Nancy Lanza: In Her Own Words
February 19, 2013, 9:35 pm ET
Nancy Lanza met Marvin LaFontaine when their young sons were in the Cub Scouts together in New Hampshire.
"We connected right away," LaFontaine said. "Right from there it was a friendship."
After the Lanza family moved to Connecticut in 1998, Nancy and LaFontaine kept in touch by email. He shared some of those emails from 1999 with FRONTLINE and The Hartford Courant, and we are publishing edited excerpts here, after redacting sensitive personal information.
The emails don't by any means present a complete picture of the woman who raised Adam Lanza, and they leave many questions unanswered. But they offer some insight into her life, for the first time, in her own words. In her emails, Nancy writes of time spent playing with "the boys" — her two sons — weekend travel plans and new hobbies as she built a life anew in Sandy Hook. She also writes of an unspecified illness that she kept from her family.
SUPPORT PROVIDED BY
HIGHLIGHTS "Adam is having only a "New Friend" party...but he has 26 new friends!!!" "My brother taught me enough to take care of myself..." "Adam's first play went well...Watch out Broadway!!!" "It is taking all my energy to get through each day ..."
From: Nancy Lanza
See? I was right here the whole time!!! All you had to do was click your mouse three times and say..... (Is that analogy lost on you? I'm never sure if you get these references to American culture!)
From: Nancy Lanza
I never said that you were uncultured...just questioned your knowledge of American culture......two VERY different things there! I am relieved to find that you are familiar with America's most quoted from movie.... What is your all-time favorite movie? I don't watch much T.V., but I love old movies.
I think that would be great if you came by for a visit. I'm not sure where Southington is, but it couldn't be too far. You would love this town...it is so picturesque. [REDACTED] I love weddings...they are always a fun gathering...more interesting when the two sides don't get along. I went to a wedding once where the Bride's side LOATHED the Groom's side. That was hysterically funny. The drunker the families got, the more open hostilities became...and of course I went from one side to the other...fanning the flames. Too much fun for one day!
The bonus is that you get to gossip all day and dance all night! Who could pass up a chance for that???
Let me know the date that you can come by well in advance so that I can be sure to hold the day open. I get very busy down here, and have a lot of company coming by.
Have a great weekend!
From: Nancy Lanza
Marvin, I sent this Friday...message to follow...
I answered by hitting "reply", so I don't see how this went wrong.
Check out the routing...it looks fine to me!
Very strange, hope you get it THIS time!
My all time favorite is Casablanca. The best place to see it is at the Wang in Boston where it plays every summer during their "Classic Film" Festival.
The people at the wedding that I told you about didn't have a CLUE as to what I was doing. I was incredibly discreet and they were far too self-absorbed to notice! I told the bride...she thought it was very funny. Ahhh...the little pleasures in life!
We had a great Christmas...we were up in NH for Christmas Eve...and here for Christmas. We actually had a white Christmas here...it snowed two days before and it was enough to stay for four days. We went sledding, etc. We were surprised that there was nothing in NH when we went up.
We spent New Years Eve at a party with friends in Marblehead.(They just built a house, too.) We stayed for the weekend and enjoyed a quiet New Years Day with them as well...which has been a long standing tradition. Next year they will come here.
I have to run...I have guests coming down tomorrow for the weekend, so I want to get some extra sleep. I have a busy day of prep work tomorrow!!!
Have a fantastic weekend!
P.S. Ryan is still in the scouts, and enjoying it.
Thanks for the gossip...I do miss Kingston... [REDACTED]
From: Nancy Lanza
I will let you know what dates Casablanca is playing when I get the summer schedule. I have tentative plans to go with one of my best friends, but you are more than welcome to come along, too. Be forewarned... I ALWAYS cry at this movie...no matter how many times I see it!!!
A tip for your wedding...mix and mingle...keeping a sharp lookout for weaknesses...it's great sport.
We have had a lot of icy conditions here. They actually delay the opening of school if there is a few flakes of snow on the ground. We have had a mild winter...they say that it is "seasonable weather" when it is in the upper 30's...low 40's...and call it "colder than usual" when it dips to low 30's/high 20's. I think the Long Island Sound keeps us a bit warmer. I like the milder winter...I have never been one for the arctic blasts of N.H. I like it to be cold enough for a sweater and a fire in the fireplace...but not the teeth clenching chill of the north!
As for the Y2K agenda...you are absolutely right. We tried to make reservations in one of the hotels overlooking Times Square FOUR YEARS AGO and all were booked! We went on a waiting list, which will work on the lottery system should any cancellations arise (doubtful). They are getting upward of $3,000 for a night! I will let you know if we get in! There are going to be TONS of very extravagant parties, it will be tough to decide where to go...these things are VERY political! We have a friend in Chicago who has a jet that seats 14.
He is going to be "Time-Zone Hopping" to make it to several New years Eve parties. (England, Egypt, Australia...etc.) I think he is insane!!! I would NOT get on a plane for ANYTHING!!! The head of the FAA claims that she will be on a flight when Y2K hits...and in China, the government is REQUIRING all their top brass in charge of aviation to be on a flight...I wouldn't take the chance! (But a lot of people are going to be doing the "TZH" thing...should be a wild night!) What ever we end up doing...we will have [NAMES REDACTED] down for our traditional New Years Day celebration. We've been doing that for years now.
Ryan would be crossing over in March, but he has already said that he isn't going to continue on. He feels like he has done it long enough, and wants to try other things instead. I am not surprised. He likes it, but he has never been devoted to it. I never expected him to be with it this long. [REDACTED]
We have the Blue and Gold...which is catered by an Italian restaurant...later this month. Then they have the Derby...then he wants to quit.
I wish he would stick with it...but he is certainly old enough to make his own decision on this issue.
It is cold today...but it has been warm on average. [REDACTED] says that spring will hit here in about three weeks. His dog is starting to shed...that's a sure sign!
I have to run...I have company coming this afternoon and I have a BILLION things to do today!
Have a great weekend!
From: Nancy Lanza
I will let you know about Casablanca...you can definitely come along with us...we will go to a restaurant before...and probably to Four Seasons for a drink afterwards.You could join up with us at any point...and leave when you get tired of rehashing whether or not he should have let her go. So sad!
I agree with you about the snow...we luckily got a few inches on Monday, and although it has been in the upper 30's...it has somehow survived! We have had a blast! It will be gone tomorrow...but no matter...we are headed to North Conway this weekend.I am sure we will find snow there!
As for your work situation...I can sympathize. I had a boss once who made us all insane...and she was totally paranoid. She even read our E-Mail!!! I don't miss the workforce one bit!
Yes, we are a pampered lot down here. The B&G is a catered affair.
Fund raising doesn't ever seem to be much of an issue.I think that cash just drips off the trees down here! Ryan is now taking Karate, he is going to join the basketball team and the debate team. I think that really is enough.Adam is doing well here, and seems to enjoy the new school.
Things are very quiet this week. [REDACTED] went to Florida for the Daytona 500. He will start on our basement when he gets back. The boys are very excited about having a gameroom.
As for your music...I would be more than happy to have a listen. I'm sure I will be impressed, even though it is not my usual taste. You give me no credit for having an open mind!!!
I am a little surprised about your cavalier attitude regarding air travel on New Years Eve. Even though the price tag for the evening would be next to nothing...I might need a new dress and we would need to have my Mom come up to stay with the boys...I wouldn't get on that jet for ANY reason! First Y2K will knock off the radars...the sky will be littered with small flights (Anyone who has a jet will be doing this). Add to that all the chartered flights and the possibility of a complete air traffic control meltdown due to y2k...
ARE YOU INSANE?????? I will be on the ground with my family...possibly in a $3,000 suite in NYC if we luck out...or at a small private party. I like my chances of living through the night at ground level. I can almost guarantee that there will be air disasters on that night, although I certainly hope I am wrong.
You speak often of Merlot...what Vineyards are your favorites? What other types of wine do you like? Americans have little regard for wine...80% of American households don't even own a corkscrew! It is criminal!
Got to run! Take care!
From: Nancy Lanza
North Conway should be fun. We are all going up, and planning on visiting my Grandmother on Saturday. I agree, the shopping up there is fun...but when I go up with the family, I never indulge. I usually go up in the summer with a friend for a long weekend of shopping. A couple of summers ago I was up there with [REDACTED], eating dinner at a place called "Horsefeathers" when other friends of mine wandered in.
([REDACTED] said that he knew it was me from the second he walked in the door...from behind me and across the room...said my hair was the give- away.I never figured out if that was a compliment or an insult! [REDACTED] said she confirmed it was me by looking at how many shopping bags were piled up beside me.) It was one of those weird coincidences that I've told you about...no matter WHERE I go, I see someone I know!
That was a fun weekend. North Conway is one of those places that feels familiar and comfortable...and has the extra bonus of having a good amount of snow in the winter!
So...you think the world will blow up on the BIG day, huh? In that case, I will definitely stay on the ground with my boys.([REDACTED] little party is, of course, for adults only!) I would have no interest in rebuilding the world without my boys...you will have to find someone else to mastermind the reconstruction!
I have given the piano playing a rest, and I am moving on to golf lessons and will take fencing lessons later this year. That is the problem with me...I want to learn everything, and because time is so limited, I have to drop old things to take up the new. In the end I will know a little about many things...and be proficient at nothing!!!!
The gameroom is for the boys...it will actually be two rooms and a bathroom. In addition, I will have a laundry room/exercise room for myself and perhaps a small shop area for my newest hobby. (refinishing antiques) There will also be a storage area that will not be finished off.
How do I get my inane little facts about the number of households that have no corkscrews? I read extensively and so I think I will never be without some little tidbit of information on any given subject. I believe that beer and whiskey based drinks are number one and two in our vulgar little country. Now here is the horror of the situation...although 80% of households have no corkscrew, (I am not one of them...I even have a spare in my overnight bag!!), over 75% of households report buying a bottle of wine in the last 12 months. That means...GASP!!!...that they are buying those hideous gallon jugs will the twist off top, or those disgusting watery cartons with the plastic pouch!!! I am sad to say that my mother and sister fall into that category...although I would not admit that to many people!
Well, I have to run...got a LONG drive ahead of me tomorrow!
Have a great weekend...
From: Nancy Lanza
I hope you get this today...when I tried to send it last night there was some kind of a problem with Prodigy.....
North Conway was great...lots of snow so we went sledding and made snowmen. My Grandmother was very glad to see us, and we had a nice long visit. I think we are going up again during April vacation. Have you ever stayed at the Red Jacket?
I realized that I must have told you my strange proclivity of running into people I know everywhere I go...I must have told you that the day we were going for a walk and we ran into [REDACTED]. I hope I didn't sound paranoid about it...you mentioned that it might make you look over your shoulder....I rather enjoy it! It adds a sense of adventure and surprise...I just never know who I am going to run in to! (The best time was when I bumped into a friend from Boston at Kennedy Airport in NYC. It gave me someone to have dinner with!)
Golf is very enjoyable and very relaxing....as long as you don't take yourself too seriously, and you are with someone who is fun.( I also am a BIG fan of croquet...which can be a VERY brutal game if played correctly! Most of my summertime parties include very competitive croquet...sometimes played at night by candlelight...even MORE challenging!) I went golfing with my husband's boss and had a great time. He said I had natural talent, and that Peter should stay home with the kids and let me take lessons...I didn't even have to pay him to say it! I start lessons this spring. The problem is that I don't know too many people down here yet, and the ones that I do know don't seem to golf or do anything too athletic. I might tag along with Peter's boss...he's very funny and I like him a lot. I might also try to convince [REDACTED] to let me tag along with him. Also, his mother golfs, so maybe I could weasel my way in with her? I'll have to let you know how this all turns out. I may have no one to golf with at all! How sad!
I have never taken formal self defense classes, but my brother taught me enough to take care of myself. He is very tough, and a trained fighter (Green Beret) so I know that I was taught well.
I have to run...I have a busy night ahead of me. I am expecting house guests this weekend, and want to get a jump on planning the menus, etc.
PS. I forgot to respond to you info on diet drinks. I don't drink soda, and allow my boys to drink it only on rare occasions. They don't drink diet. I don't believe that anyone should drink soda on a regular basis. Please send me the information on it anyways...I can use it to harass a friend who drinks soda non-stop....even at breakfast! I have been after her for years. This might be the ammo I need!
From: Nancy Lanza
Hi!! Sorry I haven't written, but it has taken me this long to recover from having guests last weekend. I have actually gone to bed early for a couple of nights. We had an excellent weekend...very nice visit. The boys always enjoy their old friends, and I love to catch up on Kingston gossip. (Do you know the [REDACTED]?) We rented "Something About Mary". ([REDACTED]suggested it.) It was hilarious. Have you seen it?Sunday morning we got a nice little snowstorm...but the sun was shining the whole time. We got just enough to turn the ground white. [REDACTED] asked me, "What is it about Connecticut...everything is just SO picture perfect!!" (I kid you not!!) I just smiled and said "We pay extra for this!" It was too funny. Then later, as we sat at the table sipping our coffee and talking horticulture, a flock of Eagles...ten in all...started to circle the woods behind our house.
They put on a show for about 45 minutes...landing in two trees less than 50 feet behind our house! One had a wingspan of about five feet...the others were a bit smaller. It was the first time ever that there was not a squirrel to be found in our yard... We got it all on video!
I am sorry to hear about your car. At least someone took pity on you and gave you a lift! You should really have a cell phone. I have never needed mine to call for automotive help...but it comes in handy in numberous ways! I couldn't get along without it!
I don't know if there is a name for the kind of training the Green Berets get...they are simply trained to kill. He taught me two moves that even someone my size can use...although I have never had the chance to test them, I am sure they are effective.
I hope you have gotten your car fixed and that you are in a better mood!
Try to have a stress free day!
From: Nancy Lanza
Hi! I have been very busy with social demands, and then both kids got sick...so I haven't had a spare moment to write. I'm glad you don't seem to mind if I am a bit neglectful...I appreciate your patience. I certainly don't consider you a pain in the ---... I am always glad to get your notes. I have been a bit lonely down here inbetween visits from friends. I didn't even mind your liberal, half baked, media induced comments about the slime that runs our country. It only took me a few hours to get my ranting and raving under control...several hours later my blood pressure had stabilized...ARE YOU SERIOUS???????
I have to tell you that the "Everybody else is doing it" mentality doesn't cut it for me. I hope that you aren't letting your kids know how you feel. I think it sends a horrible message to childer in our country. I think he has cheapened and degraded the Presidency more than any other President in history. I have a real problem with a person who not only lies under oath, but lies to his friends and family, and then manipulates them to lie for him. I have a problem with someone who puts his friends, wife, and daughter in that position without a thought to their feelings. I think it is deplorable that to "beat the rap" on a civil issue, he would lie under oath instead of just admitting that he harrassed P.Jones...pay up...get it over with. If he had done that, the other issue would never have come to light. I don't suppose that you have given any consideration to that? How would you feel if you brought up a ligitamate complaint against an employer, and he lied convincingly, and made YOU look like a liar and worse...what does that do to you? I have an even BIGGER problem with a man who has made it to the highest office in the world...we entrust him to use good judgement...and he has worse jugement than a high school jock. He doesn't take the responcibility seriously...he talks to senators about whether or not to deploy troups to Iraq...while getting a blow job! How would you feel if he was deciding on sending one of YOUR children into harms way...with so little concern! Let's not forget that he has forever marred the use of Presidential Privilege...never before has a President invoked it so needlessly and irresponcibly...and never before has it been struck down by the Supreme Court as a frivolity....
it has diminished that privilege and has opened it up to question even when (in the future) it is used as it was intended...FOR NATIONAL SECURITY...NOT TO KEEP A LIAR SAFE FROM SCRUTINY! In all, he is supposed to uphold the Constitution...not defile it. I could care less if he is unfaithful to his wife...but he has violated the law.
He has opened the door for anyone with that "Everyone else does it" attitude to commit perjury without a second thought. It underminds the entire justice system. We may as well turn over to the English System of Courts, if we can't count on someone taking that solemn oath and then telling "The whole truth...and nothing but the truth".
And one last little thought...since when does the search for truth have a price tag? If Clinton had done the right thing, and settled with P.Jones..how much money would have been saved? Why is HE not accountable? And if K.Starr is doing a job that he was APPOINTED to do, why is it HIS fault that money was spent? Are you advocating a "shoot the messanger" doctrine? And just one MORE thing....can you tell how much this whole mess has upset me? I will look forward to your rebuttal....
The Eagles were very impressive. There is a reservation not more than 2 miles from here, where Eagles winter and mate. There was a record sighting of twenty eight Eagles at the reservation on the Sunday that the ten made it to our house. The largest one at the nesting spot had a wing span of over seven feet! Ryan's Cub Scout group has passes to go to the observatory this coming Saturday. (They limit how many people are allowed to go up to the observatory...Eagles are rather shy creatures!) I will be happy to show you our video...but somehow I don't think you are actually coming for a visit. I imagine that you would like to...but how are you going to fit that in on the same day as a wedding? Weddings are usually lengthy affairs. How are you going to have time to come here? You will have to skip out of the reception! Now THAT would create a bit of a scandal!
I'm glad your car is back in good shape. Mine is still great...I really love my car...no problems with it at all! I am going to have to get a new car soon....I need a bigger model. Even though I love my car, it seems a bit cramped on all these long trips north! I never intended to be making so many long treks with luggage when I bought it. Oh well, needs change and there is no way to predict how they will change. I used to use the car for quick little trips to Boston or to run errands...now I pack up and drive for up to seven hours. I need more space. I am thinking of going with one of the larger Infinity models...but I am also going to take a look at Volvo and Lexus. Got any other ideas that I should check? I am NOT ready to go to a SUV or a detestable minivan!
We got enough snow here to close the schools for a day...a total of three inches. Too funny! I heard that the Boston area got belted! How did you do? Are you really plowing your own driveway? That is a very ambitious undertaking! Can you stop at the bottom,or do you have to slide to a gradual hault?
I have to run...LOOOONNNNG day planned for tomorrow!
From: Nancy Lanza
Subject: second try
Here is a note I sent earlier that was not delivered to you....then another labeled "testing" seems to have gone through. I am going to send this twice...it seems that every other one gets through.
********************************************************* ------------------------------------------------------------ Prodigy Mail: Personal Message 03/03/1999 ------------------------------------------------------------
From: Mail Delivery Subs
Subject:> Returned mail: Host unknown (Error 281) Sent On: 03/03 02:10 PM ET
Sorry...just a slight aftershock. You are causing me to suffer from Politicaltosis..... a rare form of post-traumatic stress syndrome.
From: Nancy Lanza
Hi! Thank you for being so considerate and not infecting my poor computer. I have heard of that bug...got a warning from the left coast a few weeks ago. As far as not discussing politics or religion with friends...I don't necessarily subscribe to that.I think everyone is entitled to an opinion...and if you are really good friends, a difference of opinions (handled respectfully) is never an issue. One of my dearest friends is a staunch Clinton supporter...I don't mind...much. I wasn't really upset with your casual indifference, I just happen to be really irate about the whole situation, and thought you might enjoy a different take on it. Of course, I happen to have rather STRONG opinions, but I still respect the fact that someone may not agree. I happen to think of Clinton as an irresponsible juvenile delinquent. I didn't watch the Monica thing...I would be interested in your view of that.
As for the wedding...if you have to stay over in Connecticut, you are certainly welcome to stay here and save yourself a hotel bill. We have a very comfortable guest room. I think I'll skip the reception....I'm sure that SOMEONE would catch on that I wasn't [REDACTED]. It sure would give them something to talk about though! Who else has mistaken me? It's funny...I have been mistakenly identified as other people many times....even as someone else's wife once at a Christmas party, just because I was holding my friend's baby. I'm sure the poor girl was mortified...she came right up to me and said,"Hello Mrs. [REDACTED] ...I've heard SO much about you!"( Obviously, all she had heard was that [REDACTED] was married to a white woman!! [REDACTED] and my husband were both V.P.'s at Painne Webber at the time.)
I'm glad you have forgiven your car...I'm sure it meant no harm! I have heard that Saturn is a good company...especially regarding service. One thing I like about Infinity is that they give you a car to use if your car is in the shop...even for an oil change. Do you get that, too? Lexus' price is comparable to Infinity, and I'm sure Volvo might be a bit cheaper. I don't mind spending a little extra for quality. I have always heard that you get what you pay for, and it has been true for me in so many cases. I have a friend who has a house down the street, built by a guy that is no longer in business.
She went with him because the house was 30,000 less than the house right next door to it (being built by a different guy at the same time) and she has regretted it ever since. She has "hot spots" in the walls...her basement leaks, on of the showers leak, etc.
I hope you will send me a copy of the newspaper article....Ryan would love to see it. Do you have my Snail-mail address?
We actually got about three inches of snow from that storm by the end of the day. We got to stay home, sip hot chocolate and play for the day. I love snow days!
The seven hour trips are to the White mountains or to my sister's house. Kingston is 3 to 3 1/2 depending on how you drive.
I hope you have a less stressful day at work. Stress can make you susceptible to many things...maybe you should try a meditation class.
Got to run...company coming in two hours, and I have to get a few things done first.
Have a great weekend!
From: Nancy Lanza
I may be able to fool your relatives...but do you really think I could pull off the wife impersonation with your father? I do remember something about that conductor...that he thought we were a family...and that he was looking for me on our return trip, but I can't remember why. I also remember that you saved my neck from a jolt by [REDACTED]. Chivalry is not dead!
I had a rather successful weekend. I found a beautiful vase/bowl set of heavy crystal. Very unusual. The base looks clear, but the lower section is deep green and then it turns to a stunning cobolt blue. I also (after much experimentation) have FINALLY mastered the BEST EVER Guacamole dip. I (SERIOUSLY) have never tasted a better Guacamole ANYWHERE! (That includes the Cactus Club and The Rattlesnake Bar in Boston!) I also found a beautiful tablecloth...white with Wedgewood Blue flowers. (My kitchen is ALMOST complete!) Today [REDACTED] gave me a beautiful cutting board that matches my counters. (Platinum Granite) The Oriental came in for the study...Maroon and black...very pretty.
I am definitely making progress here.
My "snail-mail" (as opposed to E-Mail) is 36 Yogananda Street, Sandy Hook, Ct. 06482. [REDACTED]
Did you get any snow? We got a couple of inches...but it is too cold to go out and play in it. It was 15 degrees this morning, and only warmed up to 20 during the day. I think it was even colder yesterday, and the wind was fierce!
As for relaxation...I have the best of both worlds...the person who does my massages also is a practitioner of "Raike"...and ancient oriental practice of healing and spirituality. They emphasis proper breathing...time for reflection, the importance of nutrition and adequate sleep, daily exercise, etc. I am just SO healthy and relaxed you would hardly recognize me.
Don't forget that you promised me your commentary on the "M" thing!
From: Nancy Lanza
Well, I AM relieved that you don't expect me to fool Dad...but of COURSE you would have to deal with him at some point. I'm sure people would just be lining up to tell him what a lovely wife you have. I'm afraid that you have underestimated my appeal! I think I had better stay home that day. I wouldn't want to overshadow the poor bride!
Actually, you misunderstood me on the vase/bowl set. They are not antique at all....I love glass, and collect a wide variety...SOME of it is antique...much is not. As far as what is authentic and worth money, there are lots of little telltale signs in furniture as well as glass. I am not a serious dealer, but I have picked up pointers from a friend who is in the import business. (European antiques and tapestries) The most important thing to know is that if you absolutely love it, it doesn't matter if you pay a premium. I have never bought anything with the intent to resell...so there is no way for me to lose money. If it is worth it to me, THAT'S what counts. On the flip side, you can sometimes hit the jackpot. My friends in Marblehead went to an Auction and fell in love with a mahogany sideboard and paid $3,000 for it. They had it appraised (to settle a disagreement between them on whether or not they had overpaid) and it was determined to be worth $34,000. That is NOT a typo...thirty four THOUSAND...and they had only paid THREE thousand. However, can you say they made money on it? Not at all...they love it and wouldn't part with it for anything...
Thanks for the congrats on my dip. It was quite a coup! I understand that most men are not avid lovers of dip...but for me, there is nothing like a great guacamole to compliment a grilled chicken burrito...all topped off with a Margarita.
It sounds as though you had a great time sledding. I have been there once, but for a firework display YEARS ago. You are more adventurous than me...it has to be in the 30's, or I don't go sledding. My feet get too cold. I hope they got a TON of snow in the mountains...I'm going up for April Vacation. Do you think there will be snow?
I have to run....there is a lot I need to accomplish today and it is already 11:00!!!!!
From: Nancy Lanza
Sorry I haven't written...things have been hectic here. We finally got some snow on Sunday night...4 inches...enough to shut everything down on Monday. It was a beautiful day... sunny and warm. School was cancelled (of course) and so we went sledding. We had a blast. A good part of Connecticut was without power. It was one of those heavy nows and a lot of branches fell. We are putting the finishing touches on the S.B.D. car...the race is on Saturday. Have you had yours yet?
A little F.Y.I. to destroy our concept of healthy living... We make sure to exercise, eat healthy, get plenty of rest, drink a good amount of water, and we are convinced that it helps our health. Peter eats a TON of junk food, wouldn't consider a glass of water, even as a last resort, doesn't exercise, doesn't get more than 5-6 hours of sleep a night, and has only used 3 sick days in the last 20 YEARS.
One of those days he stayed in bed, but the other two he felt compelled to work from home. I guess that just blows our theory right out of the water!
I hope you are having a good week. Did you get much snow?
From: Nancy Lanza
Saturday was the Pinewood Derby. We did really well...Ryan's car took first place in 5 of six races, and second place in the last. He (obviously) had the fastest car in his den, but missed being in the Championship race by 1/10th of a second. Considering there were four Elementary Schools competing, I think he did excellent. He was very pleased.
Ryan and I went to Southington on Sunday to watch [REDACTED] compete in a Gymnastics meet. [REDACTED] had invited us to the meet and to lunch afterwards. We had a great time. [REDACTED] did very well...he won SEVEN medals, and his team won the "Best Overall" Trophy. [REDACTED] couldn't come down because her choir was giving a performance in Portsmouth.
(The choir even has a CD out!) I wish she could have come too, she is one of my dearest friends. I just saw her a few weekends ago, so I guess I shouldn't complain.)
It was a hectic, but fun weekend. Now I am getting ready for another busy week. My Mom is coming to visit on Thursday, and staying until Monday.
How was your weekend? We got an incredible amount of rain last night and today. It is going to be sunny and spring-like for the rest of the week!
From: Nancy Lanza
I'm glad you got through the presentation...how often do you have to do that sort of thing? It sounds like your least favorite part of your job.
I think you should go up for a bit of a vacation. Canada is SO close, and it is beautiful. (You must know that!) Why don't you go for a while? I think it would be a great learning experience for the kids...and you, too!
I had a nice visit with my mother. The weather was tolerable. Today it is a sunny 60 degrees. (She left this afternoon.) We had a lot of planned activities...rather exhausting, but fun. The kids had a great time. Peter and my mother get along so well, that I actually sent them to the movies with the boys so I could get a few things done. We went to a great Italian restaurant for dinner Saturday night. It is one of my favorite places down here.
As for Kosovo...First off, I wish Clinton could manage to pronounce it properly...he kept saying "Kosova" during his first big press conference. Second...could we PLEASE just send in a couple of specialists to eliminate Milosevic? I am SO distressed with all these long term vague bombing missions which alter nothing, because we always manage to leave the problem maker in power.
Southington is only about 40 minutes from here...maybe 45. Are you still planning to visit?
I have to run...lots of catching up to do.
From: Nancy Lanza
I can't write much tonight...I have to work on party invitations.
Ryan's and Adam's birthdays are coming up. It makes a very busy month! Ryan is having an "Old Friend" party and a "New Friend" party...Adam is having only a "New Friend" party...but he has 26 new friends!!! They will both have a family party and a school party.
That is a grand total of SEVEN parties...UGGGHHH!!!!
We have had beautiful weather...mid sixties and sunny. Today it got to 73!!! We have green grass and budding trees. Spring is here at last!!! Last night I took the boys out to the ice cream stand after supper...7:00..and we ate our ice cream outside at a picnic table and listened to the "Peepers" in the lake.
I had a good visit with my Mother...the boys had a blast with her.
She is very good to them. Funny you should ask if my Mother and I are alike...we are polar opposites...I take after my Dad. Actually, I am very different than anyone in my family. If you got my mother and brothers and sister and me in a room at a party, and it was one of those "which one doesn't belong in this group" exercises... you would say that I was the different one. I am not sure how that happened, but it has ALWAYS been that way. Sometimes we joke that I must have been adopted...or that there was some mix-up at the hospital.
I'm glad to hear that we agree on Foreign Policy...you are not as liberal as I have accused you of being!
As far as Canada goes, I have only been to Montreal, Quebec, P.E.I. and N.S. There is a lot more up there to see. I would LOVE to go back sometime. Quebec was my favorite.
The name of the restaurant is "My Place". We can go there for dinner when you come for your visit. [REDACTED] I go there with the boys for dinner on Wednesday or Thursday nights. When we have weekend company, we usually go there one night so that I get a break.
Well, I have to get a jump on these invitations!
Have a great day!
From: Nancy Lanza
I was glad to hear from you...I thought that you might be on vacation! Please re-send the e-mail...better luck this time?
Have a great weekend!
From: Nancy Lanza
I have gotten through the first round of parties...and, yes, you are correct, Peter always comes to the parties, but doesn't help with the planning. The planning is one of my strong points, so I handle that.
I have another coming up this weekend...then we are invited for an overnight at the [REDACTED] next week for a little party for Ryan and Adam...a combo party! (Their birthdays are only 12 days apart!) I thought it was very thoughtful of [REDACTED] to have us up for that!(Especially since it is a school night for them. We will be on vacation that week.) After that I just have one more party to go. I have to invite 28 kids to that one...but I think only 15-20 will come.
We had a nice Easter...big Easter Egg hunt and all. Of course the boys got a ton of candy and many little gifts from the Easter Bunny.
I had a great big box of candy shipped down from Sanborn's Candies.
(We all know that the Bunny doesn't give out ordinary, store-bought candy! I haven't found a homemade style candy store down here yet.)
Adam started in his theater group last week and enjoys it. Ryan began a cartooning class, and it is taught by a real live PUBLISHED cartoonist. He was showing us some of the cartoon strips and comic books that he does. Ryan was VERY impressed.
The weather has been beautiful. The guy that does our yard is starting to work today. (First he rakes, then he fertilizes...by next weekend he will be mowing. After that he fills in the spots that settled and the few places that didn't come in good...then he "overseeds". After that there are three more applications of fertilizer, grub-getter, weed-killer, lime, and then we finish with a winterizer!) Did you realize that grass was so complicated?
I have to run...Have a great day!
From: Nancy Lanza
Hi! Is it Friday already? This has been such a busy week...sorry I haven't had a chance to write! I actually don't have much time right now...I have to go to the dentist in ten minutes...but I wanted to send a quick note.
So, you think deer are cute and cuddly? I consider them to be long- legged rodents! I have 7 that come on to our lawn almost every night.
They have decimated all the foundation plantings in the neighborhood and are dropping deer ticks everywhere. Why would you want them on your lawn when there is such a high incidence of Lyme disease carrying ticks on them? I have considered shooting them, but have been told that I have to wait until fall. I know someone who is thinking that poison would do the trick. I may actually end up having to spend thousands of dollars to put up deer fence.If you really want some of the disease infested varmints, please take them off my hands!!!
I didn't catch the name of the Cartoonist...I was too busy checking out the stack of comic books. Not recognizable to me, but the comic books looked like they were geared to early teens. Futuristic. I actually am not easily star-struck...which may be part of the reason that I didn't catch his name. The one exception to my "I'm not too impressed" demeanor would be the time I met Carlton Fisk, and he sat with me for a while. I was SO star-struck that I didn't even sleep that night!!!!
Actually, it doesn't really matter that it isn't vacation week for the [REDACTED]. Their children stay up much later than mine...even on a week night...so [REDACTED] felt that it won't even affect them. Their usual bedtime is 9:00 to 9:30. I usually have mine in bed at 8:00!!!
(Obviously, I will be letting them stay up later that night!)
I have to run...can't be late to the dentist!
Send me a line if you have time and let me know what you have planned for the weekend.
From: Nancy Lanza
I guess that it is very likely that you are not in this week....but I'll send this on the chance that you will check your mail anyways.I didn't get your note before I left for N.H. We had a great time with the [REDACTED]...visited with my brother...got an ice cream at Memories...and even got a chance to visit with a couple of friends. We had a great vacation week. The landscapers started working on the front garden. It was fun to watch the Bobcat and the bucket loader. The boys thought that it looked like a fun job. Quite a production. These guys are totally impervious to cold...they start work at 7:30 in the morning, and by 9:00 they have their shirts off...no matter that it is only in the 60's at best. I'm still wearing a sweater!
I hate to disillusion you, but I know of two cases of Lyme's Disease in Kingston, and I'm sure they can't be the only two. My sister said that she has seen it treated and tested for dozens of times at the [REDACTED] Hospital when she worked there. It is a Northeast thing...not just Ct. It gets more press here because the incidence rate is higher...due to an overpopulation of deer...but I have heard that up to 40% of all deer carry it.
Keep me posted!
That wedding IS starting to sound a little dry...you will have to do something to liven it up!!
I have to run...today is "catch up" day. Vacations always throw my schedule off!
From: Nancy Lanza
Sorry I didn't write back last week, but I had a killer week! Mom stopped by on her way back from Florida, and then I had a lot of "catch up" to do because of the previous week's vacation. To top it off I had the last of the Birthday parties to deal with. (this one was a "duck pin" bowling party for 23 children.) I was up in Kingston again on Friday, arranging to have some trees and shrubs shipped down.
There has been so much building down here that you can't find mature trees, and I didn't want to put in a bunch of little sticks and twigs.
I need the BIG stuff!
Yes, my sister is a nurse and worked at the [REDACTED] Hospital when she was in N.H. She lives in [REDACTED] now. Lyme's Disease is more prevalent in Ct. than N.H. and [REDACTED] because of an overabundance of deer, but you should definitely be aware of the symptoms. If it isn't treated, it can lead to severe neurological and arthritic-like problems. It may not get caught in the early stages in N.H. because it doesn't get the kind of press that it does down here. The biggest problem is that the ticks are so small, they are practically impossible to see. (Not at all like regular ticks.)
My garden is all dug out and filled with the best garden soil. It took three truckloads! I am ready to plant. It looks great on paper...we'll have to wait and see how it transfers! It should be spectacular.
This season it will go in...but you have to wait until next season for full effect. The first year in, a garden is setting roots. The second and third you start to get the results.
How was your day off with the boys? What did you end up doing?
Have a great day!
From: Nancy Lanza
Hi! Would you believe I had yet ANOTHER non-stop week last week? Not enough hours in the day! The idea of a day on Plum Island sounded great, but the reality is that I spent almost the entire day at the Nursery with [REDACTED]...then had to go to Plaistow to arrange for the truck rental...then to Salem for some shopping...then back to Ct. I didn't get home until 1:00 a.m.!!! (But I got a lot accomplished.) Then the rest of the week went like this....
Monday...finishing touches on our Pushcart.
Tuesday...Pushcart Day at school. The 5th graders had built pushcarts...requirements were that they be on wheels and have overhangs or umbrella's attached. The kids worked in teams of three. They had to stock their pushcarts with a product to sell to each other and the rest of the school children (and parents)...and then donate their money to a charity of their choice. Our group sold popsicles, super balls, and other little trinkets. It was a fun day, but exhausting!
Wednesday... [REDACTED] and I went to a local nursery to pick up some shrubs that I bought down here. (13 medium sized P.J.M.'s, Dwarf Mountain Laurels, etc...)It was supposed to take an hour or less...but the place was very busy and it ended up taking a good part of the afternoon. Of course, it would have been quicker had we not stopped for ice cream on the way home, but who can resist???
Thursday...Fifth grade field trip to Sturbridge.
Friday...First grade field trip to Beardsley Zoological Gardens.
Saturday...Back to Kingston to go to [REDACTED] Birthday Party. We went to the movies, stayed for dinner and the party.(I saw [REDACTED] when she dropped [REDACTED] off...but only for a minute as we were rushing to make the movie.) After we left there, we visited my brother and then headed home. Another long day...we got home at 1:00 a.m. again. That must be a habit!!!
I am hoping for an easy week this week!!!!! I am puttering around in the garden. I have help for the heavy stuff...but I have to be right there while it gets done. I have a very specific vision, and being a perfectionist means that I can't delegate! My last house had almost perfect soil...a little too much clay which limits what you can work with, but I mixed in a lot of peat moss to counter that. Here we have the same problem as you do... rocks, Rocks, and more ROCKS!!! Only one way to fix that...excavate and bring in topsoil. That's what I did for this first garden. It is about 80' long by 16' wide across the front and 45' long by 10' wide across the side. They dug it out with a Bobcat and a bucket loader and then brought in topsoil by the truckload!!! It sounds like that might also be your only option. I would be happy to help you design something for your yard at some point. I really enjoy designing gardens.
I can't send you a list of what is going in this garden...I would be typing all day. The list is extensive...over 150 different plants...you will just have to wait until you visit.
How was your weekend? Saturday was kind of a questionable day weather- wise...but Sunday was picture perfect!!! What do you have planned for the week?
From: Nancy Lanza
I don't have time to write much...I have to be at the School in 1/2 hr., but I wanted to send you a quick note.
I think you should skip the wedding. It doesn't sound like fun...and you certainly can't crash a wedding. Even though your Dad is invited...unless the invitation reads "Mr. LaFontaine and Guest", he is not entitled to bring anyone with him. (Check your Emily Post Book of Etiquette.) You are certainly welcome to come here for a visit anyway...you don't need to come under the cover of being in the neighborhood.
It is beautiful here, and there is SO much to do and see...those are enough reasons to come!
I won't be in NH this weekend...I have to travel to eastern CT. to pick up a collection of "Magic Fountain" Dwarf Delphiniums...VERY hard to find...I have spent two weeks tracking these down!!!
I have to run...Have a great weekend and don't even THINK about [REDACTED] ...you deserve some time off!!!
From: Nancy Lanza
Sorry I haven't written...things are SO hectic. It seems that every time I have a spare moment, I end up thinking of ten things I should have done yesterday!! The garden is taking a lot of time right now.
The first grouping is finally in (trees, shrubs,evergreens) and now the perennials are arriving. I have to make one more run to a local nursery. [REDACTED] is taking me over the first of next week. We will do one more truckload of shrubs. I feel very lucky that he can fit this stuff in to his busy schedule...I couldn't do this without his truck!
We were lucky enough to get a hard rain Wednesday night. First off...we NEEDED the rain desperately...but more importantly...the sight that [REDACTED] guys are clearing (the landscaping guys) was too wet to work on yesterday morning...so I got three guys from 7:30 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.They were digging holes...carting off rocks...planting trees.
What a treat!!! They got a TON of work done. I asked how much it was going to cost, and he said not to worry about it...that they would have just been standing around watching the mud dry if they hadn't been here. The weather must be on my side!!!! It is also lucky to even GET someone to work this time of year.Our next door neighbors have contacted FIVE landscapers, and have been told that no one can even get to their house to give them an estimate until JULY!!! There is so much building going on around here, that it is next to impossible to get any work done on your house, unless you are fortunate enough to have an inside track! I have checked out every nursery and had my nose stuck in books every night, deciding what is going in the garden. I am very particular! I am having a lot of stuff shipped from Wayside Gardens...pricey, but worth it! Another place that I like is Whiteflower Farms...expensive, but carries unusual and rare plants. That is where I got the Dwarf Delphiniums. I love Delphiniums, but have never been able to use them...they usually grow to six feet or more and are quite overpowering. These Dwarfs will only grow to three feet. The other place that I have been frequenting is Hollandia. It is in the next town over from here, and their selection is incredible (again...very expensive...but with plants, you definitely get what you pay for) Hollandia is the place where I have gotten most of my stuff. Oh well...enough about my garden!!!
Adam is in two plays next week. Ryan was in one last night. It has been so cute to watch them rehearse. Adam has taken it very seriously...even practicing facial expressions in the mirror! Only 20 days left of school!
That is so upsetting about the tick on [REDACTED]! I think I have never heard of anything worse! I am so glad that you took him to the hospital for that. I would have done the same.
Yes...there REALLY is a book of etiquette...but I don't think you need it. Just ask ME any of your questions. Haven't you noticed how good my manners are, and just how polished I am??? (Not to mention my incredible ego!!!) Seriously...check out the section in the bookstore.
They even have a "Etiquette For Dummies" book out now. Flip through a few of them, and maybe buy one. (Emily Post is for VERY serious users...maybe the "Dummies" book is more usable in everyday situations) You will enjoy reading them...they are very entertaining.
By the way...it sounds like your Dad could bring you considering how the invitation is made out. I still think you should skip it and just come down for a visit. It would be WAY less stressful!
I am planning on a quiet weekend. I am actually having a "Spa" day tomorrow at Noelle in Stamford. (Much needed and well deserved!!!) What are you planning?
Any other gossip?
Have a great weekend.!
Hi! Another incredibly busy week! Adam's first play went well...his second one is this afternoon with a second showing this evening.
Watch out Broadway!!! The first one was a Charlie Brown play...today's is a smaller version of "Oklahoma!". We had "Field Day" at the school on Tuesday...I was in charge of Tug-of-War...the kids showed up in groups of 40!!! At the end of the day, the gym teacher came over and offered me a job! She said that I was a natural for organizing large groups of children. Too funny!!! Naturally, I declined...but I was flattered.
As for the secret to why I can get people to work here...I will let you in on my secret. Most people buy a house in this neighborhood and cop an attitude. They say to themselves, "Hey, I paid a half million for this house...I DESERVE to be treated like royalty. If this goes wrong, or if that isn't perfect..I DEMAND that someone gets here to handle it right away." I'm not like that. I ask for things nicely...I treat everyone as I would like to be treated. I offer them coffee and freshly baked muffins...or lemonade, etc. I take the time to learn their names. I am well aware of the fact that I am not the only house [REDACTED] has sold lately...he probably builds a dozen a year...and even at $500,000, it certainly is not the best house he has built. I don't feel "entitled" to anything...so I can be grateful for what I do get.
I think that's what makes the difference. It has nothing to do with being attractive...believe me...most of the time I am in jeans and a tee shirt, covered in mud or dirt. I am NOT a tidy gardener in a sun- dress and white gloves!!! On the subject of gardening...I capitalize Magic Fountain Dwarf Delphinium because it is a common name...and since I am referring to that particular delphinium, I continue to capitalize even though I drop the common name...mostly because I am too lazy to type "Magic Fountain Dwarf Delphinium" every time!!! The great thing about plants are that they come with a guarantee...if they die of anything other than neglect, they are replaced for free.
How can you go wrong? Of coarse, winters are milder here so more things can be grown. N.H. is tough on plants (and people!).
The Science Fair sounded like great fun. What were some of the other projects? Did kids work alone or in groups?
I agree with you...the tick situation is awful. I also spray the boys socks...but not their shoes since the spray contains DEET and when they tie their shoes, they would get that residue on their hands.
Then, of course, you have to worry that they will ingest it when they eat...or get it in their eyes when they rub them, etc. Even when the spray dries...it is still there, and can rub off onto their hands.
What a delemna!
I had a great day at the Spa. Yes, I go alone...it would defeat the purpose if I didn't. Peter usually likes to spend the weekends with the boys if he isn't working. It is really the only time he sees them since they are often in bed by the time he gets home, and he leaves before we wake up. Peter has no house related chores...I take care of everything myself...so that frees him up for the fun stuff.
Well it is a beautiful sunny day...I should be out in my garden!
Let me know what you have planned for the weekend...it is going to be a gorgeous three days....sunny and in the 70's. I am not sure what I am going to do with the kids...Peter has to go to Arizona Sunday night. (He doesn't get Monday off this year...big deal in Phoenix and he has to be there!)
Have a great day!
From: Nancy Lanza
Is it Friday already???? I don't know where this week went. I have been busy in the garden, and have had to water the lawn almost non- stop. We need rain, but none expected until Tues. or so. It has been in the high 80's- low 90's for a few days...but dry so very comfortable. Today is going to be cooler...mid 70's. The end of the school year activities are keeping us busy. Plays, concerts, art shows, picnics, etc. We get out on the 17th. When are your boys getting out? Do you have activities planned for the summer?
Peter has been in Arizona this week with 65 G.E people....they are buying a company out there and sent this group out to close the deal.
I've actually had an easy week...not having to have his supper ready at 10:00, and then still having to clean the kitchen after that. I have gotten some more "moving in" done. (Old papers gone through and sorted, etc.) Peter and the boys are going on an overnight camping trip with the Cub Scouts this weekend. Luckily, they are supposed to have excellent weather for it.
I just got ANOTHER truckload of dirt delivered yesterday. Hopefully, this will finish the job here. I think I will need a vacation once I have finished with this project!!!
Well, I have to get ready to go to school. After that, I have to run to the mall to pick up a tent, do the grocery shopping, go to the bank, and be home in time to prepare for company that is coming at 3:00. No wonder I feel like the days aren't long enough! They AREN'T!!!
From: Nancy Lanza
HELLO! Sorry I've been out of touch...I checked in last Wed. night, but no word from you. I was so busy Thurs. and Fri. (Ryan had his "Stepping Up" ceremony which included speeches given by students, awards, a viewing of their end of the year projects, and a picnic.) and Adam had a field trip. Monday was Adam's class picnic and the fifth grade day at Treadwell Park. And here we are at Wednesday already!!!
Anyway, had you written to me by last Wednesday, I would have responded...so actually this is all your fault!!! (Just kidding!)
I had a good laugh when you asked what I would do now that my landscaping was almost finished. What on earth gave you the idea that I was almost done??? I am container growing most things from bare root or seed, and transferring the plants when they are rooted. I am only about HALF done!!! This is a very complicated and time consuming process! (Even with all the help I've had from [REDACTED])
The boys have a very full summer planned. I am taking them up to my mother's on Monday. They will stay with her for a week. She will bring them back down and stay with us for a few days. They have "Education Connection" the first week in July. They have planned activities for the first half of the day, then they go to the park for the rest of the day. They are enrolled in soccer camp...karate camp...tennis lessons...swimming lessons. Then back to my Mom's for another week. Then up to Maine for our two week vacation. Then...back to school.
Yes, Peter works incredible hours...he leaves at 5:00 to 5:30 in the morning and gets home usually around 10:00. Sometimes he comes home early...7:30...and sometimes later ...12:00. Major workaholic, but, as you know, there are worse things.
My snail mail is 36 Yogananda Street. Sandy Hook, Ct. 06482. I would love to see the clipping! Ryan is looking forward to it as well.
We have a "End of the year" bus stop party tomorrow, and Peter is taking the boys to an end of the year party at Treadwell Park...it is a cookout...on Friday. I can't go to that one because I am meeting a friend in Boston for a Red Sox game. Just as well...I am all "End of the year" partied out!!!
Let me know how things are going. I will try to check back tonight or tomorrow.
From: Nancy Lanza
Hi!!! Sorry I missed you last week. Somehow, even without the children, I was incredibly busy! I got a lot done...the garden is about 3/4 finished. I had someone in on Thursday to take out two trees that didn't work out and put in two others. I got the rose trellises painted and [REDACTED] put them up for me.However, now one of the roses has to be moved because I placed it in the wrong place...I was off by 3 inches. [REDACTED] said that I get an F- for rose placement.I would have hit him for that...but he was armed with a power drill.
Mom lives in [REDACTED]. The boys had a great time, boating, swimming, fishing...etc.
It is almost 100 degrees today. We have had the air conditioning on for seven days straight. I wonder what THAT will do to the electric bill this month? We have not had a drop of rain for two weeks. I have been trying to water the lawn, but it is so huge that it takes five hours each day and four days in a row to do it all. It is turning brown anyway, despite my efforts. Oh well...there is always next year.
The lawn would be ruined this fall anyway, so I don't feel too bad.
We need to have both trees in front of the house removed and mature trees put in. That will involve a crane and trucks and will dig up everything, so we will have to replant grass at that time.
I have to get going...the boys are going over to friends houses this afternoon. Try to stay cool up there!!!!
From: Nancy Lanza
I was glad to hear from you tonight...I am particularly miserable.
The guy that replaced the trees is kind of giving me the creeps and it is making me feel very homesick. I really miss having my brother right next to me. I always felt so safe that way. No one messes with you if your brother is a cop...I really never fully appreciated how wonderful that was.
Last weekend was the big ordeal, huh? I'm sure it was a stuffy, boring affair. As for me...my Mom was here so I was rather busy anyway. You don't need to go to a wedding to come for a visit. You should come down just because! It really isn't all that far.
The heat has not kept me from gardening. I go out early in the day...or after dinner. It is generally tolerable at those times. My eyes have improved considerably. When I got down here, I was referred to a group of experts who discovered that I had been misdiagnosed in N.H.
I have gotten MUCH better with the proper treatment...not to mention that my spirits were raised when they were able to say with a degree of certainty that I was NOT in the incurable/inoperable and going to die group that I had been told I was in. Apparently my original brain scans had been misread to a certain degree...they are still going to do a follow-up brain scan to confirm that I am ok...but I have had no serious headaches, no blurred vision, no dizziness, no disorientation, etc. since they have taken over.
Dancing...that sounds like fun! I have wanted to do that for years...
I would want to take Ballroom...learn the Tango and all the great old dances. Peter refuses...but he told me that I was welcome to go on my own. I tried that once, but the instructor took too much of an interest in my instruction, and I only got a couple of lessons in before I quit. If I could find someone to go with I would try again, but it is not a thing that you can do on your own...even though the advertisements say that no partner is needed.
Your orchard sounds like it would be fun.(I don't know if you actually care, but just in case..."manure" is the proper spelling.) I like the idea of the grapevines...I can picture you making your own homemade wine. We used to have a grape arbor when we were growing up, and my mother always made wine in the basement. I never tasted it. I wonder how it was!(Potent...I'm sure!!!)
As for how the rose bush was off... [REDACTED] is the best kind of contractor...a perfectionist. He centered the trellises measuring shutter to end of building...I had negligently centered them measuring edge of window to end of building.Given the circumstances, I felt that an F- was a bit harsh...I believe that I deserved nothing less than a C.
Technically and aesthetically, he is right on this one....so I actually have to dig the rose out and move it the three inches in order for it to be perfect. (And we all know that I am also a perfectionist...I can't LIVE with something that is off centered three inches...even on a house that is 60 feet long. Wouldn't you think you could hide a three inch mistake given 60 feet to do it?) Oh, well!!
I have to run.
From: Nancy Lanza
Well, the creep didn't show up at my doorstep today, so I feel lucky.
Without getting into disgusting specifics...he has made some inappropriate comments and mentioned that he thought about having his ex-wife killed before their divorce.(Since the divorce, I gather that there is no further motivation! Lucky for her!!!) So we are definitely talking psychopath here! Not enough to go to the police...unless I still lived in Kingston...where my brother and his friends would be happy to have a "discussion" with the creep, giving him a few good reasons why he would NOT want to have an affair with me!This guy is in his 50's...which makes it even MORE creepy.What on EARTH is he THINKING?????
I also wouldn't want to turn him into his boss, since at least if he is at work, he isn't going to be here. And lastly, (and sometimes unfortunately) Peter doesn't really get involved in the day to day stuff. He is very busy at work, and doesn't like the annoyances of real life. I gave the creep a major cold shoulder and told him I didn't want him to come back here...I am hoping that will do the trick. I'll keep you posted!
As for getting too much attention I generally don't. I find that most men are perfectly charming, generally well-behaved, helpful and entirely trustworthy. It is the slobs that cross the line that become problems. I can usually tell a sleaze-ball within a few meetings, and if I turn up my major snob attitude a few notches, I can usually lose them post haste!
Well, we have finally gotten some rain down here. Two days in a row, and things are starting to look a little greener. It has cooled down.
Today is the first day in almost two weeks that I have been able to turn off the air conditioner. What a relief!!!
My diagnosis was not good. I was going under the premise that I had a limited time left...about enough time to get the boys settled in...at one point I was trying to deal with a time frame of about 12 months.
Definitely a hard thing to deal with, and not something that I wanted to talk about. As it seems to be turning out...because my symptoms got better and disappeared rather than getting worse, a lot of what is going on is a genetically based problem. It showed up recently when they did a series of DNA strands. I am currently being "monitored" and "managed". It is kind of like an on/off switch. Right now, it is on "off". As long as it stays that way, I'm fine. If something happens to turn it on, I've got problems. At this point, they don't really understand how it works or why. When it happened to my Grandfather, it was so quick that nothing could be done. Six weeks.
His auto-immune system went haywire and attacked his skin and muscles. No way to stop it...no cure. It is like living on top of a time bomb. I am carrying the gene for this type of self-destruct. It started up, but then stopped by itself. Right now I am fine and hoping to stay that way. (However...should I have the bad luck to die before you, I will expect that you will get up at my funeral and say a few kind words! I know how much you will hate that, given the fact that you don't like to speak in public...but I would get a big smile from it, so I know you will do it!) But at this point I feel like I could live to be 100!
I have to run...I am taking the boys to a carnival and fireworks later today.
P.S. I KNOW that not everything is lost on you...I'm just not sure when you do get my meaning, and when you don't. I want to make sure that ALL my wit and wisdom is appreciated. But I suppose I shouldn't worry...you will tell me if something doesn't register, right??
From: Nancy Lanza
Well!!! Good to hear from you...I checked several days in a row, the week of the 4th... and decided that you must have gone on vacation. I haven't had a moment to check lately, because I unexpectedly have a couple of professional soccer players living with me. (One from Ireland, one from England) and yesterday they came home with two more! (They asked of course!) Things are WILD here...but we are having a blast...that is a whole other story...I will get into it if I have a chance...but first let me respond to your letter.....
There isn't a fancy name for my problem...just a genetically flawed auto immune system...when (if) it activates...then it could become any one of a hundred different diseases. I am hoping that I am one of the lucky ones that never progress to a named disease. I have told VERY few people...and have not told even some people in my family to try to save people from unnecessary worry. I know that you will keep this in confidence. Thanks for your offer of help...the best thing you can do for me is to promise to keep this in confidence. I decided not even to tell my little brother, since he would be so upset and worried. It was hard enough to leave my friends and family, without all this hanging over everyone's head. My plan is to live well, and ignore the possibility of a potential problem. If it happens, I'll deal with it as I go. For now...I am ok.
The creep has called many times...I don't answer the phone, I let the machine pick up...he hasn't been here, at least not while I've been home. I think this will blow over. He DID ask me if I ever thought about having an affair with an older man. When I said absolutely not, he said that I should...that I would find that a man like him could be a very generous lover. HA! What an ego! What a JERK!!!
YIKES!!! I have to run. I need to get dinner started...or as they say in England...I've got to run along and prepare tea!!!! These guys have VERY healthy appetites!!!
Write me as soon as you can...I have missed you!!
From: Nancy Lanza
hi! I hope you are having a good week...it couldn't be worse than mine...I had a seizure on Tuesday and have been with my Neurologist since, being tested, poked, prodded, injected and otherwise tortured.
My arms ache (injections) and I have been terribly tired and sensitive to light. Forgive any typos...I am not proofing today! So far they have found no reason for the seizure...good news considering the alternatives...I still need to undergo a 24 hour eeg and see a cardiac specialist...but I am feeling OK and am in no immediate danger.
Anyway...lucky for you that I have been otherwise engaged and unable to answer your note until I had a chance to cool down. Leave it to a man to imply that I MUST have done SOMETHING to lead el creepo on.
What did I say to encourage his disgusting behavior...or better yet, what was I wearing? Trust me...I did and said nothing to encourage or mislead the jerk. He worked at my house for fie hours in the garden...
I was working too. I did nothing more than ask questions about plants, and small talk about the weather. I was wearing a pair of muddy jeans, since I was planting and watering...and a Red Sox tee shirt, size large....so VERY unfeminine and EXTREMELY UNrevealing. The whole thing makes me want to be sick to my stomach. It is not the first time this has happened to me...when I was in my 20's I was actually stalked by a New England Telephone executive, also in his 50's...to the point where I had to be escorted to my car by security personnel at the end of each day. What started that? He said "hi" to me n an elevator, and I politely said "hi" back. Over a period of a few weeks, saw him with more frequency on the elevator. He would comment on the weather, ask how my day was. I would agree that the weather was fine, and say that my day was going well...nothing more. What was I wearing? VERY conservative business suit...I worked in a financial department of a mutual fund company. As far as I am concerned, some men are just egocentric idiot pigs, and those kind need no encouragement. Anyway, I'll let you off the hook now, since I am sure you meant no harm or insult...
The soccer pros left on Sunday. They were a fun group, I actually missed them the first couple of nights. They were well behaved, well mannered and just so in love with everything American. They kept calling this house a "grand estate" and had never seen central vac, central air...and were in awe of my "fancy American kitchen". I wish I could have shown them a REAL fancy house...a mansion or something.
They made me a "proper English tea" and gave me a beautiful plant as a parting gift. They played with the kids...enjoyed the Nintendo 64 and constructed Lego sets to amuse Adam. I will have to tell you the whole story when I see you...it's way too much to type!
I need to go get some rest...it's good to be home.
From: Nancy Lanza
Hi! I just wanted to send a quick note to thank you for lunch. It really helped break up my LONG round trip a bit. The food was good, the company was excellent! I enjoyed seeing you and catching up with gossip. [REDACTED]
Anyway, thanks again for a wonderful lunch...wish it could have lasted longer!
From: Nancy Lanza
Haven't heard from you this week...hope all is well. I was wondering if you would like tickets to a Red Sox game...Aug.13th...7:05pm...I remember that you once wrote that you were interested in going to a game. Let me know.
From: Nancy Lanza
Hi! I have no time to write, so I will have to respond to your letter later on. I just wanted you to know that I am sending the tickets today. Let me know when you get them! No need to pay me for them...I am glad to be able to have a friend enjoy them. (Thanks for the offer though!)They are playing the Mariners. The game is Friday at 7:05...but you should try to get there early and catch a ball during their before-game practice. They hit a lot of home run balls during practice, and if you go down to the foul pole on the first base side...you may get one. (Take a baseball mit) Our seats are behind the home plate, to the first base side. You will be behind the net that shields the audience from fouls.
Got to run....
From: Nancy Lanza
Hi! I hope you get this today, although I realize that I am sending it late. Yes, I had a nice vacation. Maine was very rustic as always, but balanced nicely with a long weekend stay at The Red Jacket in North Conway. I bumped into some friends that I haven't seen in almost a year while we we were having lunch in North Conway. We invited them back to the Red Jacket, where we spent the rest of the day sipping wine on a balcony overlooking the mountain range, and then we went swimming and enjoyed dinner, poolside. It was fun, and of course the boys enjoyed having their friends to play with. I dropped Peter and the boys at my mother's on my way back to Ct., and they spent the next three days with her. She brought them home on Thursday, and she stayed here for a couple of days. Everyone had a good time...and I got my floors redone. Win-Win!
How was your excursion to The White Mountains? Where did you stay?
Find any gems? There is an old abandoned mine up in Maine that we like to go to. We always find a ton of crystallized rocks... once we found a big enough piece of Tourmaline to make a nice necklace. (We had to take it to a jeweler to have it properly cut, polished, and mounted)
Parenting is a juggling act!!!! See how well I handled the situation?
We start back to school on Monday. I think you do, too. I have heard that your school is adopting one of Sandy Hook's teaching tools this year. Every student will be given an assignment book to keep parents up to date on what homework is being assigned and when projects will be due. It will be brought home by the students and reviewed every night by the parents. Special teachers notes will be sent home in it, and parents can use it to send notes to the teacher. I found that it has worked wonders here, keeping parents in the loop and involved on a daily basis. I suggested it to [REDACTED] on her last trip down here when she was complaining that one of her sons had not done his homework for a couple of weeks and she wasn't even aware of it until a parent/teacher meeting. I showed her how our system works, and she went to [REDACTED] PTA and got the program initialized. She really is a one of those people who can really get a project off the ground.
You will have to let me know how it works!!!
I am planning a trip to Disneyworld...UGGHH!!!! Have you ever been? I am overwhelmed!!!
Well, I have to run....
From: Nancy Lanza
Hi! You probably won't get this until Tuesday...if you are like the rest of the world, you headed out of work at lunchtime. I have had such a busy week with the whole back to school thing, that this is the first chance I've had to sit down and write.
I forgot to send sympathy for your underuse of stone dust. The usual amount to use is three (on the skimpy side) to six (on the generous side) inches. You may be o.k., but more likely you will end up having to re-do it all in a few short years. One lesson to learn....NEVER, EVER ask a clerk at Home Depot or Landscaper's Depot or ANY other place for their opinion about ANYTHING!!! Those people are SO dangerous because they ACT like they know everything and they are in a position to SEEM like they know a lot...but remember THEY ARE CLERKS!!!! They have a collective IQ of about 80.....if they had any brains or ambition, would they be working for minimum wage in a warehouse environment? ALWAYS go to the bookstore or library first, and get a good book. (Or ask for MY expert advice!) It is really the only thing you can trust if you are going to "do it yourself". Anyway, despite the skimpy glaze of stonedust, your patio sounds very impressive. It sounds like you have made excellent choices in color and texture. Is it all at one level?
It sounds like you enjoyed your time up in the White Mountains.
Indian Head sounds like a great place for the boys. Mining is always fun...we found ours in Maine just by accident...it is one of those long lost places that is hard to get to, and nobody knows about.
I think we are going to Disney in February. I was planning on staying at the Carribean. My sister had stayed there and told me that it was wonderful for the kids and very nice. I was talking to a friend who also went several years ago...she confirmed that the Carribean was nice, but then added, "But I don't see YOU staying there." I asked her why not and she said,"Three words...NO ROOM SERVICE!" She knows me well! So now I am trying to choose between The Contemporary and The Polynesian....both of which have room service and four star restaurants.
You mentioned that you had a birthday...you should have told me sooner so I could have wished you a Happy Birthday. Anyway, best belated wishes!!!Did you do anything special? 40 is one of those "biggies", right?
By the way, my floors came out great! There were lots of little patches of rough spots and a few places where the varnish was on either too thick or too thin. I was never really happy with the oak floors. I snagged a few silk stockings, which is very aggravating AND expensive. The worst place was right in front of my stove...where I spend a lot of time. Rob sent someone to re-do them last year, but I didn't like the the man's attitude, PLUS he mumbled when he spoke.
Believe it or not...when I showed this moron one of the places that was rough...he didn't even get down and feel it. He just mumbled, "I don't see nothin' wrong with it, but I'll go over it if you say so." To make a long story short, I told the guy to pack up his tools and get out of my house...I was on the phone with [REDACTED] 30 seconds later...
I was SO steamed!!!! So, [REDACTED] (of course) came right over to see what the problem was, and I told him all about what the floor guy had said, then I took him in to see the spot I was talking about and [REDACTED] said(with a TOTALLY straight face), "I don't see nothin' wrong with it." It was actually pretty funny...even though I thought he was serious at first. [REDACTED] actually ended up firing that guy...no great loss, and he hired someone else who was coming to refinish my floors this summer. (After last summer, it was too late to do anything, because I had to have the boys out of the house for three days so that the varnish would be totally dry. As it turned out, though, [REDACTED] ended up doing the refinishing himself by hand. He said that knowing how PARTICULAR I am,( do you think that was meant as an insult??) it was best if he did it himself. Actually, he is probably right. He is a perfectionist, and he does everything well. I appreciated that he took the time to do it by hand. Those sanding machines are horrible mess makers...they raise a TON of dust.It took him two days, but the floors are perfect, so I am VERY happy.
Well, I am off to The Mount Washington Hotel for a weekend with friends. Write as soon as you can!!!
From: Nancy Lanza
I just went into Prodigy to send this and found your messages...but since I already typed my message I am sending it anyway...with an addendum. First...You DID get my message...so I'm glad you knew you weren't being ignored. [REDACTED] And third...what the HECK were you doing in Illinois? How was you trip? Floyd dumped a ton of rain on us, but we never even lost power.We fared much better that New York. By the sounds of it, we even fared better than you!
Original message as follows.......
Hi! I am up and around after a tough couple of weeks. Miss me? Did you get my phone message? I was kind of surprised that you didn't call me back...but maybe you can't make long distance calls from work?
Anyway...I would have probably just given you a "shame on you" lecture for all your self pity regarding turning 40. Consider the alternative. You were wondering when I might board that ship? I might not. They found another legion in my brain. I just spent the last 2 weeks having tests...some excruciatingly painful. Any hope I had that things were going to be OK or that I could be in any kind of a permanent remission are gone. There is this mad scurry to find out if anything can be done.I look at my boys and think about what will happen to them. I have to put on this big brave face for my family, but I am terrified. I get the "big talk" from my Doctor on Monday...results of tests, etc. He already said that it doesn't look good.
When you consider the alternative...doesn't 40 look pretty good? You should be thanking God for every year that you get to spend with your family.
As for my vacation plans...obviously everything is on hold. It is taking all my energy to get through each day with my " happy, nothing is amiss" face. Amazing what you can do for your kids, isn't it?
I am going down to Gettysburg for the weekend. They are having this HUGE reenactment of a few key battles...including the Battle of Bull Run. I find Civil War history...actually ALL history...to be very interesting. There are encampments you can walk through...very authentic reenactments of battles...a special presentation of trench warfare. The weather is supposed to be good. What are your plans for the weekend?
Well, I have to go pack. We are leaving as soon as Ryan gets off the bus. Have a great weekend. (and be THANKFUL that you are 40.) Love,
From: Nancy Lanza
Hi! I can't write much...hurrying off to another Doctor's appointment.
Not all the test were back yesterday...some things are ruled out, they are still waiting for pieces of the puzzle. I wish I could make you feel better about this...but it is VERY serious and although medicine has made a lot of progress, there a a good many things that can't be fixed. On the bright side...lots of things CAN be fixed. I have to be in the hospital on Friday. They have to stop my heart for a few moments. They said it is safe. A cardiologist with a crash cart will be right there to zap me back. It looks like another 2 weeks of testing before I get to the bottom of this.
Anyway...I really have to run, but I will call you later this afternoon. Please don't spend time worrying about me. Worrying never solved anything, it just makes you crazy!
I'll talk to you later!
NEXT ON FRONTLINEMy Brother's Bomber (Part Three)October 13th
FRONTLINE Watch FRONTLINE
FRONTLINE is a registered trademark of WGBH Educational Foundation.
Web Site Copyright ©1995-2015 WGBH Educational Foundation
PBS is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.