Summer Fun/ Thursday Night in the Suburbs

This morning, Chris had the genius idea of going to the Italian Feast in Verplank.  It goes on for a few nights in July and is amazing in that it packs a lot into a little teeny fair. We didn’t go last summer, but we went in 2012 —   this year, I was smart enough to not win 5 goldfish (short version:  that did not go well) and we wisely spent our money on plastic cups of wine and zeppolis.  It was a lovely summer night in the suburbs and though  I have heartburn as I type this, it was totally worth it.

Did you know about Our Lady of Mount Carmel?  I didn’t, but I love that there is a fair for her right near my house!  Any excuse to have a plastic cup of wine and fried things on a beautiful summer night is fine by me.

People Who Visit Us: Post #1/ PETER

As previously threatened, I’m starting a new series called People Who Visit Us.  If you’re wondering, YES I am kicking myself for not starting this ages ago!  So that means all the people who have been visiting us since we moved are just gonna have to come back and hang out with us again.  We promise not to make you work too much!!

Each PWVU subject will have to answer the same few questions.  I reserve the right to comment.  I mean, it’s my blog, right?

Hi, Peter!


How do you know the Larsens?  Chinatown gang bang club (since first gang bang)

Describe yourself in three words:  Gang bang enthusiast

(editorial note:  we met at Fordham)

What’s your favorite book?   Soap Opera Digest

What did you eat at the Larsens’?  Really good fajitas (why I’m moving to Peekskill)

(editorial note:  Chris & I also drank margaritas)

Did you win at cornhole? I lost to Chris once in a shut out and beat you because you defaulted by retiring from the match (and I had a significant lead).  In other words, you abandoned my Cornhole just as I was starting to feel good about it.

Did you leave sober, tipsy or shitcanned?  (or did you sleep over) —   Sober.  Get it in writing while you can.

Where are you visiting next?  Cape Cod:  Falmouth, MA


The Larsens’ Turn:
Peter is the best!  He is mega-talented, funny, honest and a true friend.  He is one of those friends where years can pass with a facebook check in here & there, and then you hang out and it’s like no time has passed.  I think we will be friends with Peter forever.



If you like watching paint dry …

Then you are going to LOVE my new series:  Good God What Have I Done:  The Front Porch Edition.  It really has everything  — it’s going to be a loooong journey-type tale (like how they say all good stories are road trips?), it’s got humor, it’s got drama, you are really rooting for the protagonists and none of us have any idea how it will end.

Yup.  We started scraping the paint off the front porch.

I’m really, truly having a “what have I done” moment with this one.  It might never end.


We started this insanity last weekend.  I would say this current before & “after” peek represents about 12 hours of work and it’s maybe a quarter scraped and we haven’t even talked about paint, stain, taking the aluminum siding off the ceiling or repairing the broken shingles.

Oh!  But speaking of broken shingles … I was scraping paint on Sunday, enjoying The Glenn Jones Radio Programme, vacillating wildly between “oh, this is such nice, relaxing, rewarding work” and “this will never end.  Never”  when I heard someone saying, “Excuse me!” at the porch railing.  So I met a neighbor, who introduced herself, said she lives around the corner and she has a box of cedar shingles she can’t use that are the same shape as our front porch, and could we use them?  I might have screamed a little and I know I said, “My husband is going to freak out!”  So she came back later with some shingles to try.  They are a little smaller than the ones on the front of the porch (which led Chris on a rant about how everything in this house is in a size they don’t make any more!  Which is actually a good rant, and I will have him guest-blog and tell you his thoughts on the matter) BUT they are beautiful and they will be perfect for repairs.  Or we will move good ones from the back to the front and put smaller ones in the back.  In any case, they are going to come in handy and HOW  NICE IS THAT that a person would stop and say they have extra of something and they would like to give it to you.  Another for the Things You Don’t See in the City series.  Oh – -I’m also all about the series right now.  I think it will give me structure.

So please stay tuned for “People Who Visit Us/ A Series,” which will debut this week. In the mean time, please enjoy this slide show.  I hope to some day find this funny.


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Hudson Hop & Harvest

Last evening, Chris and I took a stroll down to the river to check out the Hudson Hop & Harvest.  Unlike last year (the festival’s first year, which was held in a too-small space and had some … let’s say “issues.”  And by “issues I mean an overcomplicated ticket system and a very small amount of overused port-0-potties.  EW.)  we thought this year’s festival was FANTASTIC!  Super well-run, a great space on the riverfront, well-staffed, well laid-out and great music.  We especially liked Saints of Valory, an Austin band that played a set of catchy, fun pop and seemed ready for prime time.  Like, I could see them on SNL or Letterman tomorrow.  And Mary C and the Stellars were pretty great, too.  We had a couple great local beers and heard some great music!  Looking forward to the 3rd Annual already ….


Vacation project #3 completed! Have fun with The Apples


Pictured is my cute mom having a blast at the Treat Station, acting as conductor of various train lines.

You may notice she glows from her green tea facial at Skinchantment in Peekskill! We also had lunch with my dad and Chris at Gleasons — yum.  A fun Friday in Peekskill!

Goodbye, Hilltop Farms


I’m sad to report that the amazing Hilltop Farms will be closing for good this weekend.  Not only is the property itself beautiful, but their plants are, by far, the best in the area and the store inside is full of interesting gift-y items like pretty soaps, hand-made jewelry and cute housewares.  Last summer, Chris from Hilltop planned and planted our front garden area, and put in five beautiful Leyland Cypress trees in our backyard.  We have shopped there many times since we moved to the area and are really sad to see it go.  To me, it’s an example of why it’s important to shop local and support businesses that make a difference in your neighborhood.  In this box-store, strip mall, soul-free Wal-Mart-Applebee’s-kinda world, unique stores keep things interesting, and I wish that the people who own them could all be rewarded with long, lucrative careers.  I hope the Hilltop fellas emerge with something new and exciting soon.