Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Queen Mary 2 Fourth of July getaway

Earlier this month we had the chance to set sail once again on the Queen Mary two and once again we loved it. 

This trip was a little bit different because we were doing a cruise instead of a crossing and we went from New York City up to Halifax Canada then down to Boston for the Fourth of July and back to New York. I think Craig still prefers a crossing but we still had a great time! 

We were also able to take our 16 year old niece Renée with us on this trip so that was a little bit different you were definitely not used to having teenagers around us 24/7. ;) Our friends Brian and Eric joined us as well and with them around we always have a good time.

We got to New York on June 29 and we had a great first day we went up to the Empire State building and Time Square and to Tiffany's so Renée could see where her favorite actress stood in her favorite movie (Audrey in Breakfast at Tiffany's)

We also happen to be in New York during gay pride week so Renée ended up seeing a lot more of the world and she'd ever seen before. Oops! Of course this was the first thing she told her mom and grandparents about! But we took it all in stride and we had a great time!

We set sail on July 1 and then for the next five days we called the QM2 our home. Renée had a little berth to call her own above my bed and of course Craig loved every minute that he was on board.  We loved being back on board.  We had such a good time, enjoyed the company and the great food.

While we were in Halifax we were able to go to four different graveyards where Titanic victims were buried. That was really touching an emotional and a really good experience. We also went to the Halifax Maritime Museum and were able to see some of the most famous and interesting pieces of wreck wood and Wreckage from Titanic. Pretty much this was Craig's Titanic dreams all coming true all in this one day and he had a great time! 

While we were in Boston we are able to meet up with my parents and spend the afternoon with them. We saw the old State House Paul Revere's house and old North Church we also had some amazing Italian food and cannolis. Yum!

Of course we always love the time that we can spend on the QM2 because she is such a classy lady. I'm trying to convince my parents that they should think about scheduling their own crews are crossing on QM2 let's see if they really do it.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Trials of our Jail Bird, the Oscar cat

Warning: A long post about a cat, yes we went there.

Oscar is our sweet, obnoxious, lap-loving, kitten mewing (as an adult cat he's meow never grew up, he still has a little kitten mew), and now he's our little Jail Bird.

Almost two weeks ago now (Thursday the 6th) Oscar went missing.  He never showed up for breakfast and then never showed up for dinner (unheard of!).  We were really worried, we called for him and searched and contacted neighbors (save one, mostly because he knows Oscar and wrongly assumed if he had Oscar he would let us know) and searched some more. No Oscar

We were so, so sad.  I mean he's only a cat, but he's our Oscar cat.  We know his personality, the things he loves and hates.  He is our little ball of stress relief (the world doesn't seem so heavy when Oscar demands a lap and a good scratch or pet). He's the kind of cat where there is not enough love in the world for him, he just wants lovin' all the time.  He's is just a sweet little ball of white fluff love, and we were sad he was missing.
The sweet Oscar, pre-traumatization

By the following Monday we were resigning to our self that Oscar was probably gone forever (Oscar would never go that long without a lap or a proper dinner), but we decided our last effort was to check the animal shelter.  They lead us to the cat room and we saw double rows of kennels the length of the room in the very last kennel on the bottom row was the Oscar cat!!  We couldn't believe it.  We cried and cried we had found Oscar our little Jail Bird.

Jail Bird - he is a sad Oscar

When we bailed him out we got the paper work on him and found out our neighbor, Mrs. Davis has sent our cat to the pound, as a stray!!  We were furious.  How and why didn't he tell us?!?!

Mr. Davis is in his 70's and loves to garden and (we thought) were ok with our cats. Mrs Davis keeps to herself, but we never had any complaints.  When our little guys were kittens we tried to keep them out of Mr Davis' yard (we didn't want them to think it was their territory), but Mr Davis told Craig he wanted them to come over "They'll keep the squirrels out of the garden".  So he would call them and play with them and let them over. 

About a year ago Mr. Davis came to us and told us the cats can't come over anymore, they were digging in his yard and getting on his car.  We tried to keep the cats in the house* after that and they were MISERABLE.  They hated life.  So we went over and talked with Mr. Davis about it and told him that our only option is to get rid of the cats since we knew we can't keep them out of his yard and we knew we couldn't keep them in the house all the time (they love the outdoors too much).  Mr Davis told us that he didn't want us to get rid of them and it was ok.

A year later and we hadn't heard anything more about the cats, and then they go and do this?!?! Oscar could have been adopted by someone else and after two weeks if he's not adopted he would have been put to sleep and we could see that the little guy was feeling really depressed about his time in the clink.

The next day we talked with the neighbor (by the way I was so proud of Craig, even though he was livid he kept his cool best of the three of us and really helped to diffuse the situation). There was a long conversation and I hope we have worked it all out, but who knows.  Needless to say we don't trust him 100% and we're going to take pictures of the cats to the animal control in case he ever does it again.

To top it all off we just got back from the vet and they told us that Oscar had been so traumatized by his cell time that he ripped out two of his claws!! We had realized there was something wrong with his claws and we've kept him house bound for the last couple weeks. Poor little thing is going out of his mind. Fortunately the vet told us that in about 7 days after this paw has had time to heal that we can let him out again.

Freed, but depressed and unable to go outside

And those are the trials of the Oscar cat.

*I know that there are some pretty strong opinions out there about keeping cats or dogs house bound.  We don't subscribe to that.  We (and our vet) feel that it's healthier for the cats to have the freedom and fun of the outdoors. There is risk in having an outdoor cat, but there is risk in anyone going outdoors and living.   The cats have lots and lots of safe places to roam and we have walked all over the woods and outdoors with them. We know where on each side of the house they feel is their territory and can roam and we feel that it's safe for them.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Tryon Palace Spring Festival 2013

Our favorite spot in NC (New Bern) has an annual Spring Festival for their tulips and spring flowers. We went last year for the first tome and enjoyed it so much. This year was the same, I love spring flowers!!

Craig is checking things out.

This older couple was so sweet, had to sneak a picture!

Of course we hit our usual fav spots around town (birth place of Pepsi, farmers market, garden store, etc) it was a beautiful and great day!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

UT trip

A few weeks ago I went out for a long overdue trip to UT. It was pretty much a working trip, but I did fill just about every meal with visits with friends and it was wonderful! 
I miss the mountains!

I saw these cuties and loved my visit with Mickelle! 

I stopped by a few nostalgic places: 
My first apt in UT, man I had some good roommates from there and was so glad to visit with Carina and Mickelle, wish some of the others lived closer!

Duck pond! I can't believe how they fixed it up! I prefer the old way cause that's what I remember, but this is very nice and I can see how it's better for the animal life and visitors to enjoy the pond. 

Old Mill Apts, last single living apt in UT. Had some fun times there too!! 

Top floor middle door was Craig and mine first little place together. I loved our first year there.

Of course I has to stop by the tabernacle.  What a great old building, so glad they're restoring it!

Dinner with some wonderful friends!!

It was a great visit, too short to visit all the places and people I wanted too. I have some very fond memories of the good people we met there and I had forgotten how nice UT is (it really is a lovely place). Hopefully I'll be able to get out there more often!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Titanic Dinner

On the 101st anniversary of the Titanic Sinking we had a 1st Class Titanic Dinner. It was delicious!

We went to our friends' house and everything we dined at or on was ship related. The table, chairs, cups, dinner and silverware, vase, etc all came from ships, mostly the Queen Mary. It looked so nice!!

They even made menus and name cards for us.

Craig was in heaven. 

We had 6 courses:
Course 1 appetizers: salmon mousse, baked Brie, olives, cashews
Course 2: cream of barley soup
Course 3: filets mignon lili (with potatoes Anna, foie gras, truffles) it was decadent
Course 3: punch rose (rose and mint flavored sorbet)
Course 4: saffron asparagus vinaigrette
Course 5: Oranges en surprise (orange sherbet in an orange peel cup with baked merengue on top)
Course 6: Assorted Cheeses

It was all so delicious and good flavors, i felt like a foodie eating all that good food. I'm not going to lie, it was a LOT of work to get these courses together, but it was so much fun and we really enjoyed it!

As our friend B said "I may not be able to live like John Jacob Astor (richest man onboard Titanic), but I can eat his steak"

We got all dressed up fancy too!

A Rough Cat Life

Everyday Oscar reminds us it's a rough cat life.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

4 Years

It's hard to believe that we've been married for 4 years now! 
In some ways it seems like it's always been us and in other ways I still feel like we're newly-wed. 

I have a really hard time expressing in words how I feel about Craig and our life together (he is so much better about it than I am, he is so sincere and kind and I feel I just come off sounding generic or cheesy), but I can't even begin to say how grateful I am for Craig.  He is a better match for me than I ever hoped for.  Here are some of my favorite pics of us and our snippets of life.

In Vegas just before we got engaged.  This is my favorite smile of his ever!

I just love the feeling of this photo.

From our honeymoon. I love the intensity in his eyes and the colors in this one (I'm actually pretty certain he was getting annoyed with me for taking so many pics at this point, but I still love it)

After we moved to NC!
At the garden at Tryon Palace in New Bern.

On our great trip last year - that was the best.

The most recent (last month at our fancy schmancy Titanic dinner) and right on up there with our wedding photo for my top pic.  

Happy Anniversary to my wonderful wonderful man!

Saturday, April 6, 2013


I am loving peonies lately and have had this bunch of silk peonies for a long time now, but it was just tied together and looking a little unfinished. I found this little white pitcher on sale and made a little arrangement.  I think it turned out pretty cute!

And our trees our budding out and the birds are getting all twitter-patted.  I love it.  This little boy cardinal has been sitting in our tree and chirping for his girlfriend for a while now.  Bright red cardinals are my favorite, I love having them around.

Can you spot him in this one?

Friday, April 5, 2013

Long Time No Post

I can't decide whether it's time to retire this blog or not.  I mean there is a part of me that really likes to have a good record of the things that we've done, but then so much of our day to day life is working/cooking/eating/sleeping.  What's the point of that?

But then again there have been some big things that happened. My mom stayed with us for a month or so, we went to  So Cal with some friends and met up with some others and that was awesome, Little Stephen turned 1 (and is as cute as ever), Easter Pig Picking, I'm going to UT in 10 days (work trip), and we have some fun upcoming things planned too.

Well, I'll try to sum up some things and then hopefully do a better job of keeping up the blog.

Right around Thanksgiving last year my dad started a job up in MA and they sold their house.   Since they moved from a 6 bedroom house to a one bedroom apt they moved a lot of their things into our shops out back.  My mom came out to help move things in and avoid the MA winter (for someone who lived in CA, HI and AZ somehow the snow just doesn't agree with her).  She stayed with us for about a month or so in January.  It was interesting at times but overall pretty good to spend time with her because I realized I hadn't really lived with her since I was about 20 (and that was only for a couple months) so it's been a long time.  Also my mom is pretty awesome at keeping busy and she helped get a lot of things done.  I don't mean to try and take advantage of her visit, but she's just that kind of person that doesn't really sit still and not do anything.  She keeps herself busy and she's always doing things for other people (rarely do I see her doing things for herself).  She stayed with us for a couple weeks before Christmas, then went up to MA for a week or so, after that came back down and stayed another month.

Stephen turned 1 on 2/13! We skyped with him for some bday cake and he loved it!

This is my new fav picture of Stephen, I'm obsessed with it.

This year for V-day Craig was sweet and brought me some roses and sweet treats and I made some cupcakes for him.

At the end of Feb we went to the Queen Mary and Disneyland.  Our friends Brian and Eric also came out and then we met up with some friends that we met on our crossing last year and had a great time!  I'll put up pics of that trip in another post.

For Easter we had the annual Anderson Pig Picking and it was awesome.  We had a great time with aunts/uncles and cousins and delicious food.  Uncle Ferrell and Craig cooked a great pig.

Of course I made cupcakes and found a cute idea for peep cupcakes on pinterest

One of the best parts about my parents moving all their things out here was I got my childhood piano!  I've been practicing a little bit here and there, but today Boots discovered the piano.  He was so interested in the keys and pushing them down, but the notes scared him.  He wasn't sure what to make of it!

We've also acquired some new awesome furnishings for the Queen Mary collection. Some of them are getting restored and I'll put up those pictures later when they're finished.

Well that will sum it up for now.  I'll try to get the QM/Dland pics up soon!