Musing with Max

Musing with Max

September 28, 2013

True Colors

It must be Autumn.  As attested by Jen in her last two posts, we seem to have color on the brain. Unfortunately, unlike her happy meanderings about different hues mine are giving me a colossal headache. Since we replaced the roof, and changed it from a very nothing much gray to charcoal, replaced some rotting window moldings and replaced the buckling back porch, it is now time to paint the house. Frank and I have never been of the thinking that when you repaint the house you just go with what was there before. Our first house was blue with gray trim. I love the color blue but not on a house so when it was time to paint we went with white (my personal favorite) and green trim. When we moved into our current house it was painted a very dull gray with white trim and some burgundy accents. I love gray and find some hues gorgeous and rich, however this house does not look good in gray. So soon after when we decided to paint we again went with white and this time the trim was a deep red, in an oil finish for sheen. It is now 11 years later and white on wood shaker shingles gets a tad dirty therefore it's time to shake it up a bit. Our thinking went this way. Barnyard red. Don't know what happened but it immediately went out of our heads. The other two choices were green, I envisioned olive with a whitish trim and some very dark, charcoal, caviar, accents. Or....a very deep plum with bright white trim and accents, something like this.

After much deliberating we decided that we would rather go with green. We chose a painter and he brought over the color books and chose three different greens a trim color and an accent color. Yesterday he came over and painted three large samples of the greens on our back wall, laid the white trim on the window molding and a big splash of the accent on the wall. Here they are:

OK, these pictures are awful but so are the colors. They are muddy greens or something altogether bland and boring. I am very disappointed. I look at the color samples again and can't find another green that I like. They are outside power washing the house so they can start on Monday. I don't have a color.

Max could care less, being a dog he's color blind.

so he'll just go take a nap.

 I need comfort food.

Garbanzos (chick pea stew)

1 pkg of dried chick peas
1 squash or pumpkin
1 onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
2 to 3 cloves of garlic minced
1 or two spanish chorizos, sliced
2 ham hocks
1 tomato chopped or one tablespoon of tomato paste
salt & pepper

Soak the chickpeas overnight in enough water to cover them

The next day. Preheat oven to 350F.

Add some salt to the chickpeas, bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook for about an hour.

While the chickpeas are cooking. Slice the squash or pumpkin in half and remove the seeds. Bake in the oven about one hour or until tender.

I chose this one cause it's so cute.

then peel and cut into chunks.

Meanwhile saute the ham hocks over high heat.

Saute the onion, green pepper, garlic and sliced chorizo, until vegetables are soft and chorizo is slightly browned, season with salt pepper and cumin.

After the chickpeas have cooked about one hour, add the pumpkin chunks, the ham hocks, and the onion mixture, and cook for about another hour. Season with salt & pepper.

Serve over white rice.

Feel better, call the painter and ask him to bring a sample of deep plum paint.

September 16, 2013

My life in dog years - Part five


I think he needs no introduction, and besides I wrote about him once before, a long time ago here which I think explains it all. I will add this, he is probably the most spoiled dog on the face of this earth. Has a bed here

and here

and here

and here

and here

and here

In other words...wherever he wants. Gets a million hugs and kisses a day and deserves every single one of them and today is his seventh birthday.

My life in dog years has been quite a life indeed.

September 15, 2013

A Thief in the Night

"Right from the start you were a thief, you stole my heart"

....and the neighbor's flowers for my dining table

because my beautiful tablecloth

would look rather dull without them.

That's better.

Yep, I think I'll keep him.

Wouldn't you?

September 9, 2013

Flowers in this old house

So we got us a new roof

and miraculously there was zero damage to the I say! Then the gutter guys came

and weren't as careful with their ladder placements, but still not much damage. But as old houses tend to do, when you fix something other problems pop up so we had to have the carpenters come and replace some rotting window moldings and while we're at it let's just replace the buckling back porch and basement door. And so we did

and got us a real beauty. And a nice basement door

made out of composite materials to hold off the Northeast weathering effects. But alas, the garden didn't fare very well under the carpenters stomping boots and my new beautiful flower bed went from this

to this.

Luckily I can just cut all this back and it will, hopefully, grow back. Unfortunately though I can't use them for Jane's FITH party today. However, that doesn't mean I can't attend...I've got pegees!!!!!!!

Some for the living room

Some for the second floor landing

and even some for the office

And now I have a new roof, new gutters, new porch and basement door...and a tri-colored house. Calling all painters! But first I'm hopping over to Jane's to see what everyone else is up to.

September 1, 2013

Where the wild things grow

I take Max for a walk every morning. Frank used to take him when I worked in New York since I took a very early train and he worked from home but now it's the reverse. Frank has to take a very early train to commute to the hinterlands of Brooklyn and I work in New Jersey, a blissful 20 minute commute from home. So every morning somewhere around 6:45 am I kiss the top of his head, put his leash on, grab a couple of poopy bags and off we go. During the weekday mornings it's always the same walk, we make a left and walk towards the park which is two blocks away. This is somewhat deceiving, we live in the middle of the block so the first part is really half a block and the following block is extremely long so it's more like three. On one side which is the side we walk over on there are two houses, then a school and schoolyard and ten houses. We cross the street make a right in front of the park walk up a bit and cross back on our return across the way from the block I just described. Across from those ten houses and most of the school there is an open field which borders a creek. The town maintains the field by keeping the lawn mowed and cleaning the snow off the sidewalk in the winter and trimming the trees when needed since it is in a residential area. There is a tall chain link fence bordering the creek, probably for safety's sake, and there are all kinds of greenery growing which thankfully cover the fence, nothing too distinctive. Except in late Summer when all of a sudden some very interesting plant life suddenly appears. Like this for instance,

I haven't got a clue what this is but it's all over the place. It has white star shaped flowers and just cascades

and climbs sort of like honeysuckle or jasmine without any aroma. I've yanked some off and brought it home but it doesn't last in a vase. I guess it needs the outdoors. Then there's this,

also a bit of a vine with beautiful oak shaped leaves and these purple and green berries. And then there's

this beauty which I think speaks for itself. And this little cutie

which just makes me smile...but not as much as this does

even though he's not the least bit interested

so home we go.