Waterlogged ~ Update

Wednesday, March 31, 2010 | | 9 comments
I am home today because it is not safe for students or staff to travel. In all my years of teaching, I have never had a day off from school due to flooding.

We have rivers that are just beginning to crest,

bridges that have been washed away,

roads that are still deeply covered in water,

cars that have been abandoned,

families that are displaced due to evacuations,

and damage that has yet to be assessed.

A dear friend went to bed last night with a dry home only to wake up to 6 inches of water ~ and it stopped rainingyesterday afternoon! We have another that had to evacuate her home yesterday morning and hasn’t been able to return. Yet another that had rushing water up to her windowsills ~ they've lost half their home.

There just isn't anywhere for this water to go!

I feel for the families that have lost so much ...
their personal belongings, family memories, and keepsakes.
It's heartbreaking!

We have standing water on our property that is feet deep but for now, our basement continues to dry out with no new signs of seeping water returns.

Our main road is closed so I'll be staying put today.

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Tuesday, March 30, 2010 | | 12 comments

It's no secret that it's been raining {A LOT} here in Connecticut.

To our relief, our basement has been bone dry despite the torrential rains.

We've been lucky .... up until this morning.

Our alarm clock this morning was the rain coming down so hard it sounded like someone was pounding on our walls.

I took the first peek at 6:00am on my way to get my first cup of coffee ~ alls well

One last check before hopping into the shower at 6:45am ~ still safe and dry.

My husband did one last check before heading to the office at 7:30am ~ hmmm ...

I heard him go back up the stairs to our bedroom and return in shorts and his Crocs

This ladies and gentlemen, is NOT a good sign!

By this time, it's too late for me to call out of school. I did what I could then left for my classroom knowing that I would need to get back home ASAP.

I barely made it out of our subdivision and I drive a large SUV. I made it half way down the road to find it closed due to what is normally a small river flooding over the road. Nope, not a good sign of what was to come.

I had to try 3 alternative routes to get to school.
My normal 10 minute drive to school took me almost 45 minutes.
Mind you, I've now called in to let them know I'm going to be late and that I need coverage in my classroom so that I can come back home and deal with the non stop river flowing into our home.

By 9:30am our entire southeastern community is in trouble.

Rivers and ponds are flooding, streets are being closed, and neighborhoods are being evacuated.

They began closing area schools and bringing buses in as soon as they could. Parents were encouraged to pick up students as quickly {and safely} as possible.

As a parent, you know when little guys schedules are upset, they lose control. I had more scared and crying children than I did arms and laps.
At one point I just started to laugh because I didn't think it would be a good idea if the teacher started crying too ... ugh!

There was no way I could leave my newly established crying club {oh my!} so I called my husband only to learn that our sump pump had died.
Well of course it did ~ what fun would we have if we didn't have to panic at finding another one!
{Thankfully, my husband was able to fix it while the water continued to over take our basement}

I finally returned home just after noon and after many turn arounds of closed roads.
Hours later, and one very sore and tired husband, our basement is drying out.
Thankfully, most of our storage is in plastic bins or on shelves. We have a carpeted family room in the basement that doesn't appear to have much damage and none of the furniture is damaged ~ thank heavens!
The total rainfall in our town is 10 inches ~ if nothing else, our lawn should be nice and green this spring.
{trying to look on the bright side}

It's hard to see but the water is moving like a river in our side yard. The force of the water created deep groves in our landscaping at the very front of the yard. We lost a few plants and a fair amount of soil.

There is just no where for this water to go ~ we've more than exceeded the saturation point.

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This is the ravine on the side of our driveway. It's at least 15 feet deep and is over flowing into the street.

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Ready for guests ...

Sunday, March 28, 2010 | | 11 comments

...in a few short days {7 to be exact if you're counting; and I am}.

Our kitchen makeover/redesign has been a self employed project {read husband}

The cabinets have been painted.
 I loved the design of our cabinets but not the color of stain. After several trips to kitchen shops and endless searching, we decided to paint them {again, read husband}. They turned out wonderfully!

We have purchased all new stainless appliances with the exception of the cook top on the island. This will be addressed when our new island and countertops are installed.

One of the last items to be overhauled are the pantries ~ ugh!
Obviously, a man who didn't have a family or cook built my pantry ~ see exhibit A below.
There is at least 6 inches of unused space on each and every shelf in both of my kitchen pantries.

The shelves are also all the same height. Needless to say, the functionality of this space is not optimum. I am forced to store many of my small appliances in our secondary pantry located in the basement. While this does help with my workout regiment {up and down the stairs} it's not very efficient in the time department.

Exhibit A

On Saturday morning my husband announced that he was going to gut on the pantry. With joy and much hesitation, I began to "rearrange" our pantry goods ... all over the house. I just hope I can locate all that has been hidden during this project.

What do you think of my Easter decor?
Does it have the "welcome to our home" look I was working towards? No, I didn't think so.

I have managed to make all our meals this weekend in this MESS. Truth be told, this is my idea of camping ~ it's as close to roughing it as I'm willing to experience.

As long as the coffee maker is with in reach and working, no human should be hurt.

Please note that freshly cut daffodils from the yard help to bring a bit of cheer to the utter chaos.
While trying to keep an open mind and an up beat disposition, I'm envisioning endless seating options with the addition of the doors in our family room. I think that each door will comfortably seat at least 8.

What? You don't have doors on saw horses, in front of your fire place? I think it says "please come in and enjoy the comforts of our home." OR ... maybe not so much! 

Keep your eyes open, I'm quite certain we're going to be featured in the next addition of Traditional Home ~ ha!
{don't mind the circle with the slash through it}

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My husband ASSURES me that this will be cleaned up and our pantries will be the envy of all who enter our home by Sunday afternoon.

If for some reason we are not able to entertain in our home, I pinky promise you Momma Henley that I will pick up the entire bill after Easter brunch ;)

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Thursday, March 25, 2010 | | 16 comments
I have admired conservatories for many years.

Due to our long winters, this would certainly bring a little extra needed light to brighten our home.

While this is my first choice, I may have a hard time convincing my husband we *need* such a large addition .

This little would fit ever so nicely with the design of our backyard landscaping.

I love all the different design options within the English style.
When you really think about it, it's actually adding to the value of our home when it does come time for us to move.

I just can't decide if I want an attached or separate building.
Just think of the many hours I could spend {alone} in such a room.

Oh, the decisions to be made.

I'm allowed to dream ;)

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Parades to Patios

Monday, March 22, 2010 | | 21 comments
Spring arrived in style this year.
We had two days of glorious weather. Our yard received some much needed attention and I've begun our deep spring cleaning ~ it feels so good!

Sunday was the annual St. Patrick's Day Parade in Mystic. This is an event not to be missed. We always bump into people we haven't seen in forever as well as neighbors, friends and a few of my students. It's a real hometown type of event enjoyed by all.

It was a perfect day for a parade!

After the festivities in town, we headed home to prepare for our guests. We've been trying for weeks to get together with some friends but our schedules just didn't work out.

Due to the warm temperatures, we were able to spend some time on our patio.

My husband built a fire and we brought out a basket of throws as the sun began to set.

It was laid back and relaxing ~ this is my favorite way to entertain.

As our friends began to arrive we nibbled on a variety of cheeses and sipped Chardonnay from Jonathan Edwards.

{Thanks Jessica}

While the men finished up dinner preperations, the ladies chatted and enjoyed being together!

Carrie and I enjoying the last of the fresh spring sunshine.

I must admit that I'm moving full steam ahead to summer. After this weekend I am ready to bring out the spring/summer wardrobe. This also means that I need to step up the workout plan and staple my lips shut so that I can go to the beach in a few short months.
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Even Bozley had a friend over to play.
He and Grover are besties!

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Peeking out ...

Sunday, March 21, 2010 | | 11 comments
 after a long winter's nap.

Look what's waking up and peeking out.
I think this makes it official ~ spring has arrived!

We spent the entire day outdoors yestersday and will be doing the same today.
I'm a new person with all this glorious sunshine and the warm sweet breezes blowing through our windows.

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I hope you're enjoying a bright beginning to the spring season!

Have a wonderful Sunday.

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Thursday, March 18, 2010 | | 15 comments
The past week and a half has been crazy busy.

Thankfully, the CMT's (Connecticut Mastery Test) are behind us and now we are gearing up for spring conferences. Recently I've had a few tasks dumped in my lap very unexpectedly and it's taking up much more time than I originally thought.I'll be honest, I'm not happy that I've had to take this on. I feel like I'm in a little over my head.

The kind of busy when you don't know if you're coming or going. The kind that no matter how early you get up or how late you go to bed, you just can't finish the days "to do" list. The kind that when you unlock the front door you want to head straight for your bedroom and collapse on your bed and stay there for the rest of the night.

I'm exhausted!

After a simple phone call my perspective is changed ...

My brother isn't much of a chit chatter on the phone. We talk often but our conversations usually only last a few minutes. When I spoke with him last night he didn't stop talking ~ so odd. Within a few minutes his voice became a little weepy.

He lost a patient that afternoon.

This isn't his first, but clearly one that is affecting him deeply.

They shared a light hearted conversation upon her arrival.
She was young; only 35 years old. She had a family and was polite and outgoing. This was noted as my brother works in the ER and these behaviors aren't always seen.

Without going into all the medical details, he lost her within an hour of her arrival.
She passed away from an allergic reaction to a medication that prescribed a couple of days ago.

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{My brother and me Christmas 2009}

I'm not so tired after all.
Instead, I'm thankful that tomorrow I am priviledged enough to wake up, and have another busy day.

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Rainy day

Saturday, March 13, 2010 | | 18 comments
It's a cold, dreary, rainy day here ....

I've decided to stay put.

If you need me, I'll be snuggled up in one of these dreamy beds.

This lovely frame is now on my list of "must have."
I wonder if I could sneak this ruffled bedding past my husband ~ ahhh.

Just imagine the sweet dreams to be had under this canopy

I love the quiet but elegant details of the bedframe.

Please bring me a cup of hot tea and a stack of magazines. I'm going to be a while. ;)

Enjoy your weekend!

*I'm not certain of the sources as I tucked these photos away for idea purposes*

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How was your day?

Thursday, March 11, 2010 | | 24 comments
Mine you ask? Not so great!

My morning began with a sweet little child telling me that I look like his GRANDMOTHER. 


I look like a grandmother?
Hence the photo of me ~ I'd like to add that I took it upon arriving home this evening after a   l  o  n  g  day.
This was followed by another sweet child announcing that I get to sit on TWO letters during circle time. I guess that makes me an overachiever.
 I'll be adding DIET to my list of to dos!

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Upon entering our home I was greeted with a scent that could come of no good ... and upon initial site, I was correct!

Apparently, the Boz has the tummy bug that has visited our home.

 I'll spare you of any photos but, oh sweet mother of goodness!
It was oooooozing from his kennel. I've never been so grateful for our wood floors.
Thankfully, we keep him in a kennel during the day. I don't even want to imagine what our home would look like if we didn't.

graphic and disgusting details ahead

Once I assessed the situation, I opened all surrounding windows and Lysoled the area, gathered appropriate cleaning supplies and, held my breath.
Unfortunately, I am blessed with an amazing gag reflex that was put to a level of testing the military hasn't even developed.

Plan A
Lay down every old towel we have so the dog can walk to the door ( I thought about housting him out the window since it was closer than the door but he weighs too much and I had my good clothes on.)
Carry the kennel to the backyard and hose down.

hmmm ...

Helpful hints for Plan A
Check to make sure husband hasn't left the hose on "Power Wash" level.
Ummm ... when there is a high level of pressure, the water tends to come flying back at you along with what you happen to be spraying.
Check dogs bum before he rubs up against you because he's so grateful for all you've done.

Results of Plan A
Take shower and wash hair and face REALLY, REALLY, REALLY WELL!
Wash pants since they now have remains of the mess all over.

And lastly ... remind husband of what he has missed while he's been away on travel :)

I think it goes without saying that after my shower, I had a very large glass of wine.

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Black and White Wednesday ~ Sunshine

Wednesday, March 10, 2010 | | 15 comments
This past weekend I bought arm loads of fresh flowers. I couldn't get enough of the beautiful fresh cut and potted spring flowers. 

I like to use different types of vessels for vases. This sweet little pitcher was made by my Aunt Joanne. She is an artist and at some point in her education, this was a project and then a gift to my mother. I love the flowers ~ it's hard to see but the petals are raised from the surface at varing levels for a 3D effect.

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When I was a little girl she would fill it at lunch time with milk or water and allow me to pour it into my glass ~ it was the perfect size for my little hands and I thought it was a big deal!Today I'm using to hold my sweet kisses of sunshine!

Enjoy more black and whites at Lisa's.

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Spring is on its way!

Sunday, March 7, 2010 | | 15 comments
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This handsome fellow, along with some friends, are looking for a new home.
You can find them in my Etsy shop.
I'll be adding new spring and Easter tassels this week. 

It's a bright and gorgeous day!
The kind that offers endless energy and you want to spring clean, spruce up the yard, and brighten your home for the new season ahead.
That's just what we've been doing this weekend.
We've spent some time in the yard, making way for our new landscaping ideas. 
I raided Trader Joe's of their daffodils, tulips, and lilies. Almost every room in our home has a fresh bloom or bunch. One would think we are staging for a flower show.
And for today's excitement ... cleaning out a few "treasures" that are no longer needed.
{my husband has informed me that we will be hosting a tag sale this spring}

I officially have no complaints over the weather this weekend ~ it's been perfect!

The neighborhood tweens have celebrated by breaking out their shorts {with hooded sweatshirts}. I haven't gone that far just yet as I know there is still a chance of s**w here in the north.

Hope you're having a super pre-spring weekend as well!
Make sure you take a peek!

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Black and White ~ Pages in Time

Wednesday, March 3, 2010 | | 28 comments
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As the season is about to change into a softer more gentle phase, so will my lifestyle.
During the winter I like to hunker down with comfort foods, fluffy down comforters and pages filled with various forms of entertainment.
As spring arrives I look forward spending less time indoors and more in my flower beds, catching up with neighbors after a long winter, and evening walks on the beach.

This photo was taken of my bedside table after a Blogger Book Swap. The pictures represent my life as a toddler on the lap of my mother {my favorite choice of seating} and as a wife on the arm of my husband just before dashing off to a formal event.

 As with the seasons, our identities as individuals change over periods of time.

Join Lisa for more beautiful Black and Whites 

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Grew up Green

Monday, March 1, 2010 | | 13 comments

I'm not sure how or when this realization popped into my head but, I've come to learn that my parents were GREEN long before it was the in thing to do!

I'm becoming more and more concerned about my family using plastic for food storage. Even more alarming is heating any type of food in this form of container.

Due to my form of lunch hour {Ha, I don't get an hour. More often than not, I'm eating with a student or inhaling my lunch so I can attend a meeting.} I always bring my lunch with me from home. It is often leftovers from the night before, soup or, a salad.

Last weekend I bought several of these pieces from Crate and Barrel. I love them! The seal is fabulous  and have been personally tested as they have traveled to and from my classroom.

I'll be adding more to our home now that I know they travel and work so well.
My mother always went to the Farmers Market with her own bags. They were loosely knitted  that expanded as the items multiplied.
When at the grocery market she would recycle by bringing back the paper bags from the previous week.
I my Whole Foods and Trader Joe's bags that can be purchased in their stores. Some of the markets in my area are giving back .5-.10 per bag when you bring your own.

Not to sound snobby but please understand these acts weren't based on my parents income, rather their upbringing. My grandmother was from the depression era so there was no wasting allowed. Yes, she was the one who washed out bread bags to be reused, washed aluminum foil to be reused, darned nylons ... you get the picture.

Growing up, my brother and I always brought our drinks to school in a thermos. At home,
 we had our own glasses that weren't allowed to leave the kitchen ~ no drinks allowed in the formal living areas.
Today I bring my water to school in my Klean Kanteen{of course it's pink!} and if I bring coffee, it's made at home and travels with me in my pink Starbucks travel mug. Except for Wednesday when I meet the ladies for coffee at 7am. Whole Foods has a wonderful selection of Klean Kanteens to choose from. I just read about another bottle in this month's issue of Clean Eating.
Both of my parents enjoyed gardening. We had a vegetable garden, flower garden and herb beds. It was a nightly chore to carry the vegetable and fruit peels from our meal out to the compost pile. All the yard matter went into this pile as well which was then turned into rich wonderful dirt for our yard.
I've been composting for many years now and love what it does for our plants.While I was there, I picked up this great compost pail at Crate and Barrel. I bought the larger one for our home.

Childhood memories, ahhh ;)

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