Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Registration Era Comes to an End

I wrapped up the loose ends to the sale of my 1999 Ford F150 pickup the other afternoon by cancelling the plate with the registry of motor vehicles and removing it from our vehicle insurance coverage.

We're looking at quite the yearly savings by no longer having this dude on the road.  For example, no more registration fee, no more yearly vehicle inspections, no more yearly excise tax, no more repair costs (which were occurring more often), plus the saving on insurance.

All that being said, and sadly, the end of an era is upon us.  The license plate pictured above has been in use and on my vehicles for well over 20+ years.

I think it was about four years ago that I was told by one service station that he was not going to pass my truck's yearly inspection due to my license plate.  By state law, Massachusetts license plates must be readable from 60 feet away. Any green or red passenger plate, which has lost its reflective coating or paint or has been damaged, must be replaced.  As you can see it's in rough condition but New England weather will do that. However, since the process leaves much up to the discretion of the person performing the inspection, I simply went to a different station and never had an issue with the plate again but I did worry about it when inspection time was drawing near.

This plate will now adorn a spot over my basement work bench.

Monday, January 28, 2013

The Trixie Dog Hunt

Trixie dog got her first kill, a red squirrel!
She's quite the hunter too.  Snuck right up to her bed of chew toys and wasted NO time in locating this red squirrel chew hidden at the bottom of the pile.  She grab a hold of it with complete confidence, ignoring all the others toys, and began shaking it from side to side to side.  Low and behold, as you can see from the picture, the squirrel submitted.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Attention Walmart Shoppers...

So, we were in Walmart the other afternoon picking up a few things.  As I'm sure you're all well aware of, Walmart shoppers offer some very good comic relief.  However, on the flip side it's also a place that can try your patients too.  Sadly, common courtesy, as well as common sense are all but gone in our day to day interactions with others.
Let me also state for the record that JoAnne really doesn't like to take me shopping with her.  Actually, and as a general rule, I don't think she likes to take me anywhere where people will be.  Hmm, not sure why either.  Another of life's mysteries, i.e. does the light in the fridge go out when the door is closed or why did the chicken cross the road, etc.
That being said, I went along for the ride anyway.  So, as JoAnne is targeting specific isles to pick up the items on her list, I am slowly pushing our cart around, you know "browsing", and taking in the sites.  Again, as any Walmart visitor can attest to, the isles are not very wide and product is stocked and stacked in the main isles throughout the stores.  So, by now I'm in some back corner and as I turn to come up an isle there is this rather large woman, a younger woman I 'd guess in her mid twenties, who had parked her cart smack dab in the middle of the isle and is talking away on her cell phone.  Now neither of these two items are cause for one's blood pressure to rise, however, what she did or rather didn't do, at that moment DID get under my skin (see previous statement regarding common courtesy).  She just stood there going about her business and chatting away; never made an attempt to move herself or her cart to one side.  It's like she was in her own living room and we didn't exist.
Just like Homey D. Clown from In Living Color always says, "Homey don't play that!".  I too "don't play that" and took the liberty of "moving" her cart out of my way.  Hmm, perhaps this is one of the reasons JoAnne doesn't like to shop with me?!  However, and as you might imagine, me moving her cart of out my way wasn't done with tact or grace or care or gentleness, nope none of the above.  Rather, I used the end of my cart to push hers out of the way.  It sounded worse than it actually was. It got her attention thou that's for certain!  She looked at me with wide eyed contempt that said what the fudge sickle and offered up a sarcastic "sorry".  To which I responded, "No need to be sorry, I moved it!" - all with a smile and same sarcastic reply and off I went.
Oh, the joys!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Glistening Weeping Cherry

One morning, following an overnight snow storm and as the temperature slowly rose over the freezing mark, our weeping cherry tree was glistening in the morning sun.
 The picture doesn't do it justice. It sure look pretty in person. I guess you'll just have to take my word for it.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Country General Store


Completed this 550 piece puzzle while watching the Patriots play like kaaka and lose Sunday night., alas.  Well, at least the NHL and my beloved Boston Bruins are back.  Perhaps, watching them play will easy my football boo boos, sniff.

This one The Art of Michael Matherly, titled "Country General Store".
I've gotta tell ya, these 550 piece puzzles are just not challenging.   Back to the 1000 piecers.

Stick Em Up!

So, many many people in these New England parts raise their wipers in anticipation of snow these days. I don't recall seeing it nearly as much when I was growing up.   There seems to be varying opinions on this practice with some saying it looks silly and others saying it does no good.  However, I think it makes good sense and have taken up the practice.
For example, it prevents the wiper blades from sticking to the windshield, which in turn makes them last longer.  It also might prevent one from damaging their wiper motor - just imagine turning on your wipers when they're frozen to the windshield, oooh.  Also, makes clearing the ice and snow SO much easier with the blades up and out of the way.
Of course, and it obviously goes without saying (common sense right), that the blades should be lowered once the windshield has been cleared, especially before driving off.  However, and much to my surprise (although it really shouldn't surprise me these days), I watched a dip-shit pull into the parking lot the other day (Tuesday, the morning of our last snow storm) with the wipers raised - yup I did, no joke.  What makes this even more comical is that the person had the wipers turned on!!  So, here this dip-stick is driving with wipers raised and swinging from side to side and the person was 100% oblivious.  It's VERY scary that "they" walk among us!
Here's your sign.

Single Digit Temps!

The number (temperature) shown on my car's dash at 6:30 Thursday morning!
This past weeks temperatures have been like a Sesame Street episode, brrrr

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Recent Vintage Bottle Finds

Here are two vintage bottles that I've found here at the ole homestead recently.
The first is a brown Piel's wide mouth beer bottle with it's pull top tab from the 1970's.  The tab and bottle are in pretty good condition.
The second is an aqua glass pharmacy bottle with a screw top (no cap).  The name Furst-McNess Co. Freeport, Ill is written in raised letters on the side of the bottle.  I believe from the 1920 - 1940's.  It too is in pretty good condition.
Always fun to find these old, vintage items.

Cinderella's Grand Arrival

Completed another 1000 piece puzzle this morning.
This one a Disney Fine Art puzzle by Peter Ellenshaw titled, "Cinderella's Grand Arrival".

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Our Ford Fleet

The last photo showing our fleet of Fords, alas.
Oh, I've heard all the funny and clever acronyms for Ford, like: Found On Road Dead, Fix Or Repair Daily and Fails On Race Day, however, we've had great success with Ford.
Hater gonna hate...

Snow Covered Kale

Here's a lone Kale plant sporting a snow covered hat surrounded by a blanket of fresh snow.  The rabbits love their kale, the crisper the better.
Of course there's no new growth but what's left is rationed amongst the three rabbits.  Once the leaves are picked and fed, I'll pull the stem and cut it up for the buns.  The stems lasts much longer and gives them something to gnaw on.

Basement Daisy

Check out the Gerber Daisy flower!
A couple items to note, (1) this plant, along with about ten others, are being stored in our basement for the winter.  There is limited day light down there and we're only lightly watering so not to encourage too much growth right now, and (2) this particular Gerber Daisy has got me be close to ten years old, if not older.  Outside of watering it and perhaps some Miracle Grow in the Spring and Summer, we've done very little to it.  Still in the same flower pot and with the same dirt as when it arrived, not to mention that I've caught the darn cat using it as a litter box, URGH!!
No matter how you slice it, this little shop of horror is one happy dude, as you can by the lovely red flower that she's produced for us to enjoy!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Bombycilla cedrorum

The weather warmed up quite a bit last week, almost Spring like yesterday with temperatures near or in the low 60's!  Most of the snow has melted away, except maybe the large piles that the plows created.
The warmer weather has the birdies in a buzz, with a flurry of activity and some new visitors.
Take for example the Cedar Waxwing and American Robin hanging out together in one of our Maple trees - best buddies!  I bet they've been taking turns eating the last remaining berries from our Bittersweet vines.

Most Important Meal of The Day!

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so I start my day with a BIG hearty bowl of Gronk Flakes!!
Do you Gronk!?!?

Saturday, January 12, 2013

So Long Old Friend :-((

Well, it's official I've sold my truck,  :-((  
A 1999 Ford F150 Supercab with 140k miles.
I cleaned her out today and she's ready to go.
I didn't buy her new; if I remember correctly she was approximately 9 months old and has been solid and reliable for these past twelve years.  We've been through a lot together.  There's no question that I'm gonna miss her.  I don't really need a truck but to be honest I'm not sure how I will get along without one.  It's going to be an adjustment.

Winter Wonderland/Poolside Present

Ah, the beauty of Mother Nature and her first snow, so white and pure.  The fresh blanket of the white stuff covering the ground, the snow still covering the trees and branches and not yet disturbed by foot prints.  It's truly a site to behold!
Of course, when the ground is covered in snow the lay of the land and it's familiar markers are also covered leading some to loose their bearing.
Take Trixie dog for example, she's completely clueless.  Here she is answering "the call", however, she's either oblivious, doesn't care or, perhaps, doing it intentionally.  Whichever option you choose it doesn't change the fact Trixie dog is taking a poop poolside!!

Anyone wanna come over for a dip?!


First snow of the season had Emilie testing out her new snow tube.  The first couple of runs were slow going but once the path became packed the speeds picked up.

Friday, January 11, 2013

"Homecoming Hero"

Completed this 1000 piece Thomas Kinkade puzzle the other day. Only one piece fell victim to Trixie dog and was salvageable in the end.
On to the next one, another 1000 piecer.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Worked Like a Charm!!

Surprise surprise!!
Look what the ladies had waiting for me in the hen house this afternoon - TWO fresh laid eggs!
It's been 8 days since I installed a light in the coop, all in an effort to fool the ladies into thinking the days were longer, and it worked, BAZINGA!
Hoping the other four hens follow suit soon.  As you can imagine it's a tough pill to swallow, needing to buy eggs at the market, when we're feeding six chickens at home.

Thursday, January 03, 2013


The number (temperature) shown on my car's dash at 6:30 this morning!

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

and we're off...

and our family tradition continues.
Just like in years past JoAnne donned her apron and hit the kitchen to bake the vasilopita cake for New Years day!  The house smelled SO good once it was in the oven and cooking.  And as always it brings back some wonderful memories of my mother and times gone by.
THANK YOU JoAnne for keeping this tradition and memory alive!