A Great New Neighborhood. - Penny Lane Blog at Allrecipes.com - 254629

Penny Lane

A Great New Neighborhood. 
Oct. 23, 2011 4:33 pm 
Updated: Oct. 29, 2011 11:06 pm
I love our new neighborhood - it is full of children.  With children comes excitement, energy and immediate friendship.  We had not even officially moved in before the grand-kids had met and made friends with the neighborhood kids. Kids make friends easily - within minutes they are playing and exploring.  When school lets out the streets are teeming with children of all ages.  Unlike our old neighborhood, these kids play outdoors. 
By the time the moving van arrived with our furniture the neighbor kids already knew all our names and who was who.  
Moving entails boxes.  It begins with a desperate plea for sturdy boxes and ends with an equally desperate plea to get rid of boxes.  Space in the recycle bin is at a premium. 
In addition to moving boxes came the boxes from the newly purchased kitchen set.  The moving boxes flatten down very nicely and will be passed on through Freecycle.  The furniture boxes are another matter all together. 
This weekend we had the kiddos  - it was Nana's weekend to play with the 'lovable locust' while their parents played adult 'games'.   After an evening of playing outside with friends until the street lights came on and then dining on pizza and spaghetti - Sunday morning beamed clear and bright.  It was time to play outside again.
As we were pulling out the furniture boxes to flatten and dismember,  the neighborhood kids showed up.  Suddenly I had a hoard of helpers. 
"Boxes are great fun."  I say with as much enthusiasm as I could muster. 
"They are?" questions the neighbor boy.
"OH - I LOVE BOXES!"  Squeals the neighbor girl, Alexa.  (My hero!)
The next thing I know I was turning furniture boxes into Robots, Coffins and Club Houses.  Bubble wrap became 'fireworks" when run over with a scooter or bicycle. 

Pretty soon I was busy unpacking more boxes to provide the quickly assembling kids with fort material. 


One boy asked if I was a Marine.  Hmmm - odd question, I think.  
"No, but thank you for the compliment."  I told him.  "Why did you think that?" 
"Well, you can really wield a good knife on those boxes and you are wearing a 'Marine' shirt."  

I think we made some good memories today.  :)
Oct. 23, 2011 5:00 pm
adorable kids!
Oct. 23, 2011 5:02 pm
Ah boxes :) great fun. Some of those kids look a bit old for box forts, but hey, who am I to tell people to act their age? ;) Hope you're enjoying the new place inside as well as out!
Oct. 23, 2011 5:04 pm
Sounds like the beginning of a wonderful new life there in your new home. So happy for you.
Oct. 23, 2011 5:05 pm
Great blog ~ Wishing you all the best in your new home!
Oct. 23, 2011 5:05 pm
Nothing says, "Howdy, neighbor!" like cardboard boxes and bubble wrap. You did send all of it home with the kids ... right?
Oct. 23, 2011 5:29 pm
Mike - I did indeed send home each child with their creation! Their parents will be hating me!
Oct. 23, 2011 5:32 pm
You think you've got a bunch of neighborhood kids now? Wait until they taste some of your cooking.
Oct. 23, 2011 5:33 pm
Great blog, B'Nana. What a fun neighborhood. Mom's been extolling the joys of Sun City (she's lived in 3 so far) senior living for yrs, always telling us we should move to one someday. Well, we're old enough now, but your experience is what I've been trying to tell Mom about for years. We LIKE living where kids live. It keeps us young, too. what a wonderful new home you've got. :)
Oct. 23, 2011 5:34 pm
Alex - the oldest of those kids is 13 - I am glad they are still playing fort on occasion. Besides the 13 year olds keep an eye on the younger ones. :)
Oct. 23, 2011 5:36 pm
GAHSMOMX3, Rosebud & apple.strudel - thank you for the well wishes. This is a cool neighborhood! I love these kiddos.
Oct. 23, 2011 5:38 pm
bd.weld - We are planning a front yard pizza party. Should be a blast. I can't wait.
Oct. 23, 2011 5:40 pm
lucylove - I love kids - I always have - always will. The best part is these are GREAT kids! I can see some good times ahead of us. There are memories to be made!
Oct. 23, 2011 5:42 pm
what a great blog! i remember getting boxes from an appliance store, refrigerator ones were the best and throwing them down, get a running start and slide down hills.
Oct. 23, 2011 5:46 pm
Oh gderr - boxes on the dried grassy slopes were the best! Wet suits on the muddy hills rocked! I taught my kids all these tricks. We don't have any slopes around here but I still have loads of tricks!
Oct. 23, 2011 6:02 pm
I agree- great blog! So happy you are happy! Be careful what you wish for though! We loved the kids here when we first moved in. Then...well, it all changed. My neighbor came over, complaining that my husky was barking too much. I knew something was up, because she NEVER barks unless provoked. Turned out his kids and their friends were out behind our fence, smoking cigarettes and drinking beer! The same kids that were so sweet at 12/13 are not so much anymore! I don't mean to say they are bad kids...just teens. Aggravating, annoying teens. Lol!
Oct. 23, 2011 6:04 pm
May I add, my parents find this to be poetic justice, and are quite happy at the top of the hill in their secluded area, with no kids around whatsoever unless my daughter is there!!!
Oct. 23, 2011 7:49 pm
Ahh Puck - I have often said "Pay Back Baby!" BAAAHAAAR As for the neighbor kids - there is probably more than one reason (the shirt) that they think I am a former Marine.....
Oct. 23, 2011 8:09 pm
So glad you are enjoying your new neighborhood. Sometimes you never know. And good to have kids around for your grands. Glad the move is going well. I remember every Fall when my kids were little we would rake leaves and form "Leaf Houses" for them. Then, within those "rooms" of the houses we would give them boxes to build their furniture. I remember boxes made into stoves, refrigerators, couches, tables, etc. What fun (until the rain would hit). You just don't see too many kids outside exercising their imaginations much anymore. Sad!
Oct. 23, 2011 9:17 pm
Boxes are the best!!! I remember when my Mom got new fridge -- I was about six. After two weeks she insisted that fort be removed from the living room. Then, there was the big lampshade box -- perfect for Jack in the box!!! And, Barbie always drove a highly styled Footwear logoed covertable!!! Good jog for sparking their imaginations, Nana!
Oct. 23, 2011 9:55 pm
How fun, Nana! I just LOVE being in neighborhoods with kids. All the ones in mine are mostly babies, so we'll be "in" for it in a few years! Love the photos!
Oct. 23, 2011 10:04 pm
Reminds me of when my children were very small. My first was showered with gifts of all sizes for his firts and second birthdays. Useless to him! My second and third children I gifted colorfully decorated empty boxes. They loved the paper ripping and then were thrilled to play with the box. To be sure, they got goodies too but the main prizes were those empty boxes. Then later, big boxes like you have became snow sleds, playhouses etc.., great stuff!! Congrats on moving to a living neighbourhood!!!
Oct. 23, 2011 11:39 pm
I don't like new neighbors, well I don't like the old neighbors. They all do the same thing, buy the property, put hols in the walls, never mow there lawn, throw trash in there yard, beat there dogs abandon the house, sheriff deliver foreclosure notice. Someone buys it fixes it up, and sells it to someone who again starts the cycle over again. About 5 People Moved In to My Left Next Door, And About 6 People On My Right. Not One of them too care of there house. So the weeds are 3 feet high on the left, and to the right kitchen garbage is in the middle of the back yard. because they 1. are too lazy to take it to the county dump, or too poor to pay for trash pickup.
Oct. 24, 2011 3:48 am
chris k - I have never lived in an area where we actually had to rake leaves or have the opportunity to build leaf houses. How fun! In our old neighborhood the kids never played outside and you rarely even saw their parents either. Here - just a half mile away - people walk their dogs, work in the yard, ride bikes and kids play outside. Everyone that walked by yesterday said hello and commented on the number of kids and their creations. I am liking this very much.
Oct. 24, 2011 3:59 am
Good EatNZ Thanks for stopping in. It is good to see you! I had the joy of a refrigerator box as a kid too. Mom got a new Coppertone fridge and I got a great play house. It was a sad day when the rain came and turned it into an Ark. I really don't remember many of the toys I had as a kid but I remember that box!
Oct. 24, 2011 4:06 am
Marianne - I hope those neighborhood babies will be allowed to play outdoors. So often that isn't the case. I understand the fear of the parents but I really think that there is much to be gained in the social interaction and physical play. Besides, there is safety in numbers and these kids all seem to look out for one another. It is very nice to have physically exhausted kids at the end of the day. :)
Oct. 24, 2011 4:20 am
Good morning Randy. Throughout the years my hubby and I would often say, "We should have just given them a box for Christmas!" :) 'A living neighbourhood' is a good description. The adage "It takes a village..." is very true yet impossible if the villagers never know their neighbors. BTW - I sure could have used your help and woodworking experience while assembling those chairs. I most certainly would not have purchased 8 chairs if I have know I would have to assemble them. I am glad they came in boxes though. :)
Oct. 24, 2011 4:28 am
KingSparta - I am sorry that you don't have nice neighbors. It sounds like your community could benefit from Code Enforcement. Here trash pickup is not optional. If a tenant doesn't pay the trash bill the homeowner gets the bill - if the homeowner doesn't pay the bill a lien is placed on the property. The house we are living in now has been our rental house for years - we always paid for a gardener and have been very fortunate to have had really good tenants who truly took care of their home.
Oct. 24, 2011 4:45 am
Wonderful fun pictures! Glad you are loving your new place. Boxes are fun and do take the imagination on great adventures. I have always enjoyed my neighborhood filled with wonderful happy playing children (all new generation now)...I'm so glad we were able to raise our boys here. My eldest son met his wife in our neighborhood back when they were in high school and her parents still live just over one street and so now my grandson can walk from one grandparents house to the other...doesn't get any better than that. ;-)
Oct. 24, 2011 5:08 am
Sherri - how wonderful for both your grandson and the grandparents! I didn't know my grandparents & my kids didn't have the benefit of knowing my parents either. That bond of family is so very important. You are blessed.
Oct. 24, 2011 5:19 am
You will fit right into the new neighborhood! You had a wonderful "welcome to the neighborhood party!"
Oct. 24, 2011 5:26 am
sueb - I couldn't be more pleased with all the kiddos in the neighborhood. To be honest - I am looking forward to Halloween so much more than I have in years. I better buy more candy!
Oct. 24, 2011 7:57 am
You just read my mind BN - - halloween is going to be a hoot there! Better stock up BIG TIME on those halloween treats!! Since you're already the "go to" house in the neighborhood, you'll probably be inundated with kids. But all the better to enjoy the "treat" side of halloween!!! Thanks for the blog and I'm glad you're in a great neighborhood.
Oct. 24, 2011 9:08 am
So glad you're enjoying your new house and neighborhood! Sounds and looks like you guys really had a blast. Children do make you feel "younger" and are a blessing to have around...I wish there were more children in my neighborhood so my 3 children had someone to play with. I'd love to see kids out in their yards, running around, riding bikes in the roads :( Looks like they will benefit from having you around just as much as you benefit from having them around. You've inspired them to use their imaginations, something children don't do often enough anymore. Have fun with all those little ones, and good luck with everything new...oh, and good luck with putting together your furniture!
Oct. 24, 2011 4:44 pm
luv2cook - I had a couple of knocks on my door today - "Can you come out and play?" LOL - so cute. Phssst - shhhhh - don't tell but I told the kids they can hit our house at the beginning and end of their trick or treat route. :)
Oct. 24, 2011 4:48 pm
Frauline - There are few things better than watching kids run, play and squeal with laughter. Indeed kids keep us young and remind me of my own childhood adventures. :) The furniture is assembled but boy I sure could have used Randy's help. :)
Oct. 24, 2011 9:55 pm
Wow!Sounds like you had a great time getting moved in! Wonderful pics~(pretty cool way of getting rid of some of the boxes)-LOL!DH is off working on our new house, & I'm working on packing this one up & also getting his "dead" truck fixed. Got it towed over to a mechanic today.
Oct. 25, 2011 12:46 am
Thanks for sharing your new adventure with us all BNana!! Sounds like you have a great neighborhood and awesome neighbors!
Oct. 25, 2011 5:19 am
You are going to fit in perfectly in your new neighborhood. They are luck to have you! :)
Oct. 25, 2011 6:26 am
goodeats - Good luck packing up your house. Sorting and getting rid of stuff is a monumental task. At least for me is was. But when all is said and done it was worth the effort. :)
Oct. 25, 2011 6:28 am
Lobster and WFDM - thanks for stopping in. I feel very blessed. You never know what kind of neighbors you are going to have. I am looking forward to making some good memories here.
Oct. 25, 2011 9:36 am
The joy of plain old boxes for entertainment. I have been to far too many occasions where the kids ended up playing with the boxes their extravagant gift came in. ! always thought that said more about the parents or the gift givers than the kids. Like someone else said......wait till they get a taste of your cooking. WOW!
Oct. 25, 2011 9:37 am
King Sparta, sounds like you need to sell and get out of that neighborhood. YIKES! I may be the odd duck. but I love neighborhood covenants just for that reason.
Oct. 25, 2011 12:42 pm
I love a good box (=
Oct. 25, 2011 1:02 pm
LOLOL! Just when I needed a nudge towards a smile. I took a huge packing box long ago and made it into a house so my little boy could play in it. Boxes are such a great thing! Empty but so able to inspire the young imagination to fill it :)(:
Oct. 25, 2011 2:50 pm
B'Nana - I had to teach our eldest Grand, JD, how to roll down a hill when his parents and Steve refused. Seriously, you want the old lady to teach him? What, you're all too grown-up to roll down a hill? Okie dokie. And I did!
Oct. 25, 2011 5:15 pm
Okay, following lucylove, I am going to confess one of my obscure talents - nothing to do with the blog - or boxes . . . I can swing (on a swingset) upside down. [Gets my long hair sandy, though (=]
Oct. 25, 2011 5:26 pm
For the record.....Mike loved your blog too.
Oct. 25, 2011 6:10 pm
So glad you are enjoying your new neighborhood, Baking Nana! I hope that when I have kids growing up (hopefully soon!!!) that we get someone for them to play with. Right now I have a group of young people on one side who have other cars there all the time and blasting dance music every night-you'd think a club opened up at the edge of the forest! On the other side, people from the Bay Area only come up every other weekend. The lady across the street is very nice, but it's just her and her cats, no kids!
Oct. 25, 2011 7:39 pm
Mauigirl - the magic of a box is amazing no matter the contents of said box. Next time we are invited to a birthday party I will remember to gift the appropriate box. :)
Oct. 25, 2011 7:42 pm
xraybarb - there is nothing like a good box! I think that is part of the magic of Christmas - BOXES - lots of multisized boxes - all holding the promise of something unknown.
Oct. 25, 2011 7:44 pm
Cat those empty boxes aren't empty oat all - they are full of dreams - destinations and adventure. You gave those dreams to your son. :) Now he is living those dreams.
Oct. 25, 2011 7:51 pm
lovelucy - Good for you! Someone needs to pass down these traditions! If not they parents them it is our duty to teach them about these simple joys of childhood!
Oct. 25, 2011 8:20 pm
lissa - When you have children bring out the boxes - they will love them! More will join you - by then maybe the 'kids' next door will have either grown up or moved out. You will create great memories for your kids. :)
Oct. 25, 2011 8:21 pm
Mauigirl - tell Mike "Thanks". I know his dedication to children and that is a HUGE compliment.
Oct. 26, 2011 6:42 am
I read your blog and immediately thought of this book. Was one of my favorites as a kid. it made me want my parents to buy something huge! http://www.amazon.com/Christina-Katerina-Box-Patricia-Gauch/dp/0698116763/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1319636506&sr=1-1#_
Oct. 26, 2011 7:17 am
What a warm, wonderful way to connect in your new neighborhood! You are a blessing to the neighborhood kids! Bet many of them don't have a neat "grandmom" close by to "play". Tag - you're it! Hope you're getting some rest as you settle in!
Oct. 26, 2011 8:42 am
Boxes are awesome! Last year, my GG's made a "Castle" entirely from cast off boxes I'd pitched in the garage. It even had a "draw bridge." Quit impressive. Of course they used about 1000 miles of duct tape to put it together, but that added to the charm. Oh, it also had a "drive-thru." Yeah, a castle with a drive-thru.... ??????
Oct. 26, 2011 8:57 am
What a cheerful blog. Thanks for sharing!
Oct. 26, 2011 3:13 pm
Kids can imagine so many uses for an empty box and have almost as much fun with it as a kitten! Sounds like you found a great house in a great neighborhood. Congratulations!
Oct. 26, 2011 8:28 pm
koriekiss - that is an awesome book! Thanks for the reminder.
Oct. 26, 2011 8:33 pm
Mamaw - Thanks for stopping in! Amazing how a pile of boxes bridged the generation gap. It is nice to know I have friends. Even if it is just for my cardboard. :)
Oct. 26, 2011 8:34 pm
MissDarcy: Thanks for you comment. I was so thrilled I just had to share. I can't wait to get them out digging in the dirt with me!
Oct. 26, 2011 8:37 pm
bsm - Indeed - an empty box is a vehicle to many adventures. We are blessed to have this home with great neighborhood kids. They are so sweet....I treated some of them to Pumpkin Cheesecake today - tomorrow will be pumpkin bread. :)
Oct. 27, 2011 1:03 pm
Can I come play with the boxes? :)
Oct. 27, 2011 8:03 pm
You bet Mauigirl! There should be a few left when you get here!
Oct. 28, 2011 6:45 pm
Sounds like fun, but I am way past messing with kids! I need your OLD neighbor with the kids who stayed inside! (After living where we do now, and having unsupervised kids climb on our trucks, push in the screen door and do other obnoxious things, I would be very happy to be in a kid-free neighborhood! Mine are grown and past that. (Can you tell why I never was a teacher! LOL! My daughter wants to be one, and I was even offered a teaching job a few yrs ago. I passed. I just don't enjoy kids anymore, at least the ones I've come in contact with.)
Oct. 29, 2011 4:43 am
Boxes.... Oh how I remember how my kids would get so excited when something was purchased that came in a big box! We had a "box" cottage in our basement for years that my daughter played house in. I love to see kids playing outside. My kids grew up where they and all of their friends played outside year round. They'd come in at night, most nights just after dark, dirty and tired with so many wonderful stories of what they had done.
Oct. 29, 2011 11:06 pm
I think that kid was on to something, with all the energy you have you Should be a Marine! LOL Great blog and looks like a terrific place for your grand ankle biters to meet some new friends. There used to be a park over in Cerritos that had this long rock slide on it and I would take the kids and go get boxes so they could slide down the rockfall. The park has since remodeled the area and now the slide is not there but my kids always had a better time with boxes then the Actual toy!
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Baking Nana

Living In
Corona, California, USA

Member Since
Aug. 2009

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Cooking Interests
Baking, Grilling & BBQ, Frying, Stir Frying, Slow Cooking, Asian, Mexican, Italian, Healthy, Quick & Easy

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About Me
Every morning my granddaughter calls and says, "Good morning Nana. Whatcha doing? Are you baking Nana?" Hence my name, Baking Nana. I love to bake bread and never get tired of it. Yeast is additive! Visit me at BakingNana.com If you would like to contact me directly please use the 'Contact Me' on my site. http://bakingnana.com/contact-me/
My favorite things to cook
I go through phases, Asian for a while then Italian then on to something else. I love experimenting with new flavors and different spices. Some times my husband will ask if we will ever have "ordinary" food again. Once in a while I have to toss him a burger just to keep quite! Actually, he is a good sport and my favorite taste tester.
My favorite family cooking traditions
In our family if it is your birthday you get to choose the menu. We have had some really interesting meals. In March we have 5 birthdays so we do one big party - what a crazy menu that is! Christmas dinner is very traditional. Sausage rolls, Prime Rib, Yorkshire Pudding, gravy, Green beans with bacon, Mashed Potatoes (the really fattening kind) and trifle for dessert. If I were to dare to omit any of those items I would be lynched.
My cooking triumphs
Mastering really great bread is probably my biggest triumph. I am always so pleased when I create a perfect Asian dish.
My cooking tragedies
There have been a few but none so horrible that I can't laugh about them now.
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