Thursday, December 31, 2009


I knew it was really cold outside when I woke up one morning last week and saw frost all over the windows

and the azalea leaves rolled up tight,

Tulip curled up into a ball on the sofa,

and Toby wearing his down jacket at breakfast.

It was really cold--15 degrees outside!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas in Bangor

On December 24th, Toby and I drove up to Bangor, Maine,
to celebrate Christmas with Christina,
Tom and Clarice, and Sarah and Alan.

Christina orchestrated fabulous meals for us all.

We took wonderful wintry walks,
saw movies,

and learned to finger knit from an expert teacher, Clarice.

We were joined by Christina's two cats--Gwendolyn (named, Christina assured us, before Rachel and David's Gwendolyn came along). This Gwen is large and fluffy and has attitude.

And Millie, well--Millie under the covers. Millie's a pretty little calico cat who prefers the solitude of the bedroom to the ferocious feuding that occurs whenever she meets Gwen.

Gwen is more sociable, luxuriating in wool,

taking a seat at the table,

and snuggling in Tom's arms.

We all (perhaps excepting little Millie) had a most wonderful time.
It was a splendid Christmas.

Thank you Christina!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Saturday night we had a HUGE snowstorm--

It came up to Tulip's belly. She joyously leapfrogged around while we laboriously shoveled almost 2 feet of snow from 2 driveways (with Chee Heng's help).

We did go cross country skiing,

Tulip trying to follow in our tracks.

This wintry day was followed by a gorgeous pink/red sunset.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Those basement photos in the last blog were slightly depressing, I admit. Here are definitely more up-beat photos taken over the last few months.

Here's Gwen back in October in Chocorua wondering if this would become her "official" lovey.

And David enjoying a cup of something nice.

Magical Maddie doing the split when we were in LA in late October.

Ticklish, giggly Max!

And coordinated Jess bouncing two girls on the ball at once.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Agghh!!! The Perils and Problems of an Old House

In the 200 year-old section of our house, insects have been happily gnawing away at the beams and sills in the basement until about 50 years ago ( of course, we should have fixed this when we bought the house in 1986, but we waited...)

Electrical wires ran everywhere, inexplicably, like webs from giant spiders.
(look at this photo as if horizontal--it got flipped in transition).

The old stone wall on one side was collapsing inward and needed to be rebuilt--difficult to do because it runs behind the oil tanks.

This wall has a new cement coat to discourage wind and water.

Thanks to a crew knowledgeable about fixing old houses, the basement's now in recovery mode (I'm not sure Toby and I are) .

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

M&M Reconnoiter the House

As soon as they arrived in Barrington

Maddie checked that all the gates were up on all the staircases,

and that there were ample exterior views to check the weather.

Meanwhile Max tested out his micro-nap area near the coat closet

and his macro-sleep area in a bureau drawer.
Both seemed satisfactory.

He had to determine if the change area in the TV room allowed ample space for sit-ups.

When all that was done, they set up their recreation area in the kitchen with amusements, comfy seats and footrests.

Finally, they made sure that appropriate hats were worn by all.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Maybe the best part for me about being a grandmother is savoring the small, magical, ever changing moments with the little ones, such as...

watching Jess' personal trainer in action,

and Sam's photography advisor (do it this way Dad--hand OVER the lens!).

The confidence they have that parents always hold on tight,

and always enjoy their company.

The quiet moments--all absorbed at breakfast,

Max too.

And the sweetness of brother and sister.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Since my last blog (a LONG time ago)...

After a wonderful month with us, Rachel and David and Gwen Wren left chilly Chocorua for very hot Panama, and Toby and I came back to Barrington. That meant lots of house cleaning and closing up in New Hampshire and lots of cleaning and house opening in Rhode Island--yucky things I don't particularly like doing.

When I finally got organized enough here, I bought some Chinese paper lantern flowers and made a table decoration for Thanksgiving--that seemed to signal to me the end of the closing/opening maintenance routine and the beginning of creativity-yeah!

And now things have really gotten fun with the arrival yesterday of Sam and Jess and Maddie and Max.

Max loves being tickled.

Maddie checks out a whole different variety of magnets on our refrig,

and Tulip is once again thrilled to have a high chair and the ground around it to lick.