Monthly Archives: August 2007


On Saturday, we went to Val’s great grandmother’s (“Grammy”) 98th birthday! Ninety eight years old! That’s impressive. She lives at an old-people-hangout-place in Lowell. The first thing we saw when we arrived was fake wolves on the lawn.

Cardboard Cayotes

I told Val that they were there to scare off the chickens.

Ends up I wasn’t far off! The cardboard coyotes were there to keep away the geese!

Anyways, Val’s Grammy is doing well. There was a little party for her and she was there and talked with people — she asked me if I liked the hairdos people had.
Ali and Arlene with Grammy
Ali, Grammy, Arleen

There was a good chunk of Val’s extended family — some of them Val didn’t know, so I didn’t feel bad about not knowing them either. One person approached Val and said hi and explained she didn’t say hi earlier because she didn’t realize she was related!

Luckily there were also some familiar faces, such as Val’s cousin Mary:

Val and her cousin Mary

Val’s Grammy is actually not just a great grandmother, but also a great great grandmother to Val’s second cousin’s daughter’s child. Yeah, that family is quite large. Grammy had three kids, one being Val’s grandmother Nan. Of those kids, they had a total of 19 children (one being Val’s mom), so you can imagine the amount of cousins Val has!

When talking about Val’s Grammy, it came up that there was a picture of her as a flapper in the roaring twenties! I thought it would be great to share that here:

Val's Grammy in the 1920's

Happy 98th birthday Grammy (of Val)!

They Are Back

I saw a sign at Stop and Shop that said:

There back !!!
A slice of cake

This was funny to me.

A Slice Of Cake Sign

  1. Content is ridiculously silly. (A slice of cake is back?!? No way!)
  2. I know I make typos on — I type sort of stream of conscious — but if I’m making a sign for a display, I’d like to think I would read it over and make sure I use the right word (there versus they’re).
  3. What is with the punctuation (!!! on one line, nothing on the other)?

See, I told you it was funny.

Thunder Cats Ho!

Dressing fancy is always fun.

Val and Ian Looking Fancy @ Alyson and Thunder's Wedding

Alyson and Andrew “Thunder” Carvalho got married this past Sunday. It was a nice wedding in Newport with about 50 people. Got Val and I thinking about maybe making some actual wedding plans one day.

The ceremony was held on the roof of the hotel which was pretty cool. It was great weather, with a cool breeze. The breeze proved too strong for Alyson’s veil, which blew off into her (now) mother-in-law. The breeze was also too strong for the Chuppah which had one pole come loose and hit the groom in the head!

Alyson and Thunder's Chuppah

The wedding ceremony was still nice. The flower girls were adorable and the ring bearer was looking sharp!

Ms. Perci and Alyson and Thunder's Wedding

We went downstairs to the party room for the wedding reception. The cocktail hour had sushi, which was…interesting. The dinner had filet minon, which was…fancy. The party music was mostly 80′s, which was…AWESOME:

Val doing the robot

Yes, the above picture is Val doing the robot. In case you didn’t know, according to wikipedia (my source for all things factual), “The robot dance is frequently featured in movies, television shows and live events.”

Amy Christian (seen in group picture below) also enjoyed the music. In fact, when one hit was played she exclaimed, “You know, people make fun of him, but that Michael Jackson…he’s alright!”

Overall a good time. It was pretty funny with the high Brandeis turnout, so we made sure to take a group photo:

Brandeis Group at Alyson and Thunder's Wedding

[Pictures courtesy of Amy Christian and Gwenn Smaxwill]

Not quite the giving tree…

If a tree falls on a house and people hear it, does it make a sound?

Tree on Spencer House

The answer is yes.

Everywhere west of our apartment got hit by a storm. Val and I didn’t notice anything at least. If it was stormy it must have been quite mild to not make any noise.

My parents said that it got quite windy, with plenty of lightning and some rain. They welcomed the rain as it cooled the temperature. They said they were really enjoying the cool breeze until a skunk came by the neighborhood — my mom described the smell as being so overpowering that she felt like she was eating skunk.

Over in Spencer, the storm was even more intense and kept them up most of the night. At one point there was a loud crack that shook the house. They didn’t know if it was lightning or what, so they stayed indoors waiting.

In the morning, they went to the living room and saw water coming in and dripping onto the carpet. They opened the window and saw this:

Tree in Spencer

Unfortunately, parts of the tree landed on their roof, puncturing holes through the shingles and all the way through some of the 2×4′s underneath.

Spencer roof damage

Spencer roof damage

The wind, it seems, snapped off a large part of an even larger tree:

Broken tree

On the way down, that large tree, completely knocked down a smaller, but decent sized tree.

Smaller tree down

Once Val and I found out about the tree trouble in town, we drove over to their house and tried to help clean up. Basically we just cleaned up smaller branches strewn about the backyard, leaving the larger tree in front for a professional to take away.

Tree and Spencer house

Then we freshened up, had a bit to eat, and took Val’s sister to see Harry Potter 5 in IMAX. Val and I already saw the movie in a regular theater, but IMAX is fun and the last part of the movie was in 3D. Ali didn’t see the movie before last night because her friends aren’t in to that sort of thing.

On Sunday, someone came by the Spencer-house and picked up the tree mess.

Tree in Spencer from roof

Tree in Spencer from roof

Now they just need to wait until they hear from their insurance company…because they didn’t seem to like the new roof vents the tree made.