Monday, November 30, 2009

Miracle on 7th Avenue (aka "How we got front row spots for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade!")

Mary Pat and I have both always wanted to see the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Since Chris and I live within driving distance of NYC, this was the year to make it happen!

Jay and Mary Pat arrived in Connecticut early Wednesday afternoon. After a nice evening with them (and a mean parsnip risotto dinner- seriously, where has this vegetable been my entire life?) we turned in so we could catch one of the trains into the city early Thanksgiving morning.

We were out of the driveway a few minutes after 6:00 a.m. and made it to White Plains, NY to catch the 7:05 train into Grand Central with time to spare.

Once in the city, we started walking towards the parade route. It starts up near Central Park, goes through Times Square, and finishes in front of Macy's. We didn't want to be near the very end of the parade so Times Square seemed like a good option.

Our original spot was actually down on a side street perpendicular to 7th Avenue, sort of set back from the actual parade route. It was supposed to be an emergency entrance in case a fire truck or ambulance needed to get to someone on the parade route, but they said we could stand there and would only need to move in case of an emergency. It was a decent spot considering the parade was starting in under half an hour.

Chris and Jay went to get coffee while Mary Pat and I held the spot. All of a sudden, out of nowhere, several NY policemen came up to the barrier we were standing behind and said that they were letting 5 people at a time cross 7th Avenue to stand in the middle of Times Square! Mary Pat and I couldn't believe our good fortune so when it was our turn, we took off across 7th Avenue without hesitation.

Check out that front row spot!!!

I was able to get ahold of Jay and Chris by cell phone and when they told the policemen their wives were across the street, they let them come too. (We were originally on the far side of the street where you can see people standing and then off to the left a bit, back from the main road.)
And it begins!


Cyndi Lauper!
Good sports for waking up before dawn on Thanksgiving morning for their wives. :)
As always, Santa brought up the rear!
And that's all folks!
After the parade we walked around the city for a few hours. This is the building in the Diamond District where Chris bought my ring! Only he was about 30 floors up. :)
Rockefeller Tree- the lights are on, but it's not lit yet. The tree actually came from Easton, CT less than 20 minutes from us!

Overall, the entire experience was just a great one. We got a fantastic spot to watch the parade, everyone was in such a jovial and friendly mood, and I never realized the parade was so interactive- people were shouting hello and yelling "Happy Thanksgiving" left and right! So fun.

I hope you had a terrific Turkey Day! (Or Capon Day, as was the case at Casa Gibson...stay tuned!)


It's Not Easy Being Green from Jessica Hasty on Vimeo.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Bailey

How cute was Bailey when he was a puppy?

I know, I can tell- you're just melting inside. :)

And while I still think Bailey is the cutest thing on 4 legs, some of his habits aren't so adorable. He piddles when he's excited, or nervous, or very relaxed. He booty-scoots across the floor. He has a bad habit of stealing my sandwiches when I'm lunching on the coffee table. But all that aside, we still love him to pieces, which is why we so badly want to end bad habit #4...the licking/chewing/biting of his feet. We know he's in terrible pain and sometimes the licking is so loud it wakes us up in the middle of the night.

If you have a dog, have ever had a dog, want a dog, or just like dogs in general, there's a good chance I've spoken to you about Bailey's feet. And I've gotten some great ideas! After ruling out allergies with the help of the vet, here's my new game plan:

1. Mix it up. We feed Bailey dry food 3 times a day. I've learned that dry food is exactly that, dry, so he is definitely not getting enough fats or oils. Mixing in a wet food or using fish oil (we have tried this but are not very consistent with it) are two good ways to get more moisture into his system.

2. Goodbye, chemicals. I am slowly greening up my routine, but one thing I haven't switched or even thought of switching is my good ol' Tide. Eons ago I heard that Consumer Reports claimed Tide was the best at keeping clothes looking like new so I've used it ever since (and so does my Mom...which I guess is where I heard it). BUT, I've learned that the chemicals in household cleaners can really affect animals. Since Bailey sleeps with us, if I switch to a natural laundry detergent when I wash the sheets or any blankets that he curls up in, it might help.

3. Eat your veggies! I was one of those terrible children who didn't like vegetables. Don't worry Mom and Dad, I'm so much better now! Apparently wheat, soy, and corn are not well digested by our four-legged friends but they make up a HUGE percentage of most dry dog foods. I've learned that when Chris and I are having veggies with dinner, Bailey can have some too. There are some things to stay away from (eggplant, bell peppers, raw tomatoes, garlic and onion, grapes among others) but fruits and veggies are just as good for dogs as they are for humans. And leftover steamed broccoli is never as good the next day anyway, right? Bailey will love the leftovers!

Did I ever think I would even entertain the notion of feeding my dog fresh fruits and veggies? Absolutely not. But desperate times call for desperate measures. Keep your fingers crossed that something works!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Gutted

Well it's finally done! Don't get too excited though, I'm referring to the demolition of the drywall, not the actual bathroom itself. It's been over a month since we've done any serious work on our half-bath renovation (remember this post here?) but we're finally ready to move forward. Stay tuned!

Gutted. This was what the bathroom looked like at the end of two hours. The old toilet is long gone, the ugly light fixture is history, the new toilet is waiting in the garage, and the sink is in the dining room waiting to be moved back in. The tile's still on the floor...for now. My husband has always wanted to try tiling, so that may be coming up too. :/
Even Bailey got in on the fun. Here he is eating a piece of wood paneling. And see all those little dots floating around? No, they're not ghostly orbs- just a LOT of dust particles.
Happy dog.
Someone get me a tool belt, clearly I'm a natural. :) And check out my cool safety glasses...Dad, I am definitely your daughter.
I tried to get him to smile, but he was working too hard.

Hopefully there will be pics of a finished bathroom SOON!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

New life for an old stool

As I've mentioned before, I love tag sales. And since Chris had an MBA class every Saturday throughout the month of September, I went to quite a few of them.

Nunnawauk Meadows is a retirement community here in Newtown. They had a HUGE tag sale one weekend where I found a little step stool (or sit stool? it's cushioned) and thought it was just so cute. But, it had a $10 price tag. I didn't want to spend that much and didn't feel right haggling with the sweet ladies who were running the show. So I left.

I couldn't get the cute little stool out of my head though.

After a stop at my favorite coffee shop Mocha, I went back to the tag sale. Somehow I ended up telling one of the other customers that I just loved this stool but didn't want to pay $10 for it. She proceeded to tell me how she had worked in a thrift store for nearly 40 years and that they would definitely let me have it if I offered $5. But before I could even answer her she decided she would do it for me! :) And they said that $5 would be fine. So I left with my stool!


And, after a few dollars worth of new fabric (I was even able to reuse the same nails that I pulled out of the old fabric to reattach the new fabric) I have a brand new stool. I love it! Someday I might paint the bottom, but for now I like it just the way it is.