Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving 2014

Wishing family and friends near and far a Happy Thanksgiving!

A Winter Palm Tree

Thanks Uncle Greg!

Emilie's palm tree has been potted up.  Although, I don't think it's too fond of this cold weather and snow and wondering what happened and how it ended up Franklin,

Yellow Deck Snow

Put Trixie dog out the slider yesterday afternoon, as we always do, to do her "business".  She three now and knows the process, however, this blanket of snow has confused her or given her the opportunity to play dumb and be lazy.

About four steps onto the snow covered deck and she begins making yellow snow, really?!

And it wasn't just once.  JoAnne put her out later that afternoon and she pulled the exact same thing, UGH!

So, we now need to put her out through the basement door to prevent her from "going" on the deck.  Of course with this blanket of snow it's just a matter of time now before she begins walking out on the pool cover to do her "business"...

First Snow Storm of 2014

The first snow storm of  the season rolled in yesterday.  Although, we're in the area were 2-5 inches were predicted, thankfully, it was more like 1-2 inches when all said and done.

Warm and dry.  The calm before the storm -

Rain mixing with snow -

Almost all snow but heavy and wet -

At the freezing mark now and all snow -

The final snow fall as of this AM -

Hoping it all melts so I can run the lawn tractor one last time on Sunday to pick up the remaining leaves before putting it up for winter storage in the neighbors shed.  Fingers crossed.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Sky's A Fire Tonight!

Nope, not a picture of Ferguson, MO.

Rather tonight's sunset off our back deck!


Above The Clouds

I wonder if this is what being on cloud 9 is like?!

Snapped this photo shortly after our takeoff from Ft. Lauderdale at approximately 36 thousand feet.

Absolutely incredible!!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Miami Florida Visit!

 Our visit to Miami was great!!

We stayed at the Country Inn & Suites and had a big room - 

Spent time with my dad and toured his new digs at The Palace Renaissance -

Discovered this new tree species, a Painted Eucalyptus -

 Finally got to see Alyssa Muscovy duck collection -  

 Met many of Alyssa's horse friends -

Was treated to a lovely rainbow on our drive back from the horse rescue branch of the South Florida SPCA, which is a great organization - 

Sadly, our visit went by too fast -

We had a terrific time!  Already looking forward to our next visit!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

And We're Off, Soon!

Emilie and I are flying down to Miami, this evening, to see my dad, brother and his family!

We'll be spending the rest of the week in warm and sunny weather, we hope.

It's long overdue for sure and we can't wait.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Fall's In The Air

Ah, it's that time of year when the days are shorter, the weather changes and gets colder, the leaves turn their brilliant colors and fall from trees to cover the ground in a crisp blanket.

And of course when JoAnne begins to drive on the lawn in order to pull into the garage.

Unwanted Grey Bird Feeder Pests

Unwanted bird feeder visitor.

Like the birds these pests seem to appear once I fill and hang the feeders?

They're welcome to stay and snack so long as they don't climb all over the feeders and spill the seed.  They scare off the birds when they pull those antics.  Not to mention that these Grey Squirrels, being that they're more aggressive, scare and chase off the cutier Red Squirrels.

Frye Pack Rat

Before there was Clark Griswold and the Wagon Queen Family Truckster station wagon, there was the Frye Family from Massachusetts.

From an early age we'd take road trips down south to visit family.  They all took place in a flavor of station wagon which usually had "stuff" strapped to the roof, as well as the back loaded up too.

Although, I don't recall specifically watching my dad and his loading process for these trips, somewhere along the way this knowledge was transferred to me.

I'm now proud to tout this talent, which I'll give you a glimpse of in the above picture.  Once the lawn tractor is moved across the street and into the neighbors shed for the winter I'll be able to park my Corolla in the garage with plenty of room!  Of course, all the items against the back wall will not be reachable until Spring but my car will be safe from the outside New England elements and much warmer for when I initially get inside.

This has become a yearly rite of passage to both store the outside yard 'stuff', i.e.lawn furniture, and get my car inside.


Friday, November 14, 2014

My Oopsie Has Been Repaired!

Picked up our new toilet this afternoon.  An American Standard Clean Dual Flush.

With the old tank removed you can see the results of over-tightening bolts...

Old commode removed, the area cleaned, prepped and ready for the new.

Walla, the new toilet has been installed and ready for (your) business!

In the end a $211.74 oopsie!

Food Court Lunch!

Hit the food court at the Natick Mall this afternoon for lunch.

Emilie got Chicken McNuggets and chocolate shake, of course she did.

I got the Teriyaki Chicken with noodles, yummy.

Followed by several laps around the mall.

What's This White Stuff?!

Woke to a coating of snow this morning, YUK!

Surely a sign of what's to come as we get further into our New England Winter.

I don't think Trixie dog was too happy about it either.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

A 20 Minute Job Right...

So, the toilet in my bathroom began randomly refilling.  Like I was taught I would jiggle the handle.  Sometimes this work, something it wouldn't.

Upon closer inspection I noticed that the flush value was missing one of the pegs that the flapper connects to, UGH.

I pulled the installation instructions that came with the commode, determined the replacement part number then called American Standard and order a replacement flush valve.

The new flapper arrived -

The installation was supposed to be a piece of cake - 

shut off the water to the toilet
remove two bolt nuts
and the tank comes off the bowl.

  Unscrew the old flapper valve
and install the new.
So far so good!

Replace the tank on the bowl
put the bolt nuts back on

I over tighten
Not good, not good at all, alas!

I'll let you know but this is a couple hundred dollar oops-sie, as I now need to replace the entire toilet...  
Of course this model has been discontinued and no longer available.
The replacement model is quite expensive.

So, my 20 minute project is now up to a 4-day and counting project.  All the while unable to use the commode.

Monday, November 10, 2014

What's Blue and Burnt-Orange and Flies!

Although, I've yet to fill and hang the bird feeders the Blue Birds have been visiting, which is a welcome site.  I was able to sneak onto the deck to take the above picture.  As you can see I was spotted and off he flew.

Still love the Blue Bird blue but also how their brunt-orange chest blends into the fall colors of the fallen leaves.

Homestead Officially Winterized!

Another busy weekend at the ole homestead!

The weather cooperated.  It was warm and beautiful!

I can officially state that the yard and outside is now 99.5% completed and winterized.

I took Emilie up on her offer to mow the front lawn.  Although, she was driven to rid the lawn of every single leaf, we both won!  She's a chip off the old block as you can see she's doing a terrific job.  Don't tell her but she'll regret this come next Spring and Summer...

The trailer has been moved down back, filled with lawn furniture and covered with a brandy new tarp for the long winter ahead.

The next project on my list is to clean my side of the garage in an effort to fit my car.  There's gonna be a lot of stacking taking place but rest assured I will be parking in there within the next couple of weeks.

I Wonder Who Sees Who?!

Emilie and Shane stalking their prey or are they?

I'm fairly certain this deer spotted the kids long before she was seen by them.

She's on the move but Frick and Frack are onto her.

As you can see by the picture dates, the photo below was taken 4-days after the above pics.  However, this dude is standing and nibbling at about the same spot where Trouble and Maker are looking in the above photo.  The two are besties, which is terrific, and both great kids too!

They seem to be milling close by recently (the deer).  However, I suspect they've been around all summer long, it's just now with most of the leaves down they're easier to spot.

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Stop The Winter Drafts!

Yesterday was another beautiful Fall day.  The temperature warmed up to mid-fifties.  Perfect weather to be outside working in the yard.

Disregard Tirxie-dog watering the freshly mowed and leaf free lawn, rather focus on the chicken coop behind her.  As you can see it's 99% winterized.  The first project of the day was to get the front plastic secured and in place  It might not look too pretty but it helps protect the critters from the cold winds and makes quite a difference with the inside temperature, which is why I've left the door uncovered for now.

I also filled five leaf bags with mostly Maple leaves and stacked them on the left end, seem in the picture above.  The left end of the coop is where the chickens roost is and where they sleep.  The bags act as further insulation against the wind.  I will also use the contents throughout the winter as bedding for the coop and snacks for the rabbits, as they enjoy nibbling on the leaves.

Friday, November 07, 2014

Score A "Victory" For Us

Scheduled Victory, our heating specialist, to do a cleaning and inspection of our furnace this morning.  This coincides with re-upping our yearly service agreement, which includes the above mentioned work.

Although our heating system is close to 30 years old the technician said it looks good and working as it should be.  Of course if we had the funds we'd look into possibly updating to a newer more energy efficient type system.  However, for now and until we hit the lottery, we'll keep our fingers crossed and continue to ride this old work horse.

Halloween Trick or Treaters

The White Tailed Deer twins were out and about on Halloween eve around 5 o'clock.  They didn't seem to be bothered by the passing cars as they made their way from the neighbors yard, across our driveway stopping to nibble the flowers off of the mums, then up and into our front flower beds.  One appeared to have a specific hanker'n in mind as he made his way straight for the Holly bush, GRRRR.

Something spooked them, perhaps because it was Halloween, and off they went down back with their "white" tails high in the air.

It's enjoyable to have them visit and watch them but only when they behave and stay away from and out of our gardens.  Fortunately there isn't too much damage they can do at this time of the year, as most everything has gone dormant for the winter and has been cut back.

Always Practice Safe...Jogging

I hung some plastic in one section of the basement.  This is in the part of the basement where we have the treadmill.  I've always been a bit queezie about running on the treadmill while huffing and puffing, and huffing and puffing some more, with the exposed ceiling and insulation particles floating around.  So, in an effort to prevent or at least minimize that issue up went the plastic.

Now it's just a matter of finding my "jogging" motivation...

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Gillette Blood Drive 2014

Double-red blood donation this morning at Gillette Stadium!

It's a great take for sure if for nothing else then to get an inside glimpse of a near empty Gillette Stadium.  There's always Patriot alum and Patriot cheerleader in attendance signing autograph and posing for pictures.

They hold raffles each hour; gift certificates, autographed Patriot memorabilia, game tickets, etc. JoAnne again, just like last year, was a raffle winner!

A good take for a good cause!

Ahoy Matey - Pumpkin Brew

Yup, it's that time of the year - pumpkin beer time!

Enjoyed a taste Shipyard brew...