill (Nashua Manufacturing Company) which has 325 apartments with nearly 900 residents. That's nearly twice the number of people  than in the entire VA town we formerly lived in. 

Is it working out for us? 
In a single word, Yes. Sure there are many differences but also lots of positives such as being close enough to walk downtown to the public library, numerous restaurants, shopping, and medical facilities. For us, it's been a positive lifestyle change. 

Folks have asked us if we have any future home-ownership plans. As of now, that answer is No. For now, we're glad to no longer be responsible for a house and consider ourselves house-less as we're certainly not homeless.

The usual Friday Funnies was pre-empted to share this "news."
Enjoy your weekend, Everyone