|FAMILY STUFF||HIKING TRIPS||MISC MUSINGS||ARCHIVES|
|Europe 1997||New Hampshire 1998||On Kittens and Cuckoos||2003|
|Disney 2000||New Hampshire 1999||On the Theater||2004|
|Europe 2000||New Hampshire 2000||My Uncle Edward||2005|
|Southwest 2001||Seattle 2000||My War Journal||2006|
|Cape Cod 2002||New Hampshire 2001||The Current Unpleasantness||2007|
|Opila reunion 2002||Seattle 2002||2008|
|Christmas 2002||New Hampshire 2003||2009|
|Honk! - February 2003||Toni in Alaska, July 2008|
|Memorial Day 2003||The Geezers ride again, 2009|
|July 4 2003|
|Maine, August 2003|
|Lake Winnipesauke, 2004|
|Russell is 90, Sept 2004|
|Europe, August 2005|
|A mighty wind, 2006|
|Xmas 2007 pictures|
|Mike's graduation, June 2008|
|Views of the Monkeynut presents a vivid multimedia adventure unfolding the splendor of the Lloyd-Davies and Lynch atomic family, featuring, as the nucleus, Peter and Louise; as the electrons, Madeleine and Toni, along with their perky pets, Volt and Tillie. Discover the agonies and ecstacies of their latest travels, or study the history of their adventures from conception to the present through a vast archive of photographs, scientific facts, questionable rumor, text, graphics and videos.|
New from the Monkeynut - Fall 2010. Louise was due to go under the knife on September 17, but after our return from Austin her back got inexplicably better. Finally, the surgeon recommended she throw caution to the winds and return to her normal lifestyle – lift heavy boxes, go running and wrestle alligators – the plan being that, if she survived the stresses of her normal lifestyle, she could do without the surgery. She did OK, so the surgery is off until further notice.
(BTW, I have finally decided to cave in and adopt the blogging convention of putting the most recent post on the top of the stack, although I haven't changed the archived files above.)
New from the Monkeynut - August 24, 2010. A sad, sad day.
New from the Monkeynut, August 2010 - Austin, Texas. We all spent three days in Austin, then drove down to Houston, dropped Toni off at Rice and the other three of us returned for another few days in Austin. All four of us had a most positive reaction to Austin – it was hot but not too humid, a good-sized city without being too cramped, full of friendly people, good food and live music. The girls particularly enjoyed the pride Austin takes in being weird and Madeleine and I visited the Museum of the Weird, which is mostly a kind of history and homage to the old-style dime museum. (“Come see the bearded lady and the calf with two heads!”) We also went to Antones, a famous music venue, and saw/heard several local bands who were quite good.
Louise’s back gave her some trouble, so she was not able to join in all of the activities. We got together with a realtor, who drove us around several areas that might be suitable places for us to live – quite close into the city center but relatively quiet and attractive. We went to the bat bridge, which was not a terrific hit – the bats sometimes exit at dusk from where they live in the cracks of the bridge in breath-taking clouds, but we just saw a steady trickle of them. We all looked at stuff in vintage clothing stores and Toni finally got herself a pair of cowboy boots. Could this be the spot for the Monkeynut to settle down? Stay tuned. More pics here.
New from the Monkeynut, July 2010 - the move. First, we signed a lease on a townhouse in Stamford - a reasonable size, a very convenient and yet pleasant spot, near the downtown area and in a large gated development. Next, we looked at some moving companies, settling on a local outfit named Collins Brothers. When should we start packing? we asked. Yesterday, they replied. So we bought or scrounged boxes and started stuffing them with stuff. We made some more trips to the storage unit and the dump. Louise kept cracking the whip while the rest of us whined about how much time there still was and how we didn't really need to get packed for weeks. Louise was, of course, quite right and our final flurry of packing was incredibly stressful.
The final push started on Monday July 13, when we drove out to Stamford to get the keys to the townhouse. On Tuesday, more furious packing. On Wednesday, the movers came and of course we were far from being completely packed. (However, we figured we could keep packing all day and night since the movers were doing the move over two days. And then we could keep packing through the weekend if we wanted to schlepp the boxes ourselves.) They packed the truck all morning, despite driving rain, and then departed for Stamford with us following along in the car. Once we arrived and the movers saw the space, they started to scoff. No way! they said. I had cleverly constructed little Photoshop diagrams of the rooms, along with scale drawings of our furniture and it seemed like it would all fit, but I had failed to allow sufficient space for people to move around in the rooms. Louise was horrified and fled the scene, leaving me stranded without a car. Finally, she returned to the house and we began to figure what would not fit. We were trying to combine the family room, living room, dining room and computer room into a single, largeish space, but it just couldn't be done if you wanted enough room for people too. So we started picking out furniture to put into storage, including sadly the piano. I dashed off to rent more storage space for them.
Then back to Larchmont, where we packed late into the night. My own areas of responsibility consisted of the basement, the garage, my study and all electronic devices throughout the house. I had vowed to finish before going to bed, but I still had a ways to go when I plopped, exhausted, into bed. The next morning, the movers were back and we managed to get packed pretty much everything we wanted to pack before they closed up the truck. After dropping off things at the new storage unit, we all headed to Stamford again and this time the movers were all smiles and everything fitted pretty well into the house, with one exception. My new study was to be the basement; along with the items I had designated for it, the movers placed every other thing that didn't obviously fit anywhere else, including 30 or so boxes of books from the computer room and the eliptical trainer. When I sat at my desk, I couldn't be seen from other parts of the room because of the towering stackes of boxes, which I eventually began to see as an advantage.
Finally, the movers left and the house was ours. We went to a nearby Indian restaurant and got take-out, which was wonderful, and sank into our old beds at our new house.
On Friday, the closing. This took quite a long time, but seemed not to involve us very much except when our attorney presented us with several checks for large amounts. We hastily dashed off to the bank to deposit them.
On Saturday, the cleaning.
On Sunday, the desperate last-minute schlepping of things that for one reason or another hadn't been moved by the movers. The girls and I had planned to reward ourselves for successfully moving every last thing out of the house by seeing the movie Inception; we achieved this only by going to the midnight show. (We saw it in IMAX and were totally blown away.) We bade goodbye to Larchmont, NY; hello to Stamford, CT.
New from the Monkeynut, May 2010 - about the house. The sale went blindingly fast - we listed it on Thursday, had a brokers' open house on Friday, had a public open house on Sunday and got a pretty good offer that same evening. We indicated the offer was acceptable, but then a few days later got another offer better than the first. We asked the interested parties to give us their best and we ended up accepting an offer a little higher than our asking price. Cool! So we were in a position to indicate that we were not likely to agree to major adjustments after the inspection. In fact, the inspection went fine and a representative of the bank has been out to take a look at the house. Closing is set for some time in July.
After the contract was signed, we decided that we needed to get away - my partner and friend Bill Murray kindly offered us the use of his house in rural New Hampshire and so we headed up to Eastman, just short of Hanover. The first couple of days were spectacularly sunny and warm and we felt completely rejuvenated. We went hiking in the White Mountains. We went to Hanover and New London and visited a glass-blowing factory in Vermont and talked to a real estate agent in Eastman. We shopped and ate chocolate. But the weather then turned cool and grey and our visions of settling down in New Hampshire faded away. Indeed, on the day we left, the temperature was in the mid 30ies and it started to snow. However, overall it was the pause that refreshed and the good feelings from our trip helped us deal with all the issues still remaining about our forthcoming move.
Move where? - I hear you ask. We have considered everything. Right after we decided to sell, I received an email from an old friend from Freddie Mac who has been teaching finance at the University of Otago in New Zealand. We're hiring, he said. So right off the bat, I was tantalized by the thought of a semester or two in the antipodes. Louise countered with Nicaragua - nice and warm, cheap and friendly, and much closer to our daughters. I cunningly advanced Seattle - surrounded by mountains and Puget Sound, home of several really good friends of ours and most people speaking English. Louise pointed a finger at the gloomy winters and then bid one Charlottesville - a beautiful college town surrounded by cheap countryside. I tried to squeeze in a city or two in Colorado, but Louise would have none of it - too much the great unknown. She then came up with a surprise move - Austin, Texas, which always seems to make its way into everybody's top ten places to live.
So where does that leave us? Well, we're currently looking at apartments in Stamford, Connecticut. Stamford is quite an appealing place, big enough to have a couple of theatres and be home to some major financial firms, while not incurring the premium prices of places like Larchmont that are so convenient to New York City. There is a very pleasant harbor area and some lovely wooded countryside further north. We are not planning on buying a house but renting for a year, during which we will try to agree on our next destination. Could be Peru. Could be Arkansas. Check back in this space later to see how it all comes out.
New from the Monkeynut: A River Runs Through It - What a stroke of luck! Just as we are preparing to list our house for sale, we have several days of torrential rain, producing the wettest March on record! Now we can advertize additional features of this lovely house!
New from the Monkeynut: The Great Blow of March 2010 - Whoa Nellie! Quite a storm we've had over the weekend! Violent rain, furious gusts of wind up to 80 miles an hour, trees thrashing their limbs, showering us with everything from twigs to major branches. We have decided to put our house on the market, so we are doing some painting and fixing up. Brian, our painter, has been driving in from Cold Spring - he said that it took him several hours to negotiate all the debris on the roads. On Saturday, Louise had arranged for some sturdy high-school guys to come and help us load a truck with boxes of stuff we are taking to storage. I drove the truck to a storage location in New Rochelle, and then we all unloaded it. Driving back home was brutal; I felt that at any moment I was going to take a side trip to the land of Oz. I arrived home, soaked, frozen and dog-tired; I poured myself a large glass of Scotch and submerged myself in a hot bath for the next half-hour until the chill went out of my bones.
Since then, we having been living just the way the cave men used to live - i.e. without cable TV or the internet. How did they do it?? It is now Wednesday and we haven't been able to change our Facebook status or anything. Madeleine left for Houston this morning, but of course had no idea of when her flight left or even from which airport. She finally called Toni and gave her the necessary information for her to be able to retrieve the facts from Travelocity. Now just imagine if the cell-phone towers had been toppled - my blood curdles at the thought! Much of Larchmont is still without power and the buzzing of chain saws drowns out the humming of generators. But the sun has finally come out and the temperature is very pleasant, so we are determined to put a brave face on things.
New from the Monkeynut, Winter 2010 - The year begins with yet another story of rampant crime in Larchmont. Where will it all end??? Here is the description from the police blotter in The Loop:
Thank God for law enforcement!
Old from the Monkeynut - see archive links above
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