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Posts Tagged ‘La Vie en Rose’

 

La Vien en Rose in early Spring

La Vie en Rose in early Spring

This photo was taken probably in early April before the rose bush’s leaves opened.

OMG what a day! I worked from morning till night doing all kinds of things; AND I’m going to tell you about all of them.  Why? Well, because if you’re fortunate enough to have a family member or friend who has a cottage and you get an invitation to visit sometime this summer, I want you to know that a lot goes into making La Vie en Rose and every other beach house a great place to stay.

Today, Sunday, has been the nicest day so far this Memorial Day Weekend, considered by all to be the unofficial beginning of summer.  Our street was filled with the cars of visitors who parked and went off to the beach.  That’s what we used to do when we would go to the Shore for the weekend.  But those days are long gone…..

I started off the morning shaking out the throw rugs, then I dust-mopped the kitchen and bathroom floor with my Swifter.  Then I washed both floors.  Peter had gone to get me coffee and while he was gone, I cleaned the litter box, put last night’s dishes away and made the bed.

When he returned with my Grandé Americano, I made us a breakfast of bacon, eggs and English muffins.  That was the last time I sat down!

While Peter washed the breakfast dishes, I decided to vacuum the white area rugs which are here and there though out the cottage and are too light weight to be vacuumed with the Hoover, so I use the Dust Buster to pick up all the pesky little specks.  After the third rug, the Dust Buster began to lose power – great!  And the day had just begun.  Downstairs to recharge the vacuum, I decide we must move the kitchen table so I can use the Hoover vacuum on the radiator where dust and cobwebs left over from the winter are probably residing. Moving the table is a two-man job and now that it is halfway out into the working part of the kitchen and the 4 chairs are scattered about, it’s kind of tight in there to maneuver.  My husband agrees he should clean the radiator and I tackle the window. I  took the curtains down and shook them out and noticed how dusty the window sill was and how dirty the window was – a lot of rain and snow this winter!

I’ve been harping about repainting the window sills and frames since last year because they are layered with paint, some of which is cracking, some is chipping and basically they just look bad.  This ginormous task has been carefully avoided by Peter  up to now.  I started cleaning that nasty dirty area between the storm windows and the window sill.  Let me just remind you all that this cottage was built about 1888!  Peter brought out two scrapers and I began trying to smooth out the rough over-painted areas and removing the loose crackled pieces of paint.  I’m just going to skip over the fight we had about scraping versus non-scraping and then sanding because let me assure you, the window frames got scraped and sanded as I knew they would!

The scraping/sanding task also included washing the windows inside and out in the living room. To do so, I went outside on the front porch and  yuk another job to do.  But before I deal with the porch, I vacuumed the living room rug as well as the scrapings and sawdust in each window.  I had to move the BIG TV, God is it heavy, to get to window back there.  By the way, have I ever told you how much I dislike, bordering on hate, triple track storms and screens.  After dripping in WD-40, I finally got one of upper storm windows down so it could be washed inside and out.  Peter went upstairs to do the window frames and while he was up there, I thought he should vacuum the back porch which was covered in debris and leaves.

For 2 days the box of the porch candles has sat in the living room and I was determined to get them out on the glass tables (after I washed the tables naturally).  But first, back to the yukky porch which was really dirty (it was a long winter).  Peter washed the porch which means furniture was all over the place and some of it on the lawn.  Yesterday I filled the porch planter (which is like an outdoor window sill planter) with geraniums and petunias but didn’t attach it to the porch BECASUSE the porch wasn’t clean.  It gets tied in place to the railing spindles BUT they were dirty and spotted with mildew.  So out comes the Tilex and brush and rubber gloves as I tackle spindle after spindle scrubbing the mildew away and discovering that some of them were losing paint and OMG, rotting and will need to be replaced. It’s hard to work on the porch and not notice how black the front of the house is due to the traffic and dirt from the road.  More Tilex and more hosing down.  By this point I’m pretty wet.

I still had a wicker planter to fill with pink petunias, however that piece was in the garage and Peter had to go get it – “Not now”, he said, “Do something else”.  OK, I will transplant the mint.  Yes, I know it grows like a weed and because it does,  some has already sprouted up in areas other than the patch of lawn I gave it last year.  I had bordered that patch of ground with sea shells, some of which did not survive the winter.  So, as most of the other jobs have been going so far today, this one wasn’t going to be any different – Stop, get some sea shells from a stash I have in the shed and replace the broken ones before I start to transplant the errant mint into its rightful home.  Now that I’m on my hands and knees, I can see that the flagstone walkway is overgrown with grass and needs trimming.  I have to do this a couple of times each summer and am always surprised that the damn grass grows on top of the stone but not in the lawn!  At this level, I see a lot of areas that need hand trimming and yes, I did that too!

About this time, I realize that there are about 7 jobs in progress and none completely finished.  The furniture is still all over the kitchen, the porch furniture is scattered and the porch floor is wet and littered with paint chips.  I went back to the front of the house and made the mistake of looking up and saw that the porch ceiling should probably be repainted and certainly it was really dirty, so as I aimed the hose upward, the water came downward and I just got wetter. I asked Peter to go get the wicker planter, PLEASE!

As he filled the bird feeder,  I got the Round-UP out to kill the weeds that were popping up on the patio and between the blocks on the sidewalk.  That done, it was time to put the petunias in the wicker planter.  Uh oh, I don’t have enough dirt!  I dug some up where I plan to plant a basil plant but it really wasn’t enough.  I think there were 12 plants in the flat, however the flat was a plastic molded affair and it was really difficult to get the plants out.  There were a few casualties!  I squished them in together and HOPED that their dirt will blend together and I probably better buy some potting soil soon. I just hope they survive till I return next weekend.

Our neighbors strolled over and she noticed how stick like my hydrangeas were and informed me that I needed to cut back those stems because what I thought were buds were not and I should cut them all back to where there was some green growth near the bottom.  She offered me the use of her new clipper and now even though it was 6:30pm I tackled the two hydrangeas in the front and the one in the back.  Somebody has to tie up all these dead branches for the yard-waste pick-up. 

By the time the kitchen table and chairs were put back, the TV was put back, the porch furniture was put back (only to come off again BECAUSE the porch needs to be repainted) and the two vacuum cleaners emptied and put away, as well as the bottles of Tilex, Windex, Awesome, Simple Green and Fantastik, it was after 7pm.  I was most definitely NOT making dinner tonight.  

After a shower and two Tylenol (for my achey body), we ordered Chinese food!. Tomorrow is another day and after the Parade, I think Peter will repaint the front porch floor….this ole house! 

 

 

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I’ve been experiencing a lot of issues lately uploading photos, previewing posts and actually being able to access my admin bar. I’ve been in touch with the Support staff at WordPress.com and am trying a few things.  I need to see if a photo I upload will show in my preview screen before I publish it.  That’s why today you are seeing our oh so cute 1958 Metropolitan.

In 2010 I posted a photo on Facebook and a couple of days ago my cousin who must have been scrolling thru my photos came across it and hit LIKE.  Well, you know that brings the picture to the forefront again and in the last few day 45 people have LIKED it and we’ve received several comments.  OMG! The photo is not reaching “friends of friends” and has gone far and beyond.

A Perfect Match

A Perfect Match

This isn’t the same photo BUT it is of our adorable little Metropolitan with it’s SOCUTE license plate and here are 10 reasons why we love it.

1. It’s a people-stopper! Parked in front of the cottage, people stop constantly to look and take a picture.

2. When my husband drives it, it’s a chick-magnet.

3. When I drive it, men follow me to where I park it and ask me all kinds of questions and admire it.

4. It’s small enough to fit in most parking spaces

5. We get to belong to a national car club MOCNA-Metropolitan Owners Club of North America

6. We actually get to drive it – it’s not so classic that it only sits in a garage.

7. It gets great mileage and always gets a big smile at the gas station

8. When we drive it, people in other cars or on the sidewalks hoot, holler, toot and give us a thumbs-up sign.

9. Peter sits on the front porch with his martini and greets all the pretty young girls who stop and squeal over how cute the car it is.

10. We get to go to Vintage Car Shows and are the only Metropolitan included!

So Cute at a Vintage Car Show

So Cute at a Vintage Car Show

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We thought it was a good idea, well at least one of us did and the other went along with the plan.  He might say it was out of love, however I suspect he weighed the facts and fears and decided it better to acquiesce rather than risk 72 hours of harangue.

It had been weeks since we were at our cottage on the Jersey shore and I always get a little anxious about leaving my little La Vie En Rose to fend for itself against the winter elements.  Of course I am reminded by someone who shall not be named that I can’t protect it.  I, on the other hand see merit in checking on it and turning the heat up and of course putting out peanuts, corn and birdseed for our dependents.  I don’t know where or how they eat when we’re not around  but apparently they do.

So I had it in my mind to go this weekend because I wanted to grocery shop, pick up some prescriptions, check on the house and bring back the bins that the Christmas decorations go in.   All sounded extremely logical to me.  But then I had a real estate appointment that ran a little late AND I got the brilliant idea that we might pack up all the decorations into shopping bags and that way it would be a one way trip and not back and forth.  We would leave in the morning.

As we began packing up the reindeer, the bows, the ornaments, penguins and angels, Peter thought we should listen to the weather report.  It was SCARY!  I knew as the minutes ticked by that there was no way that boy was leaving in the morning after a possible 6″ snowfall.  Bad enough we were parked in the ideal spot, right in front of the building.  So I convinced him that we should leave NOW – finish up the packing, grab the cats and go.  We did just that!!

Ever so quickly we threw the decorations into multiple shopping bags, took the milk/orange juice/cat food essentials we needed to make it through the night and possibly the next day and hustled into the car.  We’re just about to pull away when my phone rings and that reminds Peter that he does not have his phone!  Back upstairs.

We think we’re going to beat the storm but ha, ha, ha….hubris!  The storm gods were waiting for us just as we passed the Newark airport.  No nice big soft flakes coming down that usually herald the beginning of a heavy snowfall – NO we are hit square in the face with driving snow smacking the windshield and virtually creating a white-out! I’m a nervous passenger when Peter is driving so right about now, I’m on high alert!  While I’m watching the road and trying to keep track of the white lines which have disappeared, I’m also texting my sister-in-law, Juanita who is still in Florida and standing under a star-lit sky.  AND she’s now praying for our safe arrival!

As we cautiously proceeded and others flew past us recklessly, I had serious doubts about my insistence to go and was feeling guiltier by the minute.  Thankfully as we got closer to the shore, it actually lightened up a bit and the next hurdle would be parking the car.  Turns out that our side of Broadway is the legal side to park during a snow emergency, so I figured everybody on the north side of the road would already be parked on our side and I could envision trekking over snow banks to carry the cats into the cottage in the dark.  

Luck be the lady!  The spot in front of our house was empty so we pulled right in.  I rushed in to turn the heat up, the lights on and start the unpacking process.  It was good to be back in our little cottage, I turned the candles on (in the windows) and went to the shed to gather the shovels and move them close to the back door.  I also dug out the ice melt and wondered just how bad it was going to get.  The snow just kept falling and falling.  

I like being in my cottage during a snow storm, somehow it doesn’t hold the same charm for my city-born-and-bred-apartment-dwelling husband.  I’m sure he was thinking of the snow shoveling that would have to be done, me too!  Since we didn’t really have any food here, we called in an order to the local Italian restaurant and Pete went to pick it up. I called Juanita and told her we were safe and sound albeit a bit chilled.

Dinner and a movie and before we knew it, it was really late and we tucked ourselves in upstairs with an extra quilt (so country-like).  However, there was a movie on TV that caught our attention and it wasn’t lights out till 3:30am!  At about 2:00am I went downstairs to look at the backyard which now had drifts going this way and that!  Hello Hercules!

Hercules

Hercules

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I always maintain that La Vie en Rose is in work in progress but perhaps this confection of a cottage is almost done since we both swear we certainly can’t add or put another thing into the house.   Murray was here on Sunday, he opted to come even though the weather was bad and he hadn’t seen Stacey and Matt who had arrived on Saturday, in a long time.

Murray took some great little snippet photos of what I refer to as Life in Pink;

The front porch is pinker than ever! My friend Jane, who owns the Lilligaard Hotel has been doing some redecorating and I’ve been the lucky recipient of some cast-offs!  The new pink wooden rocker  as well as some beautiful pink and turquoise floral cushions have definitely enhanced the front porch.

Ocean Grove, La Vie en Rose

Pinking Up the Porch

Finally my birthday present to myself bike was put together by my brother-in-law, Matt.

Schwinn bike, pink and white petunias, Ocean Grove

My Birthday Bike

The hydrangeas in the front yard are in full bloom and gorgeous.

pink and purple hydrangeas, Ocean Grove

Pink and Purple Hydrangeas

Squirrels are the official mascots at La Vie en Rose.  Peter feeds them all year round.  On the rare occasion when a live squirrel isn’t on the porch looking for a hand-out, we always have our ornamental friend.

statuary

Our Mascot

And here is the real live version chomping on a treat from Peter.

ocean grove, Peter Press

Yum yum! A peanut

Looking at So Cute from the front porch.

Nash Metropolitan, American Flag, Ocean Grove

A View From My Porch

All the floral beauty isn’t just in the front of the cottage.  This year I put a huge planter of pink and white petunias in a white wicker planter next to the shed.

wicker planter

Pink and White Petunias

By the way, squirrels aren’t the only wildlife that get fed on a regular basis.  The birds have feeders in the backyard a couple of Blue Jays show up from time to time for a peanut treat also.  Bold and brazen, they are not fazed by humans, at least not when there’s a peanut in sight.

Blue Jay, Fourth of July

In Pursuit of a Peanut

All photos by Murray Head

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Yay late last night the plow came up our side of Broadway, a sign that perhaps life outside of these four walls could start again.  I heard the truck and plow make a least two more passes.  I was hoping that the plow had not pushed a new wall of snow up against the car.  I mean let’s not forget that this cleared parking space cost me $ 40.

We had ventured out yesterday in hopes of putting Peter on the train back to NYC and his version of civilization.  Since the majority of my readers don’t have a sense of the roads and towns around us, I can’t relate the horror story of that adventure.  Let me just say that we left at 1:15pm and got home again at 4:15pm AND Peter never got near the train station!!! State highways remained un-plowed and abandoned cars littered whatever pathway we tried to take.  AND to add to the stress of this total misadventure, we were in an accident.   Yup, an ambulance side-swiped our car and we were STOPPED on the side of the road.  Well that all happened in Day 3 and this is supposed to be about Day 4.

Today Peter decided to dig a path to the shed.  Why? Well it wasn’t to retrieve the 50 lbs of salt he had stashed in there, and it wasn’t to get the folding shovel that is supposed to be in the car at this time of the year but for some irresponsible reason was still in the shed!!  NO, he wanted to get at the bird seed so he could at least toss some seed on the snow so that our little feathered friends and our furry little squirrels would have some sustenance!  Digging his way to the bird feeder would be another day – the drifts are just too high.

Ocean GRove, La Vie en Rose, shed, blizzard, snow removal

Going to the Birds!

Ocean Grove, bird seed, La Vie en Rose, bird feeder, blizzard

A Banquet for the Birds

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Last night I listened to  the wind howling and Peter complaining about the wind, the snow and life in general lol! The lamp on the porch was swinging precariously and it was too cold and too windy to go out and turn it off and besides our real concern was that it fall over and break and live electricity hit wet snow so we just unplugged it.  And the wind howled some more.  By the time I went to bed I could see a huge drift forming along the sidewalk on the side of the house and another sweeping upwards to the shed.  I thought I would open the back door and take a photo BUT the door would not open-totally blocked with snow drifts.  Comforting thought as I went to bed knowing that in case of emergency we couldn’t get out the back door.   Actually the front door was blocked too but with repeated pushing, we could get it open and thank God, we had the presence of mind to put the snow shovels on the front porch.  AND thank me that I insisted we put the salt in the house and not outside like someone else wanted to.

This is what we woke up to this Monday morning:

 

Ocean Grove, La Vie en Rose, Monday after the storm, December 27th

Monday Front Porch Drifts 9:30am

 

Ocean Grove shed, drifts up to the door, Monday, December 27

Monday Drifts Blocking the Shed

 

bird feeder, snow drifts,December 27th

Monday Backyard Bird Feeder 9:30am

 

Monday December 27th, car buried, La Vie en Rose Ocean Grove

Monday morning 9:30am

Let the shoveling begin!!!

 

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Ocean Grove Victorian cottage, summer garden, hydrangeas, window box, petunias

La Vie en Rose

This photo speaks volumes!

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