Friday, March 30, 2012

My Father's Rose Bush

A dear friend gave me a rose bush when my mother died, 10 years ago this month.  She also gave me one to plant after my father died, 9 years this coming August.
Unfortuantely my mother's rose bush wasn't planted in the right spot, I think, and didn't thrive, but the one planted in my father's memory is going strong.

My friend stopped by this week and we were remarking that this little rose bush has held it's own for almost nine years, it is tough and resilient, just as my father was.  It takes a very little bit of care: pruning, feeding and watering, but other than those minor chores, just keeps blooming during the warmer months.

The new buds are blooming and just about every day a new one has opened reminding me that life does truly continue on.

Now, my mother was the one who loved flowers, roses in particular, so I like to think that my father's roses bloom in her memory too, they were married almost 60 years after all.

Thanks to my good friend, Beth, for giving me a lasting reminder of my father and of his sometimes thorny attitude and his persistence in living his life.  But also I remember that he and my mother were wonderful parents when all is said and done.

Off to Tampa for some R & R this weekend.  Hope all of you have great weather and fun times.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Has It Really Been 31 Years?

Actually it's been longer than that.  Our first date was April 1, 1978 (yes, I know, April Fools Day - don't go there).  This picture is of us a couple of years after that, but before we got married....

...we graduated from college ONE WEEK before we got married.  How crazy it that?

Mr. T, Orlando G-ma, Tita and me!

Then within the week we got married! Crazy kids! I'm sure my parents were un-nerved, but they so loved Mr. Tennis that I think they would have said, "please marry her"!

And we did! In all our 1980's glory!

Happy 31st Anniversary to my best friend, Mr. Tennis.  Those who know him\
know what a wonderful man he is.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

NOMS! From Mr. Chewy!

What the heck are NOMS?  
In the dogblog world it means treats.  I don't know why or where the term NOMS comes from, perhaps if one of my fellow bloggers with dogs stops by they can educate us.

Nevertheless we got a box full of NOMS here at Boston Manor,
 courtesy of Mr Chewy! (Click here to take a look at the website).                  .

I was contacted via email by one of their representatives offering me $50 worth of merch to try out with the beasts of Boston Manor and write a review on The Boston Lady.
I'm not one to turn down $50 worth of anything and the animals in this house NEVER turn down NOMS!

I placed my order via their super easy to use website and received it very quickly, within 2 days.

Excitement abounded during the initial inspection and sniffing of the box.

Our guest, Sassy the Chihuahua, was completely over the top, literally.

Keep a good distance as "she" wields those scissors.

Let the goodness ensue.

Grouchy Panda says, "yes, Bumby, there is even something in here for you". 
Mr. Chewy has both dog and cat products. Made with natural ingredients, such as the IAMS cat food that Bumby likes and digests well. (Very important this digestion thing as all cat owners know - yech - it can get pretty nasty when it goes badly)

Bring on the NOMS!

A doggie "wishbone" - a beef chew, Panda wanted to start right away, plastic wrap and all.  Did I mention that Mr. Chewy's products are made in the USA? No dangerous fillers or questionable content.

First sampling was from Stella and Chewy's Carnivore Crunch.  Little bite-sized chicken treats, perfect for a quick treat or reward.

Oh yeah, they all wanted some of that!

Of course you can imagine why we also chose this bag of chewy NOMS.  We are a tad egocentric in this household after all.

Packed with all natural goodies that would make any non-dog person shudder, but any dog owner rejoice because they know how much the canines love their dried pig ears, knuckle bones and various rawhide chews.  Sadie was a little leery.

Panda had no shame and dug right in.

The ever-cautious Sadie, took awhile to get into it, but...

...Miss Sassy was game. 
Too big for her, but she got it started and then turned the job over to Sadie to finish. I will add that this bag of treats goes a long way.  Because of the richness of the treats, we limit them to only a couple of times a week making them extra special NOMS!

I didn't order any traditional dog food because I wanted to stretch my $50 and try as many different things as possible.  I did get a bag of Stella and Chewy's Dandy Lamb Dinner, which are in the form of dehydrated patties.  It can either be crumbled on top of food, broken into pieces for treats or re-hydrated with water, which is what I did for the Boston's dinner one night.

With water added it easily resembles any moist dog food available.  Lamb is a favorite of the Boston's and it is very good for their coats.  This re-hydrated food was gobbled up in no time and I will be taking it along on our next trip as an alternate to the wet food they receive a little of each day.

All in all a very good experience with the Mr. Chewy products.  Website is easy to navigate and placing orders is a snap.  They offer free 1-2 day shipping with any orders $49 and over. 

Drawbacks? A tad pricey for some items, but then again you are paying for high quality, U.S. made food and treats for your pets.  The free shipping offsets the extra $$$ some of the items may cost.

Wish list from me? I would have liked to have seen some dog/cat toys and accessories available as well.

Bottom line from the Bostons and Bumby?  Delish!! And when it's delicious and they eat it, then it's money well spent.

Thank you to Mr. Chewy for the opportunity to try your products and for your request for an honest review, which you have just read.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

When Did They Stop Making 45s?

I don't have a turntable anymore, but I still have many, many, many...

....many record albums. 

We are contemplating selling them to a vintage record shop.  The collection is quite diverse as it includes albums from my childhood (Johnny Appleseed, The Sound of Music) my teen years, my college years, Mr. Tennis' high school and college collection (you can see the one on top is a bootleg Jackson Browne album he bought while we were in college) and then our post-marriage collection.  Also there are some old ones from my brothers. The Beatles mainly.

But I'm not here to talk about these today, I want to know, when did they stop making 45s?

I have a pretty eclectic collection of those as well from many eras.

I used to listen to them in our basement in Toronto on a turntable that had a lid and speakers attached- mainly my brother's 45s at that time.  

Then I started collecting some of my own as I grew into pre-teen and teenage years.
I wish I still had some of those yellow inserts that would go in the middle - you know.

I must have still been buying them after I moved to Florida
 because I can see by some of the dates on them that I did.

I would hear a song I liked on the radio. Head down to "the" store where they had the 45s displayed in order of where they were on the pop charts that week.

I don't remember how much they cost, but you always took a chance that the flipside wouldn't be as good.

I guess the singles came out before the albums, otherwise, why didn't I just buy the album?

Today it's so easy to just pick a few songs off a CD via itunes and not have to invest in the whole album.  But sometimes I feel like I'm letting the artist down. Thinking about it though makes me realize that it is quite similar to buying 45s.

What do you all remember about this?  Did you buy them?  Do you still have them? (I know Mr. Connor doesn't because I have his :-) !)

The Boston Lady wants to know!  Last dated one I have is 1977.
And don't get me started on 8-tracks please.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Happy Birthday to The Maven

Springtime is always a happy time in our family.  On March 16, 1989, The Maven arrived in our world and made our little family unit complete.

3 years old vacationing in The Florida Keys

During my famous closet cleaning escapade I came across a doll that was The Maven's first.  When she was born, her great-grandmother, Tita, laid this little cutie right next to our little cutie.

Happy Birthday to our Maven. 
 Your smile is as beautiful as the flowers that bloom and your spirit is as fresh as the light spring rains. 
 The spring of 1989 brought a wonderful gift to the world - you.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Old Books and Bibles

I finally got around to cleaning out my bedroom closet (which has a fancy new door!) and came across
some items I had forgotten I had in there.

First there is this childcare book that my parents used while dealing with my brothers and I as babies and children.

It was first published in 1894!  My brothers were born in the 1940s and I was born in 1959.

 Hmmm, it makes me wonder - did childrearing not change much in the 50 or so years since the turn of the century? Then I realized it had been updated every five years or so and this particular edition was published in 1943.

My parents kept a diligent record of our height and weight throughout the years - until I was 14 apparently!

Also in the closet I found some very old family bibles.

I'm guessing this was given to my great-grandmother from my grandfather's  brother, John.
The Hughes family came over to the U.S. from Scotland.  Mr. Connor, do you concur?

You can see by the beautifully written inscriptions and dates that these go very far back and were probably carried across the ocean when our relatives immigrated to the U.S.

Although older, this one is in better condition.

I am not sure who these relatives are, perhaps on my grandmother's side. Mr. Connor (my brother) again what do you think?

Inside I found a beautiful bright red prayer cloth or page marker, not sure exactly.

The print is so small!

This weekend I hope to tackle some more closets and also our attic.  I'm looking forward to perhaps finding some more lovely surprises as I do so.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend.