Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Rain, Rain Go Away

We're going to set the record for the rainiest April on record. We just need another 1/2" of rain. I think we'll probably get that today. These photos are from yesterday. They had to close Interstate 81 in Syracuse.

I can't believe people drove into that water thinking they'd get through!

And once again I am happy I don't have that commute from Channel 9 anymore. I might very well have been stuck in that traffic... yuck!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Menu Plan Revised

It was brought to my attention recently that I haven't been posting my weekly menu plans. Rest assured I still do the menu plans, I just haven't been posting them. Since my blog is private, I can't really play the "Menu Plan Monday" game anymore.

So here's my Menu Plan for this week. It's a basic week, nothing new or exciting. Alex has 2 track meets this week, so there are a couple of "easy" nights.

Monday: Pork Chops, Rice and Applesauce
Tuesday: Hamburgers, Baked Beans and Pasta
Wednesday: Chicken Patties with Rolls, French Fries (Track Meet)
Thursday: BBQ Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, Mixed Veggies
Friday: Pizza (Track Meet)

And there it is. My very simple menu plan for this week.

So... I have a question. Is anyone (besides me and probably my mom) going to get up really early Friday to watch a certain Royal Wedding??

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Dinner

We had a lovely Easter dinner (lunch) at Gary & Paula's today. I believe that Laura & Kelly were the artists that dyed these beautiful eggs.

Laura presented the nicely decorated table.

Paula slaved over a hot stove most of the day... and she made a wonderful dinner.

I know Laura enjoyed the dinner. And she also enjoyed getting to sit next to Uncle Eric. Even if it was at the "little" table.

There were many games that were played today. Cards, checkers, football, atomic farts... etc.

Kelly let Arlene win at checkers every time they played. Because Kelly said that Grandpa Ivan (Paula's dad) always won and Arlene never did. That was very sweet of Kelly to let her win!

Grandpa Ivan watches over Arlene and Kelly playing checkers on the iPad.

And Sheila made her fabulous M&M cookies! And they were just that... fabulous! Unfortunately, we forgot to take any home with us... :(

Happy Easter!

Even when you're 14 (and 16), you still get an Easter Basket! The only difference? The eggs are full of cash... heh heh..

I made some fun Easter cupcakes yesterday, to take with us to Easter dinner at Gary & Paula's. There are pink and blue sprinkles in the mix.

And I turned white coconut yellow and green...

And made cupcake chicks! Happy Easter, everyone!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Tomatoes and Taxes

I've heard really great things about the "Topsy Turvy" and thought I would try one this year. They're priced around $20, but I found this generic version called "Bottoms Up" at Big Lots for only $7, so I got it. I mean, really, all you're paying for is that plastic bag planter hanging thing. You have to supply your own tomato plant. Which I still need to get. We're probably going to have another frost or two... so I'll have to wait a couple of weeks. Has anyone tried the upside down tomato planter before? I'm really curious how well it really works.

In other news... we've been pretty disgusted with the tax situation here in New York. Especially our property tax. They increased our town property tax 53% this year. Yeah, you read that right, 53%! And there's also an increase in the school portion of property tax on the voting ballot. (We'll be voting NO to that!!) So our total property taxes are around $5,500. (This is all public knowledge and available on the internet... so I'm ok talking about this!)

Anyway, we bought our house for $145,000. It was assessed at $162,000, which is the price we're paying taxes on. Our next door neighbor has an identical house to us, well except for the double sized lot, the big addition on the back and the in-ground pool... and they are assessed less than us at $157,000 and pay less in taxes than we do. Soooo... Eric contacted the town tax assessor. And he came out to the house and took some measurements. A few days later, he contacted Eric and told him that he was lowering our assessment! By $12,500. Which puts us just below $150,000. That is much closer to the actual worth of our house. And in turn will lower our property taxes. We're not sure the actual numbers just yet, but we are VERY relieved that something was actually done in our favor! That seems to never happen... I wonder if they'll increase our neighbors taxes now that they were made aware of how nice their house is! (Oops!)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Going Green

We're currently getting quotes to replace the old, icky carpeting on our stairs and throughout the upstairs of the house. If you look close, you can see how worn out it is. The movers didn't help when they pulled dolly's up the stairs and tore up the edges of the rug.

It's just plain dirty and gross too.

We found a "Green" carpet that we liked at Lowe's yesterday. We didn't intentionally try to go Green. But we happened to see it, and guess what? It was cheaper than the other carpeting we were looking at! Seems like a win-win to me. It's made out of old recycled plastic bottles. You wouldn't know it by touching it though, it just feels like a normal rug.

This is the pattern that we liked.

And here's Eric pretending to be Vanna White. We're hoping to get the rug project done by the end of next month.

Speaking of new things, we thought it was time to get an outdoor thermometer that actually worked. We got it last weekend when it was much warmer. It hasn't gone much above 40 since that day...

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Spring Cleaning

We had a very productive day today. I wore some old shoes and old gloves and cleaned up a winter's worth of crap. Literally. We sort of just let Jenny go all winter and clean it up in the spring. We might want to start re-thinking that strategy...

Walk at your own risk off the deck! It was so bad that Jenny didn't even want to go back there. Today was a perfect day to clean it up since it was finally dry back there.

It's much cleaner now. I should get some grass seed and see if there's any chance of greenery. It's so shady back there, we might not be able to grow anything. Notice the nice "stone work" next to the house. Eric found all that under the deck and thought it would be a good use for it, there's no gutter on the roof above that area, so it tends to flood there when it rains. This might help the water run off a little better. It looks nicer anyway!

Here he is creating his masterpiece. I think we might get some small stones to fill in the spaces.

I really should have raked a little better last fall.

We ended up filling 15 yard bags of leaves, twigs and dog poop. And we could easily fill another 15 bags. (Of leaves and twigs... the poop is now gone!) Another project for another day.

Spring has Sprung

A sure sign of Spring... the first outdoor track meet of the year! It was a beautiful day. Alex ran in the 4x800 relay. If you look close, the guy who handed the baton to him only had one shoe on. He lost it somewhere along the way when someone stepped on him... poor kid!

Alex held his own during his leg of the race. Liverpool won the over-all meet, which was a big meet. The C-N-S Relays. There were teams from all over Central NY there.

Another sign of spring. Well, 2 signs. A budding Lilac bush and a boy playing basketball...

Saturday, April 9, 2011

TSO and Other Things

For those of you who follow me on Facebook, you probably know I got tickets to the Trans Siberian Orchestra. I won them actually, on the radio. And I never win anything! Although I guess I never really try to win anything. Alex was going to go with me, but then his uncle was in town, so Eric ended up filling in. It was a fun date-night for us. He took these awesome pictures. Oh, did I mention we were in the 2nd row?! My ears are still ringing.

The show they performed was "Beethoven's Last Night". If you're unfamiliar, check them out on YouTube or on their website. It's more than just a concert... it's a narrated story, with some dancing, singing and some heavy metal guitar playing... and some nice violin music too. A little something for everyone!

It was a fun show to see. I'm so glad we went! I kind of want to see their Christmas show when they return at the end of the year...


Here's a little video for you to enjoy...

In other news.... Alex has his first outdoor track meet today. I think it's a sure sign that Spring is really coming! It's even supposed to be 60 degrees today. I might even go out and clean up the yard a little bit this afternoon... anyone want to help with the backyard?? I'll bring the rubber boots!