Friday, July 16, 2010

July 16th

Here's a few pictures looking back at July 16th in 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, and 2005. Amazingly only one of these pictures was taken on a different day, and that was the 17th. However, I decided not to go back any further. 2004 has the 18th as the closest day, and there was one picture from July in 2003 (23rd) and no pictures in July 2002.

2009- England
Bolton Abbey. We also went to Skipton Castle that day.

2008- Maine
Scottish Highland Games in Brunswick. We stopped on our way to Acadia.

2007- Belmont
I had just gotten a new camera lens and was testing it out on the plants in the garden.

2006- Cow Parade
This is the Trojan Cow. IT was located in South Station. I spent two Saturdays roaming around Boston trying to get pictures of all of the cows (approximately 100 of them, if I remember correctly).

2005- Philadelphia
Aunt Ethel's funeral. She had numerous scarves and Chris was displaying them and offering them to anyone who wanted any.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

A year ago today...

A year ago today we were in Yorkshire on a 3 mountain, 25 mile hike. The weather started off chilly, rainy, and overcast. Eventually the rain stopped and things cleared up a bit, but it never really warmed up. I guess that's ok- better to be cool than profusely sweating.

This is the last time we've gone on a big hike. And who knows how much more hiking I'll be doing. I like to hike, but it causes me a lot of knee pain. At the time, we commented that if the future kids ever wanted to go on this hike, Uncle Andrew would have to take them.

Anyway, these photos are from the summits of each of the 3 Peaks: Pen-y-ghent (694 metres - 2,276 feet), Whernside (736 metres - 2,415 feet) and Ingleborough (723 metres 2,372 feet).

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Blech. We've been stuck in a hot/humid wave for about two weeks now. Not fun. And last night I decided to turn the oven on to make cupcakes. In my defense, I had a number of zucchinis from the garden sitting int the fridge wanting to be used. However, of the three (and one is HUGE) I only needed to use one of them. Here's what I made:

Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting.
2 C shredded zucchini
3 eggs
2 C sugar
3/4 C cooking oil
2 tsp vanilla
2 C flour
2/3 C unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 C milk chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees
Stir together zucchini, eggs, sugar, oil, and vanilla.
Add flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, baking powder and chips, stirring until combined.
Spoon batter into cupcake pan lined with paper liners.
Bake about 25 minutes
Frost with Peanut Butter Frosting
Yields 24

Peanut Butter Frosting
Beat 1/2 C peanut butter, 1/2 C softened butter, 1 Tblsp milk, and 1/2 tsp vanilla with electric mixer until smooth. Gradually add 1 1/2 Cups powdered sugar until spreading consistency is reached.

Monday, June 14, 2010

So what's been going on?

Apparently I haven't been into blogging much lately. So what's been going on the past month plus?

I'm continuing to grow a little alien. For updates on Baby B, check out my baby blog. I mentioned to someone else recently that it was an alien and she didn't seem to like that name for it, but Chris and I both think that Baby B looks like an alien. (There are actually some more recent pictures than this which are on the baby blog.)

I went to Orlando for work. We stayed at a gorgeous hotel and the weather was mostly nice. However, due to working all day and being exhausted at night I didn't get out to enjoy it much.

Gardening. All the veggies are in, as are all of the flowers. Cucumbers and beans are both growing well. As are peppers, chives, lettuce, and many others. I've even been able to pick a couple of strawberries, although an animal got one of them. Corn is doing ok, but I think the spot it's in just doesn't get enough sun. Some of the broccoli turned to flower. Ugh. Too early for that. The carrots just didn't make it at all. Peonies looked great, as do other flowers. Still want to get a couple more things for the front.

Sheep Shearing at Wayside Inn and Sturbridge Village. The one at Wayside was pretty low-key. It was the same shearer who did the one we went to last year in Waltham. Sturbridge was nice because they were much more interactive- answering questions, etc. And it's nice to use our membership a bit more.

Two Red Sox games. I volunteered with a group from work to sell raffle tickets which got me into the first game, and the tickets to the second game were a reward from selling the tickets.

New Patio Furniture. We're getting more and more grown up.

Chris' parents, Michael, Rebecca and Elizabeth came from Georgia for a week. Here's a run down of what we did.

Projects around the house- changing out two lights and installing two new ones over the sideboard, moving the thermostat, fixing a spot on the roof, hopefully fixing a leak at the door of my craft room, and got landscape lights to work again (who knew all they needed was new bulbs!).

Candlepin bowling. Isn't this supposed to be easier than 10 pin? I was horrible.

Old Sturbridge Village, again. We're really starting to put that membership to good use. When we were there for Sheep Shearing the week prior, I had really wanted to get a photo of the spark during the rifle demo. Instead all I got was smoke. This time, I had success!

Constitution. Too bad we couldn't go to about half the ship due to renovations.

Scooper Bowl. This is an annual event in Boston to raise money for Cancer reasearch. You buy a spoon and then go to all the vendors for as much ice cream as you would like. The portion sizes are small, but this is probably a good thing. I sampled 9 different ice creams. One was icky so I threw it away, but eating 8 1/2 scoops is a lot! Ben & Jerry's had a yummy Boston Cream Pie, and Edy's had a yummy Caramel Cone. I think those were my two favorites.

Children's Museum. Fun, but they got rid of a number of the exhibits that I remember liking.

Elizabeth made a Derby car. At first she was reluctant, but she really got into it in the end. In fact, on the 2nd and 3rd days of working on it, when we came home from other activities she even let Uncle Chris know that they had to go work on it. Here she is sanding and painting. As she was working on it, Uncle Chris and I were the only ones who were allowed to see it. I hope it's nice and fast!

Baby stuff! Lots from the Rummage Sale, some clothes from Wisconsin, TONS of clothes and other stuff from Georgia. Plus we just got a couple of things from one of Chris' co-workers. The house is starting to be overrun with baby stuff, and we've barely started.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Productive weekend!

Saturday wasn't all that productive. I went to a scrapbook convention, about an hour away. I spent an hour there and came home empty-handed. Ok, so it's good for my bank account that I came home empty handed, but it still cost me $7 to get in and $3 to park. Not to mention the 2 hours of driving. Blech. I just haven't been scrapping much, so nothing really jumped out at me as a "must buy".

When I came home I was feeling a bit tired so I took a nap for a bit. Then after dinner we watched Back to the Future II. Did you know that in 5 years we're supposed to have flying cars? Somehow I don't think the technology will be advancing that quickly.

Sunday was a bit more busy. We woke up kind of early and went for a bike ride. We live very close to a bike path, but this is the first time we've been out there (other than a short walk a month or so ago). The problem was that when we moved we had a washer and dryer in the shed blocking our bikes. We were planning to sell them, but I don't think either of us was really all that motivated to actually place an ad and deal with calls. Then in January I found a charity that would take them. But in January there was snow between the shed and the driveway. And then I got pregnant and could no longer lift heavy things. Finally last weekend my dad came over and helped load them into Chris' truck. The shed seems so much more spacious now!

So the nice thing is that at 9am on a Sunday there aren't too many people out on the bike path. And it also was pretty cool. Right now (at 2:20) it's about 83 degrees. The bad thing is that it was mostly downhill going away from the house which means you really have to work to get home. We went about 4 miles (turns out we almost were at the end) and then it started sprinkling so we headed back. Plus we didn't know how much further it went and I knew we had the hills on the return.

When we got home I did a bit of gardening. Watered my strawberries, rhubarb, and asparagus. 4 of the 5 rows of asparagus are looking good. Hopefully the other one is just taking a little longer. Something had dug up one of my strawberry plants, but I put it back in. And I guess I'm not too concerned. Strawberries send off runners with new plants, so if that one doesn't make it, I can always replace it with one of the runners.

When I planted the rhubarb one had looked much better than the other, but now the runty one is looking ok. Hopefully next year I'll be able to make a strawberry-rhubarb pie with fruit from my garden!

I also did a bit of transplanting and planting of other seeds. Not sure if they'll make it- may be too early, but this super nice weather gets me itching to plant. I transplanted some scallions and mesclun, and planted seeds for some carrots, more scallions, a row of corn, and a nasturtium. The corn is the only one I'm really thinking might be too early. The seed packed says "after all danger of frost" but I also had read something that said it was ok to plant when oak leaves are as big as a squirrel's ear. I have plenty of seeds though, so if it is too early I can always replant.

Now I'm off to my mom's to pay her bills. And then maybe a stop at the grocery store on the way home. And if it's cooled off at all when I get back, I may do a bit more gardening- need to prune the rose bushes and pick up some leaves and sticks from the front flower beds.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Floods, gardening, and what were they thinking?

Remember how I mentioned that we had a lot of rain in March? I think it was actually the wettest month on record. In fact, for a few days our commute was really screwy. The way we normally go to work was flooded and then our alternate route had flooded as well. One night it took us over 2 hours to get home after sitting in bumper to bumper detour traffic. Not fun at all. This photo was from our normal route the day the road finally reopened. As you can see, it's till pretty flooded. Not fun. This photo was taken April 5th. By now traffic is back to normal. Rivers and lakes are starting to return to normal levels. Unfortunately there was a library near this intersection that is still closed. They've already filled multiple dumpsters. And they may even still be pumping out water.

On the home front, to make the garden all nice and pretty we ordered 4 yards of mulch. In hindsight 3 yards probably would have been sufficient, but we found places to lay it down a little thicker, etc.

The largest bed that we put it on is in the front of the house. This first photo is what it looked like when we bought the house. A patch of grass completely surrounded by beds with perennials. How exactly are we supposed to get in there and mow it? Yeah, we thought it was pretty stupid. So we ripped it out. :) We planted more perennials. It looked horrible all fall and winter. Basically a big mud pit. I tried to put down some wood shavings to act as much and to keep the mud under control, but the wind ended up blowing a lot of the shavings away.

With the delivery of the mulch, we finally were able to make it look nice. Ah, so much better and no longer a huge eye sore. I'm sure the old owners thought we were crazy. Turns out they had just redone the landscaping before they put the house on the market, and then we tore it all out. And I'm sure they weren't pleased with how the mud pit looked. But finally it looks good. I'll probably add some more things- maybe some perennials, maybe some annuals. Who knows. The only annoying thing is that some of the stuff I planted hasn't come up yet and I'm starting to think it may not. I know I planted 2 more peonies, I transplanted a calla lilly, I think only 3 of 5 day lillies have sprouted, and I think there are even one or two other things that haven't come up yet. Hopefully they are just slow, but I may have to see what kind of guarantee the plants had. Or dig around a bit and hope that maybe I just planted them too deep. Either way, in a month or two it should look nice.

We stopped at the grocery store last night on the way home from work. My food desire of the day was hot dogs. We had the dogs but didn't have buns. We also needed charcoal. And then we agreed on spicy curly fries to go with the hot dogs.

I have to say, being pregnant is good for getting what I want for dinner. :) Chris has been good about going along with my desires, even when it included sloppy joes, which he dislikes.

Anyway, as I was sitting in the car while Chris went into the grocery store I looked over and saw this sign at the cart corral. Really? Have we gotten so addicted to text speak that we can't write out the word "for"? And it's not as if there wasn't space for it on the sign. Blech.

Back on the gardening front, remember my earlier post where I said we planted the asparagus? Well that was about a month ago now and every time I looked at the bed I saw nothing. Well not tonight! It's probably because I was looking at the bed from the deck or from across the lawn. But last night while we were grilling our hot dogs we went down and actually looked at the bed. Out of 20 crowns that I plants, about 5 or 6 of them have now sprouted. Yay!!!! I really don't understand why, but this makes me very excited. I've included a picture with my finger next to a stalk to show you how skinny they are. But that's ok. They'll get better. I can't wait until next year when we really can start harvesting.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

New additions...

A new addition to the family is coming this fall! This ultrasound was from back in mid-March. Baby was just a blob then, hence the arrow and the text that the tech added to the photo.

Baby Bredford is due November 4th, although I would happily deliver 5 days early and have a Halloween baby. :) Feel free to go here to follow along as Baby develops.

The past few days have been filled with telling people. Thursday and Friday I started to tell people at work and yesterday I announced at skating (only 1 more lesson and then I'll stop for the rest of my pregnancy) and at a family reunion.

Announcing at the family reunion was interesting. No idea why I was so nervous, but I was shaking when I got up to announce, and for a few minutes after I sat back down. We apparently have a dowser in the family, and he came over and offered to tell us the sex of the baby. (He claims that he generally is correct about 80% of the time.) I kind of thought about it, but we declined since we'd already decided that we aren't going to find out the gender of the baby.

And one of the final announcements came this morning when I announced on Facebook.