Fighting with my appliance

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Yes I am fighting with my appliance and losing argh!!! I have written about my hate/hate relationship with my vacuum previously, but since I have yet to purchase a new one, I am left with mounds and mounds of frustration.

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If you are wondering what the blue tape is, it is a wound that happened when something of Jack’s got stuck and I spent quite a bit of time trying to get it dislodged, I had to perform some surgery; when the vacuum isn’t driving me insane, it still works, I didn’t lose suction from the surgical procedure.

I am waiting for my lazy vacuum to cool down; it takes far longer then the twenty minutes advertised, it takes closer to about an hour, you don’t see me taking an hour break when I am in the middle of doing something. I like to do it, get it done and then take a nice relaxing break.

I am losing my momentum, it annoys me because it isn’t as if I actually enjoy vacuuming, but it needs to get done. At the rate that I am going, I’ll be vacuuming or trying to vacuum for the five hours with stop and go every half hour. Argh!!!

Thank you for letting me vent :D

Homeless Pandas of the world, I have a spot just for you

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I was back at my annual garden cleanup again today albeit, V e r y
V e r y S l o w l y. My main focus was to cut down the crazy dead bamboo; because goodness only knows, we must leave room for those little bamboo shoots to grow and spread. There are so many new shoots that I can safely house a few Pandas without fear of not having enough food for them. I feel better, now that I have done at least most of the heavy lifting; my son did help with picking up the debris and putting it into the brush pile, he made the job much easier and it went a lot faster.

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I’m sure that Jack wouldn’t mind the addition of a Panda or two; they would make for new playmates; it’s not as if they would be competing for the same food source or anything, Pandas don’t eat mice, birds or bunnies, and Jack definitely doesn’t eat bamboo.

My gardens may look naked, but at least they look tidy naked.

Ripper Street : BBC America

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One of my favorite shows; Ripper Street began its new season on February 22nd and I have been meaning to write about it and how much I love this show, but somehow it has escaped me. Since the first episode, the excellent writing, compelling stories and extraordinary acting captured my heart. I have to confess that I have had a long time crush on the actor who plays Inspector Reid, perhaps I should specify, I am crushing on Matthew’s voice; his calm manner of speaking, his calm demeanor where a passion lies underneath, smoldering and you never know when it will erupt. I am speaking of the actor Matthew Macfadyn; my crush started back in 2005 with the production of Pride and Prejudice, his portrayal of Mister Darcy is my favorite. Colin Firth is a wonderful actor, but I would take Matthew’s Darcy any day of the week. I think that it’s his voice that does it for me and when he plays Inspector Reid with his deep, caring voice, I can’t help but be riveted to everything that he has to say.

The character of Inspector Reid is luckily surrounded by his two most trustworthy colleagues, Captain Jackson the medical examiner and Sergeant Drake, his faithful man and muscle.

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All of the characters that you are introduced become integral to the entire tapestry of the show. You are introduced to London set in the 1880′s near WhiteChapel here we see the populace living in abject poverty. The looming poverty everywhere informs much of the drama that color the police station and the challenges that face Inspector Reid, Sergeant Drake and Captain Jackson.

The list of characters of the female variety include Miss Susan, Miss Rose and Madame Jane Cobden, a city council woman, who works diligently on behalf of the poor and the working poor. These female characters are complex, beguiling, strong and are important in driving story.

As you can tell, I love this show and I highly recommend it.

Clean up in aisle backyard!

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Today has been one of the prettiest days in Blandford that we have had in forever, and my garden was calling me. As you can see in the pictures down below, my garden is a mess. This will take more than just a few hours of work, by golly.

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After taking the pictures, I spent a few more hours raking, pulling and cutting, now my muscles are pooped, I am pooped. I love gardening, but to be honest, this cleanup business every year is a drag, it reveals the potential of what is to come, but the payoff is visually tiny. If I took more pictures of the “after”, they would look pretty much like the “before”. We are still in early April, I won’t see any real signs of life until mid May, if memory serves me right, I think. lol

I do feel happy with the work that I did and the clean up, even if it is a work still in progress. I am keeping my fingers crossed that tomorrow won’t find me too stiff and slow with my muscles saying I hate you; gardening muscles are different from walking muscles, my gardening muscles are the ones that will be upset, I think. Hopefully, they will be fine with me. I’ll let you tomorrow.

The Temptations Live at the Wilbur theater

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Last night my husband and I were invited by a delightful couple, Andrew and Renee, out to a wonderful restaurant, Row 34, in downtown Boston and then to a performance by The Temptations at The Wilbur Theater . Both were wonderful experiences, the food at Row 34 was delicious; all seafood, fresh from the ocean; oysters and littleneck clams on the half shell and well prepared fish of different stripes, each deliciously presented in its own way.

The real highlight was seeing the Temptations live. When they took a break, they mentioned that they had just returned from a European tour and that is what I found on Youtube, their performance at La Cigale in Paris.

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I was enchanted by their stage presence, their happiness while performing and especially their stamina; they didn’t flag once and they aren’t spring chickens. Otis, the only original member has been performing for 54 years, that is an incredible accomplishment and I loved his easy-going manner when he regaled us with a little bit of his stories and the twinkle in his eye when he spoke of the past. The venue was perfect for their performance, it was relatively small and intimate, there wasn’t a bad seat in the house. I was tickled to see older persons in wheelchairs and with their walkers and oxygen tanks, swaying to the music and tapping their feet. Over to my left there were several college students getting down with the Temptations and front and center there was quite the crowd of fifty year olds making eye contact with their own personal favorite Temptation, asking for autographs and shaking hands.

It was a great evening; excellent company, great seafood and fantastic music.

Finally, a tiny splash of color!

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Yesterday when we drove into our driveway, I stopped the car immediately, right at my left, I saw the colors of blue and purple peeking out from the side bed and I got all excited! At last, my own tiny splashes of spring just for me in my garden, hooray!

As soon as the car was in the garage, I didn’t even go inside to say hello to our son or to Jack, I dug into my bag, grabbed my cellphone and took pictures. I had to get pictures so that today I would be able to share my happiness with you. It is such a wonderful gift, the ability to derive such happiness over the appearance of tiny bursts of living color, I am very grateful that I still get excited and giddy that my plants come back season after season and that it doesn’t get old. I think that one of the saddest things that could ever befall a person is either cynicism or becoming blaze. I hope that both my enthusiasm and optimism never diminish, no matter what occurs. I know that I can fall into depression quite easily if I am not mindful. I do work at seeing the glass half full, focusing on deep breathing, remembering that this too shall pass and not forgetting that if it isn’t working out, then it not yet the end. That is an awful lot of stuff to be mindful of, but it does really work. And watching very funny shows helps quite a bit as well; better to laugh than to cry, although crying is good for the soul, when needed.

Happy Spring to everyone!

Springtime in Boston

As I sit in the Au Bon Pain down near Dry Dock Avenue in Boston waiting for my husband while he is a meeting, I have the most adorable picture of a young boy happily running home with a beautiful baguette somewhere in Paris during the early 1950′s.

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That picture brings to mind some very pleasant memories of when my sister and I were in France for entire summers throughout our childhood with our grandparents and everyone else at the family home; the difference is that we didn’t have to run home with the baguettes, the baguettes came to us via special delivery. Every late morning the boulangerie truck would pull up alongside the wide dining room window and the boulangere would pass through a long brown bag filled with at least three baguettes, a crown of bread, a whole wheat baguette and two croissants for the dogs; Prince and Whinney, this was something that took place every day for years. Those were some good times; the table would be set for at least twelve and the soup would come out, then there would be two salads such as a beet and sliced white onion salad and a sliced tomato and white onion salad with a pate as well, this would be followed by a roast pheasant or some other meat and if it were friday it would be fish and some type of vegetables, that would be followed by a green salad, cheese and then fruit. We needed the two hour lunch to eat and then to digest, there was a reason for the two hour lunch, not because of laziness, but because of digestion and nutrition and the civilized way to live at least in my opinion. Yes, those were definitely the days, I miss them.

But back to springtime in Boston, all around Boston, there are beautiful plantings along the streets, the parks and the large urns that adorn the entrances of buildings throughout Boston. The gardener in me is screaming to get out into the dirt and plant something, but alas it is still way too soon for my neck of the woods, the only thing that I can do is take a picture and share it with my friends.

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Daily prompt: Looking out my back door

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Look out your back window or door — describe what you see, as if you were trying to convey the scene to someone from another country or planet.

Well I have to inform you first of all that I am not following the instructions to the letter. I’m sitting in a Starbucks on Cambridge Street reading and as of now, writing while I wait for my husband to be done with his meetings. If I were to be able to look out of the back door, I would be gazing uphill onto Beacon Hill territory, the posh section of Boston with beautiful brownstones aligned up and down its cobbled stone streets. A rarefied atmosphere due to its quiet residential feel, one of my favorite areas to take a stroll in when I am in Boston.

As I look out of the storefront window, the Wyndham hotel is right across the street and an Au Bon Pain Cafe & Bakery takes up a size-able chunk of its lobby, there isn’t much pedestrian traffic and not too much vehicular traffic either for that matter. It seems to be a nice quiet day here in the city of Boston.

I am not too far from the North Station or the North End, my husband’s meeting is taking place at Canal Street right across from the North Station, the same place where TD Gardens is located, we got to see The Who perform there with our children a few years back, an excellent night.

The sky is terrifically grey, earlier this morning when I drove in, the grey covered all of Boston like a grey flannel blanket, I thought that it was actually quite beautiful. Tomorrow if we stay overnight promises to be a much sunnier day, although a tad chillier, but still managing to stay in the 50′s which is such a delightful change of pace than what we have been living with for so long.

So all of my fellow bloggers what is your view looking like from your front window or back door?

Road trip

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Today my husband needed to tour a few facilities in Connecticut so we went off; as I drove through various parts of Connecticut, listening to my husband on the phone and when he wasn’t on the phone, he was on his computer, he works all of the time, I couldn’t help but think of my friend Tilly from
http://www.thelaughinghousewife.wordpress.com fame because our destination was Avon right outside of Manchester. Connecticut does have several cool names for towns and cities; Windsor, Avon, New London, Oxford, Manchester and Greenwich. Can you tell that most of the original setters must have been homesick or at least that is my theory. I mentioned to my husband that seeing the sign for Manchester made me think of Tilly and he said that our Manchester wasn’t as nice as the one in England. I agreed, I have never been to Manchester overseas, but I would bet a lot of cookies that it must be nicer than Connecticut’s version. In defense to Manchester Connecticut, I have a serious bias towards Europe; I have a weakness for all things historic and that’s why I imagine in my head that Manchester, Oxford and Greenwich, all these places that I have never seen, to be such special places, I imagine cobble lined streets, buildings with centuries and centuries of meaning and stories. My weakness, I know.

When I see places in this country, I see a new slate; despite being settled since the 1600′s, this country still has a new feeling when compared to walking down the streets of say Paris or Rome or London.

So that was my day and my day of driving led me to these thoughts and my thoughts became this post.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier movie review

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My husband, our son and I went to see Captain America today; we LOVED it. I have the snippet of the theme song “When Captain America throws his mighty shield!” playing in my head in a loop, just a little annoying. It had everything; suspense, intrigue, massive action scenes, courage, humor and intense loyalty amidst all of the confusion and intrigue. Chris Evans plays Captain America perfectly; I don’t think that you can get a better portrayal than his. I really believe his sincerity and his solid moral compass and obviously he and his qualities are at the heart of the movie.

It was real nice to see Robert Redford in a huge movie; he makes acting look so effortless, you kind of stop thinking of Robert Redford the actor or even Robert Redford the person and I found myself thinking who was this character that Robert Redford was playing. That probably sounds like gibberish, but I get distracted when I see certain icons o the big screen.

I would say that the big takeaway for me during the entire movie was that we are still asking ourselves the same question; how much freedom are we still willing to surrender just to be safe. Moreover how much of the chaos that we see going on in the world is organic or is it orchestrated to serve others in the final analysis. The subtle messages about fear, subjugation, power and control, I think were well conveyed throughout the movie and I found Captain America to be not only the perfect defender of our liberties and freedoms, but the perfect catalyst for questions and doubt. We need to ask questions of authority and massive security. We should not allow ourselves to be led to complacency, our democracy depends on it. Enough of me getting all preachy, I really recommend the movie for all. It was great!

Having said all that, I love my Captain America as he throws his mighty shield!

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