Tag Archives: alcohol

Water is life.

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And if you doubt the veracity of that statement, try living without it for a few days like we are.

Bright and early Wednesday morning, 3 men were in deep thought.

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The man on the ground is our wonderful neighbor who brought over his toy to dig a hole.

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A hole was dug.

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A wet and muddy hole filled with water from a broken pipe.

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More deep thinking was called for.

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The ‘let’s put wood in the hole filled with water so we can stand on it‘ idea did not work out as planned. Color me surprised.

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Youngest member of the team was sent down in hole anyway. (Please note he is a master plumber who planned ahead for the avoidance of butt crack photos, for which I was quite thankful.)

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The broken pipe was found and luckily it was right next to the well access so we didn’t have to tear up more lawn or the house foundation.

Solution to the problem? Bypass the existing two pipe configuration, get rid of our not that old damn it! interior water pump system…

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And install an exterior submersible pump made of stainless steel. This meant pulling up the existing water line that runs down into the well… and since that cover hadn’t been opened since 1974?

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It was not an easy job. And when things don’t come apart easily?

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It’s time for the sledgehammer.

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A whole lotta pulling followed.

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I never knew how far down our well was before this.

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But apparently it’s slightly over 90 feet.

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Young guy was sent down into the hole again.

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And of course because this is a job at our house, nothing went right or smoothly.

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Since the old pipe was cracked, it had sucked in copious amounts of dirt and sand that had to be flushed before the wire to the new pump could be pushed through to the house. Nothing worked. Trips were taken back and forth to the plumber’s shop for different tools. Trips were taken to hardware stores for extra supplies and finally… after an entire afternoon of battling… they broke through. Only to move on to the next step and realize a different size pump needed to be ordered.

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To be honest, I wasn’t either. Welcome to my world … please bring alcohol.

So a less than wonderful Wednesday ended like this: open water lines actively pissing muddy water from the flooded hole into our cellar.

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And notes like this pasted all around our house.

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No drinking water, no toilet flushing water, no using dishes and glasses you have to wash… and worst of all, no shower.

Still don’t think water is life? Try not showering for 3 days and get back to me.

To be continued…

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A bridge too far.

 

Dear Pennsylvania,

It was with great sadness that I read the recent news reports from your state. I can only imagine the confusion, the shock, and yes… the absolute horror that this announcement brought.

If there’s anything I can do to help your devastated citizens who will struggle during this time of crisis, please don’t hesitate to ask.

Yours most sincerely,

River

 

No. I didn’t send that letter…. but I should.

I should, because I just discovered this:

 

Pennsylvania closes all state liquor stores indefinitely

All Pennsylvania state liquor stores and licensee service centers will close indefinitely tomorrow at 9 p.m. ET, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board announced.

“This was a tremendously difficult decision to make, and we understand the disruption our store closures will have on consumers and licensees across the commonwealth,” Board Chairman Tim Holden said in a statement.

Holden continued:

“But in these uncertain and unprecedented times, the public health crisis and mitigation effort must take priority over the sale of wine and spirits, as the health and safety of our employees and communities is paramount.”

The liquor control board handles all beverage alcohol distribution in Pennsylvania, operating nearly 600 wine and spirits stores statewide. It licenses 20,000 alcohol producers, retailers, and handlers, according to the statement.

 

 

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Pennsylvania?

You have my deepest sympathies.

 

Day 12…. otherwise known as Christmas.

 

So we got up bright and early to make the almost 5 hour drive down to North Carolina.

 

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                                                         Required Christmas selfie.

 

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And as we were walking down the sidewalk of our resort it struck me…..

 

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I might not be the only one who cursed my husband’s choice of the behemoth rental car.

It was an uneventful trip.

 

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But we saw lots of cotton.

 

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Really, a whole lot of cotton.

 

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And absolutely nothing else. Nothing for miles and miles… except cotton… and I was starting to sweat the steadily dropping level of gasoline.

Behemoths be thirsty.

I also took issue with Apple maps when the GPS put us in the middle of a National Forest and told us to turn around.

 

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WTF?

When the rental beast was pretty much running on fumes, we finally found a service station to fill it…. and us, since we skipped breakfast. The only choice was Subway, where I ordered a rotisserie chicken wrap and managed to leak half of the sauce on my blouse resulting in a large greasy stain.

My first words upon arrival in N.C. weren’t “Merry Christmas!”  but….. “Let me raid your closet.”

 

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My second words were “What you would like to drink?”  as I unpacked my carton of holiday cheer.

Destiny chose a bottle to match her sweater, because coordination is everything.

 

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We gave them our gifts…. and Gracie liked the books.

 

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Though I think she liked the pig a little bit more.

 

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We spent time with our daughter of the heart’s step children, John being home on leave from the Army.

 

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As you can see they aren’t young enough to be hers…. because like me, she married an older man. Which her mother thinks I’m responsible for and never lets me forget, but hey.

It worked for me.

 

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An old Marine Corps buddy of the husband’s came with us….  and it was a laid back country Christmas with lots of love and laughter.

A few highlights:

 

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My bartending skills were highly rated.

 

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And strange toys were questioned.

Does a llama really need to shake her booty?

But more importantly, why was this horror voted toy of the year in Australia?

Watch  the bizarre commercial that looks like a Saturday Night Live skit  and decide for yourself.

 

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Numerous pictures were taken.

 

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Some with prominently placed bows. (These may have been alcohol induced)

 

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Rick posed with his namesake shirt.

 

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Dogs with serious underbites begged for treats from a wonderful brown sugar glazed  ham dinner I completely devoured and forgot to photograph.

Sorry Martin.

Blame the carton of alcohol, not me.

 

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Animated discussions of politics took place….. (Which might also have been alcohol induced)

 

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But my husband smiled wider and laughed more than he has in a while, and that made my heart full.

 

Then before we were ready, it was time to say goodbye.

Hugs and tears….

 

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And we were back on the road.

For the longest almost 5 hour trip ever.

 

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The only bright spot?

 

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This house…

 

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That gave new meaning to the term holiday decorating.

 

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Truly an extravaganza.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 11….love notes, breakfast, a liquor store and last minute Christmas shopping in Colonial Williamsburg.

 

The eleventh day of our vacation started at our timeshare resort condo…

 

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Where I found this:

 

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A note from the grandchild of our hearts.

Sorry… but there’s no way better way to start the day than that.

 

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Although biscuits and gravy with home fries comes close.

We had a full day of Christmas gift shopping ahead of us and needed hearty sustenance. And in the south?

 

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That includes the options of scrapple, fried catfish, grits or bologna and eggs.

The husband’s utterly favorite breakfast is chipped beef on toast and he rarely finds it in Maine… so when we stumbled on the Southern Pancake and Waffle House in Williamsburg?

 

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He wanted to go every morning…. which we pretty much did from then on.

 

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But hey, there were chickens in every window so how could we lose?

Our first stop that day was a liquor store in anticipation of our upcoming Christmas Day in North Carolina.

For future reference…. the first way to tell you’re in a liquor store in the south?

 

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There’s a still.

 

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Still searching for that silly wine filter, I thought we could try Merchant’s Square…. which is the shopping section of Colonial Williamsburg I couldn’t get the husband to check out the previous week.

 

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As with all areas there, it was lovely.

 

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Filled with interesting high end shops… like this interior design place.

 

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Giant double diamond ring light fixture anyone…?

 

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We happily strolled aroiund, ducking in and out of the stores with all the other desperate  Holy crap it’s Christmas Eve and I don’t have a gift!   shoppers.

Naturally I had to buy a souvenir tee shirt –

 

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Truer words were ne’er spoke.

 

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And towards late afternoon when my stomach started grumbling?

This happened.

 

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Someone saw the husband’s Marine Corps hat, said Semper Fi, and they were off….

 

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On a 38 minute long conversation about who was stationed where, when and with whom.

Yes. I timed it….

 

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While he talked?

 

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I walked.

 

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Agreed wholeheartedly with a sign.

 

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And explored a little more…

 

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Of the colonial town.

 

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And hey, if you’re going to dress up in period costume and stand on the sidewalk?

 

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Don’t give me the stink eye when I take your picture.

Turning back around hoping the other half had finished talking…

 

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I saw snow.

 

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Granted it wasn’t very much, but it surprised me to see any at all.

 

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The ice skating rink surprised me as well.

 

 

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In Maine we wait for ponds to freeze over.

 

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In Virginia they just build one… and how they keep it frozen in 60 degree temperatures is a mystery to me.

 

 

Busch Gardens Virginia….or as I like to call it, Hell.

 

I think we’ve established we are not theme park people.

So spending 6 hours at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg while on Christmas vacation?

 

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It’s billed as the prettiest theme park in the country.

 

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And while I doubt that’s a very high bar…..

 

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It’s plastic fantastic fake European villages failed to impress….. seeing they were less village and more overpriced stores filled with gimmicky tourist merchandise.

It was enough to make me drink.

 

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Warm Apple Pie Cocktail in hand… we continued.

(You knew it was coming, don’t look so surprised.  If ever I was in dire need of alcohol? It was then.)

 

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So we paid a fortune, had drinks in hand and a 7 year old who wanted to go on some rides. Problem was… most of them weren’t operational for Christmas.

This did not go over well with the little person in our midst.

 

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She couldn’t drink, and she didn’t care about fake Europe… she just wanted some rides!

 

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We found a few animals to distract her.

 

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But it was cold and she was growing more bored with each step. Every ride we passed? Locked up tight.

And then viola!

 

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I spotted a gondola.

 

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3 adults and a midget. We’re in!

So we get on line.

A long line.

A very long line that took us almost 40 minutes to reach the end.

We boarded, anticipating a leisurely ride over the park.

 

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And I kid you not, after taking this picture….

And this video….

 

 

Which lasted 40 seconds, we were done.

One second of ride for each minute we waited on line. Totally worth it!

Not.

 

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We landed in “France”.

And you know what? I’ve been to France…. this wasn’t even close.

Still not finding a working ride, I spotted Hogwarts and the child’s eyes lit up.

Yay me!

 

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Boo Busch Gardens…. it was blocked off and locked up tight.

I was beginning to hate this place.

 

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Psychedelic camera toting bear aside.

Did I mention it was cold?

 

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I mean down right freezing for southerners and even quite brisk for us Yankees after a few hours of walking.

 

 

At least this made her laugh.

If we had known all the fun kid stuff would be closed? We wouldn’t have gone in the afternoon but just waited until after dark for the lights.

 

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Even the scooter brigade looked disappointed.

 

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We did mange to find an old time carousel.

 

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Where we waited on line for another 30 minutes to ride for 30 seconds. You could seriously get whiplash from how quickly these things end.

 

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Magic dragons were climbed on….

 

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Towers were explored….

 

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More alcohol was needed….

Okay, maybe that was just me.

 

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Rope bridges were crossed….

 

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Even by the husband if you can believe it.

 

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Another warm up station later, it was starting to get dark enough to see some lights.

And yes, as cold and miserable as I was….. I was going to wait until dark for the lights we paid almost $300 to see.

A preview…

 

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White Mountains trip… Day 7. The beginning of the end.

 

On the 7th and final full day of our trip, the husband woke up and said no more hiking, climbing and jumping rocks.

Or rather his back did…

 

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So we did what any (not so) able bodied tourists would do…

We had a long lazy breakfast…

 

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And resort hopped the day away.

 

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Our first stop was a brand new place perched at the bottom of Mount Washington.

 

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While it didn’t look like much from the front, the views out back were wide open.

 

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With a large deck…

 

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Ample seating, and a fire pit to take it all in.

 

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Inside there was a nice dining room..

 

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Filled with old photos…

 

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And history of the area.

 

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But it was the lounge and bar that drew our attention.

(You’re shocked, I know.)

 

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It had my kind of moose head mounted over the mantle…

 

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And a wall of windows…

 

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That made for a damn near perfect spot to drink.

 

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So we drank.

 

 

(You’re surprised, I know.)

 

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My Thyme In Mumbai please…

 

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Yes, I believe that tasted like another one.

 

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The bartender/waitress was a hoot and had us sample a new hard cider by North Country called Squashed. I’m not a fan of all that pumpkin spiced crap but this was heavenly. Light, crisp with delicate undertones… I was hooked. Until I researched it and realized you could only buy it by visiting their tasting room.

Future road trip itinerary – check!

Thinking it might be a good idea to have some food to soak up the alcohol, I opted for a crab cake that was the size of a large saucer and pure crab. It was sublime.

 

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Tomato bisque for the husband.

 

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Which was small, but delightfully rich and creamy.

 

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Bacon wrapped pan seared sea scallops for him…

 

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Grilled chicken club wrap for me.

Good bye diet.

 

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We soaked in the wall of windows a little longer…

 

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Then headed out….

 

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To resort #2.

(You’re welcome food people. Breakfast and lunch!)

 

 

 

Anne Taintor still gets me…

 

It’s time for another peak into my absolute favorite desk calendar.

And all these months later?

She can still read my mind.

 

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I think that one is self explanatory.

 

 

If you’re not familiar with Anne, she takes those innocent snapshots of the perfect 1950’s housewives and gives them a little twist.

 

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If that isn’t incentive enough to fly…

I don’t know what is.

 

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Yes….

Blue things have occasionally been found growing in the back of my refrigerator.

And we’re not talking Jello.

 

 

While I have often expressed this next sentiment…

 

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If you look very closely…

Happy housewife on the right appears to have been holding something that was digitally removed…. and it seems to have been oblong.

Was it a Twinkie? A hot dog?

Or was this Lorena Bobbit’s  grandmother?

Tough call.

 

 

And finally…

This has always been my philosophy.

 

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Smiling.

It’s so over rated.

 

 

Things I like today.

 

1.  Kicking back on the barn porch on a summer evening after a long day of mowing and trimming the lawn?

Wonderful.

 

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Margarita in a can?

Not so much.

 

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But it’s alcohol.. with a view.

So I like.

 

2.  With a shout out to Mona at  Wayward Sparkles  who introduced me to this marvelous piece of mechanical engineering)

I read her blog and thought, damn…. I have to have one.

And then I thought, gifts!

So I had to have 2 more.

 

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Are you all here?

Good.

Viola!

 

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A bell you can ring to summon the elixir of the Gods.

In pink no less!

I believe this little darling will be getting quite a work out at Casa River.

If only I could order the hot cabana boy to go with it…

I like.

 

And finally, ladies…

Do you have old, dry wood?

No, I’m not talking about your husbands.

 

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We have stained wood moulding,  doors, window frames and sills, and built in stained bookcases etc. basically every piece of trim is unpainted wood. They’re original to the house and tend to dry out/fade from sunlight and winter heating.

So I found this on Amazon –

 

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Half a bottle did 12 doors and frames, 5 windows and frames and 2 large tables.

It’s good stuff. Witness the before and after…

 

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Brings back the shine and feeds your thirsty wood with very little effort.

I like.

 

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Thank you..

Thank you very much.