Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A Day at the Races

I have lived in New Jersey for much of my life, but I had never attended the steeplechase races at Far Hills until this year. This annual event is well known in the NYC area and was a favorite of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Remember the pictures of Carolyn on her pony Macaroni? If you click here, you will find an article in the NJ Star Ledger (don't miss the comments…jeez, get a grip people). I even got a picture of the horse head ice sculpture mentioned in the article…talk about rubbing elbows with the “greats.”

If you ask me, this ice sculpture is a bit more interesting…it’s a “Shots Luge” You stick you mouth at the bottom of one of the trenches and they put a shot of vodka or tequila down the trench. Are we a great country, or what?!!

At the same spot, a display of pumpkin art caught our attention. Here are couple of my favs…

(No pumpkins were harmed by the making of these models…or should I say “hack jobs?”)

Decorations were rampant - er, I mean, there were many, many lovely, tasteful displays of gracious magnitudeness. We, on the other hand, preferred a more simple approach... Here I give you Mary Pat with our tail gate decoration...Tail...Gate....get it?

To say a bit of drinking goes on would be an understatement. One tailgater had five - count ‘em - five kegs of beer. Of course, we did our share…not saying we didn’t, but five kegs???? Here’s a victory pic of Mary Pat after she accidentally fired the cork from the champagne bottle - missing Chris and Michael by a hair - for a direct hit on a race goer strolling past our site. Thank goodness the woman’s down vest averted a bloody, bone crushing injury. "Oops, sorry…my bad - are you all right, dee-ah?"

I have only recently met Mary Pat, but so far she was two for two on the day. I am sure she and I are going to become verrrrry close friends. She is definitely my kind of gal!

Fox seem to be a favorite decoration…

All in all, it was a beautiful October day spent with good friends, lots of food and fine wine. Can’t ask for more!

L to R Christine and Doug, Chris, Michael, Mary Pat, Steve, Katy and Lisa (Ignor the fornicating fox on the left in the picture - they got into the sherry.)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

August Happenings...

Just kidding...I know it's October!

Actually August was a blur of working on the cottage, as was September and a bit of this month. Just to give you an idea of all we have accomplished, I offer a few before and after pics below.

We also took care of the wet basement problem by installing a French drain along the back of the house. It was quite the project, but we think we have finally fixed the problem.
The discovery of three springs along the back wall of the house explained a lot of it. Even more water ran into the trench before the excavator dug the outlet trench. The outlet pipe now runs with a constant stream of water 24/7; most of which was in the basement before.

Chris finally dragged me home on the 9th. The fall colors were just getting to their peak, but much needs attention here at home.

Old living room...

Ta daaaa! Not too shabby for mostly garage sale finds, bargain bin buys and a bit of home DIY projects (more on those later).

The old driveway and garage entrance...

New screen door on garage, new drive and in the background, fence and garden shed through the arbor.

We added a deck to the front to replace the old sidewalk and patio.