Tuesday, November 29, 2011

New storm shutters

While we aren't threatened by huge sea waves 'cos we are located at the pretty sheltered Sippican Harbor....the very open sea frontage location does mean that we are quite exposed to strong winds & storms like the Nor'easters and Hurricanes.
My landlord used to board up all the windows with wooden planks prior to any major storms but he's having problems climbing the tall ladder while carrying the heavy plywoods now. So he decided to put in storm shutters that can be easily lowered and raised by a push of the button. I heard these shutters don't cost cheap. It's really nice how he is always on top of things to improve the house to make it more comfortable and safe for his tenants. He's a great landlord I'll say.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thanksgiving and my Black Friday haul!

We were supposed to spend Thanksgiving with TP but unfortunately, she was sick. However, she had already prepared the whole turkey and sides for us so we popped by her place to pick up the food. That poor dear was looking kinda green in the face. I hope she feels better soon. TP had made turkey, stuffing, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, cream onions and butternut squash. It was a great spread.....the only thing missing was HER :(  Anyway, we had promised that we are gonna have her over for dinner once she gets better to make up for her absence on Thanksgiving.

RG and I had a tad too much to eat and drink on that day and we decided to head to bed early as our heads were spinning. We weren't planning to join the Black Friday midnight queues anyway. However, the day after Thanksgiving, we hit the malls at Wareham Crossing before noon to check out the deals. The malls were relatively crowded compared to regular days but hardly a mob scene. Although we missed the doorbuster deals....we still managed to lay our hands on some great buys like the following.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Yo what's up?!

I'm almost ashamed to say this....but I finally passed the driving test after my third attempt! Most people would've gotten their driving licences in their late teens or early twenties but I'm only getting mine when I'm almost 40. When we were living in Singapore, I saw no need to drive at all.....that combined with my innate fear of driving/being in a moving vehicle....I had never attempted to learn to drive for the last 30ish years of my life. In the United States however, not knowing how to drive is like being disabled. So getting my driver's licence is like obtaining my freedom - the freedom to do whatever I want and go wherever I please. It may still take awhile before I'm totally comfortable driving myself but now that I have the little piece of plastic tucked safely in my wallet....I think it's a darn good start.

Apart from that piece of good news, this month also saw the reunion of old friends. An old friend of mine (classmate from secondary school) and his lovely family came to visit us. My friend is currently doing a graduate course at MIT and he's now living in Boston which is only about an hour's drive from us. It's always nice to have friends nearby. I made laksa and satay for lunch 'cos I thought they might be missing some SG food.

I don't know if I had blogged about this before but one of my mosT moST MOST favorite places to shop is TJMaxx (or Marshalls). I buy all sorts of stuffs from there and this month, I bought quite a lot of gourmet spices, sauces and oils. The prices are just too good to resist. For example, the white truffle oil is like $2-ish a bottle - how great is that! I also got myself the Misto olive oil sprayer....it works great. I need only to give it a few squirts and the salads would get nicely coated with minimum amount of oil. One trick that I've learnt to prevent the nozzle from clogging is to unscrew the cap to release the air pressure after each use.

Last week....we were crossing the Bourne Bridge to get onto the Cape when we witnessed this beautiful sunset over the Cape Cod Canal and Trowbridge. This time of the year, the sunsets are just amazing!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Stretching the donation $

Yesterday, while we were at Shaw's doing our grocery shopping, RG noticed that they were having a thanksgiving food drive and suggested that we should make a small contribution. We saw that the Progresso soups were on sale at 4 for $5 (regular price is $2.45 per can). There's also an instant $5 savings if you were to purchase 10 General Mills items. So we bought 12 cans of soups for the food drive for $10 ($5 x 3 = $15 - $5 = $10).

Now let's see how we've stretched the donation $:

$10 would normally only get us 4 cans of soup at the regular price of $2.45/can.

With the sale + special savings, we managed to buy an extra 8 cans of soup, making it a total of 12 cans of soup for the Salvation Army food drive.

Shaw's made a sale of $15.  As you all know, Shaw's ain't doing too well and there have been news of the chain closing down and people losing their jobs. It is our favorite supermarket and we try to support it as much as we can.

In addition, our soup purchase earned us 40 box-tops for Education which works out to be a $4 donation towards our local elementary school.

So the $10 donation would actually benefit Salvation Army, our local elementary school as well as Shaw's. I'd say that's a win-win-win situation!

I'm currently trying to learn more about (extreme) couponing. Will see if there are other food products that we can buy at very good values to donate to the various food drives.

If you know of any good buys and coupons, do share them with me!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

September and October flew past...just like that!

This post is gonna be my report card for the months of September and October. Do pardon my tardiness with my blog updates.....what can I say, I've been a busy gal in fall - my most favorite season of all.
We celebrated the beginning of fall with the Bourne Scallop Festival. This was our third year attending the festival. This year, we brought along a good friend T with us 'cos she mentioned that she had never been to the festival all these years. We had a blast...everyone was enjoying their scallop/chicken meals and jamming to the cool music by the live bands.

See how big and plump the scallops were!
In the same weekend, we also attended the Working Waterfront Festival in New Bedford. It was our first time attending the celebrations and we really enjoyed the harbor tour on a small vessel, the music performances, environmental exhibits, cooking demonstrations and many more activities.
Here's a fisherman showing off his catch to us as our boat passed by his fishing vessel.
And it was the very first time that I saw the hurricane barrier in such close proximity. According to the guide, the barrier is over 9000-ft long and 20-ft above median sea level and it's the largest stone structure on the east coast.
Me standing on the pier against the backdrop of all the fishing vessels.
With the harvest season, many farm stands and farmers' markets had sprung up.

Early October, our family came for a short visit! They stayed with us for a few days and we showed them around Massachusetts. We also did lots of shopping! Then we drove down to Newport (RI) and Princeton (NJ) together. It was a wonderful time catching up with them and us having fun together as a family. We took many photos in all the places that we had visited.
This was at the Princeton War Memorial.

In Princeton University.
On our back deck.
At the Plymouth harbor, the Mayflower in the distant background.
We also did a tour of the cranberry bog. Here's me scooping up some floating cranberries with my hand.
The huge truckload of cranberries behind them!
RG brought them on a tour of his campus.
Wanting to get to know his students on a more personal level outside of college, he invited all of his students, in small groups, over to our place for dinner on Tuesdays and Thursdays - hence I've termed the little gatherings "Tuesdays/Thursdays with RG". While it was a lot of work, preparing and cooking dinner for the kids....it was all worth it 'cos the informal interactions were loads of fun and we got to know the kids better/the kids got to know RG better outside of class. Here are a couple of the photos that we took.

RG and I had our own little Deepavali celebration on the 26 Oct. We had rendang chicken, curried vegetables with basmati rice.

Although I didn't have time to do any elaborate fall and Halloween decorations this year....I still managed to throw together a few small ones.
I made these little creepy faces using my old nescafe jars and I bought little battery-operated lights to put in them such that they'd glow in the dark of the night.

And what's Halloween without candies??!! Actually the kids don't come to our house for trick-or-treat now that we are so far from the village center.....all these candies were meant for RG's students. This year, we also got some super yummy Lindt truffles from the newly opened Lindt outlet at Wareham Crossing apart from the regular stuffs that we'd buy at Target. I thought we over-bought but RG managed to give away everything! I guess even big kids in their late-teens and early 20s couldn't resist chocolates :)
We joined in the Halloween Parade in Groton (MA). Those 2 BLUE guys were hilarious as they were doing all sorts of funny stunts.
And we did a foliage roadtrip like we do every year - this time, we visited Worcester (MA) and Lowell (MA). In Lowell, we visited the Boott Cotton Mills museum. Being a big fan of fabrics of all sorts, I thoroughly enjoyed watching/hearing the looms and seeing how cotton fabrics are weaved. Of course, I couldn't leave the museum without buying a few yards of the cotton fabrics that had been weaved at the museum!

Although this year's fall foliage ain't as spectacular as the previous years', we still managed to find some beautiful foliage spots.
In Worcester, we visited the Ecotarium during the Great Pumpkin Fest. There, we saw like a few thousands carved pumpkins by school kids. That's me being silly.
Our nephew also visited us during his 1-week fall break. With him, we visited Provincetown on Cape Cod (MA) as well as Cambridge (MA).

Here's one of uncle and nephew enjoying their burgers and irish coffees at Kinsale Inn in Mattapoisett (MA)! In case you are wondering, the giant spiderweb was part of the inn's Halloween decorations.

It was a lovely sunny day (but cold) when we visited P-Town on the Cape.

We ate at Lobster Pot in P-town.....here's me tackling the steamed lobster. Darn it was hard to eat!

On the last day of A's visit, we checked out the 2 ivy-leagues in Boston - Harvard and MIT.

3 of RG's students were involved in a school's drama production and they invited us to attend. The students performed well and it was a great way to spend Saturday night.

Here are photos of RG with his students - can see that he's so proud of them! :)
Oh....we had our first Nor-easter in late October. Our area fared quite well actually....we didn't get much snow, it was mainly just wild winds and heavy rain. And thank god we didn't lose power like the hundreds thousands of homes all over New England as well as in NJ, NY and RI. However, we did lose a small tree in the storm.
I'm not sure why....but the sunrises and sunsets look particularly amazing in fall.
I love how the windows frame the outside view as if they are pieces of art canvas....and the art forms and colors change every second of the day. Well, you can have hanging wall art....or you can just have windows! I can't be more thankful for the wonderful views. If we have to leave this place one day, I know I will miss it very very much.

Can't believe how the 2 months had just gone by in a flash. Soon, it'll be Thanksgiving and Christmas....and another year would've come to an end. I must say it has been a great year thus far!