Archive for ‘Family life’

September 21, 2014

The Return of the MEU

In April Alex was set to return from his deployment. The 13th MEU (Marine Expeditionary Unit) would return from their almost nine month’s away. Of course, Alex wasn’t with his MEU for most of that time. He was on a special assignment in Djibouti which is just as well since he had no great desire to spend nine months on shipboard.

Jim and I wanted to be there to welcome Alex and his fellow Marines home from a successful expedition so we planned a holiday designed to get us on the West Coast with flexibility to be at Camp Pendleton when the MEU returned. The target date was April 24th.

The Marine Corps does a pretty darn good job with ceremony. They really like a good ceremony and all that it represents. The night before the ships were due to port, there was a Family Dinner on base. Jim and I arrived just in time for cocktails at the Officers and Enlisted Personnel Recreation Center. The building is perched high on a hill overlooking the Pacific Ocean. It was a festive gathering of about 300 family members and friends of the returning personnel. Dinner was exceptionally bad chicken with frozen vegetables, but spirits were high. Most of the evening was a briefing from various officers and chaplains. There were video messages from Commanding Officers congratulating the MEU and the

read more »

Advertisements
June 29, 2014

Frost Family Re-united During Alex’s Leave

Alex was home on leave for almost three weeks and it was the most wonderful time. Luckily, both Peter and Ellie were around for much of his visit and the five of us (plus Dakota) had a great chance to enjoy being a family.

photo (9)

Dinner at our favorite Le Relais de Venise

We shared good food, family outings and the beautiful June sun and weather.

Alex spent a good portion of his leave making like a couch potato. As they say, you can take the Marine out of the corps, but you can’t take the couch potato out of the Marine. I guess that’s okay because the man did have a long year with much work. He deserved every minute of relaxation.

We celebrated Ellie’s 21st birthday and Alex and Peter took her out for drinks.

photo (22)

We also visited another favorite restaurant and had an amazing dinner including Red Cat‘s signature tempura green beans. The only mishap of the evening was Alex had to wear his uniform. We had posed for family pictures right before we left and somehow I jammed the dryer shut with Alex’s khaki pants in it. We had to run for the train and there was nothing to be done. He looked fantastic. We got to ride the train for free and many people came up to thank him, but I think he felt pretty much on display all evening. Of course, Jim fixed the dryer in two seconds when we got home…but then it was too late.

photo (5)

On our way to dinner, we visited Ellie’s apartment in Brooklyn Heights. Yes, the girl is living pretty high this summer with a pad in the Brooklyn and a two stop commute to Deutsche Bank. It was great fun to see her place and I must admit to a bit of envy.

Alex and I did have a chance to enjoy one of our favorite kayak trips down the Farmington River. After a few days of heavy rain, the river was running high and we had quite a trip! There were more rapids than our kayaks were intended to face and both of us ended up in the water, but it was a great three hour trip.

It may have been almost three weeks, but the time flew by. Before we knew it, Jim and I were driving Alex to JFK and Ellie headed to her apartment for her summer of banking. Peter is still home working at Leslie’s Pool Supply and taking Organic Chemistry. But it was a great visit and we will enjoy our memories for a long time.

In the meantime, check out my gorgeous family. I couldn’t be luckier!!

013 022

 

 

 

May 31, 2014

Marine Mom

DSC04020Looking at the back of my classic red truck, it is pretty easy to get the sense that I am a Marine Mom. I am a very excited Marine Mom because Tuesday my most favorite Marine in the whole world is coming home for almost 3 weeks of post-deployment leave! It is a safe bet that I will have spoiled and smothered Corporal Frost to distraction within 24 hours. Semper Fi!

February 16, 2014

Wondrous Winter Weekend

Friday did it. I finally threw in the towel and called “hookey!” It wasn’t having almost made it through yet another week of snow and storm and delayed trains. Yes, Metro North declaring Friday a “Saturday schedule” with 40% of train capacity, provided somewhat of a justification, but mostly I just couldn’t stand the idea of missing more gorgeous snow! This is the BEST WINTER EVER!!

Jim and I headed up to the country Friday morning with the prospect of three nights and almost four days of hanging out at the house, playing in the snow and just enjoying the peace and bright white snow of a real wintry weekend.

This winter reminds us of the winter of 1982. The snow was so deep that the path to the garage door and the driveway was lined with piles of snow over our heads. We could actually step off the front porch roof right onto the front yard. We don’t have quite that much snow this year, but it is a bumper crop.

photo (16)

There is enough snow that I got to break out my trusty roof rake.

photo (15)

When we arrived Friday, the drive hadn’t been plowed and I will confess to a momentary frustration with the snow, but Jeff arrived almost immediately and we were plowed out in less than half an hour.photo (17)

We dug out the back door and the all-important access to the fuel tanks.

photo (18)

Raking the porch roof is always a good workout. The snow was deep enough, just walking to rake the roof was a workout.

photo (12)

photo (13)

photo (14)

After some bush maintenance and shoveling, we headed off for a walk up the road.

photo (5)

photo (10)

photo (19)

Normally no one loves snow more than Dakota. He runs like a crazy puppy and loves to dig his nose into the white, fluffy flakes. But this snow is so deep, he can only walk where the snow is cleared. I think he still loves the cold, but his crazy puppy circles are confined.

photo (8)

We’re all having a wonderful weekend. This is the best winter ever!!

January 1, 2014

Welcome to 2014!!

Happy New Year!!!

We woke to a sparkling winter’s day in Connecticut. There was a light sprinkling of snow on the ground and the temperature hovered just above 10 degrees. The world looked fresh and new and just the kind of day which should welcome in a new year.

photo (10)

Looking out the front, the walkway stones were barely visible.

photo (8)

The backyard was empty and inviting for a stroll or a four-legged romp.

photo (9)

The pond is almost empty of water and the sun breaks across the tops of the trees its light streaking through the frosty air.

photo (5)

  Dakota surveys his realm and all is well in his world.

The last thirteen days of break have been delightful. Long stretches of relaxation were punctuated by activity. Countless hours of knitting and spinning balanced out with a bit of cooking and family outings. We had a trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, a quiet and enjoyable Christmas Eve and Day with just the four of us at home, a transition from Rye Brook to the country and a good stretch of time at one of our favorite places on earth. It has been a good ending to the holiday season and a great start to a brand new year.

2014 lies before all of us with opportunity, challenge and the prospect of happiness and love. 2013 was a good year for our family, I hope the same for 2014–for our family and for our friends and extended family.

December 8, 2013

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

The snow flurries were just beginning to fall as we brought the tree into the house. This afternoon we left the house in CT early and headed to a Christmas tree lot we had noticed in town.

The first tree we looked at just seemed like the perfect choice. We loaded it up in my red truck and headed home to Rye Brook.

Got 'er done!

Got ‘er done!

Several years ago Peter and I made the most cat-impervious Christmas tree stand ever. We took a 4′ x 4′ piece of plywood, drilled holes to match those in the base of the Christmas tree stand and wired the stand to the board. The Christmas tree is still a giant kitty toy and the ornaments will be strewn about the room, but the tree will never tip over.

Hurry up, I'm nekkid!

Hurry up, I’m nekkid!

September 29, 2013

Hannelore’s Amazing Fish Sauce

photo (13)

This past April Jim and I traveled to DC to visit our friends, Hannelore and Didier. Newly relocated to DC from Vienna, Hannelore is the Bureau Chief for the ORF (see this link for more) and Didier is a retired French journalist. They had led an amazingly romantic life with postings all over the world. Most recently, they have been in Vienna where they have raised their children, Charlotte and Alex.

Hannelore is one of those cooks who seems to effortlessly assemble ingredients, no measuring, and everything tastes fantastic. We arrived after a difficult drive down I-95 to a delightful dinner of salmon, fresh salad and rice. Hannelore threw this Thai Fish sauce together in about 30 seconds and it has become a standard in our household.

Equal parts lime juice and fish sauce

Diced dried chili pepper

Cilantro

This sauce was so simple and yet so tasty. The trick is to not go overboard with the chili pepper. One is fine, two makes it pretty hot. You can see the chilis in the photo above.

Of course, having this base recipe is a great launching pad for variation. If you are pressed for time, the basic sauce takes two minutes. If you have more time, there is room to riff. I love to add chopped scallion and diced ginger. It amplifies the Thai theme and adds more body and chewiness. This sauce works well with tuna, salmon and would probably do wonderful things with chicken.

Try it. Play with it. Heaven knows where Hannelore learned of this sauce, but it is the perfect example of something which can be shared and amplified. Enjoy!!

August 30, 2013

Deployment

021

Alex deployed this week. His current orders state he will return in eight months. He was both very excited and nervous before leaving.

I can’t say much more about his deployment on line for security reasons, but he should be safe. He was very happy about his mission. It is quite an honor.

The amazing thing is that as he left all of his worldly possessions were either in a storage locker (including his very cute, but somewhat ridiculous white two-seater sports car) or with him in his duffle. We have so many things in our lives. Sometimes it feels like such a burden. Alex headed off like a turtle with his life on his back.

The other thing I have been thinking a lot about is that when these guys deploy, they put their lives on hold for us. They can literally freeze many of their bills during deployment. No more car payments, no accumulation of interest. Their private lives cease to exist and they are 100% devoted to their mission. That is quite a time out of normal life. It may not be the ultimate sacrifice, but it is a tremendous gift to the rest of us.

Semper Fi indeed.

043

July 31, 2013

Independence Day in Military City

Fourth of July weekend Jim and I traveled out to Oceanside, CA and Camp Pendleton to visit our firstborn in his Marine habitat. It was our first trip out to see his life and we had a wonderful time exploring the base, a summer weekend in Southern California and the lifestyle of our son on base.

The weekend was chock full of activities. It was a bit odd adjusting to the climate and weather in Southern California on the coast. June Gloom was quite a different experience than our usual sunny and hot summer weather in early July. That was more than balanced by the celebration and excitement which accompanies the Nation’s Birthday on a military base.

read more »

July 27, 2013

Three Peeps Hit the Town

Thursday we hit the town. Yep, me and my peeps. We did it up in the Meatpacking District.

Jim was in the country and Ellie, Peter and I decided on a night out. Ever since Ellie went to the Sugar Factory with her friends, my mind was entranced at the idea of a large alcoholic beverage with gummi worms in it. Who wouldn’t be obsessed with such a thought?

We met at the Sugar Factory right at 5:30. Peter and Ellie had already had adventures traveling from Grand Central and purchasing a shirt for Peter so he wasn’t mistaken for a waiter. When I arrived on Gansevoort, Peter was just polishing off a Chocolate Martini! He looked extremely handsome and I could tell because the bartender was flirting with him shamelessly. Peter seemed oblivious, but his sister and I knew. Ellie was a bit undone that she wasn’t the focus of the bartender’s attentions.

I ordered the one drink which advertised Gummi Worms, it was called a White Gummi. It was a whopping 60 ounces and featured clouds from dry ice and a lacing of gummi worms.

IMG_6692

Peter ordered a Mai Tai which was also of gargantuan proportions and featured gummi cherries! It also smoked with clouds from the dry ice.

IMG_9344

I liked his even better than mine! Ellie graciously helped both of us.

Digging those gummi worms out of my drink took a lot of my attention. It seemed every time the waiter came by to check on us, I was sitting happily with a gummi worm hanging out of my mouth.

IMG_6126

We polished off those drinks in fine form and headed to Beaumarchais a short distance away for dinner.

To be perfectly honest, we were a bit full and tired by then. Doggie bags all around.

IMG_6288

IMG_7375

It was super fun, but those Gummi’s can really fill a guy up–not to mention 60 ounces of drink.

When we got home, there was an extra surprise! Jim had come back from the country and had just arrived. The evening ended in the best possible way with five of the six Frosts (missing Alex, but including Dakota) sprawled on our bed watching Stephen Colbert lampoon the infamous Carlos Danger.

And that, my friends, is better than all the Gummi Worm drinks in the  world!!

%d bloggers like this: