Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Blizzard 2015

We are in the middle of a blizzard today. The worst is over though and it's starting to wind down. Hard to say exactly how much snow we have because of all the blowing and drifting but probably about 2 feet. It started snowing yesterday afternoon and it's supposed to stop later tonight. Long storm! The wind was crazy before but it's settling down now.  So that of course meant no school today...and no school tomorrow too.  The littles are happy about that...


Do you think they want to come inside?  


The snow is piled up so high on the roof we can barely see out the window...


The perfect day to bake!  Julia is making my great aunt Cassie's oatmeal chocolate chip cookies...



They are so delicious!  I haven't made them in years...


Here's the recipe...

1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup crisco
2 eggs (beaten)
2 1/2 cups oatmeal
chocolate chips 

Bake at 350 for 10 minutes

Today is also a great day to do crafts...




Julia is making pretty pom pom pillows...


And ending our day with a crock pot meal...


warm and yummy...


and a fire...


I love snow days.  It never gets old sleeping in late, baking and eating comfort food, sitting by the fire, taking naps and watching the reporters out in the wild weather getting blown away.  And we get to do it all over again tomorrow too! 




Saturday, January 24, 2015

Time Capsule

Way back in 1984, just a year out of high school, my girlfriends and I rented a house down the Cape...(don't you just love the plastic white earrings and my see through pink mesh 80's top?)...


One night, I suppose out of boredom, we decided to write future predictions for each other and ourselves.  We sealed it in an envelope and gave it to one of the trusted ones who we knew wouldn't misplace it (Michele). Then in 1994, we opened it and had lots of laughs and great memories of that vacation together. Then we wrote another one for the year 2004.  We opened that one at Christine's house.  Here's a picture from that night (missing Anne)...
It's crazy how much changes in ten years time.  I was pregnant in that picture and didn't even know what the sex of the baby was yet.  And here it is now...ten years later...and I couldn't imagine life without my Gianna Mae.  I was hopeful that my family would all still be here...healthy...but my Dad has passed.  Michele had breast cancer but is thankfully healthy today.  She is also divorced.  Anne got divorced too.  Both of Christine's parents have passed away and so has Patty's father.  But lots of really good things have happened to all of us since then too. Gianna was born, we've been raising 16 kids between all of us, there's been new jobs, career moves, high school and college graduations.

So this past weekend it was time to open up that time capsule from 2004 and write a new one for 2024.  We tried to keep it upbeat this time and not "predict" too many things.  It's funny how when you are 19 and just the thought of being 29 is just too much to even imagine because you think it's "so old"!  And then when we reached that age we thought 39 was ancient!!  And here we are at 49 writing to ourselves at 59.  It was very emotional this time.  There were some tears.  Not really for us to be ten years older...more because our children will be aging...and for our parents that are left who are aging. I think we are even starting to wonder if we'll all still be here in ten years. Yikes!

We are very lucky to still have these friendships.  I've been friends with these women for 35 years!  That's just crazy.  Some of us don't see each other often but it's as if no time has passed when we get together.  We share a bond that is very special.  We all know where we came from.  We know each other's families, our childhood homes, old boyfriends, ex-husbands, we've been to each others weddings, baby christenings, we've been there for divorces and sadly some funerals.  But I know this group of ours will always be together...even if it's only in spirit.  I love these women. They share a piece of my past and my future too.


Here's to the next ten years...when Nicholas will be 23, Julia 22 and Gianna 19. See?  Like I said...crazy!!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Finishing up

So now that it is four months later, we are just about done with our remodel.  I say "just about" because there are still a few things that need to be done like reconnecting the central vac, putting in a threshold and replacing some of the defective cabinet doors.  

Last week the contractors were here doing the stairs and upstairs hallway. This is the before...




and after...


 

They really did a beautiful job with the house.  We couldn't be happier!  Now Danny has lots and lots of painting to do.  All that dark wood needs to be painted white.  And we are going to spruce up the front hallway with some new wallpaper.  I'll post those pictures when it's done!  

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Pretty

Each morning Julia comes up with these cute ideas on how to wear her hair to school. This was today's style...



Monday, January 12, 2015

Sundee

That's how my Dad pronounced Sunday...Sundee.  There's nothing better than relaxing by the fire on a Sundee night...


with my warm fuzzy brown blanket, a pile of my favorite magazines and my Kindle Fire.


Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Schuler Elkay Lowes painted cabinets

We absolutely love our new kitchen and all the work Lowes did for us.  But do yourself a favor and don't buy Schuler Elkay painted cabinets from Lowes.  If we knew then what we know now...we never would have went with that line of cabinetry. It's supposed to be Lowe's "top of the line" cabinets.  And we paid a lot of money for them.  From a distance, yes they look beautiful.  But up close you will see there are defects in the manufacturing of the cabinet (joints not put together tightly enough) and the painting has a lot to be desired.  Our cabinets arrived with scratches, bubbling in the paint, splits, painted too thinly so the joints show, ink marks, etc.  We had to replace practically every single cabinet and drawer.  And then most of the replacements arrived in worse condition than the originals.

Just take a look for yourself...







Appears to be ink...


Painted way too thin...


Obvious scratches...





And here is one of the very few cabinets that came in with decent painting on the joint...you can barely see it.  So why can't all the doors look like this one? 


Here is the Schuler reps response to our letter of complaint.  I wonder if she even looked at the pictures?  It only took about an hour to get this letter back from her after we sent our carefully composed letter to her.  

Hello,

Thank you for your email, and I apologize to hear of your dissatisfaction.  I am familiar with your project, as I know my representative Jim Collins has been to your home, along  with having been in communication with Deb at the store.

Unfortunately, with a painted finish, we have the possibility of seeing joint lines, especially as the cabinet goes through humidity changes during different seasons.  This is something that is very common, and will increase and decrease over time.  I know there is concern in the “gauges” by the joint line coming together, in which I believe I addressed at the time of the first replacement order, that you could receive this again, due to this is how we receive the doors from our vendor.

As I stated, I am more than happy to put in another replacement order, especially where you have scratches and light paint, but if we are replacing others due to the indentation or visibility of joint lines, that is not something I can guarantee will be different.  Please let me know if you would like to proceed forward in this manner, and I can put in a special request, however again I could not guarantee.  I would just need a list of following doors that you would like replaced.

Thank you,

Cara Welch
Regional Sales Manager - Northeast
Elkay Companies
630.272.7606- cell
630.366.2569 - fax

Seasons?  Humidity?  We have barely gone through one.  The cabinets were just installed in November.  Humidity is not an issue.  It's winter here in Massachusetts.   They arrived in that condition.  How about addressing the problem with the way the cabinets are sent to them by the "vendor"?  She can't "guarantee" they will look better?  How about talking to the right people and getting to the root of the problem so perhaps it can be improved or actually resolved?  We will reorder all the cabinet doors and drawers that we still find unsatisfactory and maybe...just maybe...we will get lucky and get one good one in the bunch.  

Monday, January 05, 2015

Happy New Year!!



Nicholas made that cake!  We had another great New Years Eve across the street at Patty and Fran's. They made an absolutely delicious meal of short ribs, mashed potatoes, roasted veggies and homemade mac & cheese.  Yum!!


I love staying close to home on NYE and spending it with my little family (with the exception of Julia this year as she slept at a friends house) and best friends...





We were all tucked into bed shortly after midnight.  The next morning Nicholas had a New Years Day hockey game and right after we went to our absolute favorite...and THE best...pizza place, Lynnwoods...


Later that afternoon, Danny & I went furniture shopping. Oh how I wish I could of bought this...


Or perhaps this...


Another favorite.  But nope.  We bought this comfy recliner (but not in that pattern) for our TV living room...


I anticipate lots of fighting between the kiddies about whose turn it will be to sit in it.  I have an idea though how to solve that problem.

My two little brace faces.  They look even more alike now...


It was a wonderful Christmas vacation.  I'm honestly sad that it's over and we have to go back to our regular busy routines. It was so nice to have hardly any dancing and hockey and other commitments over vacation.  Lots of time spent with the kids and sitting by the fireplace snoozing. It truly is my favorite time of the year.

Hoping this New Year brings lots of fun, surprises, good health and happiness to all of us.