Saturday, April 30, 2011

Walking to Jerry's...

... to pick up sour cream for tonight's turkey tacos, and I just thought the Dogwoods next to the church looked lovely in the evening sun :)

Beach Clean Up

Crispy and new friends- and the sun came out!

Beach Clean Up

Cleaning up the beach :)

Beach Clean Up

At Harbor Island Park in Mamaroneck with Crispy's SCUBA club for the beach clean up day.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Fila Skele-toes mine are a little less gaudy in black and grey
We went to Modell's yesterday to get Crispy some new shorts in anticipation of the warm weather today, and while we were there I spotted these: Fila Skele-toes shoes.

my Skele-toes and some yellow flowers
I have read of the supposed advantages of barefoot running, and there have been some similar running shoes around for a while that are meant to be very good, but are quite expensive (Vibram Five Fingers). These however were just $50 and as they are advertised as being good for all surfaces and are described more as a utility shoe than a running shoe, and as I needed a new pair of light-weight hikers for walking the dog in the warmer weather, I thought I'd give them a try. Why? you may ask- well as another website puts it: "shoes that allow your feet to function naturally—as they would barefoot—when you do things like run, walk, work out, or play—are healthy."

muddy paws- and boy I need a tan!
They are a bit weird when you first put them on as you wear them without socks and your first 3 toes each have their own "finger" while your 2 smallest toes share one (this is supposed to make them easier to put on, and it does, but I wonder if they just want them to be different from Vibrams). The soles are quite flexible, I've read some other reviews that say they're too thick and they don't give you the full "barefoot" experience, but for the stoney and rocky trails in Saxon Woods I'd say they're just about perfect. I did the 3 mile loop this afternoon with Holly and I found them very comfortable and the thickness of the soles to be enough to protect my feet from the sharper stones, but still allow me to feel what was underfoot. And the experience of almost spreading out your toes and gripping as you climb the steeper sections is quite novel and feels very natural once you get used to it.

So, after just one day out I like them a lot! They are very comfortable, light, and seem to breath well, and as they seem to be made of something very similar to neoprene I assume they'll be fine in puddles and streams and will dry quickly. My only worry about them is for the durability of the thin nylon material that makes up the "fingers" between your toes- it is pretty thin and it will be interesting to see how well it holds up. I'll just have to be extra vigilant about trimming my toe-nails.

I'll add a follow up in a few weeks, once I've put some real miles on them :)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Text from Crispy

Crispy usually texts me if he wants to be picked up from school- here's the text he sent me this afternoon :)

Ahhhhhhhhh spring.
The birds are singing,
the squirells are chittering,
the flowers are blooming,
the bees are stinging
in fact one just stung me
but I dont care
because its SPRING.

Pick up please.
                                                  ---- CJ Thorne

Spring in the woods

In Saxon Woods with the dog, and all the trees are finally starting to green up properly - it looks a bit as if a strange green mist is dropping over the woods :)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Lovely day!

Now that all the services are over (and they all went beautifully!),  I can enjoy this lovely day in the woods with my dog :)

The woods are full of these patches of bright yellow flowers - and the weather is so nice I actually broke out the shorts!

Easter 11am

And a good crowd at the 11 o'clock too :)

Easter 9am

A full house at the family service :)

Easter morning

Sometime in the night the Easter elves came and decorated the cross we carried out on Good Friday ;)

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Happy Easter!

After a very successful Vigil (!) I've just finished resetting the church ready for the final 3 services of this marathon set in the morning... 8, 9 & 11am.

Altar Guild...

... decorating the church :)

Friday, April 22, 2011

Good Friday

End of the Stations- we carry the cross outside and the faithful gather around it to sing "We're You There?"

Good Friday

Children's service and noon solemn liturgy done, just Stations of the Cross to do.

On the Interwebs....

Found this this morning and it just made me smile...BTW I am most definitely in the over camp, and yes, I have changed rolls...

Thursday, April 21, 2011

More Maundy Thursday prep

I took Jackie for lunch to Tandoori, and while we were out the Altar Guild put together the Garden of Repose for the reserved sacrament tonight.

I just have a few bits and pieces to do before I go walk the dog,  and then hopefully put my feet up for a while!

We got a message that Crispy and Eddie and all just got to Six Flags! 6 1/2 hours!  Apparently Eddie got lost a couple of times... I hope it's worth it and they have a good time!

Maundy Thursday prep

Getting the church ready for footwashing & stripping the altar tonight.


Crispy (behind Trey, in the shadow) is off to Six Flags (an amusement park in NJ) for the day with Uncle Eddie, cousins Trey and Jason, and their buddy Nicola. They have great weather for it- hope it's not too crowded!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Crispy and the 18 day old kitten Dorothee is fostering- very cute!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

ATLAS & P-body

After dinner (yummy homemade pizza), Jackie went off to watch the "Dancing with the people I've never heard of Stars" results show, so Crisp and I spent a happy hour or so trying out the cooperative game that is included with Portal 2.

You each play as one of the two robots above (ATLAS and P-body), and the puzzles you have to solve now require that you work together. So you have to shoot portals for each other, or one of you must manipulate a laser beam to clear obstacles while the other runs through the obstacles the laser beam has cleared. It's really good! Crisp (who loved to watch and yell advice when I was playing the original Portal, but didn't like to play it himself) got the hang of it immediately, and was actually taking the lead and telling me what to do in a lot of it!

I'm not sure what they've done to the control interface, but either they've tweaked things or I'm just getting more used to the XBox controller. I played through the original Portal on my computer using keyboard and mouse, and though I picked up a used copy of the Orange Box (the set the original was part of) for the XBox 360 when we got it I never really played it that much as I couldn't get used to the controller. I did start playing it over the last week or so to get back into the world of the game before the new one came out, and to try and get used to the controller (and to get used to these joystick extender things I got called FPS Freeks), and I'm not sure if it's the practice, the gadgets or the new game, but I'm finding it much easier to control :)

I made the conscious decision to get Portal 2 for the XBox rather than the computer version mostly because of the co-op part of the game- on the PC version you need it on 2 computers and you play together via the network, but on the XBox version you use two controllers and play split-screen. I wanted to be able to play with Crisp on the big-screen TV in the living room, and so far I think I definitely made the right decision!

So Portal 2 single player and co-op: so far two enthusiastic thumbs up! I would go and play some more tonight, but Crispy has gone to bed and he made me promise not to play any of the single player mode without him!

Portal 2 Rocks!!!

Just spent the last hour and a half playing the beginning of the single player mode of Portal 2 which came out today (thanks Amazon for the free release-date delivery!) and it's awesome! Love Stephen Merchant as the personality sphere, Wheatley- hope he returns later :)

I was playing with Crispy as my wing-man giving me advice and it's great fun- can't wait to play the co-op mode with him!

Had to stop to make dinner, but I'm sure there'll be more playing later...

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Sunny Sunday in the woods

Holly playing with a tennis ball in the rushing water from last night's rain :)

Palm Sunday

All ready to begin our trio of services this morning: 8, 9 & 11am.

"and this is really where it starts... "

Friday, April 15, 2011

Modern Living!

I guess it just shows how much we've become used to the modern conveniences of life, but after 3 weeks of doing dishes in the bathroom sink and having the fridge dominating a corner of the living room,  I can't tell you how nice it is to have the fridge back where it should be, counters and a kitchen table, laundry going in the washer and dishes in the dishwasher! Bliss :)

Kitchen sewer

Step 34: we have a kitchen again- working appliances and all! the great unpacking can begin :)

Kitchen sewer

Step 33: trim around the floor & touch up paintwork done,  now to bring in the appliances!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Lovely evening

It's a lovely evening so and we just couldn't face one last meal with the fridge in the living room, so we picked up Crispy (and his thumb!) from his friend Jason's and we came to eat outside at Pizza & Brew :)

Kitchen sewer

Step 32: we have a floor!

Declan just has to come back and finish a bit of trim around the edges tomorrow morning, then Bill the plumber installs the dishwasher and hooks up the washer-dryer, we move the fridge and the range back in and... we have a kitchen again :)

Then we just have to unpack everything...

Kitchen sewer

Step 31: the floor is going down nicely and it looks awesome!

Kitchen sewer

Step 30: starting to install the floor- yay!

Kitchen sewer

Step 29: we've moved everything out again, hopefully by the end of the day we'll have a floor and we can move it back in one last time!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

They're having a party!

The church volunteers are getting the newsletter ready to mail out so Jackie came (slowly)  upstairs to help. I think she's getting a bit bored with the four walls of our apartment and just having me to talk to ;)

Kitchen sewer

Step 28: finally we have the floor from Home Depot!

It was a special order but it was supposed to be a "quickship" item that took 7 business days - it took 13 business days.

Thank God for my cheerful Irish carpenter, Declan, who is coming tomorrow to install it. :)

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Warm work!

We're taking the long loop today and the weather is lovely, so Holly's taking the chance to cool off :)

Jackie is home :)

I spoke to Jackie first thing this morning and she was waiting for them to bring her a real breakfast, so I headed upstairs to take care of my usual Saturday morning stuff to get the church ready before going to the hospital.  Then, just as I was finishing up, she called me to say she was ready to come home!

So I shot up to Greenwich, and now she's home :)

She has gone in to take a nap, but she looks fantastic!  And while I was out the flowers from my Mum & Dad were delivered so they were here to welcome her home :)

Friday, April 08, 2011

Twilight Zone

I just had the most bizarre phone conversation!
I got home from the hospital to grab Holly and take her out for a walk in the woods (where I am now)  to find 7 messages on the phone from a florist who was trying to deliver flowers and couldn't find the apartment (there were already flowers by the door when I arrived, but I think I know who they are from).

So on the way to Saxon Woods I called the florist (having looked up his number that he hadn't left) and spent 15 minutes trying to explain that I hadn't answered the phone because I was at the hospital, and that I was going back so I explained where he could leave the flowers, but I seriously think the man had problems (he said he was the owner). I still don't know if I got through to him- we'll have to see if the flowers are there later!

Anyhow, after about 10 minutes I finally got him to read me the card, the flowers are from my Mum and Dad for Jackie.  So thanks, she'll be touched by the flowers and will enjoy the laughs when I tell her the story later :)

Jackie is out of bed!

They took out/off all of Jackie's tubes and monitors (except the IV which is still hooked to an antibiotic) this morning, and she was able to freshen up and brush her teeth and stuff.

She's a little sore, but she feels much better sitting up :)

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Jake update

Jackie is out of recovery and in her room. Everything went well and she doesn't seem to be in any pain, just very sleepy :)


Just spoke to the doctor, and the surgery went well and Jackie is in recovery. She should be assigned a room in the next hour or so and I will be able to see her then :)

Rye Town Park

They wheeled Jackie off for surgery, so I came home and brought Holly out for a quick run around the park with a tennis ball. I hope I'll be able to take her to the woods later, but if not at least she's had a bit of a run today :)

Early morning

Just dropped Crispy off at his friend Jason's house and brought Jackie to Greenwich Hospital. We're sitting in the holding room with Dorothee and Jake's surgery is scheduled for 7:40.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Kitchen sewer

Step 27: with a working sink we've wiped and shopvacced everything,  pushed the fridge back into the kitchen and brought the range back in and plugged it in.

The floor is apparently not arriving at Home Depot until Saturday, so this way I can cook for me and Crisp for the next couple of days and then heat up the food that is very generously going to be brought for us once Jake gets home from the hospital on Saturday.

We'll wait until next week to do the final bit and put down the floor and move everything else back in, but it's so nice to be this close to normal!

Kitchen sewer

Step 26: this is what it's all been about - running water :)

The plumber managed to find a new sink even though this model hasn't been manufactured since 2006!

Kitchen sewer

Step 25: cabinets went in yesterday and the plumber came this morning to hook up the sink.  And we had running water for a minute - until they noticed the big cracks under the sink and a big chunk fell off. Now the plumber is trying to track down a sink to match the hole in the countertop so we don't have to replace that.

If you give a mouse a cookie...

Monday, April 04, 2011


Jackie dismantling the sofa to make room in preparation for our new La-z-boy recliners that are being delivered tomorrow :)

Slow day in the kitchen, Declan (the carpenter) came to look at what he needs and took up the rest of the old, blue vinyl floor tiles so that the new floor will have a completely smooth base. He says he'll be able to get all the sheetrock done and get the cabinets put back in tomorrow, so the plumber can come and install the sink on Wednesday morning. That way we can push the fridge back into the kitchen and roll in and plug in the range too. So, in time for Jackie's surgery, we'll be able to cook and wash dishes :) Then by the following week we should have the new laminate floor from Home Depot so we can roll out the fridge and the range and Declan can put it down. Then it'll just be the (new!) dishwasher and the washer-dryer to hook up and we'll have a kitchen again- Yay! (well, and then we just have to unpack all the boxes we hurriedly packed up when we cleared the kitchen...)

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Topsy Turvy

This is how confused things are in this house right now - the cat is sleeping in Holly's chair!

Friday, April 01, 2011

Kitchen sewer

Step 22: we can haz a floor!

Now it can cure over the weekend and then the carpenter can come on Monday to sheetrock where the walls were opened up, and then hopefully on Tuesday he can start to put the cabinets back in :)

Kitchen sewer

Step 21: we have most of a floor!

Kitchen sewer

Step 20: item 4 over the sand and they're mixing concrete :)