Saturday, December 29, 2012

Crinkle Crankle Wall

A Crinkle Crankle Wall in Bramfield, Suffolk. The crinkle crankle wall economizes on bricks, despite its sinuous configuration, because it can be made just one brick thin. If a wall this thin were to be made in a straight line, without buttresses, it would easily topple over. The alternate convex & concave curves in the wall provide stability & help it to resist lateral forces. The term is thought to come from Old English meaning zig-zag. Suffolk has twice as many as in the rest of the country.
 
"A Crinkle Crankle Wall in Bramfield, Suffolk. The crinkle crankle wall economizes on bricks, despite its sinuous configuration, because it can be made just one brick thin. If a wall this thin were to be made in a straight line, without buttresses, it would easily topple over. The alternate convex & concave curves in the wall provide stability & help it to resist lateral forces. The term is thought to come from Old English meaning zig-zag. Suffolk has twice as many as in the rest of the country."~Wikipedia.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Season's Greetings

 
Hope you had a Happy Holiday.
 
 
This was our card this year.
 
It has made me think of what the next year will bring.
 
We ended 2012 with a family celebration and the news that my dad is in remission.
 
My family has been so supportive of our future endeavors.
 
We have been researching, planning and blogging about our move across country. We're planning a move, where we also have plans to have a rental, get married, start a family and start new traditions.
 
We're so excited, but I do ponder what this time next year will look like for us, especially with all these new transitions to a new normal.
 
Here's to a Happy 2013. 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Sentimental Tea Towel

Whilst browsing on Pinterest I came accross these tea towels. Aren't they a wonderful example of how you can take an old family recipe, and have it printed onto a tea towel? Something we all use daily in our homes.

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Emma, from the blog Hello Beautiful made these, and she wrote a detailed how to here.
 
Have a wonderful Tuesday.

Holly and Jolly

We've had a busy past few weeks.
 
We have our tree, decorated with lights and we're awaiting my family coming next week to help us decorate it with all our ornaments.
 
The table is set, and some styling and photos were taken for the Holiday issue of My 365 Mag, which will be out shortly.
 
Here are some other wonderfully decorated homes for the Holiday's:
 
Kate, from Kate's Place has also decorated her kitchen. It seems so cozy, and a perfect spot to sip on a cup of coco.







 
Lisa, from Fern Creek Cottage has a simplistic Holiday decorating style. Warm hues of brown in a different array of textures make her rooms so inviting.
 
 






Seasons Greetings to you and yours.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Hope you had a Happy Thanksgiving

Hope you and your family enjoyed your Thanksgiving Day as much as we enjoyed ours.
 
The day before I made my first ever apple pie. I used Granny Smith apples, cinnamon, butter and brown sugar.
 
It was delish.
 
We didn't buy a full sized turkey, instead we chose some turkey tenders, they were quite large in size, so we shared one between us. I also prepared sweet potato mash, cranberry sauce, roasted butternut squash with a honey glaze and a broccoli pie. We also drank apple spiced tea, yum. I'm thankful that Cory helped me with the cooking preparations and setting up the dinner table.
 
It was cozy with candles lit.
 
Our table 2012.
 
After lunch we felt like a nap, but instead sipped on some coffee and watched some movies before getting ready to take our photo and to go visit with family and friends.
 
Cory and Kiki 2012
 
We went over to my dads for coffee and a chat, and stayed for awhile talking about food and travel. Afterwards we visited with Cory's friend Felicia just in time for pie. I tried the buttermilk and peach pie. Both were delicious.
 
We had a relaxing, day with good food, family and friends.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Walla Walla

Last Thursday, Cory and I went on a day trip to Walla Walla.
 

We visited the Fort Walla Walla Museum to look at buildings from the late 1800's and early 1900's.
 
So hard to believe only 100 years ago that people lived in such a way...
 


 
Afterwards we had a beer each and an appetizer at Public House 124.
 
It was delicious and Cory even ate the mushrooms.
 
Then we went to The Marcus Whitman Hotel.
 

 
The setting was lovely for our Thanksgiving cards.
 
Then we had dinner in a restaurant there called The Vineyard.
 
Again, delicious.
 
I fell asleep on the way home, a fun day had by all.
 


Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Perfect Family Movie

"Suburban supermom Eileen Cleary (Kathleen Turner) has been nominated for the coveted Catholic Woman of the Year Award at her local parish, and only one final test remains—introducing her family to the board for the seal of approval. Now, as she finally faces the reality of the nonconformist family she’s been glossing over for years, her meddling reaches hilarious new heights in this heartfelt and honest dysfunctional family comedy."
 
~The Perfect Family Website
 


Kiki Nakita Rating: A+ {Loved it}

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Mid-Year [well sorta] Resolutions.

I have followed the blog Because I Said So for some time now, and one of Dawn's recent posts resonated with me.

Why, oh dang why would we only start resolutions on January 1st when we're doomed to fail. And that failure just brings on feelings of inadequacy.

Here are some for me:
  • Finish the family history book I started. The book is called Joining Branches and it combines mine and my fiances personal reflections on our family as far back as our grandparents.
  • Send Thanksgiving, or possibly Holiday cards out before the actual Holiday's arrive.
  • Prepare for my mom and sister's visit for the Holiday's.
  • Learn to relax now the elections are over. They seriously make me anxious and upset with all the public negativity, bantering and money spent on campaigns. I am happy with President Barack Obama, and the Democratic party. 
  • Focus on defining myself. I keep learning more about myself each and every day.
  • Find a way to conquer all my paper clutter. Seriously, the amount of junk mail is extraordinary.
  • Go for walks, to the movies and plays more. I always feel better after that.
  • Finish house projects so we can Move to Mass.
  • Get my websites for my personal work and my magazine completed.
Nothing much then. Well maybe a few other to-do's and housekeeping...but that's always going to be on my list. What about yours? What are your NOT New Years resolutions?
 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Birthday Girls

 
Sophie turned 4 on October 28th and Boo, one of our cats turned 6 on October 31st.
 
For Sophie's special birthday dinner, I made her favorite...
 
...chicken pot pie.
 
 

Friday, October 26, 2012

Oscar is '3'

 
Our dog Oscar just turned 3 on October 25th.
 
We don't know his exact birthday as he was actually found by a dumpster around three years ago by a friend of my fiances.
 
He decided to take in the puppy, who had a broken leg and with the help of a vet he turned into a happy, healthy little rascal.
 
Birthdays are important to us, so we ensured each one of our pets have a special day each and every year.
 
This year I made him his favorite meal...chicken cupcakes with mashed potatoes and Mexican corn gravy.
 
We also had a dutch apple pie and soda [which is a rare treat in our home].
 
Along with his big sister Sophie, we had a good celebration.
 
 

Closet Door Mishap

 
We were excited!
 
 
Okay, I exaggerate a teeny weeny bit.
 
 
But, alas we'd saved up a small micro fortune to replace not one set...but three sets of closet doors in our humble abode.
 
 
We originally had that boring builder beige brown, and we're replacing them with white paneled doors.
 
 
Well we browsed Lowe's and Home Depot, and disliked the white paneled doors that looked like they were constructed out of cardboard.
 
 
So we decided on bi-fold doors.
 
 
We merrily went home, but noticed the height difference meant they wouldn't be able to be opened.
 
 
SERIOUSLY!!!
 
 
All this effort for some closet doors.
 
 
So, we turned them into sliding doors...and Cory glued the middle part so they look OFFICIALLY near perfect.
 
 
How have you dealt with closet door changes?
 


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

It's getting colder

It's starting to get a little chilly in Washington State. We did our last mow of the season this past week and have been busy with appointments, both dentist and eye's as well as getting our house more organized. It's an ongoing process, and the cold weather unfortunately slows me down.
 
But alas, I'll somehow pull everything off. Here are a few photos we took of our house, surrounded in Fall splender.
 
Graylands, our home

The pathway to our front door

The park accross the road

Sophie, playing in the back garden

Oscar, smelling the flowers

Buster, aka Buster P.Kitten enjoying the sunshine
How cute are those three? We also have two other cats, who stay indoors and so they didn't make an appearance at our photo shoot. But I'm sure they'll show up in our holiday photos.
 
Have a good week, ya'll.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Brady Bunch

 

Do you often feel like your family isn't perfect? Well neither was the Brady Bunch. Alexa Griffith from Imagine Hope explains:

"At Imagine Hope we help many blended families. I am currently in a blended family and I come from a blended family. Perhaps that is why my sister Natalie (who I never refer to as my step sister) and I loved to watch the reruns of The Brady Bunch. Since our “group had somehow formed a family”, Natalie and I would pretend to be Marcia and Jan when we were little. We probably watched every episode multiple times. I am sure we wondered, “why can’t our older brother be as nice as Greg?” or “why can’t we have a live-in maid as nice as Alice?” The show made us believe that family life was easy, and all family relationships were happy. Many Americans were first exposed to “blended families” via this late sixties sitcom. Later, the Brady Bunch was sometimes even used as an analogy for a “perfect family”. But were they really perfect?

The Brady Bunch

Despite my great temptation to write about the rumors and myths of the behind the scenes antics of the show, I will focus on the dysfunctional family characteristics of the characters. Yes, I am saying that the Brady Bunch was a dysfunctional family! Before you launch into calling me a lying heathen blasphemer, hear me out.

First of all, let us start with the marriage of Carol Martin to Mike Brady. We are to believe that Mike’s wife and Greg, Peter and Bobby’s mother is deceased. However, it is never said directly. Mike hints around about it in a conversation in the “wedding” episode, but the mom is never spoken of. This is a huge mistake in raising children who have lost a parent. We do not see the father allowing conversations about the mother, no rituals celebrating the mother, no pictures of the mother, and no visits from the mother’s family. Mike shows no grief over the loss of his wife. Ignoring that there was a loss is a violation of the children’s right to mourn.

Secondly, we are to believe that Carol is divorced from Marcia, Jan, and Cindy’s father. We never hear much about that. We never see the father. The girls never have parenting time with their father. There are no weekends with Dad, no weeknight dinners, no nightly phone calls (on that silly pay phone Mike installed to teach the kids financial responsibility only to be inconvenienced in the end) and no visits with grandparents from Father’s side. In fact, they change their name to the new step father’s name and call him Dad! This is not a healthy transition into a blended family situation either.

Now I will address the actual blending of the families. There were few actual issues or challenges addressed on the show. In the first season, the boys did have a bit of difficulty adjusting to their new step mother, and continued to go to Alice for their “mothering”. This is a very healthy transition while the kids test waters to see if this new mulleted blond mom is going to love them. Alas, the wise Alice encourages bonding between the boys and Carol, only to be left feeling rejected and irrelevant. So what does Alice do? She becomes passive aggressive to address her codependency and runs away. And what does the family do in response? They enable her codependency and run after her telling her how wonderful and needed she is. Not only in one episode, but in two!

As far as the children go, and the children are the focus of the show, they did not have many typical struggles of blended families. They are of the same religion (we presume), same ethnicity, same socio- economic status and blend easily into the same role. However, there is little feuding for “alpha” between Marcia and Greg. Marcia being the oldest girl and Greg being the oldest boy would have been jockeying for position as “leader” of the kids. But in the end, Marcia and Greg were highly parentified. That is, they were left parenting the younger children often with advice, directions, and comfort.

I know that there was a live-in maid, and a stay at home mom, but I believe chores and responsibilities are every child’s God given right. They need family responsibilities so that they can learn value and feel valuable as a member of their family. What chores did the children have? Only one time did we see Carol ask for help, when she asked Peter to clean out the fireplace. How did entitled Peter respond? He felt that his “mom” was treating him like Cinderella and tried to run away (wow- we see the codependency again). How does Carol respond? She offers to run away with Peter! I have never recommended that approach in any of my parenting sessions.

The last that I will discuss (but far from the last example) is sexual discrimination. A good example is how Greg got the attic room because he was “becoming a man”. I do believe Marcia was also becoming a woman ( and since girls mature earlier than boys, the debated one year age difference should have equaled out) yet the boy gets the room. One example that really stuck in my craw was the episode where Marcia and Greg competed for class president. Both siblings begin in a heated race, but once Marcia sees Greg acting chivalrous and defends her honor while quashing an ugly rumor, she swoons and concedes. CONCEDES!!! Never mind the fact that the boys in the house refuse to see a female doctor. Sexual discrimination in this house shows the boys that females are in a “one down” position. What kind of message do you feel it may show the girls?"

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Trip to New England: Part Three

Day Five:
We started our day with breakfast at The Harvard Inn (where we were staying)

 
We then walked around Cambridge and Harvard Yard.
 









 
We had a nice dinner at Brucci's, the meal was delicious.
 
Day Six:
We went to downtown Boston to walk the Freedom trail, and to discover the North End. It's like a little Italy.
 



 
We also toured the John F. Kennedy presidential museum.




 
 before heading back to the airport and heading home. We were exhausted when we returned.
 
I have never eaten so much seafood in my whole life...neither has Cory. I really enjoyed all the historical buildings and there just seemed so much to take in at once.
 
We shall return.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Trip to New England: Part Two

Day Three continued:
After the Cape Cod Railway, we headed over to The Egg & I for Lunch.

 
Then we headed to the beach to watch the sunset. It was beautiful.
 

 
That night we went to dinner at a restaurant called Island Merchant. We had a really nice waitress whose from Florida, ambient candlelight and a jazz band performing. It was a memorable evening.
 
Day Four:
Cory celebrated his birthday while we were in New England. We drove up to Boston and walked along the Rose Kennedy green way. We stopped for lunch and also saw a street performer. That night we checked into The Inn at Harvard. We felt it was a little too posh for us, but overall in a nice location, just steps away from Harvard University.
 

 

 
 
That night for dinner Cory and I ate at an Indian restaurant. It was delicious!
 
To be continued...

 
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