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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Home Again, Mug Shot, Barn Charm and Stuff

Make sure you refill your coffee cup before reading. It's one of those longer post days!

It was a very nice long weekend in Connecticut. We chased a few trains ion Friday and then drove the rest or the way in to Ben and Ellen’s home for the weekend. I’ll talk some more about the weekend in the “Mug” feature in a moment.

Before I get into the Monday feature on Tuesday, after dark, I wanted to take a moment to talk about sponsors. It’s posted in the Chronicles of Nani Bulletin Board, the section before the blog entries, that I do some sponsored posts. I am selective about the sponsors for whom I write or “sell” a post to. Some of those sponsors use disclaimers before the post, others do not because I have put that disclaimer on the bulletin board. If I write a sponsored post it includes linked text. To retain that distinction, I don’t use linked text in my regular blogs, there is a link section at the end. I do that so you know that the post is for a sponsor. I like to be able to include a bit of me in my ads to show that I really do have a decent opinion about the sponsor.

The reason I bring this up is because, while I welcome comments on sponsored posts, I won’t publish ones that suggest a competitor or a “better way” to do something without using the sponsor. I don’t feel it’s ethical to accept compensation for the post and accept comments to the post that do not add to the positive suggestion or testimonial.

There was one recently that I could not in good conscience post, although the comment did not say anything bad about my sponsor and it was in no way a negative comment, it did offer a way to get the same results without use of the sponsor. I’m so sorry that I couldn’t post the comment to that sponsored post. If you do have an opinion that might not be the most positive one for a sponsored post, please, feel free to add it to a comment to the post that follows. I’ll post self-help suggestions, just not to the direct post for a sponsor. If someone searches the product and finds a link to The Chronicles of Nani, the post they read and its comment should reflect positively on the sponsor. That’s why they compensate for blog sponsorships.

There are many great things about coming home, even when you’re only gone for a few days. The first of those is seeing the kitty-kids Carla and Kaline were both happy to see us in that clingy Kaline follows her Mommy everywhere in the house and Carla follows Daddy. There was a box from Fine Foods International waiting for me, my order of Torrone and some other Italian things that I order every year with the Torrone for Christmas and 2 of the three hard persimmons I left on top of the apples before we left Thursday were soft and squishy! The third one is slightly squishy, but it wasn’t touching the apples as much as the other two. It’ll be ripe in a couple days.

That’s the thing with persimmons. They are delightfully sweet and tasty when ripe, but leave an awful fuzzy feeling on the roof of your mouth when not quite ripe. Pop complains because they throw out the persimmons at Meijer when they get soft, thinking them “bad.” That’s so sad! They ship when they are red but hard because if they picked them ripe, they would be bad by the time they got to market. That plus a ripe persimmon is very soft and puncturable. I don’t know what the thing about apples is with them, but to ripen a persimmon faster, surround it with apples. It really works! I ate one this afternoon and it was SOOO tasty and NO fuzzy mouth!

Tuesday Tazza Shot

From the Connecticut Cupboard

I love the assortment of mugs at Ben’s place. There are mugs for fun-sounding places that I haven’t been and pretty Christmas mugs that we had coffee in Sunday at brunch.

David and I got in after we’d stopped for a later dunch or linner Friday afternoon around 4. It’s starting to get dark by then in the east. We still were in Pennsylvania, so we still had New Jersey and the New York traffic to get through on our way. When we got in Ben and Ellen had gone to a parents meeting for high school girls hockey. Emma is a freshman on the Varsity team. How cool is that? Oh, if there had been girls ice hockey in school sports when I was growing up! My niece by marriage and I have a kindred connection with the ballet and hockey thing. It definitely makes me her fan!

But all three of the kids are into a lot. Nephew Ben is also on the high school hockey team and he referees to keep gas in his car. On Saturday we went to a preseason tournament for boys hockey and then went to a different rink for the first girls game of the season. I got to see Ben’s and Emma’s teams in one night.

Sunday we went to the early church service and David’s older brother, Peter met us at the church too. It was a big family event because JP was an angel, the angel that told the shepherds about the birth of Baby Jesus, in the church Christmas pageant. The kids did such a great job!

After church, David and I went out to meet our friend, Jim, at the train station. Jim was bringing a bag of model trains that David had ordered and it was an opportunity to shoot some commuter trains together for a little while before Jims return train was in and we had to get back for brunch. I’ll tell you, it was COLD! It was so cold that the metal parts of the wheelchair hurt to touch to make it move. I need to get some gripping driving gloves for winter. These are things you don’t necessarily think about until you’re suffering not having thought about them. Still, it’s worth a little icy metal on the hands to spend some time with a friend we don’t see often, especially when we had just a little time on that given day!

When we got in for brunch, that’s when I got to see the sweet holiday mugs. Ellen made a frittata with fresh basil that was incredible! I have noted since the first trip when we met that Ellen is an excellent cook. She’s been moving to a healthier repertoire and it still tastes phenomenal!

Then there was some time for magic. JP was at a birthday party and she and her Dad were going to be at a holiday gathering for a club be participates in. Ben is one of the leaders. I didn’t absorb all of the details, but the group is similar in organization and purpose to scouting. Ben has what I’m sure is an official Santa Suit because it transforms the wearer. Ben needed someone to don the suit for the girls and Peter volunteered. It was fun to watch as they put the suit on him as my brother in law transformed into the Jolly Old Elf. Every article of the costume brought a little more jolly and a little more bass in the “ho-ho-ho!” I’d love to see David put on the suit some time.

Now, we’re still on Sunday. I married into “Super Fam!” Hehe.

David and I went to another hockey game where we knew none of the players. Ben and Ben were both refereeing the game! It was the first time I’d ever really watched the referees. I’ll be honest, when a penalty was called I almost yelled, “Yay ref! Good call!”

At dinner we talked about Christmas gifts. David and I brought gifts and there were gifts for us and nothing was opened before we left Connecticut. It’s all “wait ‘til Christmas.” Emma and I are both of the mind that once a gift is given, you should open it, not make yourself crazy string at the package under the tree for days or weeks. No one was listening to us.

Sunday night, David went to watch his brother Ben play a hockey game. I stayed back, played a few games of Connect Four with JP. I’d played quite a bit of Connect Four with her this we4ekend and finally won a few games. I need to broaden what I see on the board, because she, the seasoned Connect Four veteran, was sneaking up and beating me when I thought I had her. After Ellen and JP went up to bed, Emma and I watched an episode of CSI, a show I enjoy, but really don’t make a point of watching. David and Ben came back in after the hockey game while I was finishing up Meet Me On Monday.

It was, as it usually is, a fast-paced but fun weekend with the East Coast family.

Barn Charm

The last note from the Connecticut weekend I’ll leave is this week’s barn.

The Christmas Barn in Wilton, Connecticut is a restored 1850’s barn in a cluster of restored antique buildings. It’s been a year-round Christmas store since 1990. David and I bought our 2006 ornament here.

See more barns at Bluff Area Daily!


Anonymous said...

A barn restored into a year-round Christmas store? Ok, how cool is that!!! I love it & I love it & I love it some more... some people have the very best ideas =)))

Thanks so much for joining this week's Barn Charm! =)

Jan n Jer said...

Glad to see this charming barn is being put to good use!

Edna B said...

Gosh, you did so much in such a short time! I wondered how it could get dark earlier here in the East, but then I remembered the time zone. I assume this is the reason.

Your photo of Rina is precious. It made me think of when my kids were small. In the wee hours of Christmas morning, they would come down stairs with pillows and blankets and climb in with all the presents under the tree and go back to sleep. Ahhhh, keep those photos coming.

You have a wonderful evening, hugs, Edna B.