Wednesday, December 31, 2008

no rain on this parade

A visit from my parents is always a rollicking good time. This week has been a great mix of old and new traditions, like visits to our favorite fish taco joints in the sun,

Home improvements by the master, with the occasional sunny nap under the watchful eye of a giant puppy,

and dance, dance, revolution.

The ‘rents have been staying in Old Town for their last few visits, which has a quaintish sort of vintage Mexican vibe that we love. This time they stayed downtown, which has added a fun new flavor to our adventures. Their hotel is on the Embarcadero, overlooking tall ships and the beautiful San Diego Bay. When we decided on the hotel, we failed to realize that their visit would coincide with the annual Holiday Bowl festivities. It was hard to miss though, when the parade strolled by!
From the elevator,

Going down

To the street, for a kids’ eye view of the splendor

the lovely senoritas


Happy New Year, dragons!

A float?

There were many, many young pups in marching bands!

They came from near and far, each with their own unique sound and style, representing the cultural identity of their homes with widely varied accessories and musical mementos

each with one quintessential characteristic in common:
High waisted polyester pants.
A parade. What's not to love?
Happy New Year, everyone!!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Ten-word Tuesday: ting ting

Ting, ting to the terminating Tuesday of two thousand eight!

Monday, December 29, 2008

One More Time . . .

After our disastrous attempt to blow insulation into our attic a few weeks ago, we gave it another try on Saturday.

We amassed the most adorable crew you could ever hope for.

The Dowd and MB both came up to help.

We got in touch with our inner Bob Villa, got our lights and tools and masks and eyewear out again, and got to it.

Remember this travesty?

Now it looks like this.

And remember this scary nonsense?

All gone.
The Dowd nailed the floor back on . . .
. . . while MB and I cut pieces of Manville R-38 insulation bats . . .

. . . and shoved them into the sides, where we'd made dams last time.

Then we started laying out the Manville. Every time The Dowd said, "I need another bat of Maaaan-ville" and every time MB and I cracked up.

We were quite a team, laying down that stuff. And even though there are no photos of me, I was up there working, too.
Jennie stopped by, with a jar of vegenaise for Billy, and popped her head up the hatch, but she was too scared of catching asbestositis asbestosis to stick around.

Mistah Schleckah even got into the act.

The Dowd had to belly-crawl into a 4' x 6' space, where he found a squirrel skull.

The bats are 2' across, and our attic is 10' across, so it was a beautiful, tidy, smooth process.

And then, a mere 2-½ hours, and a whole lot of head bumps and sore knees later, our whole attic looked like a big fluffy cloud . . .

. . . keeping that warm air right in.

We got showered up and congratulated ourselves continually on using all the Manville we bought, and having none left over. What are the odds of that?

And then Mistah and I took the world's best Manville insulators out for a night on the town.
We're warm right down to our tootsie-toes around here. Thanks guys!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Weekend 3-Way: Christmas Tid-Bits

Happy Post-Boxing Day!

For today's Weekend 3-Way, please share a Christmas tid-bit. Your highpoint, your lowpoint, your silliest present, your oldest fruitcake (dessert or relative) -- anything. Photos are, as always, cherished.

Christmas Eve we spent all day readying our home, then headed south for dinner with Mom and Dad. When we got back to New London on Christmas morning, our house was sparkling, the table was set, the food was prepared and ready to pop in the oven.

And then, the in-laws descended.

We had a lovely baked-ziti-turkey-sausage-spinach dinner . . .

. . . then sat around opening our loot. And because I had a house full of in-laws, I always had a glass of champagne or wine in my hand. Perpetually. Glued. Which made our walk stumble to P&M's house later such an adventure.


Well, I've already overshared my favorite moments from Christmas, but just to prove that the fun does not end when the fat guy heads back up north, here is a very very very good moment from last night:

The week ahead promises to be chock-full of favorite moments!


Hmm, there were lots of interesting Christmas tid-bits, good gifts, and holiday highpoints, but I have to say that I have never enjoyed the grocery store more that this Christmas, after dropping my girls off at their dad's house for their second Christmas celebration. It was lunch time and it was almost empty. It seemed that there were twice as many Vons employees as there were shoppers. I was in need of two last-minute, hostess-type holiday gifts and I can honestly say I had a lovely time buying them. Lovely. I also savored the drive back home following my purchases, because the streets were deserted -- which was so welcome after the hustle and bustle and mayhem of the few days preceding Christmas.

Friday, December 26, 2008

images from a Merry Christmas

It's true.
If you build it,

they will come.

Our peeps gathered 'round the manger vat of bubbling oil on Christmas Eve,
some were more steadfast than others when the weather turned foul

I tried my hand at acorn squash , it was sublime

halve and scoop the squash, then place them face down in a baking dish with about a cup of broth. Cook for about 30 minutes, then turn squash over, brush inside cavity with coarse dijon. Add a bit of butter and roasted garlic slivers, sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon (I might have forgotten the cinnamon, but it sounds good, doesn't it?) Return to the oven until hot and bubbly.

we ate a gorgeous meal

the kids ate too (my girl is hidden behind her friend Olivia. Hi Beth's girls!)

Santa's progress was tracked on Norad

Later, the kids retired into their new jammies (Hi Aunt Charlotte!)

And set up refreshments for Santa and his reindeer

a cup of mocha was offered in the santa mug after this photo was taken
Bright and early Christmas morning, some very awesome presents were revealed
for the naughty
(that's coal in her left hand)
and the nice
(I'm kidding, KIDDING, people! she got one too)
We even had a nice old-fashioned High School Musical sing-along.

Peace out from skinny Santa

Oh, and finally, I take back every unflattering thing I have ever said about Moki.
She is a dog after my own heart.

Are you ready for this, mom and dad?!?!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from the three little pigs :-) (And I don't mean me, Jacquie, & Ellie!)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Oh, It's White

Scenes from the weekend's snow storm in New London, Connecticut. It looked like Bedford Falls around here . . .

Happy Merry, everybody.