Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Celestial New Year's Eve Line Up

A delightful display of planets and the moon will occur on New Year's Eve for anyone wishing to step outside and look up just after sunset. Venus, brighter than all other planets and stars, will dangle just below the thin crescent moon in the southwestern sky. It'll be visible -- impossible to miss, in fact -- just as the sun goes down, assuming skies are cloud-free. Soon thereafter, Mercury and Jupiter will show up hugging the south-southwestern horizon (just above where the sun went down) and extremely close to each other. Jupiter is very bright and easy to spot; Mercury is faint and harder to see, but it'll be apparent by its location just to the left of Jupiter.
Jupiter and Mercury will set less than an hour after the sun, so timing your viewing just after sunset is crucial. You'll also need a location with a clear view of the western horizon, unobstructed by buildings, trees or mountains. All the planets, along with the moon and sun, traverse an arc across our sky called the ecliptic, which corresponds to the plane in space that they all roughly share. For this reason, you could draw an imaginary line from the general location of Venus and the moon, down through the other two planets, and the line would point to where the sun went down. This line could also initially help you find Jupiter and Mercury. - Courtesy of Yahoo News.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Our Christmas

Its over.... I can't believe Christmas Day is already gone. We build up the excitement for the day for at least 28 days, and poof, its gone in a flash. And this year, was no different. Although, we do like to think the Christmas feeling lasts all year. It's just not shown in decorations or gifts under the tree. Peace, love, and hope is in our hearts 24/7.

We woke up as early as we could, hoping to get the most out of the day. We were lucky to keep the snow on the ground, even though we recieved a ton of rain Monday and Tuesday, so the white Christmas we wished for was our first gift. We started the morning with our nice hot coffee and cinnamon buns... mmmmmm. Then we noticed the tree was bare, no gifts under it. To our surprise, all of our gifts were moved from the main room, into the den under our smaller tree.

GASP!!!! I KNOW!!! Look at that pile. I guess Jay, KC, Ace, and Makita and I were very VERY good this year.

Here's KC enjoying his new bed. They are soft and comfy.

And Ace as well. If you notice, their Christmas started off with new haircuts and holiday bandanas. God are they cute.

Sadly, with all the excitement of the dogs helping open our gifts, I never once picked up the camera after this. Most of the activity was caught on video, so maybe one day, I'll get that online. We took our time enjoying the morning but of course, all good things come to an end. We cleaned up all the wrapping papers, bags, and bows and headed off to Jay's dad, Gary, house. We spent time opening gifts with his sister and brother, Sarah and Seth, and their mother Annie. They too were getting ready for a nice holiday dinner, but we couldn't stay. We had to come home and get the house ready for a nice holiday dinner here, with Sheila, Bruce and Tita. Jay cooked a great filet and stuffed lobster tail. I shouldn't have ate so many shrimp and pigs-in-a-blanket for appetizers. I barely got halfway through the filet... and I love filet!!!
We ended the night thinking about the day's events and thanking God for our health and safety. We wish that everyone else had a great Christmas Day.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Faces in Places - Bunny Edition

If you haven't checked out the blog, Faces in Places, that I have listed under my favortie links, you should. There are some really clever sightings of finding, well, faces in different places.
Here's my version.... This is the view of Bunny's house from our porch.

I call it : Four Eyes :)

Saturday, December 27, 2008

George Christmas 2008

Last Saturday, we enjoyed Christmas with the George Family. This would be Jason's mom, Sheila, family celebration. We were able to spend the holiday with Tita (pronounced Ty-ta) who is Jay's grandmother, his Uncle Allan, Aunt Deb, and their daughters Shayna & Katie, as well as Unlce Jeffrey, who flew in from Florida. That weekend was our first blast of winter weather, so we were very fortunate for him to arrive safely. Sheila & Bruce cooked a delicious pork loin dinner with all the fixins'. We were stuffed. We then spent the rest of the evening opening gifts and enjoying the company of family.

Clockwise starting at top : Uncle Jeffrey, Tita, Uncle Allan, and Sheila.

The tree decorated beautifully with ornaments collected through the years.

Here was a great picture that we couldn't help but post.
From left : Aunt Deb, Shayna, Katie, Tita, and Sheila.

Thursday, December 25, 2008


We wish everyone a very safe, healthy, and joyous holiday season!
We miss and love you all!!! Merry Christmas everyone!!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Message

To all our friends and family here in Connecticut, North Carolina, Maine, Pennsylvania, Maryland, New York, Georgia, and the rest of the states, this says it all. Tis the season for sharing and giving.

Share your love, and give what you can to those who need it the most.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Chilled to the Bone

I'm sorry. But does that say -1 degree? And that is not considering the wind chill?
I just woke up, let the dogs out for their morning business, and have confirmed, its damn cold.
I went for a second opinion and our atomic clock and thermometer agree. -1.
And the funny thing, its going to be 51 degrees tomorrow? WTF?
I swear to the god of skinny punks it better not melt all this snow. We WILL have a White Christmas!!!! You listening Mother Nature?

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Play Time

With the first holiday season snowfall, it was a must for us to get out and play.
I got home from work at about 2:30 and found about 4 inches already on the ground. Jay had shoveled once already but it was coming down in a furry. So I changed into jeans and boots and grabbed the kids and went out to the backyard. While playing, Jay got some good shots.

Ace waiting patiently to go back inside. He's not a big fan of playtime, since Makita takes charge.

Even KC joined in the outside games even with his disability. But just like Ace, he had enough of Makita's rules of the game.

I was able to grab Makita for this shot. If you can't tell, her energy level was on high, and all she wanted was to run around, jump, eat snow, and well, bite at your ankles or gloves. At that point, she was no longer making up the rules, it was my turn!

Makita loves to get snow thrown at her or in the air. She'll try catching it in her mouth.
She's very snow-friendly.
When it was all said and done, we got about 10 inches. And more is on the way tonight and tomorrow. YEAH!!!!!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Let it Snow Let it Snow Let it Snow

Its beginning to look like we'll have a white Christmas afterall. YEAH!!!!
Forecasts are calling for us to get 8-12 inches of snow starting at 1pm today and through tonight!
I can't wait to see the white stuff falling from the heavens. We have been wishing and praying for this and Mother Nature and Old Man Winter must have heard our calls.
We made sure to get the shovels out last night and make sure the rest of the outside furniture were covered. We are all set.... we even have a Christmas movie to watch tonight. More pics to come!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Elf Bowling

Its always been a holiday tradition to play Elf Bowling. It goes way back to 1999, when I was working at the Nuke. Our friend Bill Coyer, introduced it to us back then and generally around this time, it would be sent once again in an email to the group of us and we'd all play and laugh at the insults and jokes. If you don't know what Elf Bowling is, well, a player, Santa Claus, attempts to knock down elves who are arranged like bowling pins. Simple as that... hehehehehehe.

In Elf Bowling, Santa Claus gets revenge on his striking elf employees by using them as bowling pins. During the game, the elves say phrases such as "Is that all the balls you got, Santa?" when the player misses their first spare opportunity or "Gutter ball!" in a silly-sounding voice when a ball is rolled into the gutter. Other potential distractions for the user are reindeer that walk up along the bowling lane that you can "hit" with your bowling ball if you press the right buttons, a frog wearing a Santa hat hopping back and forth across the player's field of vision and if you hit him with the bowling ball, his carcass is hauled away from the screen. A white rabbit also jumps and poops across the bowling lane, the elves mooning Santa asking "who's your daddy?" as they do it. Both during the game and after a game finishes, the elves do a macarena-like dance, shouting "Elf elf, baby!" in reference to Vanilla Ice's song "Ice Ice Baby." The elves can also randomly move out of the way of the ball, and one elf can be decapitated by the pin setter. It's a rather fun game. :) And I miss it. Oh well. Its the memories that count. Good times.

Monday, December 15, 2008

A Christmas Story

When four of Santa's elves got sick, the trainee elves did not produce toys as fast as the regular ones, and Santa began to feel the Pre-Christmas pressure.
Then Mrs Claus told Santa her Mother was coming to visit, which stressed Santa even more.
When he went to harness the reindeer, he found that three of them were about to give birth and two others had jumped the fence and were out, Heaven knows where.
Then when he began to load the sleigh, one of the floorboards cracked, the toy bag fell to the ground and all the toys were scattered.
Frustrated, Santa went in the house for a cup of apple cider and a shot of rum. When he went to the cupboard, he discovered the elves had drank all the cider and hidden the rum. In his frustration, he accidentally dropped the cider jug, and it broke into hundreds of little glass pieces all over the kitchen floor. He went to get the broom and found the mice had eaten all the straw off the end of the broom.
Just then the doorbell rang, and irritated Santa marched to the door, yanked it open, and there stood a little angel with a great big Christmas tree.
The angel said very cheerfully, 'Merry Christmas, Santa. Isn't this a lovely day? I have a beautiful tree for you. Where would you like me to stick it?'
And so began the tradition of the little angel on top of the Christmas tree.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Save Me

I was looking for some holiday pics online and came upon this one.

I can't help but feel the pain of this kid. This Santa just doesn't look friendly.
Smile or not, those eyes freak me out. And is it just me or does Santa's right hand look like he's holding on for dear life on the kids overalls? NEXT!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Christmas Trees Year by Year

Since 2004, Jay and I have shared great Christmas memories. I think my favorite memories together are getting the fresh cut Christmas trees. Since moving into the Cottage, we've had great luck at finding wonderful fir's to serve as our symbol of the spirit of Christmas. Our first Christmas in '04 was in the condo, and somehow I don't have a picture of that tree and sadly, its hard to remember what it looked like. But here is a quick view of the trees over the years.

Christmas 2005 - This tree was HUGE!!! And look at the walls. This is before any of the remodeling took place. Those old pine tongue and grooved panels. And that tv? Its as big as the tree! :)

Christmas 2006 - Much slimmer but taller tree. And look... a new tv. :)

Christmas 2007 - We decided to move the tree to the other side of the room next to our new down chairs to feel more cozy. It works out much better, especially when walking in the house presentation wise. Its the first thing you see.

I love this time of year.
Wishing everyone a happy, healthy, and safe holiday season!
We love you all.

I can't believe you woke me up for this!!!!

Monday, December 8, 2008

LilliKat Blog

Check out Lilli's new blog :
Find out her latest status and how the family is doing!!!
We can't wait to meet her!!!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Trees of Lights

I took Monday off to get a few things done for myself but also to finish up some of the decorating we didn't get done from Sunday. But the main task, was to decorate the christmas tree.
But first, we always have our little christmas tree in the house, year round. This year, we put it in the den and decided to decorate it as well. Using a bow from our large wreath last year, we topped it and worked our way down. Adding nice white lights, gold and red bulbs, and some bright red cranberry-like garland.

Here is a view into the kitchen. We added some pine garland along the 1/2 wall, with lights and cranberrys and some pointsetta spikes.

And here he is.... the 2008 Cottage on the Rocks Christmas Tree. TA DA!!!
He stands about 8 feet tall and maybe 4.5 feet wide. He's a skinny version this year compared to last years. A view with the lights on.....

Lights off....

Tons of room for all of Santa's gifts this year :)
Merry Christmas Everyone!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Christmas Spirit on the Rocks

Every year, we start our decorating for Christmas the Sunday after Thanksgiving.
We decided to put the stocking up on the loft, for them to hang high above.
It took some cleaning and alot of dusting to get them up there, but I think that's going to be a tradition from now on.

We also go pick out a tree at Angevine Tree Farm in Warren, CT. Here's our pick for this year.
But its only a sneak-peak as he's all wrapped up. I have to get Jay to send the pics from the farm from his phone to post those, so more to come!

Here's a quick look at the entry way.

Garland and lights and big gold bow highlight the mirror in the dining room.
Jason's Santa collection sit on the sidebar. And last but not least, Cozy and Cuddles sit with hurricane lanters.

Friday, December 5, 2008

More on Bryson

Another day older and he's getting more and more attention.
His big sister and big brother were finally able to meet Bryson.
Here's the 3 amigos posing for Aunt Lindsey.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Bryson Henry Hill has arrived

He has finally arrived!!!! Bryson Henry Hill was born yesterday, 12/3, and is a healthy 8lbs 15oz. and 21.5 inches long!!!!! Its like he's already walking!!!! Chas and him are both doing well. And Bryson's big sister and brother are both very excited to get him home for their first Christmas together. With Lindsey on mark to get the first pictures, here he is :
He looks alittle rough at the moment, but who doesn't after going through THAT!!!! :)
Congratulations Chas and Nate!!!! Welcome to the family Bryson!
Love your Uncle Nate and Jay!


One morning, I heard Makita sneak into the bedroom. Next thing I know, I see her under the comforter and stealing some love from Jay. Too cute, but if you can tell from her face, she wasn't happy I was disturbing her slumber.

This is a rare occurrence... getting all 3 to sleep together. :)
And on camera at the same time.

The kids just love sneaking into the den and stealing our seats on the couch.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Lots of Snow - Trip to East Otto

I decided to take some pics while driving home to East Otto for Thanksgiving. It was rather strange this year weather wise, as I was seeing snow in places I wasn't expecting. Some of the hills were green and sunny, and then small towns along Route 17/I-86 were pummeled with the white stuff.

I thought the pic below was really neat, seeing the snow sit on each branch. I'm just glad I didn't go off the highway taking the picture!

Below you will see my parent's front yard. I believe this was about 30 some odd inches of snow. Pretty, right?

Here's the front porch. Poor little christmas tree was almost covered by one of the snow banks Dad created with the plow. And no, people do not use the front stairs to come in the house. Don't worry.... we believe in Safety First.... now go to the back door, and TAKE OFF YOUR SHOES!

And the last shot I took was of the side yard. This large pine used to be a teeny-tiny tree. Now its this monster... but a beauty. I love how its huge branches catch all the snow. I wonder if I could get rid of the background of the neighbors house and use that as a christmas card? Hmmm...

Monday, December 1, 2008

World AIDS Day 2008

From individuals to organizations, from government departments to schools, all people around the world will be called on to stop what they are doing so that the country can come together to focus on how we are going to stop the HIV epidemic, stop new HIV infections and stop deaths.
World Aids Day 2008 will embody the collective commitment of our government and society to adopt a bold and brave new approach to HIV and TB.
We urge you to join us on this day. Act now. Forward this message.
Spread the word! Be safe.