Thursday, July 21, 2005


What does it mean to be a MINI driver? For me, it meant personalizing the rear hatch of my "Cooper S."
Ok. ok. This may only be understood among our circle of friends, and I'm not trying to make a grosse point _________. (I'm hunting for some goodwill here). Stan indulges me in this vehicular enhancement. But then again, he's an ideal husband ;~)

We'll just have to wait until MINI comes out with a model named "Grant" I guess. Or maybe something else relating to "Grant" will come my way. How 'bout a $250,000 grant? Well that might be ok, too.

Liz Thibeault delivered Alec early evening on July 16, 2005. Way to spend a Saturday night!
Danny wrote that Alec weighed in at 6.13 lbs. I wonder if that's actually 6 pounds, 13 oz.? Otherwise, he's 6 pounds, 2.08 oz. if you do the math (and that's kind of a strange stat). So I'm going with the 6 pounds 13 oz. which fits pretty well with his 21 inch frame!
We're very excited to meet him.

He's an adorable peanut in his mom's arms:


Whoa. I've been telling my dentist for a year that this tooth needed to be crowned. I always like to save on a root canal by having it crowned before the nerve goes south. WELL...this one remained a bit of a mystery to him and I clearly wasn't forceful enough to make him undertstand (Mah bad. Lacking assertiveness). There wasn't an obvious problem with the tooth and we'd been treating it with many other approaches: the patches at the top of the teeth where gums had receded (he doesn't like me to call them patches but I can't remember what they're called) and brushing with "sensitive" pastes. Finally, I decided that I was tired of pain radiating up into my head when I ate anything warm. So I scheduled an appointment for today. He decided he would remove the filling on that tooth and replace it with a medicated filling, barring the discovery of anything else amiss. Well, he discovered that "amiss" part when half of the tooth broke off at the crack that's likely been there for years.

So, he announced that this tooth needed a root canal, a post, and a crown. Whoa.

He canceled appointments and went right to work on it. After the first hour, I asked "With a post in it, how can a root canal be done?" He said "The root canal is all finished. That's what I just did." Geez. Last time I had a root canal -- about 23 years ago -- it required several visits to an endodontist (and rubber dams which likely triggered my latex allergies). I didn't know that a root canal could be done in a dentist's office. Cool.

He put the post in and I'm pain-free. FINALLY! After probably more than a year! I feel good. Yeah! I get my temporary crown next Thursday.

Dateline Ashland: Tomato Update

There are little tomato buds popping out on my plants. These are perhaps the largest and they are on the ones earliest into the ground. But it might be because this plant gets the most sun.

Buds are appearing on the others, but they're far more shaded. No matter, fewer buds may be a good thing with 16 tomato plants ( I know not to plant the entire seed packet). Being a gardener takes experience.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Seeing the Stevenses off to Atlanta again

Somehow I failed to get photos of the kids (!) It was probably because they weren't still for long. No, it was because I didn't care to move out of my chair! WELL, it was a heat wave here to be sure. But I did snap (yes, my SONY has audio cues) a few of our group of friends when we gathered at the Eiler's home the last day of Nancy & Bill's visit on July 17, 2005.
Joe and Coco

Craig and Jill:

Bill, Rob and Nancy:

Deb and Reid. The reflection over Deb's left shoulder is the only photo I got of Christy (sorry). Note that she has her cocktail glass raised..:~)

And of course, Bubba and his gal:

As usual, we had marvelous hors d'oeuvres, a good 'ole traditional barbeque meal and ice cream dessert. And we came home with some Blue Moon beers in our cooler (?) Whose were those? Hey, thanks!

Sunday, July 17, 2005

New telephone number

I installed the VOiP yesterday. Our number for the house remains 508-881-3929. I tried a new number for a while, but things got complicated so I ended up putting the old number on the VoIP line. Hopefully this transition will be transparent to everyone. We won't have 911 service on this line until November but we have other land-lines and wireless phones in the house.

Bailey goes home

Unfortunately, all good things do indeed end, and today the Stevenses headed south for their return trip to Alpharetta, Georgia, which they now call home (even though we can't accept that!). Anyway, we had a terrific week.
They arrived the evening of July 8th and our sign awaited them at the doorstep:

We went to Peter and Carol Wilson's Saturday for hors d'oeuvres before having dinner at Acapulco's in Framingham. Stan and I went to the Tara afterwards to meet up with Tim and Leah Sweeney and Kyle Barnette, their son-in-law. We brought the three of them to our home in Ashland to hang out for a while. Kara remained at the Tara (had to write that) with their daughter Nia. Nancy and Bill showed up after spending more time at the Wilson's. We all kind of slept in the next day (!)

We got to have Bailey as our special guest when the Stevenses drove up to Maine to visit Joyce. In fact, we got to be very close with her as she spent most of the week with us! She was really good about going out to get the newspaper each morning. Saturday morning she wasn't satisfied with ours alone and in fact retrieved the Machado's paper TWICE. I finally had to put her inside before I returned it to the end of their drive. Wonder if they noticed the canine tooth marks on their Globe?

Nancy and I visited Pam's new home in Westborough on Sunday. We surprised her as she didn't yet know that Nancy was here. Pam's house is so nice -- it's really perfect for her and although an antique (1896, I think... but it's a number) it's in really great shape because of all of the updates. It's a perfect size for Pam, too, and in a nice neighborhood. Yardwork is in HER future but she promises to enjoy every minute of it! The three of us had a picnic in the back yard.

Thursday night, we all went over to the Wilson's house again for a pool party and cookout

Grant and Jared Renzullo arrived in time for dinner after they'd been to Gold's Gym to workout.

Maribeth Hedgepeth showed up, too:

We had a nice time, Peter and Carol are phenomenal hosts (pictured below with Nancy and Bill)

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Nancy, Bill, Jeff and Derek are off to Maine to visit with Joyce Newell so it was agreed that Stan could give Bailey a bath since it was the walk he took her on to the reservoir which resulted in her newly-enhanced odiferous doggie presence.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

The dogwood is in bloom at 38 Larc Ridge Lane.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Tomatoes are in the ground

Mom's Oregonian friend who is a Massachusetts expatriot declared "no good Yankee would have tomatoes in the ground before the 4th of July." Well, I got mine in today, ON Independence Day. It took a lot of work digging out boulders and trees but once the area was cleared, my tomato plants are in.

I started these from Burpee seeds in April. I planted the whole packet! My horticulturalist sister Christy suggests holding out about half next time. Wise counsel as I surely did end up with too many plants.

Some of them are looking a bit sorry tonight, but I have about 15 tomato plants so we can tolerate some attrition.

Bryant Family gathering June 25, 2005

Stan's cousin Marcia, her husband Drew, and daughters Heidi and Allison were here in Massachusetts visiting. Liz, Chris and Alex were celebrating birthdays. So it was an occasion for everyone to get together! We had a wonderful lunch ending in birthday cakes and desserts and there was a rousing game of croquet in the back yard -- just like the old days!

Stan's cousin Phyllis on the front porch:

From Northhampton, Andy (who is Stan's cousin once removed; David's son and Liz' grandson) with Emily:

After returning from a walk to the Endicott Estate, Marcia, Barbara, Allison and Heidi produced maple seed pods for each of us to affix to our noses (also, just like the old days -- being a kid once more!) The only thing I have to wonder is HOW is it that one of the primary instigators seems totally absent from my photos? WHERE'S Marcia?? I guess she's alongside Stan with her camera.