At Home: Fall Colors, New Plants, and Leaf Clean-up

November 22, 2014

Though winter is officially still a full month away, for the past few days, Mother Nature has been giving us more than a hint of things to come — sub-freezing temperatures with high winds making it feel even more frigid. This has made it easy to forget that it’s actually been quite a warm autumn, so much so that leaf turning was a bit late. Colors seemed more brilliant than usual and lasted a lot longer.

At Home:  Backyard Fall Colors

At Home:  Backyard Fall Colors

At Home:  Backyard Fall Colors

At Home:  Backyard Fall Colors

We had our autumn shrub pruning. Two plants needed to be replaced.

This one looks very similar to the one alongside the patio that died for no apparent reason.

At Home:  New Plants

Several months ago, we replaced out entire heating and air conditioning system. One of the shrubs that surrounds the air conditioner compressor had become scraggly. So, it was replaced with this one.

At Home:  New Plants

Because it takes a long time for all the leaves on our property to come down, we normally don’t do leaf clean-up until the end of November or beginning of December. However, our township announced that the leaf sweeper would be coming to our block on November 16th. So, despite the fact that there were still lots of leaves on the trees, we had Todd, who takes care of mowing our lawn, come with his crew and do what will be a first round.

At Home:  Leaf Clean-up 2014

Todd went onto the roof to clean the leaves out of the gutters. The leaves on the patio and on the back lawn were blown into the woods.

At Home:  Leaf Clean-up 2014

At Home:  Leaf Clean-up 2014

At Home:  Leaf Clean-up 2014

At Home:  Leaf Clean-up 2014

The leaves on the front lawn were blown into a neat pile in the gutter ready for the township’s sweeper.

At Home:  Leaf Clean-up 2014

At Home:  Leaf Clean-up 2014

Because there was heavy rain on November 16th, the township’s sweeper showed up on the 17th.

Happy Birthday, Louis!

November 17, 2014

NYT Thursday Puzzle – November 6, 2014

November 12, 2014

NYT Thursday Puzzle - November 6, 2014

Theme: Parting the Red Sea. The word “Parting” (Unclued 37-Across) literally parts “Red” (Unclued 36-Across) and “Sea (Uncluded 39-Across). Other related answers are found throughout the grid.

19A. Leader of a noted 37-Across = Moses
25A. Feast of unleavened bread = Pesach (the Hebrew word for Passover)
54A. Location of 37-Across = Egypt
11D. Beneficiary of the 37-Across, in modern times = Israeli
41D. Loser on account of the 37-Across = Pharoah

NYT Sunday Puzzle – November 2, 2014

November 12, 2014

NYT Sunday Puzzle - November 2, 2014

Title: BP Station

Theme: Initial letters in words in the theme answers are changed from “B” to “P” resulting in silly phrases.

23A. Engraving on an award? = Plaque art
29A. Food critic’s love of fast food, maybe? = Secret palate
48A. Collector of offerings at a revival? = Christian pail
55A. Waterways of Western Australia? = Perth canal
79A. Admonishment to someone eating off your plate at a Polynesian restaurant? = That’s my poi
85A. What’s promising about a K-K-Q-Q-J-J-7 rummy hand? = The three pairs
108A. Buzzer beaters and game-winning catches? = Plays of glory
118A. Place to reel in some freshwater game fish? = Perch pier

It’s My Birthday!

October 24, 2014

It’s going to be a “Made Nice”* day!

Lunch at The NoMad….

No Mad

…and dinner at EMP.

Eleven Madison Park

The celebrating continues tomorrow when Jen and Louis join us for dinner at betony.


I’m stoked!

*Note: Made Nice NYC is the corporate name of EMP and The NoMad.

NYT Sunday Puzzle – October 12, 2014

October 21, 2014

NYT Sunday Puzzle - October 12, 2014

Title: Inner Workings

Theme: Common phrases with the pattern _____ in a _____ are presented literally.

23A. Leading indicator = Coal Canary Mine
31A. Misfit = Round Square Peg Hole
49A. One who’s enthralled, metaphorically = Candy Kid Store
66A. Never = Million Not Years
84A. Much ado about nothing = Tea Tempest Pot
97A. Deteriorate rapidly = Hand Go To Hell Basket
112A. It’s hard to find = Hay Needle Stack

In the “I learn something new every day” category:

19-Down: Atmospheric probe. Answer: Sonde

58-Across: First steamship with a planned circumnavigation of the globe. Answer: Argo

69-Down: Gun brand not endorsed by the 111-Down (NRA). Answer: Nerf

NYT Thursday Puzzle – October 9, 2014

October 11, 2014

NYT Thursday Puzzle - October 9, 2014

Theme: Across + Down. Clues are provided at the Across numbers but not for the down numbers. Ergo, two-word answers with the same initial letter.

1-Across/Down: Corn or cotton = Cash crop
5-Across/Down: Western wear = Jean jacket
9-Across/Down: Where the Pilgrims first landed in the New World = Cape Cod
15-Across/Down: Homer Simpson’s workplace = Power plant
27-Across/Down: Dessert often made with cream cheese frosting = Carrot cake
40-Across/Down: Places where wheat are stored? = Bread box
44-Across/Down: New U.N. member of 2011 = South Sudan
47-Across/Down: Lab item = Bunsen burner
48-Across/Down: Alternative to a fade-out in a movie ending = Freeze frame

I figured out the theme quite easily. Still, getting all the fills wasn’t entirely a snap with the South Sudan section of the grid giving me the most difficulty. I was able to fill in the rest of the grid on Thursday but didn’t figure out all the answers for that section until Friday morning.

Some interesting answers including a few from the South Sudan section:

25-Across: Feature of Polyphemus from “The Odyssey.” Answer: One eye.

31-Across: Comic Cenac formerly of “The Daily Show.” Answer: Wyatt. (Not a show that I watch.)

41-Across: Org. with an antipiracy stance. Answer: MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America).

26-Down: Word origin. Answer: Etymon.

38-Down: Architect Louis. Answer: Kahn.

NYT Sunday Puzzle – October 5, 2014

October 9, 2014

NYT Sunday Puzzle - October 5, 2014

Title: Timber!

Theme: TREESs are “falling.” Seven Across answers take a dog-leg turn Down before resuming the answer Across with the Down part of the answer being the name of a tree.

10A. William Henry Harrison’s nickname = TipPECANoe
27A. Lucy Ricardo’s friend = EthELMertz
58A. Cavorted = PranCEDARound
60A. Like many a stain before washing = PresOAKed
68A. Sick bay = InFIRmary
103A. Old roadside advertiser = BurmASHave
106A. Accusing of misconduct = ImPEACHing

It took me a while to figure out exactly what was going on here. Even so, working out the correct answers proved fairly challenging. A very clever and entertaining puzzle!

A few interesting answers:

30-Across: Source of the word “mantra.” Answer: Sanskrit.

74-Across: Shortest Old Testament book. Answer: Obadiah.

77-Across: Queen Amidala’s home in “Star Wars.” Answer: Naboo

120-Across: “Middlemarch” author. Answer: Eliot (George = Pen name of English novelist Mary Ann Evans).

131-Across: L.P.G.A. star Ochoa. Answer: Lorena

2-Down: Source of the words “mamba” and “chimpanzee.” Answer: Bantu

70-Down: The New Yorker cartoonist Roz. Answer: Chast (Gotta love a clue that includes my first name!)

Dining Out: July – September 2014

October 3, 2014

Le Bernardin:  Mary Ann & Lou's 50th Anniversary

New York City
Le Bernardin
The Modern Dining Room

The Gander
Eleven Madison Park

Late Supper:
The NoMad Bar

New Jersey
Drew’s Bayshore Bistro

The Shrimp Box
Chez Catherine

New York City
The NoMad
BLT Prime

The Modern Bar Room
Union Square Café (Brunch Menu)
Luke’s Lobster
Eleven Madison Park

Shake Shack

Late Supper:

New Jersey
Pascal & Sabine

Osteria Cucina Rustica
Taste of Smoke BBQ

New York City
The Modern Dining Room

Eleven Madison Park

New Jersey
Anemos Greek Cuisine

NYT Thursday Puzzle – October 2, 2014

October 3, 2014

NYT Thursday Puzzle - October 2, 2014

Theme: Einstein’s Theory of Relativity

19-Across: 20th-century figure with a famous 56-Across represented literally six times in this puzzle. Answer to 19-Across = Einstein. Answer to 56-Across = Equation.

26-Down: Subject explored by 19-Across. Answer: Relativity.

9-Down: Recognition received by 19-Across. Answer: Nobel Prize

The equation for his theory, E = mc², is represented visually with a rebus: the E and the MC inside a single “square.” All the rebuses are located in squares in the six answers related to the theme. Also, those six squares are the only ones in the entire grid with the letter “E.”

While getting the theme was easy, figuring out the rebus was a real challenge. A very clever puzzle!


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