Tag Archives: gifts

The miracle continues…

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Out of nowhere the husband decided to clean the garage.

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And there was lots to sort through and clean believe me.

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Did I crochet that?

I once superglued the straps of my bathing suit together, so… no.

Like hundreds of other items that show up in our out buildings, I have no clue how it came to be there. But the point is, the husband was willing to get rid of some things and that had to be celebrated.

Applauded.

And crowed about on a blog.

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Okay, so he wasn’t willing to part with everything. This was old, rusted and didn’t work.

In other words, a keeper!

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Halfway though the day he stumbled on that motorcycle dolly he just had to have. You know the one… I bought it for his birthday 10 years ago, almost broke my back getting it into the house and wrapped? The one he not only didn’t use, but never even opened?

Yeah, that one.

Problem was it had been stuck in the back of the garage for all that time and a mouse family had moved in. So when he picked it up?

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The bottom of the box gave way.

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And pounds of mouse shavings, clippings and poo fell out.

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But one side of the building revealed it did indeed have a (seriously cracked) floor and the truck was filling up for a dump run.

Cue the brass band.

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Naturally if I put anything in there, it had to be gone over with a fine tooth comb. Which by the way, I found three of.

None with a full set of teeth.

Good times.

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It’s a miracle!

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Somewhere …. pigs are flying. I know this because I went out to the big barn and saw something I never thought I’d see.

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My husband sorting through and …. are you sitting down?… actually throwing things out!

It’s true. And I might have wept with joy. (After an orgasm. Or two. )

Not only did he throw things out….

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He chopped some up and cut them into little pieces.

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Okay he did it with a saw that was on the floor because the tables were covered in crap… but still!

The old rotten shelf with the 40 degree lean that was filled with useless stuff? Gone!

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Whatever this was?

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It and all it’s relatives… gone!

I couldn’t figure out why this was happening, but it’s like extended happy hour at your favorite bar…. you don’t ask why. You just drink till you pass out.

And then I noticed where all of these things were going.

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In piles alongside the deck.

One minute there was a rusty folding camp bed and broken sewing machine table…. the next minute? They were gone.

I assumed the husband was loading up his truck for a dump run, but no.

It turns out the man who we hired to paint our barn wanted it.

All of it.

And was filling up the back of his truck.

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Pardon the terrible through the screen photo but I was so happy to see the crap leave our property I had to.

So miracles do happen, and the best miracle of all?

We’d hired a fellow hoarder! And I realized the husband wasn’t throwing out his treasure…. he was gifting it.

Why in the world didn’t I think of this sooner?

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A bridge too far.

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Things have started appearing on our barn porch.

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Rusty things.

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Old things.

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Things that look like my husband chose them.

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He swears he didn’t, and since we weren’t home when these things showed up? I have to believe him.

Someone is leaving things on our porch.

Things we don’t need.

We have more than enough things!

So please, whoever did this?

Keep your things to yourself.

I beg to differ Oprah.

 

Flipping through O magazine the other day  (I get it free, don’t judge)  I realized Oprah and I disagree about a few things.

Most importantly, her list of must have items.

She might find these necessary and affordable, but I don’t.

 

 

Seriously? Bragging about your house manager Eddie and his cocktail mixing prowess is bad form. Especially when we peons are occasionally forced to drink cocktails from can.

Let’s forget the revolting sounding ‘flavor capsule’….  why in the world would I pay $350 to have a machine mix my drink.

My local pub’s bartender does a fine job and he never expects that big a tip.

 

 

$70 for a bottle.

To put alcohol and fruit in.

Call me classy, but a mason jar works just as well for a lot less.

 

 

Good grief.

$195 so my selfies can be better lighted?

I’m 55 and menopausal. No one wants to see that any more clearly than they already have.

Oprah redeemed herself slightly with this last pick.

It’s been a while since I shopped at Talbots, but I could probably rock a pair of these.

 

 

Cheers!

Worst. Gift. Ever.

 

Have you ever given someone a gift and had cause to regret it?

I’ve lived with regret for the past few years and felt the old twinge again yesterday.

 

 

At first I looked outside and thought how nice…

 

 

The husband is trimming a tree.

 

 

And then I saw the gift I’ve lived to regret.

 

 

He wasn’t trimming branches off the tree, he was cutting it down.

 

 

Why?

 

 

I don’t know.

Because it was there… and he could, because I’d given him a chain saw as a birthday gift.

 

 

Whatever the reason, it’s gone.

 

 

Or at least part of it.

 

 

And if he thinks he’s leaving this abomination on our lawn he’s sorely mistaken.

Chain saws.

Worst. Gifts. Ever!!

Nailed it.

 

While adults are complaining about being shuttered at home with spouses….

 

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And wondering if their favorite bar stool at the local pub is lonely with out them…

(okay, that might just be me)

 

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The little people are suffering too.

No school, no play dates, no adventures.

The grand daughter of our heart is getting a kick out of receiving snail mail so along with cards to let her know we’re thinking of her….. I send a small gift now and then as well.

 

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First was a cute little upside down teddy bear drinking glass.

But I think the second one was a bigger hit.

 

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Yup.

Nailed it.

Celebrating 36 years of not killing each other…..

 

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Yes, there’s that as well.

This was the very first picture of us ever taken ….

 

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Back in 1984, on that awful chair at his mother’s house…… right before we got married. I may look twelve, but no worries. I’d just turned 20. (As for the husband’s hair… I have no idea what was going on there.)

We knew each other for 6 days.

Yes, you read that correctly…. 6 days. And to be honest, 3 of those were the required waiting period for the marriage license.

People thought we were crazy.  (We knew we weren’t.)

 

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People said it would never last.  (It’s been 36 years.)

 

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The Grateful Dead had it right…..

What a Long Strange Trip It’s Been!

 

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But I wouldn’t trade a minute of it.

Anyway…. this year on our anniversary?

 

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A seriously beautiful bouquet from my other half….

 

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That got better every day as all the blooms opened up.

 

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The rose colors were gorgeous.

Then it was off to our favorite restaurant in Boothbay Harbor…. before their doors were shut due to the virus.  The decor is nothing to write home about, and the menu is smaller in winter….. but the food is still fabulous.

 

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As were the seasonal cocktails.

I started with a Ciderberry.

 

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And moved on to a few Sugar Plums made with this.

OMG!!

If you’ve never payed attention to any of my advice before?

Start now… and buy a bottle.

 

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It doesn’t matter if you’re not a fig fan. I actually hate the things.

But this was like nothing I’d ever tasted before. A very unique flavor. I read they also make a Golden Apricot ….. and I’ll be looking for that as well.

 

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Can’t remember what they called my appetizer but it was delicious, with just the right amount of spice.

Husband went with his usual French Onion soup and a light main dish of broiled haddock and asparagus.

 

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I, on the other hand….

 

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Dove into the richest, creamiest most delightful Parmesan risotto you’ll find this side of Italy. It’s one of their specialties and I can never resist…. paired here with pan seared scallops, mushrooms, arugula and a citrus balsamic glaze.

I don’t care how many pounds I gained…

It was worth it!

 

 

 

 

A little catch up… the baby barn, a sunrise and some deer.

 

Now that the Virginia vacation saga is finally over, it’s time to clear out the photo files.

If you remember… before we left for the Cape Cod vacation in November, the husband was desperately trying to finish the remodel on our baby barn from Hell before the snow started flying.

 

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He started putting the siding on….

 

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Which was a nightmare of non squared corners and uneven ground.

 

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Yeah, there was a lot of that.

His answer? Plant a shrub in front of it.

 

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He was still using his 1950’s power tools and probably wishing for a larger wheelbarrow.

 

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Siding around the window resulted in some very colorful language.

 

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As did turning the 3rd corner where things didn’t exactly line up.

Unfortunately that’s as far as he got before the weather turned….

And now I have to stare at this split personality horror show until spring.

 

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In other news, our neighbor and her daughter fed our deer while we were gone.

 

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She sent me this picture while we were in Williamsburg, and wanted me to know the child took her responsibility seriously.

And for that she was rewarded.

 

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Flowers for mom and a thank you deer for her daughter.

 

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That little guy cost me a fortune but he was hand made and too damned cute to resist. Look at those feet!

 

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It snowed right after we got back.

 

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But the white stuff sure does make a nice contrast for the sunrise.

 

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We were happy to see our resident buck was still around.

 

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He’s an impressive fellow….

 

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And clearly his women agree.

 

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He’s got quite a little harem going.

 

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With 4 fawns that we know of.

Funny thing is….. as much as I love to travel, it’s sights like these that always make me glad to be home again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tail end of the Yorktown driving tour, some fluffy butts, an elusive Christmas gift…. and late night food.

 

The driving tour of the Yorktown, Virginia battlefield was a strange one and meandered all over the place.

 

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Through the woods.

 

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And past open fields with miles of split rail fencing.

Seriously, it went on forever.

 

 

 

There were creeks and swamps.

 

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And every now and then, a sign.

 

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We saw plenty of fluffy white butts.

 

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And they roamed at will.

 

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We even made friends with a few.

 

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This little beauty had no fear and sidled right up next to my window.

 

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Up our way that would be dangerous.

But this was protected land and they knew it.

 

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Near the end of the tour we saw something a bit odd.

 

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A buck with a funky horn.

 

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And while I can’t say I’ve ever had to tote a rack around  (on my head anyway)  this did look a little strange.

 

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So this was December 23rd and the husband had spent the last 48 hours trying to talk me into driving down to North Carolina for Christmas Day. When we’re on a trip for the holidays? We usually let it pass without much fanfare. No exchange of gifts, maybe just a special meal. But since our daughter of the heart came to visit with us those few days… he was bound and determined we would celebrate with her this time.

While I normally would have agreed, she had a slew of family members staying the night in a one bathroom house and I didn’t want to stress her anymore than necessary. We checked a few hotels in the area but all of them were full. Husband wanted to go for the day…. but it was a 4+ hour ride down and a 4+ hour ride back. Almost 9 hours on the road is not my idea of a fun Christmas… but he wore me down. Which meant we had to spend the rest of that day (and night) shopping for gifts because I wouldn’t go empty handed.

And leave it to me to decide on the one gift that was utterly unfindable on the 23rd of December. And believe me we tried.

Yup.

I had to give her this.

 

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Because she loves wine…. but can no longer drink it because it gives her headaches.

I was going to give her the gift of wine back! Or die trying.

Which we nearly did.

We tried every single freakin’ store for 150 miles. Large malls and small gift shops. Specialty stores and wine outlets. Big chains and obscure holes in the hall. We walked, we searched, we cursed.  (Okay, maybe that was just me.)  We shopped until we almost dropped. Everyone had heard of it… very few carried it. And if they did carry it? They were sold out by the time we got there.

Do you know how aggravating it is to look for something for 7 hours straight and then be told by a laughing salesclerk, “Oh, we just sold the last one 10 minutes ago. You should have been quicker.”  That woman is lucky she still has her tongue…. because if I could have reached the butcher knife on the other side of the counter? She’d be laughing with a bloody stump right now.

And if that isn’t bad enough?

I didn’t find the perfect gift, but I did find this:

 

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No.

No

Noooo!

This is wrong on so many levels … I can’t even. What twisted soul thought, “How can I take a perfectly good candy and ruin it beyond all measure? I know… I’ll add Kale!”

All over the world children are weeping. I hope you’re satisfied Archie.

At 9:30 that night the husband was screaming Uncle…. and grumbling about food. We were both too exhausted to care at that point and stopped at the first place on the way back to the resort. An Outback Steakhouse.

I’m not a lover of chain restaurants and hadn’t been to one of these in 20 years.

 

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But $5 Boozy Cherry Limeades sounded pretty good….

And for that price? I had 3.

 

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Their Blue Cheese Wedge salad left a lot to be desired…. and the husband’s French Onion soup was only fair.

 

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But his filet was blood rare and he made short work of it.

 

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My grilled filet and shrimp skewer combo was filling…. and I’ll leave it at that.

There’s a reason we’re not chain restaurant fans, and if we don’t go back for another 20 years?

I’m okay with that.