Thursday, August 30, 2007

Great Discovery

One of the things I love about living in a new place is discovering what's around--whether its a roadside farmer's market or coffeehouse. Eric told me about a cute little coffee place called Longfellow's Coffee that he checked out so we went back for lunch today. Yum. It's a small place on Route 15 in Jefferson and everything there is fresh. Sandwiches take 15 minutes to make because they are not "premade and heated." My iced sugar-free rasberry soy latte was amazing. They have a location in Kinnelon too. If you live locally, check them out!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Our Office

A few days ago, this room was wall to wall boxes. It's pretty much unpacked now due to lots of hard work this weekend. We've still got to reorganize a bit and do some touch-up painting. This is the room where we keep our computers and most of our books. It also doubles as a second guest room thanks to a futon and comfy couch. We've also got a nice deck off this room. Sweet!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Our Living Room

Here's a couple pictures that I've been promising. Sorry if quality is kinda sucky. I used my camera phone because my real camera is in my car. I think.

Here's our living room. It has high ceilings, sky lights and almost a whole wall of windows (and one of the glass panels is a sliding glass door). The room is very light and airy, which I love. The couches are a merlot color and they were only six months old when I put them into storage--where they stayed for 3 years! I think they look good in this room.

Here's another pic. There's our fireplace. We have a lot of that natural wood throughout the house. It gives it a nice touch.

Public Radio that Rocks

The people that sold us the house left one of those under-the-cabinet radio/cd players in the kitchen. Even though I usually would listen to my iPod when cooking, I figured this device would come in handy. However, being that we are so far up in the mountains--we don't get great reception for New York radio stations. I'm an avid listener of WFUV, Fordham's public radio station that plays great music. But that does not come in here. I found a Stroudsburg, PA station that was just okay. Then I discovered WNTI, Centennary College's public radio station. I dig the music so much that Eric asked me yesterday if I ever turn that thing off! Rarely. I like to leave it on for Norton when I go out, too. Dogs like good music too!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

We just love monKEYing around!

Shock of all shocks...a non-house related post! When Eric and I were in Miami, we had dinner in Coconut Grove one night. That Friday night was probably my favorite part about our trip. Not as touristy as Miami Beach. Eric posted about that night here...

So I left Eric holding my balloon monkey so I could look in a cool little shop. And I ended up purchasing these really cool little monkey covers for our keys. So far, we've only used 2 out of 6. I have the purple one and Eric, the grey.

So I've been meaning to write about these monKEYs for a while and today, I checked out Nicky's blog and she beat me to the punch!

Another Nasty, Disgusting Day

Yesterday, after the constant rain we had all day, we discovered that we had a bit of a chimney leak. The joys of being a homeowner. We've scheduled a chimney repairman to come out and hopefully its nothing major.

Today it didn't really rain much but it was cloudy and chilly all day. I went for a drive and then Norton and I went for a walk then a wander in the woods then a swim (for him, not me).

Then he went off running and came back filthy. Well at least we bought a hose...

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Rainy Day

I bet these two wish they could have stayed in bed all day!

It's cold and rainy. No long walks for Norton and I today.

But guess what? I just looked outside and counted eight deer, including two babies!

Monday, August 20, 2007

We're in!

Well, technically we moved in a week ago. Our high-speed internet was finally turned on tonight! So I am now connected to the wired world again! The place is coming along, bit by bit. We've still got lots of boxes but the place is looking pretty good! Between Eric's furniture and mine from storage, we've managed to fill the place up! I promise pictures will come soon--I have an idea where my camera is but I've got to physically locate it and my battery charger.

Norton is delightfully happy here. It took him a day or two to get adjusted but he's doing great. He loves the woods and trails and pond for swimming behind our house. He loves our nightly walks with our friend Jenny from the development (Eric's best friend Dave's wife) and dog Tocchet.

Its really nice and peaceful here and DARK at night! I've seen plenty of deer, frogs and even wild turkeys!

More to come later...

Friday, August 10, 2007

More House Stuff

Another long day spent working in the new house.

It rained all day. And it was C-O-L-D!!! By the time I left my new home this evening, it was 56 degrees! And I was wearing shorts!!!!

Today I finished painting the office. Did I mention that I ended up getting Home Depot to make a better match than Lowe's did? I ended up using the Home Depot paint and returning the Lowe's paint. It looked pretty good in the dim light. We'll see how it looks on a nice sunny day. I know, I know, I know, I owe everyone pictures. I'll give you a visual image to hold you over...the color is a dark beige that I like to call cinnamon latte. There's natural wood trim so it looks nice together. Pics will come soon. Promise.

Today we got our locks changed. I brought over and put away most of our dry groceries along with some other kitchen supplies.

Tomorrow Eric and I are going to HorrorFind, my first time. And Sunday, packing, packing, packing, because the movers come on Monday.

Once we move, we may be without internet for a week. Maybe less. So don't be startled if you must go without house updates for that duration.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007


Nope. Still no pics. But soon. I hope.

Today some friends came up to both see the new house and help paint the office. Susan and her boyfriend Timmy and their dog, Blackie along with McKenzie and Baby Caiden.

Things were going quite swimmingly! While Timmy was painting the ceiling, us girls were playing with the baby and chatting. At lunchtime, I went to Lowe's for more ceiling paint and I brought us back Subway for lunch.

I spent some time snipping at the excess greenery outside and then it was time for Susan and I to start painting the walls of the office. We got to the bottom of paint can #1. We cracked open #2 and I threw some on the wall I was painting.

Uh oh. The color didn't match what we had been doing. I bought both cans together--but the man who mixed the paints really SCREWED UP. So what was I to do but to bring both cans of paint to the local Lowe's (not the one where I purchased the two cans initially).

Apparently, the can of paint that we put on the walls was the "mistake" batch of paint. And as it turned out, we liked that color much better than the Caribou that the room was supposed to be painted in. So the man at this Lowe's had to do his best to match a paint that was a "mistake." He did a pretty good job, I think. Timmy threw some more on the walls when I got home. And, I hope that when I see it dry in the morning light, it looks okay. It'll need another coat regardless.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Painting with Martha and other Homeowner Adventures

No, Martha is not physically going to be helping me paint tomorrow. But she'll be there in a way--I bought some of her paint at Lowe's today. Tomorrow, along with some awesome friends, I'll be painting the office a color called Caribou. Its a latte-ish-brown-ish color. The ceiling color is called Yellow Caneware.

Today was productive. We hired cleaners and they did their thing at the new house.

The house's former owners didn't do much for the upkeep of the home. While some of the carpets are nice and new, others are an eighties shade of blue with yucky stains.

The kitchen has cranberry stripes on the walls and matching cranberry cabinets.

The former owners, while nice people, let the greenery take over the house. Vines wrapped around and covered all the railings on the front deck. (This morning, while trying to get rid of all those grape-bearing vines accidentally rid an egg-bearing huge spider of its nest and left many insects homeless. I also ruined my new garden shears trying to attack branch-like vines. Next time, I'll use a borrowed chainsaw instead.) Vines climb the back of the house--and the inspector seemed to think we may have poison ivy. We've got a humongous overgrown shrub in the front of the house.

You can say we have our work cut out for us. But Eric and I are really excited about it!

I promise pics will be coming soon!

Monday, August 06, 2007

We're homeowners!

Today we closed on our new house! There's lots to be done this week including painting, cleaning, and packing. Next Tuesday night, we'll be sleeping in the new house. I'll be posting pictures when I can...

Saturday, August 04, 2007

A Fun Filled Day--Part Four

Friday was a great day--for the most part. Here's what happened...

We woke up bright and early and Eric headed off to the career fair, once again to work for his newspaper. Then I headed off on my adventure.

I made the nearly one hour trek to Homestead, Florida for a series of adventures. First and foremost, I wanted to visit the Everglades. I could have went to the Everglades National Park. But I decided I wanted to go on an airboat ride so I went to the Everglades Alligator Farm instead. I saw some alligators up close!

I even held a baby alligator!

Then I went on an airboat ride which was awesome!

Saw some more gators and sea turtles.

Egrets and lots of fish!

They call the Everglades the River of Grass. It's also the only place where crocodiles and alligators live side by side--in the world!

After the airboat ride, I headed to Robert is Here fruit stand. Not just any fruit stand, but Robert specializes in exotic fruits and he's known for his exotic fruits milkshakes. I had a pineapple milkshake. YUM!

Non Fun Part Disclaimer: I hit a big rock in the road on my way to Robert's. After the fruit stand, I headed to Walmart Tire and Lube Express to make sure my tires were okay. The man said they looked fine. Phew...for the record, I hate Walmart. I only went because it was a necessity.

Next, I hit downtown Homestead where I checked out a few antique shops. Got lots of old postcards for my collection!

Then: the winery! I went to Schnebly Redland's Winery--the southernmost winery in the US! All of their wines are made from tropical fruits! I had a tasting of their five wines--mango, lychee, passionfruit, carombola, and guava. I ended up buying two bottles--carombola and passionfruit. Unfortunately, they don't ship to NJ...

Nope, my day was not over yet. Then a visit to the Fruit and Spice Park, a 35-acre tropical botanical garden growing over 500 varieties of fruits, spices and nuts. I took a tram ride around the park. Our guide, Marie, explained what a lot of the fruits were and what they were used for in different countries. And I got a mango to bring home! Ooh, and I nibbled on a stevia leaf, some Thai garlic and mint. Fun!

Look for another post detailing my evening with Eric!

Not-So-Fun-Filled (Part Tres)

So Eric and I did make it to South Beach Thursday night. I didn't find it particularly appealing, nor did Eric. I found it too touristy, too trendy, and quite expensive! There were a million restaurants all in a row and lots of them had a waiter or staff member pushing the menu on you. If you stopped to look at their menu, they try to sell it to you. Reminded me of Little Italy with palm trees.

"Come on, try it, the food is the best."

"We have a steak special, only $15, so good, usually worth $36."

You get the idea. Annoying as all hell. We ended up going with an Italian restaurant. We sat inside because I couldn't take anymore of the Florida heat. Well the door was open to the outside so it was hotter inside as it turned out. By the time our dinners came out, I was ready to pass out. It was 10pm and I was not only really hungry but sunburnt and suffering heat exhaustion, I think. So we took our food to go and I was feeling better once we got to the room. We had to miss the Salsa party. Oh, well.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Greetings from Miami--Part Deux!

Today its sunny and bright outside in South Florida. This morning, I chose a lovely beach to visit--Bill Baggs State Park on Key Biscayne. Even with a sunblock of SPF 50, I still suffered a burn to my shoulders and back. I was smart to reapply constantly, however, when you're attending the beach on your own, its kind of hard to reapply to your back after splashing around in the clear aqua water. Its a good thing I only stayed on the beach for 2 hours. I saw some new and unusual butterflies and birds. I even saw a pelican!

Don't go in the water if you see a purple flag!

After the beach, I came back to the hotel and chilled for a couple hours. Then, I took the free MetroMovers monorail over to the Bayside Marketplace a few blocks away. It's an open aired mall, complete with a Hard Rock Cafe and because its right on the water, you can take a touristy boat ride right from there! I contemplated the pirate cruise. Oh well. Maybe later on this weekend...

Look! A wet bird!

Tonight, Eric and I are going out to dinner in South Beach and there's a possibility of an AAJA Salsa Party there as well. So we'll see...

Tomorrow's the Everglades and Biscayne National Park. I think.

Once again, pics to follow...

Greetings from Miami!!!

On Tuesday, after a yummy Thai lunch, Eric and I flew out to Miami. Though its vacation time for me--lots of relaxing and exploring, Eric's here for his AAJA Convention. Lucky me. But he's stuck in workshops all day and working the Career Fair for his newspaper.

Yesterday was fun. Florida weather in the summer is simply...awesome. Extremely hot and humid with nearly daily thunderstorms. So yesterday I met up with my friend Bret for the afternoon. He moved to Florida a year and a half ago so it was the first time I've seen him since. We met up in Hollywood, Florida. My first time there. It started pouring when I was nearly there. Pouring cats and dogs.

We had lunch at a place called O'Malley's Ocean Pub. A cool place on the patio with an awning with a Key West atmosphere. But many of the restaurants on Hollywood's "broadwalk" are open air. Even though it was pouring, we stayed dry during lunch and were able to watch the ocean.

Then we walked on the broadwalk. And had ice cream. And fudge.

Then Bret and I parted ways and I had time for a sweet nap in the hotel before Eric got back. Last night, we had an opening reception to go to. Today, I'll hit the beach and tonight we have a free evening.

From the opening reception at the opera house...