Homebodies
Growing pains

Growing pains

I subscribe to several home decorating magazines, partly because of the nature of my work, but mostly because I just love reading them. I’m constantly thinking about my home, and ways I can improve it. In a recent publication, the editor’s letter seemed to sum up my entire home improvement philosophy: “It feels like I’m...
The simple life

The simple life

When I was a college sophomore, my friends and I were sitting around my dorm room one afternoon, talking to our R.A. (Resident Advisor), Connie, about her recent engagement. While we oohed and ahhed over her “rock,” we shared our dreams for our own engagement rings. The fact that none of us were even close...
The last supper

The last supper

I’ve been married for more than 20 years, and during that time, one of my favorite pastimes has been to ask my better half what he would request for his last meal were he going to be executed (oh, what a romantic fool am I!). Not too surprisingly, my husband’s “last meal” response rarely changes:...
The fun house

The fun house

The Build-A-Bear chain of stores first opened in our area when my daughter was young, and she would pester me to take her there each time we passed it in the mall. Finally, while my brother and his daughter were visiting over a holiday weekend, we decided to take the plunge. In case you’re not...
Shutterbug

Shutterbug

If you’re anything like me (and you probably are, if you’re reading a column about decorating and home improvement), then you probably can’t resist critiquing other peoples’ houses. Typically, when I’m driving or walking our dog, I’ll see contractors’ trucks parked in residential driveways, the vehicles’ exteriors advertising everything from interior and exterior painting and...
Wishful thinking

Wishful thinking

Most months, particularly from September through December, I’m thinking about buying clothes, shoes, purses and make up; once the winter holidays end, however, my thoughts turn to home, and I start planning home improvements, both big and small. Truly, the second the clock strikes midnight on December 31, I’m wandering the house (my husband and...
Grill Talk

Grill Talk

I know, I know, it’s September already, but it’s only July as I write this, and I never got a chance to talk about grilling. Sure, some folks we know here in New England use their grills all year long, despite the snow, frost and freezing temperatures of winter. My family, however, does not. Somewhere...
Six of one, half dozen of another

Six of one, half dozen of another

Last fall, I watched a squirrel scamper to its nest with a nut clenched in its mouth, and I assumed the little critter was busy gathering and storing food for the upcoming winter. I couldn’t help but wonder, however, just how many nuts the squirrel planned to collect. I mean, how did he know how...
Yours, Mine & Ours

Yours, Mine & Ours

Like many parents, I often partition my married life into two segments: before kids and after kids. Before kids, I worked full time, and always had an excess of discretionary income. I had bills to pay, of course, but I usually managed to find money for clothes, shoes, costume jewelry and house wares, all items...
Water logged

Water logged

We had just gotten finished reflooring our basement following last spring’s flood, when my husband decided to embark on yet another home improvement project. For years, he’s wanted a pool. Whenever we vacation, one of his greatest pleasures is jumping into the sparkling, turquoise water at whichever hotel it is that we’ve chosen. When we...
Devil Dog

Devil Dog

We’re celebrating a birthday in our family soon, and as I do each February 25th, I’m planning something special for the birthday boy. Usually, I whip up his favorite steak dinner, with some kind of yummy dessert. He can’t have chocolate, so I might pick up a cannoli or a few peanut butter cookies, depending...

A Bun in the Ovens

It was mid November when I got the call. “Hey, Lisa, it’s me. Guess what…they’re here! The twins arrived yesterday afternoon!” my 40-something neighbor Sandra cried joyfully on the other end of the telephone. “Are you kidding?” I replied. “Isn’t it a little early? You weren’t expecting them for a couple more weeks. How do...

Diary of a Mad Housewife, or “When it rains, it pours”

Saturday, March 13, 2010, 3:30 p.m. I drive back from shopping trip with friend. Skies darken, and wind picks up. At 5:15, winds begin to howl, rain starts, and we lose power. Twilight gets stuck in DVD player when power goes out, right when Edward and Bella are about to kiss. Sump pump stops working....