Monday, December 27, 2010

New England living

Life in New England is absolutely amazing, however, hard work is a constant if you choose to live in a house in the suburbs.
Gil and I have debated for years now if we should just sell and move to a townhouse or a condo in the city.
We would loose the walks on the beach, the calm life, the complete lack of fear from crime, there is basically zero crime around is really nice.
Living in the burbs presents a lot of challenges to these big city raised Brazilians...
We were used to ride the subway to work and school, NEVER did any yard work in our lives before.
Always lived in high rise condo type apartments.
I didn't even know how to change a light bulb when we moved here. I would probably be hiring an electrician for fear of being electrocuted, it's all changed.
Now, it's a different story my friends. I have learned carpentry, plumbing, painting, YARD WORK, gutter cleaning, snow shoveling...
Fall is probably the worse, most work we have to do in a single season.
This is how it goes, we procrastinate, procrastinate until the last possible Fall day and finally pick up all the remaining batch of leaves, just when we hear the news of a Blizzard on the way, then we know there is no more procrastinating, either pull up our sleeves and pick up the leaves or risk leaving it under a foot of snow until next April and have to replace your entire lawn in the Spring, don't even ask me how, but we found out what happens if you leave your leaves buried under snow, covering your grass all thru the winter...UGH!!!
This is the end result of our many hours of labor:

The last batch of leaves for 2010-Alleluia!!! We did it!

Two trucks full of bagged leaves
We were really proud of our work until we called the city and found out the last leaves pick up came around last week, we are on our own to get rid of it.
This meant that we were going to have to haul ALL THESE bags to the city's organic dump ourselves :(
Thank God for good neighbors, Mike, from across the street offered to help me with his pick up truck.
We had to pile the bags three rolls high and make 2 trips to the city dump, a lot of hard work.
But we did it, just in time for BLIZZARD 2010 to hit and bury us under a good 20 some inches of snow, because the wind has being blowing so hard, up to 60MPH, there are some spots with a couple inches and some drifts several feet high.
I took some pictures during the day at our beach where we take Okie for a walk everyday and also at our home at night at the high of the storm.
Here are some pictures of our day time adventures:

Around 3:30pm yesterday, our local beach

Okie making sure he marked EVERY tree! God forbid some squirrel forgets who's territory they were on... :)

Okie attempting to step off the board walk and into the beach, testing the dept of the snow...

Exploring the board walk. We love the beach when it's snows, there is NOBODY around, it's like a private beach!
We love living up here. We hated every minute living in Florida, mainly because of redneck mentality the heat and a few other things such as giant reptiles all over the place...but that's subject for another post...
The cold is our friend. We set our thermosthats at 50F degrees around the house and turn it completely off in our bedroom, you could keep frozen meat in under our bed and it would be just fine. We are both always burning up.
Our house has a fireplace so we get the fire going and I love the smell of burning wood. Hot cocoa, home baked cookies, popcorn and watching DVD movies.
We are comfortable and happy with this weather, love the snow, the ice and above all we love the New England people, their mentality and the lifestyle we are able to maintain here.
Happy couple in the burbs enjoying a very quiet life.



Jim said...

I am FLOORED by the volume of leaves! If you were in Brazil you could pay some guy US$35 and he would have done it all AND hauled it away!

Nice photos.

Snuggle and keep warm!

Gil and Ray said...


This was 1 week worth of leaves!!!
What drives me nuts is that we have 1 large tree in our property, but our neighbor have about 20 that hang over our property and they are about 80 year old gigantic's like a gift that keeps on giving...
We found a little note in our mail box, hand written, some guy was offering to do it for U$20,00 plus U$20,00 to clean the gutters, but our neighbor told us it was a guy who just left prison... :(
Gil said no, and also, we needed the exercise :)
I am so GLAD Fall is over.
It's worse than shoveling snow, I tell you!


Jim said...

Ray - what are you doing up and on the computer at 4:15 in the morning!? Get back to bed! LOL

Gil and Ray said...

Hey, you caught me!
I wake up early to watch the Brazilian channels with the news.
I am an early riser...
I hate this time of the year with the 3 hour time difference.


Fiona said...

I really love the picture you've painted of your life in New England at this time of year. And I chuckled when I saw yout "beach visit". :D

Gil and Ray said...

Yes, Fiona, I had to send my mother photos when we first moved here, because she just couldn't picture when we used to tell her we went to the beach with heavy jackets, gloves and boots.
You tell Brazilians about a beach and they can't picture a snow/ice covered shore.
Let's just say we don't have to worry about "Off" or "sunblock" evah, evah!!! ;)

Leo said...

Ray I gotta admit I'm not much of a city guy. I grew up in the Michigan woods, and love the open spaces, and yard work, and house chores. I love the variety that you can find in a big city like Salvador, but the older I get the more I feel like going back to a small town and living without the crime, or traffic, or headaches.

Looks like you've carved out a nice little corner of the universe for yourselves.

Gil and Ray said...


Thanks, it was a heck of an uphill battle, not as easy as may have made it sound, but I am happy with the results we have been able to collect from our hard work.
It would be great if we had our family nearby.
It is a good thing that we are within relative close driving distance of New York city and Boston. We can and have driven to Manhattan to catch a play at Broadway and a nice restaurant and driven back home for the night.
But what is getting to us is being away from our families. I have a brother and two sisters that I am very close to and many, many friends that I miss terribly in Sao Paulo so we have been trying to get back to the big city on the highlands of Sao Paulo state.
I will take the fear of higher crime of the big city to be closer to family and friends.
Gil ended up in the Hospital recently passing a kidney stone and it was scary to be completely by ourselves with no family around what so ever.
I think if my family lived in Rural Oklahoma that is where we would be headed, by the way I have lived in a farm in Oklahoma and loved every minute of it. I guess I am easy to adapt. I would probably fall in love with Salvador as well. I could also in in London, Budapest or Madrid, but I would always miss family and friends from Sao Paulo.


Kate Louise said...

I suggest you it’s better to move in condo. Condos are absolutely amazing. They provide better amenities. I owe a condo in Toronto and I have very amazing experience of it.