Adventures in Probate Court

on Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I had something out of a dream happen to me last week. I got a phone call telling me that I inherited money! Ok, Ok, don't get too excited yet. I'm not retiring or moving to an exotic island with the proceeds. Let me give you the full story...

My brother and I have different fathers. During the time that my mother was married to Ron (my brother's father), Ron's father (let's call him Grandpa W) passed away. It was 1992 and I was 11 and my brother was 2. Grandpa W left my bro (who is his biological grandchild) some money, but he could not collect until he turned 18. Are you still with me?

Now, fast forward 17 years to last week. My brother and mother took a trip to the Hampshire County probate court to figure out how to finally collect my bro's inheritance now that he's of age (he's using it to pay for college!). They pulled the docket and, while looking through, discovered that I was left money as well! Not a ton of money, but that is completely irrelevant. I was completely shocked and so humbled by the fact that Grandpa W, who had absolutely no obligation to me, was so kind and generous to think of me. Such an amazing gesture.

So, I took a day off from work to investigate on my own. And, after only an hour spent at probate court, I left with my old school passbook to the savings account holding my inheritance (plus 17 years of interest!). Of course, I went straight to the bank to collect and then straight to the outlets to buy designer handbags :-) Don't worry -- I wasn't COMPLETELY reckless with all of the money...I put half of it into savings (earning brownie points with the savings-minded hubby!).

So, I'd like to take a moment to remember Grandpa W. His kindness and generosity live on.

Closets and Cocktails

on Monday, August 24, 2009

As you may recall, I completed a closet organization project back in January. In this organization effort, I put each pair of shoes I own into a plastic container and affixed a photo of the shoes on the outside of the container for easy identification. The closet looked fantastic afterward! To refresh your memory...

I was so happy with the result...until I had to live with it. Through this project, I learned a very valuable organization lesson -- stacking doesn't work. It seemed like such a great idea in theory, but in reality it did not function well. Having to pull out the 5th or 6th container down in a stack was becoming such a pain that the shoes stopped being put back into their containers and started collecting in a pile at the bottom of my closet, totally defeating the purpose of the containers.

So, back to the drawing board I went. I had to figure out something that was organized AND functional. After much consideration and scouring of the Internet, I figured out the perfect (and most obvious) solution! Shelves! Originally I was going to put shelves in on my side of the closet only but then I had my second brilliant revelation. Kick my husband out (of the closet that is)! He gladly obliged, as that closet was just not big enough for the two of us. So, with all my new found closet space, I had my handy hubby install shelving in each side of the closet. One side has shelving for shoes...
My beautiful shoe containers in all of their glory! And, I added a shallow basket on the bottom to hold flip flops and flats...

Look at all the floor space I gained by getting the shoes off the floor!

This photo is a tad dark, but the shelves on this side are for tank tops, t-shirts, hats, boots, my work bag and the purse I am currently using. This give me easy access to my most commonly used items. And, I even have a shelf with nothing on it! I figured it was probably a good idea to give myself a little extra space to grow into.

Sweaters are still up top and still organized by color. But, they've been shifted to the middle for easy access. My other favorite purses and bags are stored on each side of the top shelf so I can rotate whenever I feel like it.

And, just because I love it so much and am so proud -- my shoes again!

So, that's it! My beautifully organized, and fully functional, closet! Organization really does make life so much more simple!

Best part of the project: It cost us zero dollars and zero cents! We found the wood for the shelving at John's grandmother's house and cut each shelf to size with John's father's various man-saws. We also pre-drilled the holes for the shelf supports with John's father's man-drill. And, labor was free :-)

Worst part of the project: See, installing shelves in a closet isn't exactly the most exciting of projects, so we decided it would be a lot more fun with cocktails. And, it was :-) But, sadly, I am feeling the effects of my indulgence today :-( Oh well, small price to pay for such an awesome closet!!!

Good Melis Versus Bad Melis

on Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Lately, my mornings begin with the alarm going off at 5:45 am, followed by hitting the snooze button at least 3 times once, and then the follow exchange usually occurs:

Good Melis: Melissa, get up and work out. It's so important for your health and you will be so happy you did.

Bad Melis: You are so comfortable in bed snuggling up with your hubby. The gym is cold and working out is hard. Stay here.

Good Melis: You know you will regret it if you don't work out. I know it's tough to get up, but you will thank me if you do.

Bad Melis: Just stay in bed a little while longer. You can just work out after work (which, btw, rarely ever happens, yet somehow Bad Melis convinces me that it will).

Good Melis: This is getting really old. Either get up or don't...just make a decision.

Bad Melis: She's right...well, at least half right. Don't get up. Sleep a little longer.

Good Melis: You're hopeless.

I used to get up without any trouble to work out in the mornings...okay, some trouble, but at least I got up and did it. Why is it so hard these days? I KNOW that getting in a good workout in the morning makes me feel amazing (like today!), so why can't I do it everyday? This is just one of the eternal mysteries of my life that I don't think will ever be solved.

Drunk Blogging

on Saturday, August 15, 2009

Why? Because I can, bitches! Johnny's away at a bachelor party and I am having a grand old time on my own.

After dropping the hubby off this morning, I hit the outlets in Lee, MA to find a dress to wear to this god-forsaken wedding in 3 weeks. Well, I found the perfect dress. And get ready for was marked down from $188 to...$22!!! Bargain of the century. And, then I spent an unmentionable amount of money on clothes. Oops! At least I'll look fabulous!

After my shopping spree, I met up with my dad and sister to go to the grand opening (or, sort of re-opening) of Mountain Park. This former amusement park has been transformed into a Tanglewood-esque music venue and today was it's christening. Normally, it will cost $$$ to go, but today was FRRREEEEEE! There were 6 bands playing today, but we only stayed for 1 because it was so dang hot. Holy moly!

Dad and I then went back to NoHo to hit up one of our favorite spots for dinner...Paradisio! After a killer pizza and a few glasses of sangria, I headed home, which is where I am now. I'm just sitting on the patio, drinking a bottle of champagne to the head, listening to some tunes and blogging away the time until my hubby gets back.

Ahhh, summertime is fund, isn't it?

How does your garden grow?

on Saturday, August 8, 2009

We picked the spot...

We poured the soil...

Bailey was clearly very excited by this process...

We watered the fragile plants...

All planted and ready to go...
One month later...
It's completely out of control!
And growing like crazy...
Lots and lots of veggies...
Nothing like fresh veggies from your own garden!

And, of course, a little more Bailey!

Twenty Eight is GREAT!

on Monday, August 3, 2009

OK, OK, so technically I'm only a few hours in, and I am at work today (although obviously not working that hard, hence the blogging), but this birthday has rocked! 


The celebrations all started on Friday night when I came home to dinner and wine courtesy of my one and only.  There was also a little teaser set out on my plate…a note that told me we would be enjoying relaxation, Mexican drinks and entertainment on Sunday in Hartford.  No other clues were given.  He is just so great at planning these little surprises for me, and he never disappoints!


Saturday began with bike shopping with my mom.  I have wanted a new bike FOREVER but have delayed getting one for various reasons.  After testing a few out, I fell in love with one and the rest is history!  I took it out for its inaugural ride that afternoon with John and my Dad, but only after having ice cream cake at my Mom's house to celebrate both my and my brother's birthdays!  Our birthday's are only 3 days apart (his July 31st and mine August 3rd)…well, technically 8 years and 362 days, but who's counting!  So, if you've been able to follow this…bike shopping, cake at Mom's, bike riding with Dad.  Then, Dad, Johnny and I walked to downtown Northampton from my Dad's and had lunch at "Teapot", a place that none of us had ever been.  I have vegetarian sushi and peach green tea.  Super delish!  We finally headed back to Westfield and went to hang poolside at our friend Sean's house.  All in all, a great day, but nothing compared to my Sunday!


I woke up super excited for my surprise Sunday morning and was eager to see what my hubby had in store for me.  We began our day with an hour-long couples massage, followed by brunch and drinks at Agave in downtown Hartford, followed by tickets to a very funny, creative and entertaining play called "Speech and Debate."  So, how did hubby do?


Do I love massages?  Heck Yeah. 

Do I love going out to brunch?  You bet. 

Do I love Mexican Drinks? Si Senor. 

Do I love going to the theater and seeing new and interesting shows?  Give my regards to Broadway!


Not only did he hit it out of the park, he hit a grand slam!  My God, I love that man!


Today it is back to reality (work and the usual chores), but I am still on cloud 9 after such a great weekend of celebration and I am reminded of just how thankful I am to have such wonderful, thoughtful, generous, loving people in my life.  It's truly amazing and I am continually blown away by how lucky I am.