Finally Some Payoff

We bought a new house about a month ago. Anyone who knows us already knows this.

In the sale of our old house and purchase of this new one, there have been some roadblocks, some disappointments and some rude awakenings. I accept that this is undoubtedly true in any such transaction, but it hit me rather hard that what we thought was our dream home has turned out to have some rather substantial flaws, requiring repairs and compromises.

We've been able to have a few people over since moving in, but finally this weekend -- some payoff. We hosted two families for Memorial Day. The weather was glorious. We grilled various meats (as one does), hung out in the yard and the kids all splashed in the pool. The menfolks played some pool and the kids played Xbox. We all had a terrific time. The other families had fun, too.

Finally, the house has paid off -- just what we thought we were buying -- a great place to hang out with friends, entertain everyone, have a relaxing and wonderful time together. This is what we wanted.

And, despite its flaws, despite the extra money we're spending -- this house is going to be wonderful after all.


Spring has Sprung

In fact, based on how stuffy and humid our bedroom has been the last few nights ... we may be into early summer before we know it!

Yesterday I counted ten different kinds of flowers blooming in the new yard. I don't even know what they all are.

At the very least, I have lilacs, some later-blooming dogwood, two different varieties of columbine, irises, wisteria, blue-eyed grass,* something that may or may not be a viburnum,** clematis, vinca and one or two others that I don't even have good enough pictures of to try to look up.

I love that the yard has a series of perennials with staggered blooming seasons. We should have plenty of flowers throughout the summer.

The front yard is the land of annuals, however. Yesterday I got just what I wanted for Mother's Day -- the family planted all the impatiens and begonias I bought on Saturday. Sidewalks and driveway are lined. Window boxes are planted (except for a few that need some repair work). Drip lines are operational. Looks like it's going to be a gorgeously floral summer!

I only hope some of the flowers turn out to be appropriate for cutting and bringing into the house.

*I had to look that one up.
** This one, too, but much less successfully.


Weekend in Atlantic City

Let me splain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up.

On Sunday and Monday I competed with my team, Mac N Cheese, in the World Tavern Trivia National Championships in Atlantic City. Love and hugs to Bryan Irrera, Paul "Pab" Sungenis and Michelle Andrews.

We entered the competition ranked 13th in the nation and wound up coming in 11th in the championships. We were as high as 4th for awhile, but kind of tanked in the last two rounds. Ah, well.

Some highlights of this much-needed vacation include:

Walking the Boardwalk dressed in full-on historically accurate pirate regalia
Singing "It's a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood" in front of a casino ballroom full of people
Meeting Stephen of the team "Where the F%#@ is Ted?"
Possessing several answers  for my team -- felt like I held up my end of the bargain
The gorgeous ocean view from our 24th floor room
Winning $65+ on the Avatar slot machine game (pretty good return for a fifty-cent game)

Not so much a highlight, but certainly memorable is the apparent presence of an (invisible to me) "Please Hit On Me, Drunk Men" sign I must have been wearing.

A good time all around, and I'm already looking forward to next year's event.