Manning Up with Flowers

Flower & Garden Show 2011
It has been awhile since I posted to our site, so I figured I would man it up with a “Flower & Garden Show” that we are going to today, however I would rather call it a “Landscape & Garden Show”.

Home Before Purchase
With our new home we had zero landscaping let alone grass. The grass we did get was contractor mix seed which basically grows the first year and dies the next. Compound that with a hard compact dirt, rock and sand mix as topsoil it has be a challenge this last second year with the lawn, but we survived quite well.
On the landscaping side we planted 12 trees and I don’t know how many shrubs, bushes and plants but we where busy.
All in all I have enjoyed the heavy amount of “landscaping and gardening” this last year very much and I think today’s venture should be helpful.
I am going to try and post a few things from the iPhone as we go.
Please post a comment below.

In 2011 I’m Looking Forward To . . .

Many of us make New Year’s Resolutions only to disappoint ourselves by not achieving what we set out to do therefore this year I’m taking a new angle and deciding on what it is I’m looking forward to and setting the plan into action.

1.  Study and improve my photo editing skills.  I’ve been working on my photography skills but I’m terrible with editing.  The first tutorial I’ll be taking was just released by Professional Photographer, Erin Cobb called clean color.  The photography community I circle myself in has been raving about this tutorial and it’s been a LONG wait for its release so I can’t wait to get started. The tutorial is for both Photoshop and Photoshop Elements and also offers a bundle for both versions .

2.  Taking a vacation.  It’s been three years since we’ve had a vacation and it is wearing on us.  We’re picking a place that is warm, has green grass and flowers, is full of life and fun things to do and experience, pretty much some place that has no snow and is full of all things summer.  Top place right now is the Florida Keys.  We also have The Grand Canyon, Yellowstone Park and Savannah Georgia on our list amongst many others but those are the top places that I’d choose from right now.  Just gotta compile some money, finalize how the business will function in our absence, and line up our pet sitter.

3.  A great year of boating and reconnecting with our “Summer” friends.  We so miss them this time of year :(.

4.  Boating, flip flops, bathing suits, tank tops, shorts, Mike T’s Margarita’s, hot sunny days, green grass, flowers and even the “GW” (that’s pretty bad for those who have been under that tent for any length of time LOL) – Oh and the list goes on for all things summer related.

5.  New Friendships and strengthening existing ones.

6.  Growing our business to the next level – well on our way and it’s very exciting!

7.  Improving my photography skills.

8.  Choosing a color and accessories for our mudroom and finishing it up.

9.  Throw rugs for the house – we have some but would like more.

10.  Focusing on the new path in both of our personal lives and careers.  Funny how the path you think is going to form is completely different in the end.  But life throwing curve balls like we’ve been thrown is good for our mind, spirit and our relationship.  Honestly it brings new things to the fore front that were never thought about or even realized to begin with and that in itself is positive and refreshing.

11.  Focusing in on my plethora of hobbies and cutting out the “stuff” I have for hobbies that I just don’t have time for.  This means selling off a bunch of “stuff” and taking that money to use on something useful instead of all this “stuff” sitting around collecting dust.  I’ve started this cleaning out, have been selling on Ebay.  Not only is it refreshing to reorganize and clean things up but it’s helping clear my mind on things.

2nd Snow Storm 2010 – 2011 Winter

Just when the snow from the first 15″ blizzard was melting away, we’re slammed with another 13″.  Oh the joys of winter in New England.

Our home –

Don’t you just love a storm with no wind?  All the snow sits so nicely on every single branch of the trees – gorgeous!

What does one do when stuck on an icy hillside in the snow?  Well just pull out the trusty winch and get r done.  There was all kinds of man testosterone in the air out there this morning.  My female advice and the “raised on a farm advice” was to put some chains on the tractors tires.  Chains will always save the day in any icy New England storm.  My dad’s farm didn’t function without em.

How Is It . . .

While I love all seasons including Winter – Winter lacks in the area of green/flowery life.  Well, this year I decided why not grow some of those gorgeous paper whites and have a pot of them in the house all winter.  I just knew for sure that this would satisfy my need of green growth which it did however . . . how is it that this gorgeous flower yields such a foul scent?

Imagine my excitement of watering and watching my great pot of green stems growing and then the oh so awaited display of flowers appear to leave me wondering what the heck this foul smell was in the kitchen.  After standing there smelling the air for several minutes trying to identify what and where this smell is coming from, I realized the scent must be coming from our cat’s litter box which didn’t make sense because I had just scooped it so why would the smell be waffling all the way into the kitchen?  Gosh maybe my cat isn’t drinking enough water which is making her urine more pungent – oh gross!  To my surprise of arriving at the litter box it didn’t smell in that room – huh interesting – back to the kitchen to figure this out.  Now I’m feeling like Walter Matthau in the Grumpy Old Men movie where Jack Lemmon places a dead fish into Walter’s car and Walter goes to drive it and says “Shoe Wee what’s that smell…ohhhh man what’s that smell?”  LOL – Love that movie!  Well as you can figure it was the gorgeous paper whites permeating our home with this awful cat urine scent.   I still can’t figure out how it is that these gorgeous flowers yield this awful foul scent.

To make matters worse, I couldn’t part with this pot of stink that I put so much love and care into.  It became a daily discussion within the household.  Michael couldn’t understand how I could keep such stink in our house especially considering I have a real hang up with smells.  I couldn’t explain my rational other than they were so pretty, it gave me a daily reminder that spring will arrive, and I couldn’t part with this green life I had created.

I have 10 more bulbs in the fridge waiting to transform themselves into stinky life however I’m thinking I’ll wait and plant them in the spring and display them on our deck.

Frog Dreams

Haven’t we all dreamed of odd things that don’t seem to make any sense to us.  Or having dreams of all these weird things that don’t seem to have relation to one another.  Well I had one of those dreams last night and here’s how it went ~

I was preparing my home for a showing when the door bell rang.  Upon answering, it was a man who had previously looked at my home and said he’d like to buy the house but that he had to do some repair work around the house.  I told him that he could do that once he purchased the home but he was insistant to do the work right then and there.  In my dream I went along with it, but in real life I would’ve sent him off to pound salt (LOL).  So here he is inside my home with his saw, drill and tool belt making all these changes to the house.  Meanwhile I’m thinking that this other couple was suppose to be putting a bid in on the house and i’d prefer to sell to them but didn’t know how to get this guy out of my house.  I go upstairs to the masterbedroom and I see all these frogs on the floor.  There were big momma and poppa frogs and also baby frogs, all hopping around.  I hear the guy coming up the stairs and I tell him he can’t come upstairs because it’s a mess and we have frogs all over the place.  Then all of the sudden the frogs were dead (all of them)!  So I’m quickly picking them up and putting them into the trash.

The End ~

Okay, well I’ve never dreamed of frogs before so I googled what frog dreams could possibly mean.  It’s an array of things.

1.  frogs represent the alter ego/the darker side that we all possess.

HA!  So what about my alter ego?  My alter ego is a good one!  I have a dark side?  I will never tell LOL

2.  a potential to change or to do the unexpected.

Well this one could be related to the big change that is bestowed before us with moving.

3.  The frog may be a prince in disguise.

OOOO . . . a prince?  I thought I already had my prince?  🙂

4.  The frog may suggest you need to do some cleaning.

Are you kidding me?  No way!  Ask Mike about cleanliness around our home.  LOL

5. The frog may mean you’ve been jumping from one thing, person, or idea to another.

Well hmm . . . could be truth to this one with relation to my hobbies.  I have limited time for hobbies and I have a lot of them and don’t know exactly which one to work on when I have the time.  I therefore get confused and don’t do any.

6.  You are taking major steps toward some goal.

True ~ moving from our first home

7.  You need to take the “leap” on a risk.

Well yeah I would need a “frog” to tell me this.  I’m a conservative person and think long and hard before taking any sort of risk.  So it may be telling me to go ahead and take the risk of moving into a bigger home to accommodate our ever growing business.

Interesting non the less!

A Strool Through the Park

Here we are at Tuesday’s Unwrapped again, it’s uncanny how fast time flies!  Our home has been on the market for ten days and we’ve averaged one showing per day which is pretty good in this market.  I feel quite a bit of stress since this whole house hunting and selling has breached it’s way into our humble, yet busy days of living.  It seems that anytime stress pokes it’s head out, us humans tend to lose sight of what we stand for and what our original goals were.

I for one get my mind wrapped around something, get all worked up, cranky and my type A personality takes over.  I left the house all balled up, cranky and ready to lash out on anyone who merely looked at me the wrong way.  It wasn’t until I left the office early (for a showing) changed into my shorts, t-shirt and flip flops, packed a cooler of water, thin mint cookies and a frosty paw for Scottie and made our way to the park for some much needed tranquility that I was able to calm down.  It was breezy and a warm 90 degrees while walking with Scottie in the park overlooking the river and we heard the church bells chime.  I listened to the chiming while we continued to mosey our way through the flower gardens and cherry trees and felt an immediate sense of comfort and tranquility.

This was well deserved down time today with my biggest fan at my heels (well okay he’s always in front making sure he’s sniffed the path that I’m about the walk on).  Thank God for all things beautiful, simple and tranquil!

Tuesdays Unwrapped

Emily over at Chatting at the Sky invited fellow bloggers to join her in recognizing and documenting the small, ordinary things in life that truly are abundant in our daily lives but most of us are too busy to recognize and appreciate them.  So we’ve vowed to stop for a second {or okay we should take a few minutes to enjoy the journey of it all} notice something meaningful and precious in our day and blog about it on Tuesdays.

The minute I read the challenge {while at work mind you} I looked down on the floor and saw one of the most precious living things in my life.  It was Scottie {our dog} who came to work with me today as we had an abundance of showings of our home that we’re selling.  I therefore thought it best to just bring him to work with me to avoid taking a day off and/or running back and forth between all the showings.  The piece that is meaningful about this long winded story is that I have an amazingly flexible employer.  Not many employers are understanding and/or even flexible enough to allow a pet in the office.  Thank you Orthopaedic Surgeons, you certainly do make life much easier and in turn I want to work that much more for your office.  Amen!

P.S.  I LOVE it when Scottie lays like this, like he’s superdog or something.  Well HE IS OUR superdog!

Exciting Day of Accomplishments!

I feel a sense of accomplishment toward my top 10 things list today.  I worked on photography and our next home, oh and as you can tell from the overlay on Mike’s pic that I also used Photoshop Elements today.  Loving the overlays of which I’m sure I’ll end up overusing and make you guys vomit.

Do you guys see the tear on Mike’s cheek there?  Yes, it was me that made him cry . . . I’m such a meanie huh?  I finished another week of my photography class and learned all about lighting today.  Therefore I took Mike out this morning as my ginny pig for my hands on assignment.  I made him take his sunglasses off as I ultimately needed to see his eyes to grade myself on proper lighting.  Well the sun in his eyes makes him tear so in a roundabout way it was me that made him cry.  I like the indirect natural sunlight in this picture . . . I also like that I caught a picture with him and a tear (not a common thing).

We burned quite a bit of gas looking at houses today.  We put a bid in on Grace Lane yesterday and am waiting for a response so in the meantime we’re continuing to look.  Can’t put all your eggs in one basket right?  Well we found another home that we are extremely anxious to look at (hoping tomorrow).  Here are the top two contenders so far:

11 GRACE LANE, SHELTON (this is the one we have a bid in on)

11 FAWN MEADOW LANE, SHELTON (didn’t find this one till today)

Birdseye view (end of cul de sac people!)

So what’s your vote without knowing prices?  What are the chances that our top two contenders have the same street number?  Wow!

Time With Our Niece

I had the pleasure of having Isabella this past weekend.  It was an awakening experience, tiring, inspiring, exhausting, loving and everything else in between.  Isabella’s mom and dad took their first vacation away and spent a week in Italy (they so deserved this time)!  The following are snippets of this and that while she stayed with Uncle Mike and I.

Friday I picked her up from Daycare and off we went for our 1-hour drive to Auntie Brandi’s house and the little voice waffled through my car the ENTIRE way!  Was enlightening to hear the stories and the life of a five year old.  One of her stories went like this:

Bella:  Aunt Brandi, what if a ghost comes into my tent when I’m sleeping at your house and tries to get me?

Me:  I will wrap the ghost up in a blanket, tie him up and throw him in the trash.

Bella:  Aunt Brandi, if you feel something tickling your feet when your sleeping what do you think it will be?

Me:  I think it will be Scottie licking my toes.

Bella:  Naut Ah, it will be the ghost . . . teeeehehehehehehehehe

Me:  Silly girl

Saturday we went to see a cabaret show.  The picture above was taken before going inside the Downtown Cabaret Theatre to see the 1 1/2 hour show, The Three Little Pigs.  She was elated while Uncle Mike and I were umm amazed by the number of children they squished into this place and certain we’d come down with some sort of illness.  By the way the show was very good and I’d recommend it if you live nearby.

Sunday morning she asked for eggs with soft yolks and toast, this is the same breakfast she asked for Saturday morning as well.  She likes to put the egg on the toast (like poached eggs).  Upon placing her breakfast in front of her she proceeds to eat then the conversation went like this:

Bella:  Aunt Brandi can you cut the crust edges off my toast.  (mind you I had already put the egg on top of the toast and cut the toast into bite size pieces)

Me:  Why didn’t you tell me you didn’t like the crust edges before I cut everything up.  And by the way you ate the edges yesterday why don’t you want them today?  (I’m starting to realize that reasoning with a child is challenging)

Bella:  I ate the crust edges yesterday because I wanted to eat your food and not complain.

Oh WOW . . . a five year old with manners even if it was for one meal.

I notice she has two phrases she uses a lot right now

1.  “Are you kidding me?”

2.  “Wait just a minute”

We built a make shift tent/fort (she called it her room) in the middle of our living room.  She wouldn’t allow any of the animals in with exception of her stuffed animals.  She did make an exception for our cat Wilbur.  I think it was Isabella’s compassion after learning she had been in the hospital and wasn’t feeling well.  She petted her and displayed a great amount of empathy for Wilbur.  We played Candy Land, put puzzles together, watched Narnia and Hoodwinked, colored tons of pictures, watched Noggin cartoons in all the in between times, and made cards for all the actors in the upcoming Arial show at the Cabaret Theatre (by the way Bridget & Jeremy she says she wants to go with Dylan to see that show LOL).

Upon taking her back to her other home away from home Mike & I returned to an eerily quite home that oddly felt empty to me.  I was shocked with how much I missed this bouncy full of life little niece of mine and I had only had her for two nights.  It was a great time and I thoroughly enjoyed having her for the weekend.

Calling All Laundering Diva’s

Wanted to share one of the BEST pet detergents I’ve found on the market.  Sold by The Laundress, a trendy NY City Company.  It has a soft baby scent and amazingly removes all pet hair.  I’m astounded by the results and am an indebted customer.

Don’t ya just love keeping your pets bedding and clothing clean, soft and smelling like a baby?  I know I do but then again I’m a Laundering Diva and our dog is umm yeah . . . spoiled to the core!

I recently ventured into trying their whites detergent.   Juries still out on this particular product but I have no reservation that it will stand strong to the test.  They’re having a sale that ends today YES TODAY (1/15/09) so hurry to get 15% off.  Must enter “newyear09” at time of checkout.