Thursday, October 4, 2018

Birthday Gathering

Everyone around the fire.A little over a month ago I’ve had yet another birthday. But what made this year different was a fact that I could actually invite all my friends to our house for a little celebration.

Tables on the porch.And not only could we invite all my friends, but we could also cook for everyone on our grill instead of ordering something. That is exactly what we did. We invited everyone to Ridgеfield on the very next Saturday after my birthday.

Conversations around the table.All in all we had 19 people that we had enough place to sit on our porch. The only people who weren’t there were Ignat, Vika and Alisa — but they visited us a week before, and Lenchik.

Kids marshmallowing.One of very pleasant surprises was that even Eldar made it. He actually managed to skip our whole previous apartment altogether. We were really glad to see him. Too bad that he didn’t have much time in New York. Hopefully we will see him sooner next time.

Kids on trampoline.Overall I had all my best friends and their families over — Misha, Natasha and their son David, Ilya, Ulyana and their sons Matvey and Misha, Sasha, Maruk, Alina and their daughter Emma, Eldar and all my family — papa, mama and Lina.

Ilya summoning the fire.Also a day before we had a final piece of our patio furniture delivered, so we could set it all up around a fire-pit on the patio. We also took out our cooler that we bought right after we got our house and filled it up with ice and beer.

Vast collection of wheat bears.Ilya helped with grilling the vegetables, then we grilled a lot of salmon. After lunch-dinner we sat around the fire-pit where kids fried some marshmallows.

Ilya claims fires requires summoning to burn. Arosha claims that it's complete nonsense.It was a really pleasant gathering. I hope everyone enjoyed it, because I certainly did.

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Sunday, October 14, 2018

Apple Picking 2018

Big pumpkins.This year we went apple picking to Blue Jay farms, located a bit less than 9 miles from our new house. Twice!!

Papa, mama and Lina.The first time was on September 16th. The whole family, including Danya’s parents and his sister went. I think it was actually the first time for Lina to go apple picking and she said that it was more fun than anticipated.

Main pickers.September 16 was hot and humid, so we only stayed in the orchard for about an hour. There were 4 varieties of apples available for picking, but we only got to two of them, because the other two were at the other end of this huge orchard and as I mentioned we were exhausted from the heat. The varieties that we picked were McIntosh and Cortland. To me they taste very similar, but I think that we mostly picked Cortlands.

Us.To get to the Cortland patch, we got a ride on one of the farm’s little motocars, which were shuttling people around. The driver told us that there are 8 thousand trees in the orchard, some of them 30+ years old.

Getting apples.We also visited a pumpkin patch and the children picked out two pumpkins. They were pretty huge and expensive (I can get the same sized pumpkin in Aldi for about 1/9 of the price). When we got home we put them on both sides of the front entrance of the house.

Arosha unit.We also visited the farm’s store and bought local honey, apple cider, apple cider donuts and some beef jerky. Everything was really delicious.

Pumpkins.By this past Sunday, October 8th, the tasty apples that we picked were almost gone. I won’t claim that I’m the only one who eats them, but I probably eat about 80% of apples in this household. Plus, a few of the people I know were going apple picking this particular weekend, so I figured that we might as well go again.

Us.This time it was just the four of us. The day was hot and humid again, but this being October, it was good 10 degrees colder. There were more varieties of apples available, but my favorite this time was Mutsu apple, which I bought multiple times in Russian grocery stores in the past under its other name Crispin apple. We picked some other apples too, but I’m not sure what they were.

Aroshka.To tell the truth, I can’t find an apple which I don’t like when picked directly from the tree. Some could be a bit too sweet, but even they are simply irresistible. If I had to name my favorite fruit, it will be apple. I perceive it as a bread of the fruit world. It’s common, not exotic, but I can eat it every single day and not get tired of it. And as with bread, there are a bunch of varieties, with Granny Smith being the rye bread and Golden Delicious the challah.

Anna and a huge apple.This time around Danya has decided to get bigger bags for apple picking. I’m all up for more apples, but next time we probably should stick to the medium sized ones. The big ones were insanely heavy to carry around the huge orchard, plus handles on both of them broke.

Kids.We skipped the pumpkins the second time around, but dutifully got beef jerky, cider and donuts. It was a fun experience, and our fridge is full of wonderful, delicious, fresh apples!

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Wednesday, October 17, 2018

О Новом Доме

Last days of summer. On our porch.Для нас этот год неожиданно оказался годом больших перемен. Смена места жительства, пусть и не в таком глобальном масштабе, как иммиграция, дело непростое.

Фантазировали и мечтали о своём доме мы давно, но было страшно и в плане финансов, и в плане адаптации к несколько иному образу жизни, и, конечно, в плане отрыва от семьи и друзей.

Early fall.Когда прошлым летом мы ездили смотреть дома в Нью-Йорке и Нью-Джерси, у меня не было чувства, что я готова решиться на переезд. Каждый раз после поездки на осмотр продающихся домов, почему-то начиналась мигрень. Да и школы, которые были основным из движущих нас факторов, хоть и выигрывали в сравнении с Нью-Йоркскими, все же не были так хороши, как хотелось.

Ещё я думала, что у меня в Бруклине есть хорошая подруга, найти замену которой мне представлялось почти невозможным. По правде говоря, мои дружеские чувства к ней делали мысль о переезде менее привлекательной. Однако, в конце прошлого года я сильно в ней разочаровалась, и хотя процесс осознания односторонности дружбы был неприятен, он убрал ещё одно препятствие для переезда. Теперь отрываться тяжело было только от родителей, но они очень поддерживали нас в решении улучшить уровень жизни для нас и детей, хотя им, конечно, очень бы хотелось, чтобы мы жили с ними поблизости.

Colorful backyard.Когда в конце февраля Даня предложил съездить и посмотреть дома в Коннектикуте, я не была уверена насколько серьёзно мы относились к этому процессу, но желание вырваться из ставшей тесной квартиры и избежать стресса поступления в среднюю школу возрастало экспоненциально.

К своему удивлению, я поняла, что готова переехать в один из увиденных нами домов. Местность вокруг показалась мне умиротворенной, дом светлым, и вообще возникло чувство, что это оно — то самое, что мы искали и где нам будет хорошо!

Colorful fall in Ridgеfield.Как уже писал Даня, на следующей же неделе мы связались с агентом по продаже и поставили нашу квартиру на рынок. Продалась она очень быстро и за хорошую цену. Конечно, нам очень хотелось купить дом таким образом, чтобы и за две ипотеки не платить если дом купить слишком заранее, и не переезжать на съемную квартиру в противоположном варианте. Все вышло так, как мы хотели, хотя нервов этот процесс стоил немало. Даня уже писал об этом, повторять все подробности не буду.

Мы живем в доме уже 3 месяца. Мне очень нравится! Конечно, есть вещи, которые были удобнее, когда проживаешь в маленькой квартире в большом городе, но всё же плюсы пока сильно перевешивают минусы.

Из того, что мне нравится: Continue Reading

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Thursday, October 18, 2018

Home Office 2.0

Repainted office with Hue strip accent light.It’s only been 3 weeks or so since I published a post about my office and I already have a big update. When we purchased the house we felt that one of the two garages was too small to fit a car comfortably, so we were planning to move a wall by two feet to expand garage at the expense of office space in preparation for Ridgеfield winters.

Hue lights in red.Last week we have actually completed this project and we took this chance as an opportunity to repaint the whole room in colors that I wanted to do it in for a while — orange-teal. Three walls went orange and one accent wall is teal.

National Park posters on orange wall.I also took this opportunity to fix the cabling mess behind the desk — I’ve attached 12 port power strip made by Standing Desk behind the desk which made for a pretty good arrangement of wiring. And I also have finally installed Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance Light Strip that I have had since Amazon’s Prime Day.

Hue light strip in green.The hardest part was putting all the posters back up, since all the markings and nails that we put in for the first time were gone. But in the end I think the office came out very well. Extremely comfortable and cozy place to work from. I’m very happy with the final result.

Different angle view.

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