Monday, December 31, 2007

Young Frankenstein (Fronk-en-schteen)

My Christmas present from Sue was tickets to see the new Mel Brooks musical, Young Frankenstein. I hadn't been to a Broadway show in decades (four?). And, for all of us who have laughed at the movie, the musical version promised to be just as much fun. It was! All the good jokes and punch lines were there, the sets were great, the lighting and pyrotechnic effects were amazing, and the music was terrific. My favorites were "He Vas My Boyfriend," "Deep Love," and "Puttin' On the Ritz". Thank you, Sue!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

The Max&Mommy Forest

Thanks to Auntie Vu, Max is the proud owner of some classic wood blocks. This evening, while Brian worked on a music compilation, we joined creative forces to create the Max&Mommy Forest. Max was very meticulous about choosing the correct spots for blocks and quickly caught on to some effective balancing strategies. After I documented our masterpiece, Max took great pride in destroying the structure.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Our First Tree!

Happy Holidays! The Bronx Bowles Brigade has a new first in our first home. Our first Christmas tree. We went out on Saturday and picked the best pre-cut, wrapped, bundled, and netted tree that we could find at the vendors under the elevated subway. Going to get a tree in the city is nothing like taking a trip to a tree farm and looking for the best one to cut down and hauling it home. Regardless of the process, we chose a beautiful tree (if I do say so myself). We trimmed it Saturday night with help from our friend Xanthea who was visiting for the weekend. Mom made us a beautiful tree skirt. The pictures don't come close to doing it justice. The colors and the pattern and of course the craftsmanship are above comparison. Thanks Mom! Happy Holidays to all.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Holiday Plans?

Hello, Bowlesians. I wanted to check in to see how your holiday plans were shaping up. Karl, Noah, Caleb, and I will be driving up to Brattleboro on Christmas afternoon and staying through about lunchtime on the 27th. Lisa and Ian are flying in on the 22nd, also departing on the 27th. How about you? Any chance for a holiday get together this year?

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Christmas '07

Coming soon to a mailbox near you....

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Well pump

And, while Davey was dealing with removing filthy carpet in his new place, Sue and I were dealing with a dead pump in our well.

We woke up to no water on Monday morning (in the middle of a snowstorm). I did some layman checking and was pretty sure I could rule out every option except the pump. Sadly, that turned out to be the culprit.

Now, $1,400 later, we have that new pump--hope this one lasts 19 years like the old one did. (Actually, in 19 years, it's pretty likely that neither Sue or I will care too much about water pumps.)

It's an interesting process to see 365' of tubing being pulled out of a hole in your yard. The best line of the day, though, came from one of my golfing buddies (who was pretty flabbergasted to learn that our pump is that far underground). He said, "Damn, that's a good 9 iron!" Indeed.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

The End of a time

I am now an official member the Park Vanderbilt Cooperative. I spent the past 72 hours ripping out the filthiest carpet I have ever seen, pulling out staples, and mopping the floor. Sadly I still think I will need get the floors sanded before I can really settle in. But all and all I am very excited to be in the new place and out of 5th ave.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Quilt for Lisa and Ian

Here are pictures of the quilt I made for my niece and her husband to celebrate their wedding. The pattern is "Lover's Knot" and comes from a book of vintage quilt designs titled Celebrate Great Quilts - circa 1825 to 1940. Lisa chose soft, muted colors--I think the effect is perfect!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


A date has finally been set "officially" for the closing. All parties have agreed, Friday November 30th to meet on the 45th floor of the Empire State Building at 10 AM. From that point on I will be freaking out about whether or not I have made the right decission. But I will try to enjoy the view.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

the turkeys

well it is the holidays and thought we should share how great my holiday sweater is. Also note how amazing dad's turkey turned out.

Naughty Boy

Last night, as I was preparing some macaroni and cheese with peas, Max decided that the table was a much more appealing drawing surface than a measly piece of copy paper. This picture was taken as I said, "MAX!" It is amazing how simultaneously naughty and cute he is.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Enough snow to track a...

Sadly, Willow is no longer with us so we can't use the time-honored measurement the Buttner family uses to mark the date of the first significant snowfall of the year. So, instead of seeing the tracks of a cat, we've had to use the tracks of a different animal.

Max takes his grandparents to the Bronx Zoo

We had a very nice visit with Brian, Lauren and Max over Veteran's Day weekend--the view from their new apartment is great! And Max enjoyed showing us around the Bronx Zoo (note the impish grin).

An added plus was that we got to have dinner with Davey who was (miraculously!) in NY for a couple of days

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Getting Closer

I had the official board meeting last night, and it went well. It was a very odd meeting to be honest. I met with the president, vice president and one other member. They basically just told me about the building, and asked if I had any questions. They really didn't ask me anything. All and all it was a very successful meeting. The building is very laid back on renovations, their policy is as long as it doesn't involve moving walls or pipes, no need for approval.

I will officially know on thursday.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

pumptins are orange Daddy!

Last weekend we drove upstate with some friends from Brooklyn and went pumpkin picking. Max and his friend Evan had fun on the hay ride and bumping along in the back of the old town fire truck. The pumkin farm and apple orchard were in New Paltz, NY which is about 80 miles north in Ulster County. We had a really good time. We ate fresh made apple donuts and bought pumpkins and gourds for decorating. As you can see by Max's clothing it was a balmy 80 on sunday. Not quite the weather I am used to for pumpkin season. We had a really good day.

Still nothing

Well I have made some small steps. But the finish line is still illusive. I now have a board meeting on November 9th, which is the good news. Despite having to once again stay and pay higher rent in my current place. The downside is that the Co-op board wont even consider closing until the 18th or 19th of November. So once again the theory of getting the carpets pulled out and floors sanded while I was away for work are smashed. And not really sure I will be able to get anyone to do them over the holiday weekend. so we will see.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Holy Hollyhocks!

For whatever reason, the hollyhocks in the front flower bed are gigantic this year--more than 10 feet high. They sorta dwarf everything else, don't they?

Friday, October 12, 2007

Our new neighbor: The Bronx Zoo!

Hi all
When we moved to Riverdale, we weren't thinking about the Bronx Zoo, but now that we're here, we've discovered that we live 20 minutes away! Max and I got to go with some friends/cousins on Columbus Day. It was very hard to drag Max away from the prairie dog exhibit.


Monday, October 8, 2007

Eric at the cabin

Our friend, Eric Wolf, has been visiting the cabin for a number of years--he finds it to be a relaxing and private retreat where he can paint without the interruptions of daily life in New York. Eric shared these images of various works he produced during his most recent visit (September 2007). A section of our family web site has more information about Eric, his style of painting, and the paintings he has done for our family. Click here to visit the Bowles web site.

Update (10-9-07): Eric just wrote to let us know that he has a new web site. Click here to check it out (you'll notice that most of the paintings he features on his site were done at the cabin!).

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Peterborough Chamber Choir

Sue and I sang with this group in the early 1990s, but it sorta disbanded for a while and we were quite involved with the Monadnock Chorus, etc. I am now singing with the PCC again. It's an excellent group of singers that performs a'cappella music, often from the Medieval and Renaissance periods--music I love.

We are currently preparing for a concert on October 21. The concert will be held in a beautiful stone church in Jaffrey--wonderful acoustics and a perfect setting for the music we will be performing.

What are we singing, you ask? Here's the program (I'm sure you will recognize the names of all the composers!). Note that most of the pieces are settings of the Ave Maria text--I'm really looking forward to the concert.

Leonarda— Ave Regina coelorum

Clemens— Ave Maria

Grieg— Ave maris stella

Mozart— Ave verum corpus

Willan—I beheld her, beautiful as a dove

Willan—Fair in face

Verdonck— Ave Maria

Parsons— Ave Maria

Pärt— Bogoroditse Devo

Rachmaninov— Bogoroditse Devo

Stravinsky— Ave Maria

Byrd— Ave verum corpus

Bruckner— Ave Maria

Gombert— Ave Maria

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

an urban haiku

an urban haiku
gum on the soles of my shoes
new york at its best

vacation in a vacation

well it has been a lovely and much needed vacation, but not only that there has been an amazing vacation in a vacation. we just got back to rainy London from beautiful Mallorca. there were cannonballs into the sea, wine festivals and amazing food. what is more amazing it that I still have another week to relax and enojoy London.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

New home... new view...

Hi all

Thought I'd share this picture with you - it shows what Max really enjoys doing now. It sure is nice to be able to see beyond your immediate environment....

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Closing the Cabin

Closing the cabin;
Nostalgic and bittersweet.
Can't wait 'til next year!

Mooselookmeguntic Haiku
CSB - 9/23/07

And I couldn't resist taking a picture of all the cones in this spruce tree. Wonder if it's gonna be a long, cold winter?

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Max Visits His NH Grandparents

While Brian and Lauren dealt with the countless hassles of moving into their new apartment (see the earlier post by Brian), Max spent a week with Meema and Deeda in NH. I think we got the better end of this bargain!The "transfer" happened at the Blue Colony Diner in Danbury, CT--about halfway for each of us.

Deeda and Max went to the antique gas engine meet where we found this prehistoric creature. So many tractors!

Max took naps.

And he had some of his favorite meals.
("No, Deeda! Not beans and rice. Rice and beans!!)

And, he read countless books. He even got visitors to read to him.
(In this case, our friend, Pam Stevens).

Deeda arranged for Max to spend two days at the Pine Hill Child Care Center--the center that operates in the school where Deeda works. PHCCC is a wonderful, nurturing place. Max fit in quickly and well.
Every afternoon--rain or shine--the children go for a walk with their teacher. It looks like a little chain gang, but it's very cute. Max, BTW, is next to last in the "line-up."

Max is home, now, in his new apartment, in his own room, and sleeping in his "big boy bed." Sadly, our house is a little quieter now.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Photos and Coffee

Well after years of talking about wanting to hang photos, It has finally happened. A friend of Amanda's sent out an email that The Flying Saucer on Atlantic Ave in brooklyn was looking for art work. After a quick email, they liked the possible images and away we go.

I hung Seven photos on the back corner of the coffee shop. They will be up for at least a month, and there is the possibility that there could be more photos hung up in the future.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Peterborough - Cool!

Peterborough was recently named as one of the ten "coolest" towns in the nation by Budget Travel Magazine. Click here to read the story.

Of course we could all agree that Peterborough qualifies. But, another fun discovery I made as I read the article was that Parkville, MO--home of Park College--was another one of the ten coolest towns. Click here to read THAT story.

Naturally, the Peterborough Chamber of Commerce has been all over the story including our connection to Parkville. Check out this paragraph in the latest edition of the Chamber News:

"Another thing we have learned has to do with another town on the list--Parkville, Missouri--which just happens to be where well-known local educator and civic leader Chet Bowles and his wife Sue went to college. So this would make them doubly cool. Or super cool. Or something. But then again, we already knew that. Cool!"

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Our New Home


Brian, Lauren and Max will be moving to The Bronx. 555 Kappock St. #8S to be exact. It is a sunny, spacious 2 bedroom, 2 bath on the 8th floor. This is our view! We face East. That is the Harlem River, so The Bronx is on the left and Manhattan is on the right. The baseball diamond in the middle is for one of the high schools, and across the river is Columbia's Bakers Field sports complex. We will be able to watch them row crew on the river. More to come.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Canadians DO love Tim Horton's

I think Great Uncle Dave deserves an apology, Canadians really love Tim Horton's. I have been in Montreal for the past week and see on nearly every street corner a Tim Horton's, and hear RAVE reviews all the locals about the quality of their coffee. I haven't ventured there to grab one, but I probably should before I leave.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Deer, Damn! (Part 2)

Our new "Intelligent Animal Control Device" (advertising slogan for the company) arrived today. It's called the ScareCrow.

There's an infrared sensor that detects the temperature difference between an animal and the background. When it senses an animal, it turns on a sprinkler (the ka-chunk, ka-chunk kind) for about 3 seconds.

Since I probably qualify as a large animal, I sacrificed my dry clothes for a field test of the installation. Seemed to work just fine. We'll let you know the fate of Sue's remaining hosta.


Wednesday, August 22, 2007

White Lady's Slipper

In addition to mushrooms, I found that we had a nice clump of White Lady's Slippers growing near the driveway at the cabin.

We have lots of the pink variety, both at the cabin and in Sharon--they are classed as a "threatened species," so we are quite happy to be able to enjoy so many of them. I know that they grow in other colors, however I had never seen a white one. I did some limited research on the Internet and, while the white variety seems to be fairly common in the upper Midwest (MN, SD, etc.), they weren't even listed as growing in Maine!

Year of the Mushroom

For whatever reason, we seemed to have a bumper crop of mushrooms at the cabin (both quantity and variety). Here's a sampling: