about a dream

Friday, August 28, 2015


What a great trip we're having. We had a near-traffic-free drive down, until of course we got into the city at nearly 5 pm. Oh well. The BQE has been re-paved, so that was pleasant. Even though it was rush hour, things moved fairly well. It's pretty much rush hour all the time these days, so it doesn't matter much when we get in.

Yesterday we went to Yvonne's new horse farm in Patchogue (traffic: extensive. Southern State was shut down between exits 33 and 34, so we had to take a detour). But eventually, we got there!

Willow Springs Farm! It's so beautiful! First we ran around, looked at the horses, and took a golf cart tour of the paddocks. Then, pony rides and Yvonne's pony Abby. Here's Maggie:

Doesn't she look great? Yvonne led Abby, but she's a wonderful pony, patient and gentle as can be.

Cousins hanging out while Nina rides. Maggie and Julian immediately hit it off and were like 2 peas in a pod the whole time.

Here's the indoor riding area. Huge!!! Margo's on Abby in the distance, some other people are on the left there. Besides Yvonne and Michele's horses, there are boarders, for a total of 26 horses. Big farm!

Here's Nina. Yvonne loaned her boots because all we packed were flip-flops. She's such a big girl, they practically fit!

Even though the trip over was long and traffic-y, the girls had a great time in the car. Here's Maggie getting her sunblock on. We were roaring!

On the way home, we stopped at Wal-Mart with Jenn and her kids to get a few things. We were back in Brooklyn in time to do this before Pete got home:

Well, it looks even more festive in person.

Even the door guards got dressed up!

So did Bearia!

We made a lemon meringue pie and had an adorable (if short and presentless) little party.

Also, bears!

And bears who are practically teenagers...

...and too cool for bear faces.

Today, Coney Island!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Happy Birthday Nina!

Ten! She's TEN!

Yeah, ok, this is the only photo I took. Bad mommy. But doesn't it look so festive?!

She had 6 girls for a pool party, and with Nina nd Maggie, that made 8. Crazy! They had a blast. Swimming, jumping on the trampoline, playing dress-up, cake, presents... good old fashioned birthday fun.

It's ok, Nick has more photos:

Here she is with her birthday cake. Chocolate with chocolate frosting and blue edible glitter (I've started going on Pinterest. That's all I'll say.)

Since mom and dad went down to NYC on Friday, we also celebrated with a birthday lemon meringue pie that evening. The candles have kind of washed out the pie in this pic, but you get the idea:

Finally, we did a birthday dinner out at Kaler's on Friday, her actual birthday. He are us ladies, rocking the sunglasses.

Happy Birthday to my baby!!

Monday, June 29, 2015

The unveiling...

Ta daa!!

I have to say, it looks amazing. So professional! So perfect! I haven't finished putting topsoil on either side, and I haven't set down grass seed yet, so this isn't quite totally done. Almost, very very almost.

Here's another angle:

Because I couldn't stop at just one photo, but the car was just behind me, so I couldn't get back any further. Another day!

And while I'm at it, here's a pic of the job I'm tackling just off to the left. It's the perennially yucky looking corner by the basement door, under the downstairs bathroom window. I've decided to set all the bricks I took up from the old walkway down there, to make a neater spot to store the trash can, hose, and whatnot.

The bricks under the door were already there. I added the bricks to the left, and I'm going to extend them all the way to the edge of the house. Should look pretty good! Better photos to come!

Other than all this, we've been super busy! Vanessa, Wyatt, and Ray got here on Thursday night. Friday we did the reunion cruise (so much fun!), and Saturday we did the reunion picnic. Also fun! I got home from the cruise and Nina had a fever, so I thought we weren't going to make the picnic. But she rallied at the last minute, and she was fine after that. Just a quick fever and some sneezing.

Sunday it poured all day long. The wind was really something else too. So we all just played together inside all day.

Today Mom, Vanessa, and I took the kids to the playground for about 3 hours. Tons of fun. Then Nina and I made fondue for dinner, plus a lobster quiche. Not sure yet what's on the docket for tomorrow, but whatever we do, I'll try to get some pictures!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

A new walkway

But first, hello! It's been a super busy last few months, but hopefully I'll be back to regular blogging now that it's summer vacation.

The school year wrapped up quite well. Nina and Maggie had just fantastic report cards, and I didn't go crazy or quit, what more can you ask for from a teacher? :-)

As soon as school let out, I got started on redoing our walkway. The bricks that formed the landing under the door have been coming loose and falling out for at least a year, and the path itself was pretty weedy and bumpy. Something had to be done. See?

It's not too easy to tell from this photo, but the landing is nothing but a loose pile of bricks and rubble. Under those bricks was a nice, solid cement platform. So after chewing it over for about a year, I decided one of those big, granite slabs was the way to go. And yesterday, it arrived!

That's a huge chunk of granite! And on the left there is Nina's adorable hand. Here's the rest of her:

I'll fill in the dirt there with the pavers on the right, and hopefully by the end of the day tomorrow we'll have a gorgeous new walkway!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Vacation, sunshine, and dump runs....

First things first, THE SNOW IS ALMOST GONE!!

So, so almost. There's a small crusty pile in the front, patches in shady spots in the woods, but really really just this close to gone for good. Excitement!

Second things second: It's vacation! Oh sweet April vacation! I don't even want to tell you how long I've worked without a solid 9 days off... six or eight weeks, I can't even remember! Well thank GOD for this week, and then it's wind-down season. Whew!

Third, lovely sunny warm day again today. Spring in Maine, when the weather is actually spring-like, is an amazing thing. The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, the bugs aren't yet biting, and life is good.

And last but certainly not least, mom, the girls, and I went to the dump this morning. Girls in the back seat, me and mom in the front. I pulled up to the trash area and tossed my bags in. When I got back in the car, Maggie said "Wow, the men here are NOT good-looking. Like, none of them."

HA! It's funny because it's true (and because she's 6). They were all salty old Mainers. Not a looker among them! Glad to know she's scoping the dump for lookers, though. Hopefully she finds the men in NYC a little easier on the eyes. Ha!

Then she said, "Nick handsome. He's probably the best looking guy in town." She has many times assured me that I am NOT pretty, so you know she's not just saying that to be nice.

Still, this is better than the gem she dropped last week when we were leaving school. I was turning lights off in my classroom and locking up, and she said to me and Nina as she walked out the door: "I'll be out in the parking lot, getting drunk."

Classy. Classy thing for a child to say. I'll go ahead and blame Bob's Burgers (TV show we've been obsessed with), but that's really just a cop out. Because I asked her right away where she got that idea from and she said, "My brain just came up with it."


Wednesday, April 8, 2015

The bad and the good

First, the bad news. The hourly forecast for tonight:

Yes, that's snow. We're supposed to get 1 to 3 inches of at wet snow mix by 10 am tomorrow, but we'll see. They're wrong about these things sometimes. And 1 inch, if it goes to that end, is really nothing.  Maybe, if things really go our way, we'll get a late start. But highly unlikely. With temps hovering just above freezing, the roads will probably stay nice and clear. Probably. I'd love love LOVE a 2-hour delay though. Just FYI.

But then, oh glory glory hallelujah!

OH MY GOD!!! I'm so happy! Look at this beautiful weather!!!!!!!!!!

Finally!! What are we even going to do? Go to the beach? I don't even remember what people do in the nice weather. Yay!!

Monday, April 6, 2015

A dog's love...

I was looking at the photos of Nick's phone this evening (mostly Nina and Maggie selfies), and came across these lovelies:

They're from a few weeks ago when Nina had that high fever and was home for a few days. They took such good care of her!

Actually, they might be from a few weeks apart. She's wearing the exact same mismatched pajamas, but they're a few weeks apart in the saved photos. Unless they saved funny.

Well, this next one is definitely from one of the sick days, but everyone's looking much cheerier:

Who says there isn't room on a loveseat for three?!

So sweet. Almost makes me forgive Marley for his coming home 2 minutes before I left for work this morning, covered in mud flat mud. Almost....