The Cool House: my random life
Showing posts with label my random life. Show all posts
Showing posts with label my random life. Show all posts

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Three Gifts

New art in the house

Bob Boreman monoprint abstract landscape

Cathryn Arcomano Mix Media

Yes, I know I should iron the duvet

I never know what to get The Guy for birthdays, anniversaries or the holidays. Unless he specifically asks for something I am stumped. I did manage to surprise him four years ago with the Jamie Geller Dutra abstract painting so when we moved that out of the master bedroom and into the kitchen I thought maybe I could kill two birds by getting him another piece of art that could hang in our room.
I searched, we searched but nothing came out of it. Too small, too dark, the wrong colour; it seemed nothing would fit. Then he mentioned this book and I thought: Problem solved. I ordered the book, wrapped it and hid it where he would never think to look, in amongst the wrapping paper and ribbons in my office closet.
Fast forward a couple of months, I'm wasting time on ebay when I come across not one but three pictures that would fit the wall in the master bedroom and make a unique present for The Guy. I successfully bid on two, one more than I needed but BOGO! I dropped them into the Rockstar Framer at Ripe Art Gallery to work her magic, swearing her to secrecy. Three weeks later I was back to pick them up and then came the difficult part, getting them home, hiding them and keeping my mouth shut for a week until The Guy's birthday. The Bob Boreman piece is oversized and wouldn't fit in my car so I had to stealthily borrow his. It is so large it wouldn't fit in his trunk either but Cherie managed to slide it into the back where it balanced precariously as I drove home at 15 MPH avoiding all the potholes and bumps. I managed to hoist it upstairs, hide it with the other picture at the back of my closet covered them with clothes and held my breath every time he went in there.
The morning of his birthday I pulled the art out of the closet and went to look for some wrapping paper, which is when I discovered the book I'd bought months ago for his birthday... I've told The Guy he can consider himself gifted up to and including next xmas!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Squirrel Proof

As in proof of squirrel not squirrel deterrent. I have been waiting patiently since fall for the return of the vanishing squirrel, this breakfast time I got lucky and I see he/she did too.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Queen Canute

The weather people are forecasting another dollop of white stuff tonight and tomorrow, this despite someone declaring a Snowatus, a respite from snow for a period of time (I'm thinking decades would be a good length). We haven't fully dug out from the storm last week that landed on top of the remnants of the day-after-xmas Snowpocageddon although the icicles are no longer as spectacular as they were.
My curmudgeonliness may be due to the postponement of a trip to the far coast, where it's apparently unseasonably balmy right now but on the other hand I have shoveller's back and I'm sick of cleaning sand and snowmelt off the animals' paws. Thank you winter, enough already!
So I'm going to sit in my American MCM classic chair and, as the Viking ruler of England did with the waves (or so goes the legend), command the snow not to fall.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Coffee Anyone?

Can I pour you a cup?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Hidden away in the back of a drawer, a slice of someone else's life

Thursday, December 02, 2010

After the storm

After this blew in I thought we might have lost a few branches, but it was a little bit more than that...

the tree top. all 15' of it came down

leaving a piece 6' long stuck in the Magnolia

which may account for this...

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Man v Bird(s)

A plan to take breakfast at Northport Harbor, NY goes horribly awry...
There might have been other shots, many whirling birds, much flailing of arms but I was too busy laughing hysterically to shoot straight. The Palmier cookie from the Copenhagen Bakery was sacrificed in the name of self-preservation.
Man 0-Seagulls 1

Friday, November 19, 2010

What Once Was

"Go get your camera" the squirrel said as he sat on the branch
"I don't think so" I replied. "You'll just move while I'm gone"
"C'mon, trust me. I've been sitting here for five minutes. Do you think I'd leave now?"
"Sure, squirrels are notorious for disappearing the minute your back is turned"
"Look, I'm here, I'll stay a little longer. Do you like my bushy tail? Wouldn't you like a photo of my cute eyes, my tufty ears?"
"OK, don't move, I'm coming right back"

"You're still there!"
"Of course I am, I said I would be"
"Hang on while I pull the lens cap off"

Point. Click. Gone!

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Tide's In

We were denied our morning beach walk twice this week for no reason other than poor planning on my part meant we arrived at high tide both days. But what a difference twenty four hours can make. Yesterday the wind was whipping up the waves and the gulls were buffeted up and down the water's edge.
Today it was so calm I could see two swans bobbing on the water as I approached the end of the road. Twenty gulls and terns of various species and sizes were perched along the shoreline and a couple of ducks waddled out for a dip; the dogs and I stood and watched as a grey heron flew over the sound from Lloyd's Harbor, circled and landed on a strip of sand amongst the other seabirds.
Of course today was also the day I forgot to take along my camera...

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The following morning...

courtesy of Nadine, James and the ever-delightful Olivia and Jackson the cute felt tie and fab retro mid-century owls on an oven mitt, perfect for the new kitchen.

We had a fun evening but they bought so many gifts we had to stash some for next time. There's cake in the refrigerator, folks - don't cause a stampede! Also, how about them upstate apples?

Friday, October 08, 2010


The message I received from The Guy this morning. Is it a subtle reference to a fiscal program? An invitation to join a secret society in Quebec or the equivalent of making a phone call with your butt?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Anniversary Night

Me (waking up with a start and glancing at the clock): Get up! It's 5:35! You have 10 minutes to get out of the house
Him (jumping out of bed): #%*!.
Me (a couple of minutes later, actually awake enough to look at the clock and process information): Did you check the time?
Him: No!
Me: It's 2:37, not 5:37.
Him (pulling off socks and shirt): #%*!

I'm surprised we're still married.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Name Your Price

I like to keep my eye on what's for sale in the Incorporated Village - call me nosey, I can take it.

I get an email alert every time a house comes on the market.

Sometimes I get a bonus.

The same house 40% off. Pick one!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Will this table suit?

The big disadvantage of kitchen renovation is having to eat out all the time - unless you have this view and glorious mid-summer weather. The Wednesday sunset sailing race across the bay provides the perfect backdrop for strawberry, blue cheese and pecan spinach salad and a glass of chilled Sauvignon Blanc.

Sunday, June 06, 2010


The carpenter working on the master bath and kitchen renovations has come up with many excuses for his absence/tardiness. I thought they needed to be shared with a wider audience. They usually start with "Unfortunately..."

I forgot I had to go to court
my truck was in the shop
the part didn't come in
the door didn't come in
I'm on a roll at this other job
the other job ran over
I had a doctor's appointment
my mother had a doctor's appointment
it's going to rain
I had to finish that other job
it rained
I got stuck in traffic
my stomach was upset
I just had to stop by the other job
Snow Day!
I had to pick up a few things
I must have eaten something bad
I had to drive my mother to work
I must have picked up that bug that's going round
I woke up early, turned off the alarm and my cell and went back to sleep
I was going to work but I didn't feel better

this one was, until Friday, my favorite

someone cut through the telephone wire and the alarm doesn't work so I have to stay here until the phone company comes to fix it...

but this, this is the killer - the voicemail he left June 4 at 3:24 PM:

"unfortunately a bartender friend of mine last night played a silly trick on me not knowing I was working today and over-served me... certainly that's not a great excuse but it is what it is. I am going to be at your house first thing tomorrow the morning... I'll see you in the morning"

... and no, he didn't turn up "first thing" next morning to finish up the work.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Foxy morning

So there I was, admiring the recent hosta growth spurt while waiting for the carpenter to give me an update on the mud room door delivery, when I spied something slinking down the road.

I followed it around the property as it dodged in and out of the shadows, finally snapping this less-than-stellar iphone shot of our village fox out and about at 9:30 AM.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

From vermilion to a dozen shades of grey

A touch of bright orangey-red to brighten your day

while outside the Sound pounds the beach and the rain clouds glower

Monday, April 19, 2010

Backed Up Beauty

Remember those storms that hit the north-east in March? They came a couple of weeks apart and each dumped 6-8" rain right on Long Island. Roads flooded, basements flooded, cesspool overflowed; people are still pumping water from the houses and parts of particularly swamped roads are still under water.
Here on the beach the erosion was substantial: steps washed away; bulkheads compromised and fields underwater. Yesterday we walked along the beach (carefully negotiating the damaged wooden stile) and waved to owners of beach front properties who were hard at work digging out their drainage pipes, trying to give the sodden lawns some relief. Some of the flooded areas, though, are beyond the scope of one man (or woman) and a shovel. Willow Pond backed up, flooding the yards of many residents; there's little sign that it will drain anytime soon.
The fence in the photo marks the boundary between two properties; it's the first time I've seen it under water for more than a day or two. Some residents blame construction in the area, others the loss of a large portion of the reeds that covered much of the pond. I'm sure the sand and beach stones that were forced up inside the drainage pipes have formed an effective stopper that needs to be uncorked. Whatever the underlying cause and however great the inconvenience it's quite beautiful to walk the strip of sand between the extended pond and Long Island Sound.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Keeping your friends

Interwebs regulars to this blog are aware that we lucked out when we signed up to take over The Cool House. Not only did we get a rock sold house in need of a little TLC and a piece of uniquely modern architectural history but we gained two of the best neighbors we could ever hope to have - the Awesome Designer and the Loyal Blog Reader. The former is the hands-on person in that partnership/ Furniture needs re-arranging? She'll move it fifty different ways until she gets the effect you're looking for (or the one she persuades you is best - trust her, it will be). Bulbs have to be planted? Give her a couple hundred and a dry weekend and the following Spring your garden will be carpeted with pretty flowers. Ask for a fabric swatch and she'll visit half a dozen showrooms and bring you swatches of undreamt deliciousness - and then spend hours pruning them until you have just the right palette to make your room perfect.

On the other hand, the Loyal Blog Reader is more cerebral and prefers to let the pros (like his wife) tackle things. Only rarely does he get roped into the renovation process, preferring to bask in the glory of the finished effect.

Which is why he is probably kicking himself this morning - or dreaming of kicking me maybe - when, after I plied him with wine and salumi, we persuaded him to take a hands-on role in the renovation and move a rug, or three, in and out of the car and up a flight of stairs - in the name of the beautification of The Cool House. To add to his nightmare I made him weigh in on the design discussion of some fifty pieces of fabric to determine the one that would epitomize our uniquely modern design aesthetic. So, I would like to heartily thank the Awesome Designer for all her help and hard work yesterday and to the Loyal Blog Reader I offer both my gratitude and profuse apologies. You can send the chiropractor's bill to me...

Friday, March 26, 2010

After Winter comes

...the clean up!

The March storms moved the beach 50' closer to our house

tearing up the grass verge

wrecking the railings

and undermining this view-blocking very important notice.

Yet signs that Spring has arrived are all around

The crocus I planted out last year survived both squirrels and winter frost

These snowdrops in a neighbor's yard steadfastly pop up every March

The birds are singing, blue skies are back and I saw a pair of ospreys fly over Willow Pond.