Archive | June, 2009

Dream House, Part 1

17 Jun

The story of our first house cannot be told in one post.  In fact, our first home is a book in itself.  I will start at the beginning.

We were young, too young almost, fiercely stubborn, and just a little bit stupid.  After honeymooning in Maine, we looked at this rugged wilderness land as something to be cajoled and ultimately concurred.  My mind swam with scenes of ski lodges, warm fires, and New England history.  We were naive.

Our first appointment with a realtor was in January of 1998 in New Hampshire.  We left New York with an excitement that the affects of caffeine cannot mimic and headed straight into the worst ice-storm of that New England decade.   Between us, FringeMan and I have enough self-motivation to do some pretty stupid things.  I’m not sure what we expected, but it was not an empty realtor’s office.

Our spirits only slightly dampened, we decided to forge a path in the ice that led to Maine.  Maine winters can be much like an embittered woman deprived of chocolate, and Mainers are some of the most rugged people I have ever met.  They are more pig-headed than FringeMan and I combined and to them, weather is a fact of life, like the sun rises and sets each day.

Maine did not disappoint.  We stumbled into the hands of the most competent realtor I have ever met and although we did not take his advice, we will be forever grateful to him.  Most first-time home-buyers start with a price-point and we were no exception; however, ours was a reverse price-point.  We asked if we could start at $10 thousand dollars and see what was available.  To his credit, our realtor didn’t blink an eye, didn’t spit his gulp of coffee into our laps, and didn’t questions our sanity.  He doubted, but consulted the ever wise, all knowing computer anyway.

What we found were a few shacks that rivaled the dwellings of your average New York City homeless person’s, an abandoned ice-fishing ‘cabin’, and a few mobile homes whose parts seemed to have walked away years ago.  When we reached the $40 and $50 thousand dollar mark, we were afloat in choices, but I had to look no further.

By this point, we had long left our seats and were hanging over the realtor’s shoulders.  When a house popped up on the screen, it was love at first site.  Being freshly wed, I knew love when I saw it.  Grabbing FringeMan’s arm, I exclaimed with a longing that should be reserved for the marriage bed, “That’s my dream house!”

My Dream House

My Dream House

As a seasoned realtor filled with life’s experiences, he cautioned against too much excitement.  Armed with a map, several MLS listings, and passion, we set out in search of our dream.

Limerick 35

This house was everything we had hoped and oh, SO MUCH more.

That’s it for this installment of My Old House.  See you next time for a peak inside.

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FringeFamilyNews & Excuses

16 Jun

You may or may not have noticed that I have been a bit distracted from blogging in recent weeks.  I’m just not on top of my game.  Although I’m usually hovering alongside my game, I feel as if I’ve been dropping behind and I have an excuse. 

I’m fairly good with excuses and most often they are so far-fetched that they invoke one of two responses – people actually believe me because they doubt the depth of my imagination, or they just laugh and hesitently accept my outlandish attempt to excuse my mistake or indiscretion.

I once called in to work to alert them I’d be late, perhaps an hour late.  My reason?

I knew you’d ask. 

The doorknob on my front door fell out.  Not the inside part of the doorknob, but the outside.  I couldn’t get out of my apartment until someone came along and put the doorknob back into it’s hole.  Ridiculous?

Ya, I know it…don’t say it.

The truth is that sometimes life just happens to the best of us.  It can’t be helped.

Today’s excuse is pure truth.  I’m moving next month.

Dark Hair, since you asked nicely

Dark Hair, since you asked nicely

Before you start spreading rumors, I’m taking my husband, kids, and even the dog along.  This is not a solo flight.  The FringeFamily is relocating.  You know that house that was for sale in your neighborhood…

Just kidding, we’re staying in NY; however, we are relocating upstate, up where the snow is deep and the traffic is light.  We close on our new home next Tuesday.  My family laughed when I told them we were buying a house.  We have a history of purchasing homes that don’t include electricity, running water, or toilets.  Our houses usually take blood, sweat, and tears (not necessarily in that order) to make them livable dwellings.  This time is different.  We’re actually purchasing a home we can move right into. 

I hope that’s not a sign of old age.

So this week I will take a day or two to reflect on previous homes.  I’ll show you pictures that will make you glad you don’t live on the Fringe.  They are guaranteed to make you love your spouse more, enjoy cooking in your kitchen, and thank God for the roof above your head, leaky or not.

This week I will introduce you to the ghost of houses past, but some things are better saved for tomorrow. 

See you then.

Introducing My Mother-In-Law

15 Jun
It hasn’t been very fair that I’ve only picked on my mother in my blog posts.  FringeMan’s mom deserves equal time to shine.  Since it’s her birthday today, I figured there’s no better time to introduce you to my mother-in-law than today. 

From here on out, I will refer to her as GrammyFringe.  (Sorry, but creative FringeNames are sparse and I’m beginning to confuse myself.)

GrammyFringe & FringeGirl

GrammyFringe & FringeGirl

I am fully aware that this post can go one of two ways; I remain the beloved daughter-in-law or I become the evil out-law. 

For the sake of my future, I will tread lightly.

on the beach in Pensacola, Fl

on the beach in Pensacola, Fl

I consider myself blessed not to have any awful mother-in-law stories.  I can only say kind things about GrammyFringe.  She’s always been good to me and instantly made me part of her family.  That’s why it’s so sad that I have to ruin this tight-knit relationship by posting this next picture; however, I’ve been saving it for years.  Even when her brothers begged me to put it on facebook, I kindly refrained.

BUT today is a special day and being so many miles away, I feel the need to celebrate in a special way.

My Very Own Maxine

My Very Own Maxine



maxine momg

I’m not trying to point out any resemblance or anything…NO  Way!

GrammyFringe doesn’t take prozac.

Grammy & the FringeKids

GrammyFringe we love you and wish you a very Happy Birthday with many more to come, each better than the last.

Thanks for being a A+ mother-in-law!

By the way, incase you’re wondering and I know you are, GrammyFringe’s hair has held the same volume since her 8th grade yearbook picture.  To the grandchildren, it remains one of life’s greatest mysteries.

GrammyFringe, forgive me for the sake of the grandkids…..please.

Relaxed Slumber & Hairy Legs

12 Jun

Today I went for a massage, a one hour long massage.  For a moment or two, I thought I had died amidst the chirping birds and waterfall sounds and gone to heaven.  I didn’t want to leave. 

I want to live at the spa.

Some people hate the thought of having a stranger rub out their knotted muscles and touch their flesh.  Not me. 

I just close my eyes and enjoy.

I’ve been saving the gift card my kids gave me for mother’s day, waiting for the perfect time to use it.  Today was the perfect day.  It was raining, my muscles were tied up in knots that rivaled the skills of any boy scout, and I had a headache.

Don’t get the wrong idea, I’m not a ‘spaster’.  My last massage was several years ago when I went through a battle with some muscular and neurological problems.  I was treated to several medical type massages that hurt more than they relaxed.


Today I came home so relaxed that I didn’t even mind that my giant FringePup had pushed my couch cushions down and fell asleep.

She acts like she lives at the spa.


She’s not allowed to get a massage because shaving your legs is a requirement.  What massage therapist wants to rub down a furry leg?

FringePup refuses to shave.

She’s waiting to be invited to a ‘hairy leg’ party. 

 Have you ever been to one of those?


I’ve never thrown a hairy leg party.  I wouldn’t do such a tacky thing and I definitely wouldn’t give a prize for the hairiest legs.

No, I’ve never sat around my living room floor with a bunch of friends wrapping our legs in saran-wrap.  Community leg shaving is bizarre, especially when you are six months pregnant.  Not that I’m speaking from experience or anything.

I definitely don’t have any friends that were hiding braidable hair underneath their cowgirl boots.  I’m not that kind of girl.

Right now I’m the kind of girl that is so relaxed she fell asleep on the couch next FringePup.

Life is good.

Enjoy your weekend!

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Snow Falling on Friendships

11 Jun

While pregnant with my firstborn, my friend, Kristi P. gave birth to a tiny little girl.  Our children were 6 months apart and became fast friends.  Kristi P. and I were different and yet the same.  We pulled each other through the trenches of childbirth, diaper changes, and making memories.

We were poor friends, not in spirit or determination, but financially.  We both gave up our jobs to become stay at home moms.  Actually I didn’t give up my job willingly.  While I was laying on my couch counting the days until I could deliver and get off of bed rest, my company was taken over, management replaced, and my work from home position eliminated.  Because round-trip travel would mean 2 hours in the car each day on top of my ‘work’ time, I opted to stay home instead of enrolling my son in 10 hour daily daycare.

Kristi P. had a much better pre-child job than I.  She was a baker.  I was lucky she was my friend.

She could whip up a loaf of bread or a batch of cinnamon rolls in no time!  She was also a morning person.  You really need to be a morning person when you’re waking up before the sun to ‘make the donuts.’

Although you know I am NOT A MORNING PERSON, my son hadn’t realized his momma needed her beauty sleep.  So we would begin our playdates in the wee, sometimes dark hours of the morning.  When my phone rang at 6:30am, I knew it was Kristi P. and I prayed she had something rising on her counter.  Although short on money, there were two things we couldn’t do without – Butter and Half & Half.

We were girls who believed fat is good.  We would pool our dairy resources, sugar, coffee, and whatever would keep our kids happy.

As we hid in my kitchen sipping our coffee and melting our butter, our kids entertained themselves.  Kids are masters of messes, but we didn’t let that bother us.  There was no mess so great that we would need to give up our first cup of coffee.

Hannah, John, Pocorn 1

…until the day snow fell in my house.

Hannah, John, Popcorn 2

My reason for having a child-size box full of styrofoam peanuts is a story in itself…for another day.  My reason for an overflowing basket of laundry – a newborn.

We can use new babies as an excuse for not doing the laundry, can’t we?

Hannah, John, Pocorn 3

Do you realize that styrofoam peanuts never sweep up?

They stick to you like boogers stick to my son’s wall.  They follow you into every room in your house.  They sneak into the toybox, toilet, and trash.  They are with you for life.

Always check on your kids when they are quiet!

This post is linked to Mylestones Flashback Friday.  Go visit by clicking on the image below.

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On Wings of Steel

9 Jun

FringeMan has a real fear of flying.  According to him, it’s not flying that is the problem, it’s plummeting through the air at 500 miles per hour for a full eight minutes before crashing and burning. 

That’s the problem he has with flying. 

He somehow thinks that last eight minutes will feel like eighty years of sheer terror.  Now, while I will admit that my imagination can come up with a few bizarre scenarios as I’m soaring through the sky, his irrational fear of flying is really not justified.

If  my own fear of air travel were measured against the number of car accidents I’ve witnessed right outside our front door, I’d take a plane to the supermarket.  FringeMan does not agree.  He’d drive to Europe if it were possible.  Truth be told, he’d probably take a ship to Europe before getting on a Trans-Atlantic flight. 

I would be sightseeing on the other side of the world waiting for him to arrive with scurvy. 

When he finished school in Florida, he took my son and drove all the way to Maine.  I took my daughter and flew to Atlanta for a visit and met him two weeks later at the airport in Maine. 

I’m just not a good car traveler.  The crusted drool on my shoulder from sleeping for eight hours on the side window doesn’t look good when you arrive someplace.  Let’s not even discuss the deep-set red gouge in my face from the seatbelt.

Recent flight reports freak FringeMan out.  He may never fly again. 

There was the pilot who landed his plane in the Hudson River, the mysterious disappearing flight between Brazil and Paris, the emergency landing on a road outside of Atlanta and let’s not forget all the special documentaries on air travel…ya, he’ll never fly again.

Our first flight as a couple was from Maine to Atlanta.  I was pregnant with my son and we were going to  visit my family for Thanksgiving.  We left Maine in the ice and snow and our plane ascended at what seemed to be a 90 degree angle.  Since FringeMan was on the fast track to becoming a preacher, boarding this plane while inebriated was out of the question.  He could have been professionally medicated, something I would force before our next flight; however, he never made it to the doctors. 

He’s got issues, but I love him.

Seriously, I didn’t think he would make the flight alive.  The rest of the people on that plane were about to land in one piece, but FringeMan was spontaneously combusting right before my eyes.

FringeMan in Flight

FringeMan in Flight

I hate to see what would happen to him if he’d been on my flight to Florida several years ago.  We had just taken off and were settling comfortably into our seats when we crashed in mid-air.  I saw a pair of teeth racing past my left eye as my body was flung forward and my face lodged in the seat in front of me.  The poor granny sitting beside me couldn’t keep hold of all her parts. 

As I plucked my eyelashes from the fabric of the seat cushion, the concerned man to my right says, “Are you alright?”

Not one of my best moments, but I was certainly doing better than granny who would not get to eat her in-flight pretzels.

Turns out we hit a flock of birds.  I never knew birds could cause so much damage.  Amid the smell of burning goose, similar to Christmas dinner at the Chrachits, the pilot announced we were making an emergency landing because the birds had damaged one of those ginormous engines.

We were none the worse for the wear and granny finally found her teeth, but we did need a new plane.

Ok, so granny never really lost her teeth, but I thought they were about to go any second…trust me!

Although I need to keep my imagination in check while in flight, I don’t share my husband’s terror.  There’s only one flight I wouldn’t board.  That’s the flight my mother is on.  Before you judge me for being harsh, she has problems EVERT TIME she flies. 

I’ll make a public service announcement after she purchases her next ticket.

Maybe she’ll share her dreadful air stories someday.

What about you?  Have you had any airplane incidences?

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Gone to The Dark Side

8 Jun

I’ve gone to the dark side with just one bottle. 

One little bottle of chemicals can not only burn a hole in your sinuses, but it can also cover the grey and remove all blond stripes in just 10 minutes.  Chemical engineers are geniuses.

It’s been so long since I’ve seen myself with my natural hair color that I actually jumped back from the mirror in surprise.  Since I’m not good with upkeep, I figured going back to my natural color would be best for this era of my life.  As it stood, I had stripes of blond, streaks of grey, and roots that grew deeper than any plant in my garden.  It was time for a change.

Tricia & Odd Friends -PCC

I’m not sure you can pick me out of this starry-eyed lineup. 

Although this was a photograph from college, no drugs or alcohol were used.  People, I’m normally this dorky.  Obviously I found friends as hopelessly foolish as myself.

I am the one with the sunflower sprouting from head.  I told you my roots went deep.

Some think the dark hair makes me look older, but the general consensus has been younger.  I only believe people who tell me I look younger.  Everyone else is partially blind, crazy, or related.

What about you?  Is it time for a hair change?

The winner of the ‘Extreme Pet Carnival’ is Steph from Red Clay Diaries.  I know, I closed the polls an hour early, but it’s my blog and I get to do that.  Besides my mom is on my case to post something new.  She’s worse than a boss.  She forgets that I don’t get paid to blog and I have a life.  Steph, please email me your mailing address.  Congrats!

The summer reading list is also up.  You can find the link at the top of the page.  If you don’t see your recommendation listed yet, it’s because this is taking me a LONG time.  It’ll get there…along with the check that’s in the mail. 

No, really.  I’m still working on completing the summer book list.  I hope it proves helpful.

The Vote for the Extreme

7 Jun

I would like to thank the handful of people who participated in the Extreme Pet Carnival this weekend.  Today you will all have the opportunity to vote for your favorite post.  The winner will receive 4 tickets to the American Museum of Natural History in New York City courtesy of the museum.  Any and all readers may vote.

Me n Weezer

This is a picture of FringeMan, pre-me, and his dog Weezer. 

He traded that dog for my hand in marriage.

Some offer jewels, houses, and treasures untold.  FringeMan offered this mangy mutt.  I’m still upset with my parents, mainly because I think I was worth more than a donut thieving dog.  Apparently my parents lacked high enough expectations for me.  They should have held out for cash.

If you’re new to the domestic fringe and have not been properly introduced to FringeMan, you can meet him HERE.

Please take a moment to vote for your favorite ‘Extreme Pet’ post.  If you haven’t had a chance to look at the linked blogs, you can read them by first clicking HEREand then clicking on Mr. Linky.  A box will appear.  You may then click on a name and you will be automatically directed to the correct post.  There were some good ones!

Polls close Monday night at 11pm.  Winner announced Tuesday morning.

Happy voting and happy Monday!

Pet Carnival & Contest

5 Jun

Chicken – The Original White Meat


To you, chickens may not seem like an extreme pet, but to me chickens were either on Old McDonald’s Farm or in the supermarket.

After living in Maine for a year, we purchased 10 baby chicks at a farm fair.  I begged, pleaded, and promised FringeMan I’d learn to cook edible food.  We kept them in our house under a heat lamp until they were old enough to brave the brisk fall weather and roam free in our yard.

Yup, I had chickens running across my porch and I loved them.  Chickens are smart.  They get a bad rap, but they know where they live and they abide by property lines.  They are better than the neighbor’s kids!

FringeMan, FringeBoy, and a Chicken

FringeMan, FringeBoy, and a Chicken

My son loved the chickens.  I would sit him in the stroller in the middle of our field and he’d watch the chickens for hours minutes.  They were great entertainment until one day, a rogue neighborhood, feather plucking dog attacked.  I looked out my living room window to find puffs of feathers scattered all over. 

The feathers weren’t pecking or cocka-doodle-dooing.

You can imagine my despair. 

A few went to rest in the great coop in the sky and we were able to nurse several back to health.  One chicken was beat up pretty badly and his friends weren’t giving him the sympathy he deserved.  In fact, they were pecking the life out of him.  Just like a chicken to turn on his brother when he’s down.

Nursing a Sick Chick





Nursing a Sick Chick

(I know there’s a lot of plaid in the above photo, but plaid is perfectly acceptable in Maine.)

Anyway, we had to separate the broken chicken from the pack flock, so we kept him in the shed.  Unfortunately for the UPS man, I forgot to tell him I had a sick chick in the shed.  The UPS man would my package in the shed when I wasn’t home. 

He had quite the surprise!  

The poor man spent a good 20 minutes chasing my chicken around the yard before getting him back in the shed.

I wish I could have seen it!

One Lucky Rooster

One Lucky Rooster

I don’t think he ever forgave me.  If you’re out there Mr. UPS man, I really am sorry for not warning you…really.

Can’t wait to see your ‘Extreme Pet’…just click on Mr. Linky and enter your name and post address.  Please use the specific URL and not the general URL for your blog.  Any question, shoot me an email – tricia9199 [at] yahoo [dot] com.  Please link back to this blog post and to the AMNH.

Who will be first?

The winner of this contest will receive 4 tickets to the American Museum of Natural Historyin New York City courtesy of AMNH.  Thank you AMNH for your generous donation!

This post will be available to view all weekend.  On Monday I will select 5 posts and you will vote for your favorite.  All are welcome to vote!  You don’t need to be a blogger to vote.

Thanks for playing.  I’ll be visiting your blog this weekend!

If you missed my other museum posts, you can follow the links below.  There were some interesting discussions.

Extreme Mammals

Extreme Museum Exhibit

Extreme Mating Behaviors in Mammals

Summer Reading List

3 Jun

I’d like to put together a summer reading list.  It will appear as another static page and will have its’ own tab.  I figure that this will be a great reference guide for us when shopping on Amazon or running to the local bookstore.

Doesn’t everybody need a great book for the beach?

I do.

I’d like you help me put together a list of ‘must reads’ …pretty please.

In the comments section, leave the title of a book you’ve read and loved.  It would be helpful to also include the author’s name and the genre of the book.

I will compile a list from all the comments and add the “Summer Reading List” page as soon as possible.

Thanks in advance for your participation!


Click HERE for more information.


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