October 2012 - Lynn Fern

Escaping untouched!

We made it through Superstorm Sandy without damage & we managed to keep power at our current residence.  We lost power at the Cornwall house, but pretty much the entire area of Cornwall lost power. My brother in law had one of their big trees come down in their backyard.  Luckily it fell to the side of the house just missing their roof, patio, sun porch & on the other side the outdoor fireplace.   
Cornwall always seems to get the wrath of the storms.  They lost power for days during Irene as well hence why we have a generator for our house there.  We hung out at my husband’s parents’ house for the evening in case we did lose power since they have a generator.  I was prepared with plenty of non-perishable food & water.  My thoughts are I’d rather be safe than sorry.  The things I bought are things we’d eat & drink even if we were not looking at a storm moving in.  Three years ago when the crazy snow storm took our power for over 7 days, I wasn’t prepared…I don’t think many people were.  We had over 50 inches of snow at the house we lived in and I was 7 months pregnant.  Lucky we were able to come to my in-law’s..that is when they bought the generator.  Lesson learned – just be prepared.   

It breaks my heart to see those that have been hit hard by Sandy.  Breezy Point, Queens lost over 100 homes and more than 20 damaged by a fire that blazed through.  Going through the devastation of losing our home less than 5 months ago, I am feeling the pain for them all.  It is hard to wrap my mind around it all.  Many across the Tri State region lost their homes from the floods and many more have damage to deal with.  It is heartbreaking.  But, as I feel my family & I are a true testament – each & every family can pull through this.  Stay strong, surround yourself with family & friends and know it is okay to feel angry and to breakdown & cry is completely normal.  We are thinking of you all & keeping you all in our thoughts & prayers.

We were supposed to have the windows delivered on Monday, but seeing that Sandy ripped through the area we postponed.  They will be here tomorrow.  The sheet rockers will be starting in the next day or two.  That to me is just so surreal.  I can’t believe that we are moving into November already…this means in or around 3 months we will be moving into our new home.  This is less time than the time that has passed since the fire….simply amazing to me.  We are heading over to look at stone and deck materials later today.  Our siding/shake material has arrived. I am excited to see it all come together. 

We celebrated my mother in laws birthday & as my sister in law was icing the cake she handed Shea the icing knife.  Sister was in heaven licking all that chocolate… 
I missed the pictures when she dove into the homemade whip cream bowl.  I was laughing too hard to grab my camera quick enough.

Happy Halloween all!  Stay safe!

Love, Peace & Happiness to all!



We are all starting to prepare for Sandy around here.  Of course I am hoping it is all hype but I'd rather be safe than sorry.  I just always make sure we have plenty of water & canned goods on the food side, and I check our flashlights & battery supply.  Otherwise we don't go crazy in our house.  If we see that we are in direct danger, we batten down everything outside. 

Mom & I went to an auction Wednesday that was a little over an hour away.  I had been checking the pictures out & really wanted to go.  I am so glad we did.  They had some of the most unique antiques that I've seen and at really great prices.  It made me wish I had a shop of my own because the dealers that were there scored some crazy deals.  I ended up with a few items and I am so happy I took both carseats out and that I drive a minivan.  Let me back up a few minutes.  When we arrived and walked around I was quickly smitten by several items.  My mind was calculating what all I could fit in my van.  I texted Kacey to let him know we made it and that there was some cool things.  He quickly texted back "don't buy more than you can carry"...he knows me...my response was "I will do my best...I have rope will tie things on the roof".  Ok I was only joking.  Half joking as you will read!!  Well let's just say that I owe the guys that loaded my van a BIG thank you... Mom & I drove home with 6 new chairs for my dining room table (let's just I stole these babies), a dresser, a coffee table & a Hitchcock corner cabinet...all in my van!  I had to bum some rope to tie my back hatch door from the guys, but you know what it fit & we made it home.  We didn't get home until almost 1:00 a.m. but oh it was so worth it.  I will provide pictures later (it's cloudy & the lighting is awful). 

We've had lots of activity going on at the house.  Provided that Sandy doesn't wreck havoc on us here the windows will go in on Monday & sheetrock will start on Wednesday or Thursday.  I can't believe we are at the end of October....headed right into November.  Whew time flies.  Not enough hours in the day. 

My mom & Kacey's birthdays are coming up & celebrate we will do!  Mom will be 70 & Kacey 40.  WHOA!  We will gather with a few friends & family. 

We are off to get lots of errands done this weekend.  I have about 20 loads of laundry to get done - BOO!  I hate laundry. 

Much love, peace & happiness!  Have an amazing weekend all...

Fun busy

I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend.  Ours was a busy one.  Friday I was stuck home with my little Katie & her tonsillitis.  It was a good day to be in since it poured all day long.  But, once that fever broke she bounced right back & was raring to go.  Meanwhile my Zuzu at 2 has mastered the art of watching videos & playing the iPad with no assistance. 
Saturday we hung around the house and then went to Nanny & Grandpas for dinner.  My girls will sit for hours in the kitchen & play with play doh while we can enjoy conversation.  Sunday Katie & got up and headed to Jumpin Jakes for her friend Sofia's birthday.  This place is simply amazing.  These kids love running around through all of the bouncy houses, up & down the slides, playing lazer tag...simply burning off a little energy!!

These girls love to play together along with a couple of others that didn't make the picture..they were eating their cake :)

Katie & I came home to pick Shea & daddy up so we could head over to my brother in law & sister in laws house to watch the Giants WIN & the Jets lose!!!  I have spoken of the split Giant/Jets household before.  It was a great day so we had the TV outside, the fire going & chili to eat!  Perfect football Sunday if you ask me.  My girls were exhausted & fell asleep as soon as their sweet heads hit the pillow. 

Today I had the opportunity to be a chaperone for Katie’s class field trip to the farm.  It made my day!! While the teachers were wrapping up the morning before loading up on the bus I was asked to read a story to the class.  The smile that crept across my littles face was priceless.  I could see her heart swell with pride.  I truly enjoyed the day & watching Katie interact with her friends & classmates.  She’s polite & respectful to her teachers.  I’d do it again in a second. 
We loaded up on the bus & set out for Manza Family Farms.  The drive out was picturesque.  I followed the bus since we had the 2 Pre K classes & the 2 kindergarten classes.  We are having one of the best leaf turning years since my move here 10 years ago…I practically broke my neck turning & looking constantly.  Once there we made our way on the hayride out to the pumpkin patch.  Each kid picked a pumpkin to bring home.  They made their little way through the hay maze on over to see the farm animals.  There were mini goats, a white turkey, a mini donkey and pigs.  These kids loved the pigs more than any other animal.  It was then off for a sack lunch & back to school.  The weather was lovely and I believe the kids all enjoyed the time.




This face...how could I not join her at the farm today!

I stopped by the house after.  The stairs are in…YAY!!! 

 Looking into the front door.  Nice little entry that has my mind working on so many possibilities like those cool milk cans I bought at the tag sale!!


The plumbing has been started & the electrician was there running wires.  I had to stop by so we could make final decisions on a few light placements.  Our windows will be here Monday & our framers will be putting them in.  Mom & I are headed to look at fireplaces tomorrow.  Then we will hit a couple antique & salvage stores on the way.  I will need to have our tile & hardwood floors picked out this week along with my bathroom vanity choices. 

Lots to do with so little time.  I hope everyone has a great week!

Much love, peace & happiness.



Sometimes life hands us disappointments!

Life is full of disappointments…I am learning that sometimes you just can’t always get what you want.  I really had my heart set on having custom built cabinets.  I’ve been putting off writing about this because I thought somehow it was going to work.  Unfortunately the day we did the demo & that foundation wall fell in (and in just a knick of time my husband escaping near tragedy), it ended up costing us thousands of additional money to have it fixed.  Seeing that we wanted to make sure it was sustainable for our lifetime we needed to spend the money to have it done properly.  Between that and the garage slab starting to sink in, and putting in proper draining we are looking at way more than any of us expected.  In the long run it is totally worth it and I am a reasonable person.  I know that one day I will be thankful that I didn’t walk out into the garage looking for my car and it being down inside the garage foundation.  But, man did it knock me back to reality when crunching numbers gave us the definite no to having my dream custom cabinets.  I am sad no doubt.  I had been working with Dan and Rob at Carolina Farmhouse and we had come up with some beautiful cabinets.  Rob put in lots of time & effort (I am forever indebted to these guys).  These guys are super nice & they just want to ensure we are taken care of…they care!  So listen up if you are looking for some great work, green friendly, and just awesome people go now to talk to them.  You will not regret it.  They are still building some pieces for me that I am so excited about and can’t wait to show them off.  I have some additional pieces for them that I am working on.  I am beyond disappointed on a few different levels, but I know that I have to make yummy lemonade out of these lemons…and I will!!

I’ve been working with our builder on cabinet options.  I think they will turn out beautiful. I am extremely lucky & grateful because we got a huge discount on the cabinets.   We actually made a couple of changes…I ended up adding a double oven.  I am super excited about that.  We had a limited budget on appliances and so I put my internet skills to work and was able to find a major bargain on my kitchen appliances.  I should say I scored big.  So my appliances are purchased except for my washer & dryer.  I just purchased my sink – it is a beautiful farm sink from Kohler. 
We also purchased the front door, side garage door & overhead door.  The front & side garage door look like this.  The front entry door will have a transom.  The garage overhead door is similiar in style & is one 16 foot door as opposed to two 8 foot doors.
I purchased this light for over the kitchen island/bar that Carolina Farmhouse is building. 
It will be similiar to this island.  I found this on Holly's Down to Earth blog.  She really has great taste & style. 
Things are coming together.   

Kacey and our excavator guy took out the stumps from the trees we took down.  The one stump was gigantic & the roots were so long. 

The house is completely framed out and the roof is on.  The deck is also framed out and will be ready to start laying the floor soon.  The windows will be delivered at the end of the month.   You can see in the picture below that the stairs arrived :)  They will be put in this week.  Yeah no more climbing ladders! Our plumber was there starting his work & the electrician has begun his process.   I am in the process of looking at & picking out my fireplace, light fixtures, vanities for bathrooms and all of my fixtures for sinks & shower/tubs. 


Of course today was an extremely rainy day…it rained hard for the biggest part of the day.  However the topping out ceremony took place today despite the persistent downpour!  Excellent…I love it.

   In building construction, topping out (sometimes incorrectly referred to as topping off) is a ceremony held when the last beam is placed at the top of a building. The term may also refer to the overall completion of the building's structure, or an intermediate point, such as when the roof is dried in.[1] A topping out ceremony is usually held to commemorate the event.

While common in the United Kingdom, Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Poland, the origins of the ceremony are obscure. Its practice has long been an important component of timber frame building.[2] This tradition migrated to America with European craftsmen. A tree or leafy branch is placed on the topmost beam, often with flags and streamers tied to it. A toast is usually drunk and sometimes the workmen are treated to a meal. The ceremony has also been common in the United States when a skyscraper is completed. The last beam to be hoisted is painted white and signed by all the workmen involved. In other types of building, the ceremony typically focuses on the bedding of the last block of masonry or brick. The ceremony is akin to the practice of placing a newspaper or coins under the cornerstone of a building.


Onto other news… Katie came home from school yesterday whining all afternoon.  Finally when we sat down for dinner she said her head hurt.   I took her temp…101.3.  By this morning she was running 102 and this was after a night of Motrin/Tylenol combination. I just couldn’t the temp to go down.  I think the two of us got about 2 hours of sleep last night!  I looked in her throat & sure enough white spots on her tonsils.  We got to the doctor at 10 am and she threw up all over the waiting room and then continued in the room.   We went to Target to get her medicine & she threw up all over herself L  My poor baby has tonsillitis.  I have a feeling we will be having those pesky tonsils removed.  She came home & laid on the couch and fell asleep until 3:30. 
I hope everyone has a great weekend!!! Much love, peace & happiness!


Blog world

I have always loved reading different blogs. In fact at one point I was obsessed (ok maybe I still am a little). The blogs have changed a bit from what I had originally started following. My obsession started when I was pregnant with Katie.  I was put on bedrest so I found myself on thenest.com (I had used theknot.com when planning the wedding) which led me to a few mommy and mommy to be blogs.  There were a few that I followed that consisted of their loss or struggles with fertility.  Some of which I still follow, but my focus needed to shift a bit.  It was making me too sad.  I know that writing helps people & some need a place to just vent or get their story out.  I understand but for me it wasn’t working anymore. 
The blogs I mainly follow now are a little bit of the cooking blogs, some mommy blogs, a ton of DIY & craft blogs and a few fashion blogs.  I fell in love with redoing furniture a long time ago but never put any effort into doing anything about it.  During renovations I found after complaining to everyone that I didn’t think I could paint very well, I found I was handy with a paint brush.  I’ve always been crafty but there was something on the inside that was unleashed.  I found that it relieved my stress & it was “me” time.  After the fire I found I lost interest.  It made me sick to my stomach to even think about having to replace all of art supplies, paints, and the furniture pieces.  There was a spot in our kitchen that was a big bare wall.  It had a nice buffet/side table that I had redone, but we had moved it & then lost it in the fire.  There was a tall cabinet sitting down in the basement that we moved up & put on the wall.  It needed a facelift.  Once I began working on it I realized it felt good.  I lost myself in it & it all became clear I needed to make a choice….either stop being a baby about it & get myself back into it or wallow in my tears and lose the chance to bring some pieces to life.  I choose the first one.  I’ve been enjoying going to thrift stores & tag sales. 
Some of my inspiration comes from the following blogs:
http://www.theshabbycreekcottage.com/ - Shabby Creek Cottage is doing a giveaway so try to check the blog out if you can!!
These are just a few.  Some have shops so if you are looking for some cute items venture on over. 
Another blog that I really love is  http://www.myshineproject.com/.  I love that Ashley is giving inner city youth a chance.  This has been such an inspirational blog for me.  I went to her site that the sell different items which the purchase helps give at risk youth a job and allows them to pay their way through college!!!  They make some really cool jewelry & the t-shirts are fun. .I came across her through Kelle Hampton’s blog http://www.kellehampton.com/ .  Kelle’s blog is such an amazing story.  She’s such an inspirational!!
If you have any suggestions on blogs I should check out I’d love to hear from you. 

Happy Tuesday!! And, much love, peace & happiness!!!


It is moving so very quickly! Check it out…it looks like a house.  I can’t believe 4 months ago today I was standing in front of burnt rubble of a house.  And, now I am standing in front of this. 

The roofers were there this morning starting the roof.  Of course it rained all afternoon so they didn’t get as much as they wanted to get roofed.  The deck was put on...the beam for the deck weighs 896 lbs.  Crazy!!! Amazement is what I feel looking at the pictures and driving up & seeing dormers!  4 months is not a long time, but I feel we have come a long ways as a family in a short time to overcome a tragic life changing event.  Looking back I don’t think I’d feel this feeling of relief.  I still struggle from time to time with material things.  There are days I feel a slight spark of anger.  I would’ve loved nothing more to be spending my holidays there, but I have lots more holidays in our future in our new home to plan.  I am so happy for our friends Anna & Joe.  They are looking to be in their house by Thanksgiving….this is after their house burnt down a year ago last September.  We are so blessed that we were able to start the rebuilding process so quickly. 
Looking at the pictures from the previous blog of the Hudson Valley views, Kacey & I realized how great it is to live here.  We both feel very blessed.  And, we both realize that we need to take more time to enjoy it and have more quality family time out & about.  Life is short and being so busy is making us age.  We were able to make it to another Yankee game, a playoff game this time.  It was a very much needed day out just the two of us!!  Even though the Yankees lost we really had a fun time.  I love Yankee Stadium & I love being at the ballpark. 


I am still working on trying to get my girls to decide on a Halloween costume.  Katie has a good idea of what she’d like to be but Shea not so much.  I took her to look at costumes and after we looked at so many cute ideas she said she doesn’t like Halloween and that I should be the one to dress up in the costumes if I thought they were so cute. Oh I didn’t know what to say…where did my little one learn to speak like that? J If she really understood that she could come home with a bag full of candy I think she’d have a different attitude.  On second thought maybe I will be the one to dress up!!

Both girls are learning so much in ballet.  I enjoy taking them, watching them learn and do something fun.  Measurements were already taken for the recital outfits.  I can’t wait for the recital.  I will apologize now because there will be so many pictures.  I mentioned previously that Katie is doing really well in Pre K.  I have witness a recent change in her – it’s her overall attitude.  She’s always been a good girl, a very loving thoughtful girl, but she will push & try your every button.  She’s smart, strong minded, knows what she wants and knows how to hold her stance on her views.  I love all of those things about her, but when it comes to parenting she can be a challenge.  I have to be careful about the battles I pick to hold my stance on.  I don’t want to take those things away from her and I enjoy seeing that she has an opinion of her own, but we want to instill good roots.  One thing that has changed is she understands consequences more now.  She goes to ballet and we enrolled her in the tumblebus which is a cool program that teaches gymnastics.  The school bus (tumblebus) comes to Katie’s school once a week.  She has never responded well to time outs…sitting for a few minutes just never seem to matter to her.  Taking toys away…nope she didn’t care. Sending her to her room when she throws a fit..she cries louder & harder. Now she knows ballet & the tumblebus will be taken away from her in one second and with that she knows she has to work on her attitude, tantrums & fits and wow has she ever. It’s not like these things happen on a daily occurrence, but when they happen it takes a lot to get the mood turned back around.  Katie has always been a child that needs a challenge, stimulation.  I firmly believe that being in Pre K has also helped.  It’s a process but I am proud of the little lady she really is turning into. I have also loved that she is acting out in pretend play.  She comes home from school & plays school.  It is fun to watch how she interacts with her “students”.  It’s so funny to watch her “teach” Shea.  She pulls the alphabet flash cards out & teaches her the letters.  It melts my heart to see the closeness & bond these girls share. 

I took mom out on Saturday to the tag sales in Cornwall on the Hudson.  It is a town wide tag sale that they have once a year.  It was a zoo out there but I got some major scores.  I can’t wait to redo some of my finds.  I am trying to get myself back into redoing furniture pieces.  One of my big scores that I need to take a picture of is the gigantic mirror for one of the bathrooms.  I will stripe it & redo the wood frame.  But it is heavy & will be absolutely perfect.  I will post before & after pictures.  The other finds were two carts with big wheels & casters.  I love love love these carts & can’t wait to get my hands on them.  I got this cute little table also that I think will make a nice accent piece.  I also scored big on the horse & buggy print…it is a nice big print that I’ve always loved and the frame is perfect. I paid $5 for it.   I found the house picture & got the lady down to $10… I asked her the history & it came from Spain.  Her parents were stationed there and had a local artist paint it for them in the 1960s.  It is in perfect condition.  The frame just needs to be cleaned up.  Oh & the old milk cans...I can't wait to put those in the entry at our front door.  I ordered some paint & antique wax so I can get started soon.  I am so lucky to be having a room in the basement dedicated for me to work on my furniture.  It will be ventilated & will give me a place to go, work & let the stress flow out.  I've got lots of work to do...


Much love, peace & happiness…
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