Monday, May 30, 2016

Memorial Day

Happy Memorial Day!  Make it your goal to hug a veteran today and thank them for their service to our country.

Today was a lazy day for me & Spouse.  Both our offices were closed so we both had the day off, but it has rained on and off so we've just been relaxing and watching TV with the dogs on our laps.

I don't mind having a 'lazy day' like this once in a while, especially if I've also had an especially productive day recently.  Yesterday the weather was awesome so Spouse & I pulled all of the screened porch furniture into the yard.  I cleaned the furniture with a wet rag while he power washed the inside of the porch.  Its always amazing to me how dirty the inside of the screened porch can get!  While everything was drying we went around to the front yard and pulled a few weeds and planted the 2 yellow rose bushes I gave him for our 20th anniversary as well as planted a couple of colorful annuals we picked up Sat evening to brighten up one of the beds.  Its been a good year for our roses!  The long stem soft pink Queen Elizabeth roses, the medium pink knock-out roses, the magenta knock-out roses, and the orange knock-out roses are all blooming like crazy!  In a year or 2 the new yellow roses should join the club.

Then we carried all the porch furniture back into the screened porch and arranged everything.  I even cleaned the 3 lanterns and planted a small basil plant in a pot.  

It was a nicely productive day, and it felt good to be out in the sun for a while considering all the rain we've had this month.  After taking showers and having a snack, Spouse & I hung our new canvas.
Since it looks much more like Marvin then it does Walter, Spouse was concerned that Walter may begin acting out because we hung a giant picture that looks like his brother and not one that looks like him.  I told Spouse that they may be smart, but their not THAT smart. 

Later we went out to dinner with Steven & Thad and I decided to pull my hair back into a Samurai knot.  
I think it looks kinda cool and hipster-like.  I knew Thad would ridicule me for this "age inappropriate" hairstyle, which of course he did.  But I like changin' it up now and then.  Your thoughts on the Samurai knot??

I hope your Memorial Day weekend was good!

Friday, May 27, 2016

It begins...

Our little historic seaside village is idyllic and quiet 9 months out of the year.  We enjoy a really great quality of life here. 

But Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of the summer tourist season here where the population doubles or triples for 3 months.  We're just over 100 miles from Washington DC so we get a lot of beach vacationers from the metro DC area as well as from MD, PA, NJ, and NY.
Lots of locals dread this weekend and the traffic congestion and restaurant lines that come along with it.  Its true that we have to double the amount of time it takes to get places, especially on the weekends, due to the traffic.  But if you've ever lived in the metro DC area you'll hardly bat an eye at the traffic congestion here.  As I've said many times "Even the worst traffic here is better than an average day in DC".

But I don't dread this weekend at all!  I understand that the tourist dollars from these 3 months are the reason we have the variety and quantity of restaurants and stores we get to enjoy year round.  I also like the energy that the tourists bring.  They're on vacation, they're happy!

So today I say "Welcome!" to the start of the summer tourist season, and "Welcome!" to the tourists too.  I hope they enjoy themselves and come back again and again.

Thursday, May 26, 2016


Today is mine & Spouse's 20th anniversary!  We met on May 26, 1996 in a bar/nightclub and since we've pretty much been together ever since, we celebrate May 26 as our anniversary.

As usual, I sent flowers to Spouse's office, only this time it wasn't the assorted cut flowers he loves.  I sent 20 roses in assorted colors with a card that read "20 roses for 20 years of love and laughter". 
They actually arrived before he did so they were sitting on his desk when he got to work.  His female colleagues think its so cool that flowers arrive for him on his birthday, anniversary, Valentines Day, and one other random day.  My primary reason for sending them is for Spouse's enjoyment of course, but a bi-product of this is the statement it makes about the love, commitment, and thoughtfulness of same-sex couples.

I also bought him 2 yellow rose bushes to plant in the yard because "one can never have too many roses", and some special snacks I knew he'd love.  We also went out to dinner tonight, just the 2 of us, which is pretty unusual since we usually eat out with friends.  

It was a nice anniversary!

Friday, May 20, 2016


Today is the 4th anniversary of Marvin Parker's adoption, or as I call it, his Homecoming.

This was the photo of Marvin on the shelter's website.  They said his eyes were a little groggy because he was just coming off of the anesthesia from his neutering
 We adopted Marvin from our local shelter so we don't know his actual birthday.  Instead, we celebrate the day he joined our family and found his forever home; thus his Homecoming day.

Me & Spouse with Marvin on the back porch
One of my favorite photos; Marvin sleeping on my shoulder
Marvin is typically social.  He's not afraid of strangers and will let nearly anyone pet him and hold him.
Marvin 'took' to Sean immediately when he & Jeffrey visited
 Marvin loves to be petted and will sit on your lap for hours as long as he's getting good scratches.
His Regalness
 Marvin has always loved Spouse's mom.  When we visit he will hop up into her lap for some love.
Sleeping on Grandma's lap on Mother's Day

Bath time
For the most part Marvin gets along well with other dogs.  Sometimes when we're in the yard and someone approaches 'his territory' he will get protective.  He gets along great with Walter.
Marvin, Papa, and younger brother Walter
Marvin is very smart and responds to many verbal commands.
Sleeping while Daddy watches TV
It is rare for Marvin to relax or sleep on his own.  He always wants to be on me or at least touching me.
Marvin just can't tolerate yet another episode of House Hunters

Chillin' on Daddy's shoulder
So today its all about Marvin!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016


Sometimes I see friends from high school on facebook and can't believe we're the same age.  Maybe I should thank my parents for 'good' genes, or maybe its years of clean living (no drug use), but I definitely look younger than my peers.  

Just sayin'.

Monday, May 16, 2016


We bought a sofa off of Amazon!!

It was becoming more and more apparent that we needed to replace the sofa in our TV room.  I convinced Spouse to join me and look at some styles/fabrics at a local furniture store.  After about 10 minutes he declared that "everything is ugly".

In reality he just didn't want to continue looking at furniture.  He said "shopping in brick and mortar stores is passe" and that it takes so much less time to shop online.  I think this is true in some cases, but not for everything.  I'd really like to sit/lounge on a sofa in person before buying one.

But we didn't.  We were looking for something pretty specific so we checked a couple of furniture store websites and then ended up looking on Amazon and found this:
This is not a photo from the website - this is our sofa in our TV room.

It is "bonded leather", which I'm still not quite sure exactly what that is, but Spouse was keen on it because of the ease of removing dog fur with a quick swipe.  Its a deep red, which looks ok with the rug but I don't like the curtains with it.  No worries though - the curtains were super cheap and almost 10 years old so I'm happy to replace the curtains with new panels.

The best thing about this new sofa is that we don't have to fight over a chaise or ottoman because both sides are recliners!
This is a stock photo from the website, showing one side in the process of reclining.
Some might think its odd or risky to make a 'major purchase' like a sofa online, without having touched or seen it in person.  But this sofa was the same price as the sofa it replaced, which we purchased almost 12 years ago, and came with free shipping, so we decided to take a chance on it.  At least so far we've not been disappointed.  Its quite comfortable and reclines to almost a lying down position if you want.  I normally just put the leg part up.

When Steven & Thad learned that we'd bought a sofa off of Amazon they were barely surprised.  When I questioned them about it they said "You bought a 1959 Cadillac off of eBay sight unseen, so why would we be surprised at this?"

I guess they had a good point.

Monday, May 09, 2016

Mother's Day recap

Yesterday morning Spouse & I packed up the dogs and drove the 2 1/2 hours to DC to spend Mother's Day with his mom and family.  

Our nephew David (aka: Baby David) finished his semester at college last week so he was there when we arrived.  We hadn't seen him since Christmas.  Our niece Anna also arrived shortly after us, with her daughter and boyfriend in tow.  We visited with them and Spouse's mom for a while, and then I picked up my aunt Mary so she could join the fun.  Then Spouse's sister's mother-in-law and brother-in-law arrived.

We brought Marvin & Walter with us.  Typically we'd bring them to Spouse's mom's house and leave them there to sleep while we go to Spouse's sister's house for the meal and visiting.  But since Spouse's mom's house is undergoing renovations in preparation to go on the market, the boys were with us and the family, including Spouse's mom's dog Romeo.  All 3 dogs get along well together, and Walter especially loves chasing Romeo or being chased by Romeo.  It was a pretty day (no rain) so we were outside on the deck and in the fenced yard with the boys a good bit of the time.  We were really pleased with the boys' behavior. With all that activity during the day, Marvin was ready for a nap on Grandma's lap by late afternoon.

We had a delicious early dinner together; a combination of home-made and purchased items, and then Spouse's mom opened her cards and gifts.  Since she loves costume jewelry I picked out this seashell-themed necklace, earrings, and bracelet which I knew she'd love.

We left shortly after 7pm and got home about 9:30.  It was a long but very enjoyable day.

Friday, May 06, 2016

Real estate humor

There is an ongoing joke among my colleagues and me that its only after a home goes under contract that your client says they would have bought it.  This play on the popular Beyonce song made me laugh.

Especially is this true here where many home sales are 2nd homes/vacation homes.  Since people don't need these homes, they can be slow to pull the trigger.

Thursday, May 05, 2016

Cinco de Mayo

Today is Cinco de Mayo!

I've decided that Cinco de Mayo is my new favorite holiday.  There are no gifts to buy or wrap, no cards to send, and no travel required.  We just eat Mexican food and drink margaritas.  What could be easier and more fun?!?!

As usual, Spouse & I went to Dos Locos with Steven, Joe P, and Bob.  (Thad was at a spinning class.)  The food is always terrific and the atmosphere is lively and fun.  Spouse & I wore our Dos Locos Cinco de Mayo t-shirts, given to us by the owners (who are also our friends) on previous Cinco de Mayo visits.

Notice my T-shirt from Cinco de Mayo 2015.  I'm uncharacterically wearing my glasses; giving my eyes a break from long-term contact lens use.  I don't know why I posed for this photo sipping on a straw.  I never drink margaritas from a straw, since the rim of the glass is salted.

As usual, we had a great time.  Fortunately we arrived just before the crowd.  We were seated right away, but there were lots of folks waiting for tables when we were leaving.

For posts with photos of previous Cinco de Mayos, click the Cinco de Mayo label at the bottom of this post.

Monday, May 02, 2016

Nielsen family

Ever since I was a little kid I wanted to be Nielsen family.  If you're of 'a certain age' you'll remember how prestigious it was to be a family that had your TV viewing counted.  Now in my early 50s I still got excited when this arrived in the mail:

I haven't opened it yet to see what is involved but I will.  

I can only hope that an actual person is looking at the shows we watch, rather than a computer analyzing our TV viewing habits.  "The Real O'Neals", "HSN", "Blackish", "evine Live", "Game of Thrones", "The Rachel Maddow Show", "Girls", "QVC", "Beachfront Bargain Hunt", "Hardball", "Flip or Flop", "The Middle", "Bill Mahr" - what does this crazy combination of programs say about us???

Perhaps that there are 2 different people watching 2 different TVs at least some of the time.