Tuesday, September 30, 2008

So Honey...How Was Your Day?


I don't know if all women are like this, but I love hearing about Greg's day at work. I love the details of his projects, the business, the drama, the politics. Every evening I try to grab at least 10-15 minutes of alone time so we can reconnect.

Years ago at a company Christmas party, I'm fairly certain I got one of Greg's co-workers in trouble with his wife because I started discussing the details of a specific project they were pushing through funding. (We were seated at the same round table - so really - what else was I going to talk about?) After several awkward pauses between the husband and wife and a whispered, Why don't I know this stuff about your work?!, I pretty much shut up.

Anyway, with Greg's new position starting, I was so excited to get the feedback after his first day, and especially after the first full week.

Within two sentences Greg had included the following words - nuclear, President of the United States, EMP, Golden Eye, and Jack Bauer.

Wow!...this is going to be good...

BTW - don't ask Greg what he does. He can't tell you.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Where the Heck is a Spatula?

In our current transient mode, we are very grateful for Greg's parents generosity in letting us stay in their home for the next few months. We're actually the 3rd family of Greg's siblings to take advantage of their gracious nature while they've been off on missions for my church in New England.

Keeping that in mind, it didn't take us long to figure out that appearances can be deceiving. For example - while there is ample, generous cupboard space and shelves - opening a door will reveal piles of Tupperware and potato buds - but no pots and pans. Plentiful drawers are stuffed full of grocery sacks, table linens and more Tupperware - but not a single can opener.

The situation came to a grinding halt last Sunday morning as I prepared pancakes for breakfast. I brushed past the absence of a wisk and a large kitchen spoon, forgetting what I would eventually need down the road. The batter had been poured, the heat was on when I suddenly realized...

I need a spatula. NOW. I have 30 seconds before the pancake burns.

Cant use a fork - it could scar the ONLY pan I've found in the house.

Cant use a spoon.

Garbage sacks wont work. A Tupperware lid might come in handy - but not really.

And then...the miracle.


Our Big Guy saves the day!!

Thank goodness for pink, plastic, playset kitchen tools.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

In The Top of the Mountains


Welcome to The Mountain!


(not to be confused with the craptacularly horrible network The Mtn.)




We're here.

Living in a somewhat chaotic state of affairs as we try to find our new home. Yesterday we found out our Subaru made it safely across country on the truck bed, however my beloved Toyota lost a rear window. Coincidently, the bashing of the window happened during a truck stop somewhere in Wyoming. Greg blames those high-class Laramie fans who must have spotted our BYU sticker. GGGrrrrr!

The kids have been extremely helpful unloading our "temporary" apt boxes. Mostly they get excited when they find the treats I packed and then helping themselves.

Still so many boxes to go. So many cobwebs to clean. So many home-owners who think they can actually sell a pile of bricks for what they're asking...


Thursday, September 18, 2008

Farewell Life on the Gold Coast

It's been an amazing experience! We'll never forget this...











(PS - Jen, thank you for the pictures!)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Moving Time

My house is a disaster area right now. Boxes, junk and hundreds of separate piles that keep growing.

I hate having a messy kitchen.

Patience, patience...

Here's a few things we'll be missing most from the Gold Coast

  • The beach - all beaches - here, Long Island, Brooklyn, etc.
  • Humidity - lovely on evening walks.
  • Trees
  • Stew Leonards - the coolest grocery store ever.
  • Church friends
  • Trader Joe's
  • My Mom-to-Mom group
  • Griebs Pharmacy
  • Our quiet loop street
  • The Davis family, the Timothy family and my in-laws in Vermont
  • Rocky - our groundhog
  • Liberal fanatics - Let's be frank, they aren't this much fun in the west :)
  • Berry picking
  • Aquariums
  • Historic sites
  • The view from New Haven bay - looking outward
  • Wavenly Park
  • The Joseph Smith Memorial
  • The Merritt (seriously, when will we drive on such a beautiful freeway again?)
  • My neighborhood book group
  • Coromandel, The Brewhouse, Chings, Los Cabos, Ted's, Bart's Drive-in and Lui-Lui
  • The 3 annoying (yet so entertaining) wild turkeys that for some reason haven't been run over yet in downtown Darien.
  • Yale
  • Quick train & car access to Manhattan
  • New London county

Of course, there are many more things we will not miss. But we'll keep to the positive for now.

Some of you may have noticed I've become a little "blogger crazy" lately. Since the days of Life on the Gold Coast are numbered, I wanted to record as much as possible before I close down. So don't fear - we'll go back to our old, boring selves in about 5 more days...

Friday, September 12, 2008

Welcome to the Promised Land


Dar's much anticipated album arrived this past week. Welcome to my version of the Promised Land!

The first title track came just in time - It's Alright captures exactly how I feel about leaving Connecticut. (sniff, sniff)


Because I have seen insane things -
all those grand historic paintings,
morning light on polished swords and burnished pride.

Anxious smiles encased in whalebone,
spines of steel from head to tailbone,
cannons poised to blast the turning of the tide.

It's a sad and a strange thing, but it's time and I am changing
into something good or bad, well that's your guess.
I'm my own sovereign nation, dedicated to a transformation,
marching on with this target on my chest.



Only Dar Williams or Shawn Colvin can write this type of music - these lyrics. Modern-day poetry.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Pennsylvania - Our Last Hurrah!










Friday was Valley Forge. Gorgeous, warm day! I splurged on a t-shirt and a book. We walked through cabins, over canons and bunker sites and the large arch monument. And while I was impressed - I have to admit I liked the Connecticut winter quarters better.

We kept our home base for the weekend in Lancaster - the heart of Amish country. And we LOVED it. We swam for long hours in the hotel pool, drank homemade rootbeer, ate corn fritters, homemade applesauce and pretzels. We took walks along the cornfields and quiet pastures. I spent a lot of time wondering if Greg could ever get a job here.

Saturday was Hershey. And when we drove into the quiet, chocolate town, I realized I need to stop lying to my kids. In order to get them completely out-of-their-minds crazy to visit Hershey, I told them the whole town was made of chocolate - chocolate cars, chocolate houses, chocolate schools, etc.

I'm a horrible mom - I know.

Needless to say - that while the chocolate factory/tours were exciting and so much fun - my kids left crying because they didn't have the chance to eat a chocolate house...

On the way home on Sunday we stopped in Easton to tour the Crayola Factory. If you ever watched Sesame Street as a kid and saw the segment with the workers making the crayons - you'll understand why I was just as excited as the kids to see this place.

But my favorite was Valley Forge.


Let us therefore animate and encourage each other, and show the whole world that a Freeman, contending for liberty...is superior to any slavish mercenary on earth.
GEORGE WASHINGTON, Jul. 2, 1776


And why didn't I buy more of that homemade rootbeer?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Duck, Duck, Duck...Goose!


Our Sweetie always has an interesting take on games.

"Mommy, want to play Duck, Duck?"

"Sure."

"Okay. You sit down."

He taps me on the head and shouts, "Duck!" and then he runs around our whole 2nd floor laughing his head off. He comes back, taps me again and shouts.

"Duck!"

And then he's off again.

This goes on for 10 minutes. My rear end is starting to get sore.

"Um...honey? Are we ever going to get past the duck?"

No answer. Just another zoom through the room.

"Duck!"

Does he even know there's a goose in this game?

Monday, September 8, 2008

Sunflowers and Fruit Trees


Lyman Orchards - located in the heart of Connecticut - is our favorite place for fruit picking. And we knew we couldn't leave without one last visit.

Life always seems perfect and relaxed here. I wish I could spend weeks sprawled out on a blanket in these hills. The views are spectacular. The air is fragrant with pine, fresh fruit and the latest blossoms.



One of the secret highlights of coming to Lyman Orchards is the cider doughnuts. Cider doughnuts are available at almost any grocery store, fruit stand, cider press along the roads of New England. But this is the ONLY place where we have found glazed cider doughnuts. And the taste is worth breaking any diet, any food plan. You cannot afford to miss this.



I'm really going to miss this place.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Go Sarah!


This news release is NOT a big surprise. Wouldn't it be nice if journalists were actually...true? Honest? Fair?

This woman is amazing!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Running Free in New Hampshire

The New Hampshire state motto is Live Free or Die - adapted from Patrick Henry's famous speech in 1775. We love this phrase - and we love New Hampshire.

We spent our weekend visiting Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site. Augustus Saint Gaudens was one of America's most premier sculptors in the late 1800s. If you've ever looked at a one cent piece or a 10 or 20 dollar gold piece - you've seen his stuff. His works read like a Who's Who of the Gilded Age.

And he's just right up my Humanities crazed alley. I'm a fan of his Civil War pieces.


His Abraham Lincoln stuff is amazing. I haven't seen such detail since looking at drawings by my talented cousin Graham.


I think he had Greg in mind when he designed The Puritan.


Along the way, Sweetie made friends with a local frog, we splurged on a bag of Wild Maine Blueberries covered in milk chocolate, and spent a lot of time goofing off.




Monday, September 1, 2008

Remembering Summer 2008

Labor Day always seems to signal the close of summer. And while I love the coming fall, I will miss my family's unlimited summer playtime. Here are some images that captured the essence of our MacKinnon summer.

Getting familiar with eating outdoors in many different locations.


My Big Guy spending hours writing letters to friends and cousins - did you get one??


We picked enough berries to get us through another Connecticut winter. Only to discover at the end of it all - we're moving too far to carry these with us. Anyone want a bag??


Mowing, mowing and more mowing of our biggest yard ever. But reaping great fun in the process.

Lots of practice working together.


Becoming splattered in the rewards of homemade fingerpaints that were SO easy to clean up.


Yet another lesson that appearances can be deceiving.


Finding out how good our toes tasted.


And running from the law...