Thursday, September 27, 2007


Last week D and I finally received our very first furniture purchase. Back in July we ordered a dining room table, chairs, buffet, and hutch. We had looked at Pompanoosuc Mills and Circle Furniture, but decided that we couldn't quite afford either of these options, though we love them. So, we went to Jordan's Furniture....Massachusetts' version of the furniture bog box store, complete with annoying commericals and lots of gimicks (they have a trapeze school and an Imax theatre in the one we went to). To say Jordan's has a huge selection of furniture is an understatement. Now, they have cheap ugly furniture, expensive ugly furniture, and moderate to expensive nice furniture. We, of course, went for the latter (at least in our opinion).

We had a few criteria for our dining room: 1) the furniture must be 100% solid wood, 2) the furniture preferably should be made in the US (most preferably New England), 3) the furniture must be casual and durable enough to use everyday, 4) we must have enough room to store all of the china and crystal we received for our wedding.

At Jordan's there was one brand that met most of the criteria---Canadel. They have customizable solid wood furniture that is made in Canada (the next best thing to the US). We chose solid birch furniture in a "Havana Wash" stained finish. The styling is very simple and very sturdy. It looks beautiful, and we know it will last.

The only thing I'm not crazy about is the mirrored back on the hutch, but once all of the china, crystal, etc. are in there I may end up liking it more. Tonight we start unpacking all of those wedding gift boxes!!!

Monday, September 17, 2007

A Green Weekend!

D and I had a green weekend...not in the environmental sense, but the actual color! First, I painted the front door of our house with "Woodland Pearl" paint--so, no more pink door! It's now a beautiful color of green (somewhat like the color of the background of my blog). There was a little snafu in the progress of my painting though--I disassembled the door handle in order to polish it up....and I lost a few pieces. I was able to jury rig it somewhat with a piece of Q-tip until the nice customer service guy at Kwikset sent a replacement thumbpiece pin (among some other pieces I lost).

The other green part of the weekend was planting D's Perennial Starter Garden. He prepared the bed with composted manure and peat moss and then I helped him plant 51 little plants that will someday turn into a beautiful flower garden. Here are the pictures that go along with this post.

This is what arrived from Bluestone Perennials:

Here are a few of the plants:

And here's the planted garden:

Friday, September 14, 2007

We're going to be doing a lot of digging!

D and I have been drooling over all of the gardening catalogs we've received and in the next few weeks we'll have a lot of fall planing to do!!! We've ordered 200 naturalizing daffodils from Park Seed Co. (and received 20 "Daffodil Geranium" bulbs as a "bonus").

Then D ordered the Perennial Starter Garden from Bluestone Perennials (a company recommended by a gardener I met in Freedom, NH). This is a "planned garden" where they send you 51 different plants of 21 different variaties all for one low price.

Then I received another email with a "bonus offer" from Park, so I ordered 2 Rose Double Knock Out and received 1 Rose Knock Out and 1 Rose Carefree Beauty free.
And, I didn't stop there...I also ordered some Honeysuckle Harlequin which I want to train up a trellis in front of the family room.

As if this wasn't enough, I also ordered 60 assorted tulips from Brecks because I has a $25 off coupon, so they were virtually free. I'm worried about the tulips because we have a lot of critter in the yard who might like to eat the bulbs, but since the bulbs were so inexpensive after the discount I decided to go for it anyway!
Clearly, D and I are insane! We have 280 bulbs, 4 rose bushes, and 52 perennials to plant this fall!!! I just hope that they all do okay over the winter. These companies are very reputable, but Mother Nature does strange things!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Big Cats

Our little town has made the Sunday Boston Globe this week with an article about mountain lion and bobcat sightings. It was also featured in the Lowell Sun. There's some dispute about whether people have seen a Mountain Lion or a Bobcat (or both), but for sure there is a big cat in our midst! Of course, this is old news to residents of the town as the "Wildlife Sightings" section of the local weekly newspaper reported this news last Thursday!

In case you need to know what to do if you encounter a mountain lion....

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Visiting Harvard

This morning, D and I went to Harvard, MA to pick up our lawnmower which had been repaired at Harvard Outdoor Power (HOP). We purchased the Toro mower at Home Depot, but of course when you buy at a big box store there's no one to do repairs. The guys at HOP were terrific and didn't charge for replacing the blown fuse or the missing grommet on the pull cord. He also gave us tips on storing our mower for the winter (disconnect the battery and store it inside, run all of the gas out of the mower before storing, start adding Stabil to our gas now while it's in the gas can, lift the mower so the oil cap side is facing down when we clean it before storing it). We're definitely buying a snowblower from them when the time comes. The guy showed us the blowers they have in stock still from last year and also a used Ariens blower that they're selling. If the used one was a little smaller, I think we would have gone with it, but it was too big for our needs. We'll probably go for a Toro. Of course, it's hard to think about when it's 90+ degrees and about 95% humidity!

Because blog entries without pictures are boring, here's a picture of our mower when it was brand new (I cut D's head out of the picture so he can remain anonymous).

While in Harvard we also went to the Harvard Farmer's Market. It's so nice to have a Farmer's Market on a Saturday so we can actually go. We have one here in our town but its on Tuesday afternoons. At the market we purchased some sweet corn, green beans, a red pepper, assorted lettuce, cherry tomatoes, a red onion, and 1.5lbs of beef for kabobs. The meat is from a family farm in Brimfield, MA called River Rock Farm.

Friday, September 7, 2007

3 Blind Moles... (actually, they're voles)

This morning Mercury was out in the backyard pouncing and prancing and having a grand time playing with something. I went to check it out, and there were two little dead voles and one that was still alive (barely) that she was actively playing with. She finished off the 3rd one and then proceeded to eat it. I have to say that I am actually proud of least she finally ate something she killed instead of leaving it in the grass for me to pick up with a shovel and fling into the woods.
I know it's strange that I'm chronicling my cat's murders of innocent creatures....but it's less weird than my mom's friend Linda who kept a dead mole in her freezer for years...

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

A rainbow of tomatoes

Hands down Trader Joe's is my favorite grocery store. They have fabulous food, and there are always great surprises. On Saturday I spied a container of multicolored cherry tomatoes that looked way too good to pass up! Then, in the dairy section I discovered "perlini" mozzarella--little tiny balls of fresh cheese! Yum! Together these became a Caprese Pasta Salad. Simple and deliscious!
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So adorable!

I found this little guy (a gray treefrog as far as I can tell) on Monday morning in the saucer of my pot of mint. He was all huddled in there trying to keep cool in the shade of the mint leaves. He was about 1 1/2 inches long if I remember correctly. To give you a sense of scale, there's a picture of the full mint pot below. The frog disappeared by Monday night, but I hope he comes back to visit again. What astounds me (as it did with the caterpillars) is how this little guy made it up onto the railing of the deck.'s just amazing.
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The Bugs in my Backyard

I think I'm going to write a picture book for my future kids called "The Bugs in my Backyard." We have a fabulous variety of bugs on our property--some of them are nice, like these bumblebees (photos by D):

And some of them are not so nice--like the mosquitos that have been attacking me all summer (no pictures of those, and I'll spare you the pictures of what they've done to my skin).
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