the end of cold feet?

Banjo Man’s cold feet take up a lot of time in our little world.

Over the years I’ve bought him electric heating pads, an under-desk electric foot warmer, a hot water bottle shaped like a boa constrictor, dozens of wool socks.

Nothing works for long.  He’s back in front of one of the gas fireplaces, holding his bare feet as close to the heat as possible without burning his toes off.

Last week he came to me asking, “I need new slippers.  Can you find some for me online?”

Of course I could.  I can find anything online.  It’s my other super power (spoiling little children being the other one).  I googled for slipper reviews and found these:

“The coziest indoor shoes money can buy.” – Men’s Journal

Hailing from Denmark — a country that knows a thing or two about how to stay cozy when it’s cold outside — Glerups’ slip-on boots, shoes and slippers are a house favorite here at HBHQ, and one of our favorite gifts to give friends and family. Each pair is handcrafted from toasty 100% pure, natural wool, which naturally wicks moisture from your feet so they’re always warm and dry. We love slipping into these bad boys and think you will too.


  • Made from toasty 100% pure, natural wool
  • Felted wool uppers wick moisture for dry, comfortable feet
  • Double layer felted wool insole for double the softness and comfort
  • Easy-on, easy-off coziness
  • Flexible, lightweight and slip-resistant calfskin sole
  • Handmade from start to finish



Banjo Man balked at the price, but I convinced him that he would save money on propane and electricity if his feet were kept warm by these slippers.

And you know what?  It’s working!!!  He can’t believe it.  I can’t believe it.  Now granted, we have not entered the depths of winter here in the northeast, but it has been in the 30’s and damp and windy and miserable at times.  We have high hopes for continued warm toes.

If you’re battling your own “cold feet” issues, check out this link:


Posted in rhode island, shopping | 1 Comment

23 days away


Bring on the turkey!

Thanksgiving isn’t 23 days away, but the arrival of Son #1, Amber and the Funny Grandson is.  They have a week off and are flying in to spend it with us.

We are so excited.

This will be the first Thanksgiving since 1990 that my three kids have been together at home.  Will is flying in for the long holiday weekend to make that happen.


Thanksgiving, 2017.

Thanksgiving is easy.  Mayme brings appetizers and Ginny bakes all the desserts.  I just have to figure out the timing of the turkey and make room in the oven for the baking of all of the casseroles.  Setting the tables is the fun part and I plan to iron the tablecloths while watching football next Saturday.

But in 23 days we’ll pick up the kids at the airport and have some fun days doing touristy stuff.  So I am making meals now and freezing them for those evening meals after busy days of fun.  I try to do something every day.  Yesterday was pumpkin bread.  Today is chicken enchiladas.  Last week?  Groceries, groceries, groceries.  Meatballs.  Shepherd’s pie.

Banjo Man is attempting to finish his man cave kitchenette.  New flooring will be installed in that area.  An electrician is coming to wire a plug for the stove.  The basement stairs are on schedule to be carpeted.

It is all very exciting.

The Funny Grandson is hoping for snow (Party Grandma is not).  The little Texan has visions of something like this:


He is the only one.





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This is a wild show!  Banjo Man and I just finished season 1.  We’d started it in the summer of 2017, but after three episodes I decided it was too intense.  Banjo Man watched the whole thing, though.  And now season 2 is available, so Banjo Man begged me to finish watching the previous season so we could watch the new one together.

According to IDMB:  Created by Bill Dubuque (“The Accountant,” “The Judge”), this drama series stars Jason Bateman as Marty Byrde, a financial planner who relocates his family from Chicago to a summer resort community in the Ozarks. With wife Wendy and their two kids in tow, Marty is on the move after a money-laundering scheme goes wrong, forcing him to pay off a substantial debt to a Mexican drug lord in order to keep his family safe. While the Byrdes’ fate hangs in the balance, the dire circumstances force the fractured family to reconnect.

The pace is certainly fast, the dialogue outstanding and natural and smart.  Bad guys are everywhere.  Jason Bateman and Laura Linney are brilliant.  It reminds me of Game of Thrones at times (without all the kinky sex and the dragons, of course).

We’ll start season 2 as soon as I brace myself for the emotional roller coaster of watching the Byrde family try to survive in a world filled with villains.

In the meantime, I’ll head over to HGTV for some episodes of “Living Alaska”.



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happy birthday to will


He’s right where he wants to be in July.


Hard at work at Terry Black’s BBQ in Austin.

Did you know that Will is in a video that has over 26 million hits????

Yes, 26 MILLION.  Check it out.  He appears at about the 1:00 minute mark.

Happy Birthday, Will!  I hope your day is filled with good friends & family, great food and some terrific music, too!

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at last, thank God


Coach Frost and the Tunnel Walk, as seen on Banjo Man’s Big TV.

Light the fireworks!  Cue the band!  Beat the drums and shout Hallelujah!

The Cornhuskers won a game Saturday night.  A massive sigh of relief was heard o’er the land.

It was a stressful game.  Aren’t they all?  We had to leave during the third quarter (at a time when things had started to look bleak for our team), as one of Banjo Man’s clients was playing at a local restaurant.  We met Barb & Rod for dinner (hadn’t seen them since last May!), so I enjoyed a hot lobster roll and some great guitar-playing at the same time I got to hear about their recent trip to Scotland.  Win-win-win.

When we got home, Banjo Man didn’t want to know how the game ended, so he waited downstairs while I turned on the tv and scrolled through the taping of the game to the spot where we had left off.  Then he settled himself on the couch to watch the last of the third quarter and the entire fourth quarter.  Oh, the stress!

I couldn’t stand the suspense, so I sneaked a peek at my phone to find the final score:  Huskers 53, Minnesota 28.

It has been a tough season.  Our new coach has had his hands full changing the culture of Husker football and the players have had varying degrees of success learning to do things “the right way”, as their Coach says.  And “the right way” is not just on the football field, but “in life”.

We know it’s going to take a few years for our team to become competitive again, but Saturday’s win sure felt good.  The kids and the coaches definitely deserved it.








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a star is born

a star is born

Last week my daughter and I headed to the movies for some “girl time”.  This was the movie of choice for the afternoon (we would head to dinner after the show), because who doesn’t love Bradley Cooper or Lady Gaga?

We loved it.  Lady Gaga can act!  And when she started singing I had goosebumps run down my spine.  What a voice!

While I adored Brad’s blue eyes, his mumbling his lines at times was frustrating.  Unfortunately he seemed to be channeling Kris Kristofferson (whose music I have loved for 50 years) with his sexy, growling voice.  I’m sure all that country-boy-western-cowboy murmuring is pretty darn hot when a good-looking musician is rubbing his beard on your cheek, but those of us in the audience would like to hear the exact words, thank you.

It’s a sad movie, of course.  Brad’s character had demons no one could fix.  I thought his solution, while he thought he was being noble, was just plain mean.

I want to see the Kristofferson/Streisand version of the movie again.  Maybe we need another “girls night” on the couch!



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pumpkins, friends and more


Barb and Kris, still together 54 years later.

Yes, we are sitting on pumpkins and having a conversation.  That’s what old friends do, especially when one of them has a pumpkin patch.

I absolutely love spending time with this woman.  Can you tell?


Your brain on drugs.


All the beautiful shapes and sizes and colors.

Meanwhile, back at home, I settled for plastic…


and velvet.



Not as good as the real thing, though.  If I didn’t travel so much, I think I’d have my very own pumpkin patch, just so I could admire them.


If Banjo Man wasn’t on the couch watching the Patriots play, I think I’d beg him to go with me to the local farm to see the pumpkins and take pictures.  Instead I’ll go stir the sausage potato soup and curl up on the couch with a good book.

Oh, yes, and I’m going to make pumpkin bread!



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a few more pictures from austin


Austin skyline from the Long Center.


Saturday night date with my oldest son, Ben, who oh-so-graciously went to this wonderful concert with me.


I walked to Torchy’s for lunch and people-watching several times.  Love those tacos!


And the “Early Birthday Party” begins…


I finished the baby quilt, but I forgot to take a picture of the finished quilt, darn it.  

And at the Austin airport’s new gift shop I saw these.  Hilarious!  I didn’t have room in my bag for any of them, unfortunately.



Which one is your favorite?


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root beer and pancakes


It’s good to be a grandmother, especially when my daughter-in-law says, “He can eat anything he wants!” and believes that grandmothers should be allowed to spoil their grandsons.

I’m very good at that.  It’s one of my super powers.

So on my last day in town, the Funny Grandson (who didn’t have school) arrived at the condo to spend the day with me.  He requested blueberry pancakes for breakfast, so we walked up the street to the Magnolia Cafe for breakfast.


It is the Funny Grandson’s favorite place in Austin.  He loved it when he was a baby and he loves it now.

Breakfast was consumed at a relaxing pace.  He explained he was happy he didn’t have a younger sister after all and listed the reasons.  We discussed Captain America.  And Thor.  And Halloween.

Then we strolled down South Congress for a while.  We stopped at the new hotel and discovered the fountain in a hidden patio.  We went to the bank (Grandma needed cash) and snagged a free lollipop.  We checked out the fire station and admired a few dogs strutting beside their owners.  Then we returned to the condo so he could build his birthday Lego sets.

Later that afternoon we headed back to the Magnolia for root beer floats.  Tradition!  And he ordered another blueberry pancake.  Just because he could.

After his father arrived and we all had dinner, it was time to say goodbye.  I reminded the little guy that I would see him next month when he comes to Rhode Island for Thanksgiving, but that didn’t seem to console him very much.

It didn’t help me much either, come to think of it.



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texas quilters and a september show

This was how I spent my first Saturday in Austin while Will was at work across the street.  The Palmer Events Center is right across from  Terry Black’s BBQ and Will’s smoking “pits”.  After a morning of heavy rains and thunder, I took a cab to the quilt show.


Texans have a long quilting history.  It must be part of their DNA.


Love the colors.  I’d like to make one of these.  I made something similar for son Tony years ago and it was quite a challenging process.


A closer look at the quilting.  So perfect.


She took her grandmother’s unfinished quilt top and quilted it.


Wouldn’t this be a beautiful rug?


I’d like to make this, but in different colors.  Maybe in pastels or blues for a baby quilt?


Wine bottles!


Elk.  The precision of the flying geese borders was beyond belief.


Rare and beautiful hand-quilting on a vintage quilt.


Oh my goodness.

I’ve never entered a quilt in a show, and probably never will.  I make too many mistakes when I’m quilting and worrying about them would take away the enjoyment of sewing.  I stitch for relaxation, for fun, for the happy feeling I get when giving quilts away.  So I am in total awe of those talented quilters who create perfection.  And then let all of us study, enjoy and be inspired by their work.

What a treat to be in Austin for the show.




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