Sunday, November 30, 2008

Festival of family and friends

I got sick last week which ended up being a blessing in disguise, as I wasn't really in the mood to go into the office. So I worked from home for a few days with my lovely officemate, Betty.

My dad flew in on Tuesday night. Kris and I went with him to the Peabody Essex Museum on Wednesday. On Thursday, we all headed to my mother-in-law's place in Connecticut. Here is a trailing economic indicator of Thanksgiving at the CVS near her house.

Here's the whole group, including two uncles-in-law, three cousins-in-law, one aunt-in-law, my MIL, and my family.

My cousin-in-law Erin is dog-crazy. Here is she protecting Lani's delicate coat from dessert crumbs.

On Friday we went to Silas's 2nd birthday party at Fiona's mom's house in Connecticut. Silas was a little shy about blowing out his candle, so Brad helped him out.

Uncle Ed!

We all enjoyed some super tasty ice cream cake.

On Saturday, Ed and I made our first meal in our new kitchen. He grilled some fish that he caught this past summer at man camp.

Kris helped me make Swedish rhubarb pie using our grandmother's recipe. It's my dad's favorite. I used rhubarb I bought last summer at the Bedford Farmers' Market.


This has been a pretty tough month. One of my coping mechanisms has been to start knitting more. Here are some recent projects.

This is a scarf for Ed, made with merino/possum yarn that Rachel got for me in New Zealand. (Ravelry link)

I was making this hat for Aimee, but sadly I didn't finish it in time. I think I'm going to keep it, since it will always remind me of her. (Ravelry link)

My calabash nephew Silas outgrew his original pumpkin hat. I was really flattered when his mom, Fiona, asked for Pumpkin Hat 2.0. (Ravelry link)

Last Christmas I gave Ed some yarn that my sister and I dyed with coffee in her crock pot. I started some socks for him with it and Kris helped me turn the heel this afternoon. Here is the sock right at the beginning, on Thanksgiving. Coincidentally, the yarn is exactly the same color as the dulce de leche helados (ice cream) that we enjoyed in Buenos Aires every day of our trip. (Ravelry link)

Kitchen renovation, part six

Shortly after our return from Argentina (pics to come), Ed finished prepping the kitchen for the countertop installation, including installing the last two cabinets. I helped him lift the microwave into place, which ended up being pretty difficult. It's nice to have a microwave that's out of the way and not taking up counter space.

Two very nice guys from Stone One in Methuen installed our countertops yesterday. They did excellent work and we're really pleased.

Then Ed worked on the faucet. The Moen Level fit the available space so I returned the back-up faucet.

My dad was visiting and helped out a lot, both with the faucet install and with looking for all the parts we needed at Lowe's for the plumbing (Ed stayed home during that trip).

There was some soldering...

Don't tell anyone. I'm having an affair with my plumber.

Ed started installing the drawer pulls today. As you can see, he's already set up his coffee station.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Requiescat in pace

When I left last week to go on vacation, it was still fall in New England and Aimee was sick.

When I returned today, it had become winter in New England and Aimee was gone.

Aimee was one of the first and best friends I made at Tufts and we were roommates for two years. She fought so hard to beat melanoma. It still hasn't really hit me yet. You can read her story at the Cowan family blog.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me

Ed and I went to see the Boston taping of "Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me" last Thursday. It was sooo much fun. The crowd was especially pumped about the election. Peter Sagal joked about how he used the spend summers in Boston when he was growing up and this was the first time he'd seen Bostonians really happy and making eye contact with strangers. Ed is not the "Wait Wait" fan that I am, but he found the taping to be much more funny than he was expecting. Barney Frank was particularly quick-witted as the "Not My Job" guest.

A picture of the stage from Flickr.

Listen to the Boston show online.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Kitchen renovation, part five

On Friday, Ed put the oven in place and screwed down the last of the base cabinets to prepare for the countertop templating.

On Saturday, the countertop guy visited to take measurements and make a template. The PVC prep glue on the template made us all a little lightheaded. We're going with a white engineered quartz (Zodiaq Cloud White). The countertop should be installed in a couple weeks. It looks like the space between the sink and the window might be a little tight for our faucet (you can see it here in this unintentionally funny, smarmy ad), so Kris helped me pick out an easily returnable backup faucet yesterday just in case.

Today Ed did some finishing work on the cabinets and walls and hooked up the stove. We cooked tonight! There are only two wall cabinets left to hang.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Lowell-Dracut-Tyngsboro State Forest

A week-and-a-half ago I went on one of NEBC's fall mt bike rides in Lowell-Dracut-Tyngsboro State Forest. I always have so much fun riding there. There's plenty to challenge the experienced mt biker but most of it is still rideable for someone like me with less-than-stellar skills. I was the slowest in the group but people either didn't mind or were very polite about waiting for me. :) One of the things I enjoy is that I end up riding much better when I'm chasing the NEBC guys. Going faster means less time to worry about crashing and more momentum to deal with rocks, small logs, and hills. Norm B., who built a lot of the trails, was very encouraging. He just sent out some pics -- he took all of these except for the one of him (yellow jersey), which I took with his camera.

Monday, November 3, 2008


I'm sure Bubba, the groundhog who lives under the little deck attached to our shed, is down for his long winter's nap. Summer is definitely over. We got to see a lot more of him this summer than usual. He was in rare form: doing yoga on the deck, scaring the squirrels, and entertaining a friend (a lady friend?). He also seemed a lot less scared of us, so Ed was able to get some better pictures than in previous years.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Schrödinger's cat is not dead

Earlier this evening we went to the Sloan Fellows Halloween party as Erwin Schrödinger and Schrödinger's cat (the bottle around my neck is labeled "poison"). And here's something funny: at a party filled with MIT students, not a single person understood our costumes. This is why regular MIT students look down on Sloan students. :)

Here is one of Ed's classmates dressed up as the MIT Dome. Note the toy police car on the top of the dome.

Kitchen renovation, part four

I spent the day scraping up the old linoleum, ordering our floor tiles (receiving in the process a pleasant surprise: all special order tile 20% off at Expo until tomorrow), and trying to order our countertops.

Our appliances were delivered today. Also, Ed made a lot of progress getting more of the cabinets in place and bolted together.