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I'm happy, married, and looking forward to sharing my world with you! If you're interested, that is!

Friday, August 31, 2007

J gave me a ride in his new car last night. It's impossible. He can't be old enough to drive his Cioci around. It's just not fathomable.

DH is a happy, happy camper. When he got to the house yesterday, the sider had been there, checking out the job site. They will be siding my house on Friday, Saturday, and Monday - at no extra charge. When DH asked him how much extra it would cost to have it done over the weekend, Lance said, "How much more? Nothing more. I quoted you a price, that's your price."

Now THAT'S the way to build a business!

I had pizza with the neighbors last night. And a falafel ball. It was yummy.

Have a wonderful Labor Day weekend! It's supposed to be a beautiful weekend here in NJ - sunny and in the 80s. I plan on sitting outside to get some end-of-summer color (not too much, of course), relaxing and taking some pictures. Maybe I'll read my book on digital photography, a hobby I'd like to take up sometime soon...

Nothing more 'til next week - have a great holiday!!!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

He doesn't look like a driver, does he? BUT HE IS!!! My J passed his driving test this morning! Look out world, here he comes! (And look out, Broad Street!) He said he didn't ace it (something about a K-turn) but he did great at parallel parking, so YAY, J!!!

And HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! 17 years ago today I looked at you in the nursery at the hospital, and you stole my heart. There's a place in there that has your name on it, engraved permanently, forever, J. You're my first and only nephew. You're smart, handsome, thoughtful, funny. There's no one who will ever take your place in my heart or in my life. I love you, J.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

One more day and I'm officially old. My "baby" nephew J turns 17 tomorrow. He goes for his driver's license tomorrow. The streets aren't safe any longer - tomorrow. (Just kidding! Actually I took him driving 2 or 3 times and he's pretty good.)

I had to dig through some old photos last night to find some pictures of some of our older windows during installation. Although I didn't find what I was looking for, I did find some pictures of J and A when they were small. One in particular moves me. He reminds me of my dad's dad, with the pronounced ears... [I tried to upload it but it's a pdf and Blogger will only take jpgs or tifs. Trust me, he was SO cute!] Both of them were so darned cute when they were little ones; they're still cute to look at, but these teen years... They're hurtin' me!

Looking through old pictures brought back some old memories... Like this one...
Top row from left: Phyllis, Mom, C, me; Bottom row from left: Jeff, A, J, Jack - Jeff and Phyllis were visiting from Colorado; we took them to the lake to show them our house. Had a little family party! So much fun being together! I miss Daddy's side of the family!

Real cute pictures of A and J in 2003, when they were 11 and 12, respectively. And Mom was 39 (again!).

This was DH in Alexandria, VA, sitting in "jail." I think this was their toilet; there was an access door outside to empty the pot!

Fun memories!!!

Monday, August 27, 2007

There's a cricket in my living room...

According to DH. It began chirping at around 2:35am this morning, and he's been up ever since. It did quiet down a bit when he went and got the bug zapper noisemaker thingee from the bedroom, but for the most part, he's been up since the cricket found its way into the house.

It must be gone by Friday.

They are the most disgusting looking creatures - although roaches skeeve me out completely, they're not as gross to look at as crickets. I shudder at the thought.

There was one in our bathroom linen closet last spring. I opened the door and there he was, on the floor, just looking at me!

I screamed, jumped back, and yelled for DH to kill it.

I can kill bees, mosquitoes, ants, spiders, roaches, flied, beetles, all sorts of other insects (NOT praying mantises, though, or grasshoppers) - but I CANNOT KILL A CRICKET. I can't go near a cricket. I skeeve crickets.


And now onto a much more pleasant topic...

We went to our neighbor's Bar Mitzvah this past Saturday. We were there from 8:30am to 4:00pm. We sat through all the prayers and speeches, attended the buffet and the luncheon, and had a blast! We met so many nice people from S's family.

Apparently we're famous, too! Everyone has heard of K & J, and D and S both mentioned us in their speech about their son! What a lovely group of people!!! And poor C - he just couldn't figure out why DH was wearing a yamulka. We tried to explain it was out of respect for A's Bar Mitzvah and that we were in temple... He just didn't get it.

We were the only non-Jewish people there. It made us both feel very loved and very special.

Mazel Tov, A!!!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Potato park planned
Backpackers enjoying gap year travel in Croatia will soon be able to have an especially smashing time at a coming tourist attraction.Officials in the town of Belica have chosen to dedicate a new park to the potato, which mashed competition from proposals for monuments to the two World Wars and the War of Independence.Local mayor Zvonimir Taradi has already erected a potato monument in preparation, which towers over nearby statues commemorating regional war heroes, reports Ananova.He explained the potato theme, which was nominated by the influential local farmers' union."Families in Belica have been living from potatoes for years and when it came to a choice of what to dedicate the new park to, it was an obvious selection," he said.The park is to include a potato-themed play area for children, potato plant flower beds and informative plaques explaining the diversity of the potato. (http://www.hostelbookers.com/info/news/18254770)
I always wanted to include an obscure reference to some thing that would sound so completely unbelievable but that I could include a link to that would prove I'm not crazy. This has hit the news media several times over the past few days... Read it and weep (tears of hysterical laughter!)
I have nothing else today, nothing that can top this.
I love to scrap. I have been attending some Scrapaholic group meetings the past few months and although I think the kits are rather expensive I've been learning some techniques that I can apply to my own scrapping.

Last night we went to a house in Mendham. The owner, B, is a member of our group. OMG! The house is HUGE! She mentioned that it had 4 bedrooms, which in itself could be average, depending on the size of the rooms.

Trust me when I say it's HUGE! You walk into a 2-story foyer, with a shiny marble floor and a sweeping curved staircase to the 2nd floor. The formal LR is on the left and the DR is on the right (that's where we sat to work on our projects). From the foyer you can walk straight back past a powder room on your right, to the kitchen, which you can also access from the DR via a short little hallway with a bar/counter/butler's pantry area. The kitchen has white cabinets, a huge island with a full, deep sink, and along the wall there's a bar sink in that counter. The family room is off the kitchen, as well as an eat-in area (I think - I didn't want to stare!).

I think next month's meeting is at her house, too - I'll stare then! WOW is all I have to say!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

We met him.

Believe it or not, I like him the best out of all the boyfriends we've ever met. He's older, has a job, and ordered a Coke at dinner. No showing off that he'll have a beer 'cause he can. His voice is very quiet; I had to strain to hear him. He's composed, and he knows how to talk to people. What a switch! So far, I like him. We'll see how he treats DSD as time goes on.

I asked if her brother would like him. She hesitated and said she didn't know, then followed it up with "probably." Personally I don't think he will. I've come to the conclusion that J doesn't like anyone he doesn't feel superior to, and he won't be able to feel superior to this guy.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

I'm so glad I don't have to date anymore. Well, I'm so glad that the only person I have to date now is my husband. Although he can still surprise me once in a while, there's honestly little I don't know about him, if anything, by this time.

My DSD is dating a new guy. They're at the "It's been two months and I think I really like you" stage. Believe it or not he's the one who said that! DSD immediately responded, "Don't mention the F-U-T---R-E word or I'll have to stop seeing you!" She's not ready to commit to a relationship. She's kissed a lot of frogs in her day (3 in particular come to mind!). I'm glad that she doesn't want a ring already...

Not having met the guy yet, I'm just blowing smoke here, but I think part of her reluctance to commit is feeling that she might have to grow up now. She's 29. He's 37. She's never dated a guy older than her before. Her dates have never taken her to restaurants before, only bars. They've not opened car doors for her. They didn't bring flowers to her when they arrived for a date. She's not used to that.

Hopefully he's a nice guy and she can get used to it!!!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Don't know if I mentioned it but I bought a mini-digital camera to tide me over 'til my "real" one comes back from the repair shop...

Here are some photo updates of this past week's work...
Some of my soon-to-be-completed central heat/AC!
The plumbing for the tub.
Our new front door with a $4.86 curtain from Wal-Mart.
Our new front screen door - what a fiasco to get that installed. We have so many extra holes drilled in the door jamb, the door, the trim molding, etc. It should have been video-taped for America's Funniest Home Videos! Considering my DH is VERY handy and is helping put this addition together, you'd think he could install a screen door in his sleep. After all, it's far from the first one he's ever installed...

I guess I distract him too much. And my brain was on siesta all weekend - even with instructions in my hand, we messed this up as much as we possibly could! Thank goodness the mistakes aren't visible on the outside, and they're only noticeable if you know to look for them!

Friday, August 17, 2007

The duck died (see my 08/16/07 post).

The other three sat with her from when she was injured until after she passed away. I just called DH and he broke the news. The other three were quacking away on our property; they didn't leave her side until she left them.

I'm so sad.

Left work early yesterday to go to therapy.

Left therapy early yesterday to go get my hair cut and colored. Or colored and cut, as the case may be.

It looks cute in this picture, no so this morning.

My question of the day: Why is it, no matter how hard you try, you absolutely cannot get your hair to ever look as good the next day as it did when you left the salon the day before? It's just not fair! Sigh.

Ate dinner with E at Tinga, a fresh Mex restaurant on Bellevue Avenue in Montclair. Yum! I had a bar-sized Tinga burrito with grilled chicken. Bar-sized meant it was made with an 8" tortilla, rather than a 12" tortilla. It was so stuffed with rice and beans and chicken that all I can say is it's a good thing I didn't get the normal burrito! It was a lot of food! It came with a salad (some romaine and chopped fresh tomatoes with honey mustand dressing) and you get some chips and salsa to munch on while you're waiting for your food. Mmm, good! The salsa was very yummy - a little tangy, but not so hot you couldn't eat it...

Therapy went well yesterday. I told the therapist that my good left knee was hurting after Monday's session. He adapted the exercises to be more muscle building/strengthening than impact-oriented (read: no treadmill). I thought I liked the original therapist a lot, but I liked yesterday's better! He listened, and paid more attention to me than she did... I have a new one tonight; we'll see what happens...

Thursday, August 16, 2007

I'm so sad.

At the lake there are four very tame ducks that we've been feeding for months now. They were bought as pets for some local kids last Easter, we found out, but they got too big and the kids let them free in the lake at Christmas-time. Christmas-time? In the cold?

They are so tame that they take bread from my hand, they float up to the docks and call me. Quack! Quack! Quack! And I answer them, "Quack! Quack! Quack!" I look and sound like an idiot but they're so pretty... Two of them are white, and two of them are a gorgeous brown. We just determined within the last month or so that there are two males and two females.

The white female has been missing for a few days now, since Monday. DH didn't see her since we fed them on Sunday. He took a walk around our neighbors' properties, looking for her, but until today, she was MIA.

He found her today, sitting out of the water on R's dock, with one leg so badly hurt that you can't tell if it's been hurt in a boat propellor or chomped on by a snapping turtle. We assume it's not the turtle 'cause of how it's dislocated; it's pulled out behind her, all cut and bloodied.

DH thinks she's going to die. The triplets (cousins to the ones who let them go free) put some bread near her so she had food to eat. DH said he picked her up and held her and petted her; she's immobile and lets you pet her now. He's afraid she's going to die soon.

This makes me sad. They are so tame that they float right up to the boats that are moored out in the lake, begging for food. Perhaps someone wasn't as careful as they should be and started their engine while they were too close... I'm sure it was an accident, whatever happened, but now I'm not happy.
Took Mom up to see the house. When you drive down the street and come around the bend, where you can see the neighbor's house - all of a sudden, our house is towering over hers! It's even higher than the other neighbor's house! I'll have to take a picture of it from this angle when I get my camera back from Best Buy...

Talked with G today - she didn't get the Special Ed job she applied for but she seems to be okay with it. M is apparently really p-o'd about it but G says it might be a blessing in disguise. The program is so messed up that 8-4/12 months a year might easily be 6-8/15 months a year! G is a workaholic, and this might kill her! M told DH that it's probably better for G to stay in the school system where she is 'cause she can retire in a couple of years; with this new job she'd probably work it for longer. The money was great, much better than what she's making now, but with $$ comes work...

We're going to try to get together for dinner next Monday or Tuesday. She apologized profusely for not calling and keeping in touch (her mom was in the hospital for a while; she's out and better now), but really wants to go out soon...

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

So much of my writing recently has been construction-oriented that you'd almost think there was nothing else going on in my life. Wait a minute. Nothing else IS going on in my life! But I'm going to write about non-construction stuff today.

A sad story...

My sister's cat, George, died last week. When I called P to tell her how sorry I was and how much I loved her, she said something so poignant that I haven't been able to get it out of my head (and I'm paraphrasing): "I heard somewhere that although you might have lots of pets in your life, that there's always going to be one who's your soul mate, and George was mine."

I didn't know George well, but I loved him - he was (I think) a Russian Blue and he was absolutely gorgeous. His sister-of-the-heart, Camille (another of P's cats who died several years ago) had stunning markings; she was gorgeous. But George? I loved the way he looked. I'm not a cat person, but I could have truly enjoyed being owned by George. I don't know what it is I liked so much about him - I only "met" him a few times. There was something about him, though, something that I really liked. I feel so bad for P - it's not easy to lose someone you love, especially someone with whom you've spent almost every day of the past 15 years or more...

I asked P to send me a picture or two of George, or of George and Camille. I like what I can create on a scrapbook page, even though I'd never describe myself as artistic, and I offered to make a page for George that I could frame (or she could frame) for her wall.

He will be missed.

On to other topics...

I went to Best Buy yesterday to drop off my camera for repair. The little door that holds the batteries in broke when I dropped the camera. Yes, the damage was my fault. But I paid for an extended warranty and by God, I will try to get it fixed without having to pay for it! I picked up my nephew (he jumped at the chance to go to BB) and we went.

Now I didn't go in cold-turkey. I called first. I sat on hold for 2o minutes, only to hang up, sit on hold for another 10 minutes, then talk to someone not from the Repair Center, and finally got in touch with Customer Service. CS told me that it's okay if I don't have my receipt; I'm registered online so they can look me up with my phone number. She told me to come in and go to the camera department.

So in we went, right to the camera department. She sent me to Customer Service. There was one line, roped off and marked with a sign that read "Returns and Exchanges." There were two other registers marked "In Store Pick Up" and "Customer Service," and there were lines of people in front of each.

So I got on line in front of the Customer Service sign, behind two Spanish guys who had an HP printer in an unopened box. There was a woman talking to the clerk in front of them. CS finished with the woman, then the two men approached the girl. They spoke briefly, then the guys picked up their box and went their merry way.


Okay. That set me off, I admit. So I walked up behind this woman who made a return and waited my turn there so no one else from the Returns and Exchanges line could cut in front of me.

They sent me to stand on line at the Geek Squad counter, after pulling my extended warranty number up on the computer, asking me if I had any other Canon camera under warranty with them "'cause the numbers don't match." No. And I don't have any other camera under warrantly with them either, thank you very much.

So I stood on line. Four registers opened, people at each, with one guy standing at the counter with no one helping him. Some guy walked in carrying a PC and he proceeded to walk up to the counter in front of me. When the Geek finished helping the person in front of me, he started to wait on this guy instead of asking "Who's next?"

My head exploded.

I threw my hands in the air and started huffing and puffing. "Oh, were you next?"

Duh... Yes.

The guy with the PC apologized and nicely chatted with me while the Geek took his sweet time taking my info. I felt bad and apologized for overreacting, but I was on my 2nd or 3rd line and had been waiting... He was very nice and we talked for a few moments, while the Geek confirmed what, when, where, why and how...

So again, sorry, mister, for being such a bee-atch.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Photos, Part Deux!!
Looking upstairs from the dining-room-to-be, I will be picking out a chandelier to hang in the staircase, rather than just some wall sconces - I think it will look nice leaving that light on upstairs when we're out...
This is some of the piping Plumber J installed last week. It reminds me of that screensaver...
Here's the road leading to our house. It almost looks sort of funny without lumber and trucks filling the space...
Here are our newly installed French doors, between what is now the living room and what will be the dining room (our current bedroom).
The same doors, looking from the bedroom/dining room into the living room...
If you add a little Tyvek to the second floor, this is pretty much what the house looks like right now.
They had to extend the chimney and the two fireplace liners above the new second floor. We were really tempted to start the fire the other day (it was 51 degrees in the morning! After 97+ days, that felt really cold! BUT we didn't - I don't know if we have to get an inspection on the chimney...)
Here's a shot of our newly installed stairs - the lake is at your back, and at the top of the staircase there's a landing and you turn 180 degrees. When you enter the sitting room on the 2nd floor, you're facing the lake, with a view to die for! Also, you can see that 2"x4" supporting the landing - picture a wall alongside the stairs where it's started to get framed out, making a right angle to the 2"x4", then another right angle to the front of the house. The left window will remain visible, but there will be a door there to enter the lower staircase, to access the basement. Those stairs will go from front to back, into the basement, coming out facing the walk out door to the lake.
From the sitting room, this is one side of our double-sided-fireplace-to-be; the other side will be in our bedroom.
Here are our new sliding glass doors and windows in the living room, with all the grids finally installed!
Since I can't figure out how to add more than 5 pictures at a time (I don't think I can), I'm making two separate entries this morning, to catch you all up to date on the construction.

Monday, August 13, 2007

We have stairs.

Some stairs. Stairs from the first floor to the new second floor.

We don't have stairs from the first floor to the basement. Which means, gentle reader, that we have to go outside, down the rather steep hill, around to the back of the house, to the basement walk out door, and into the basement to get the extra staples DH needs for the stapler. Then we have to reverse the trip, climb up the rather steep hill and back inside the house.

Only to find out that there are two sizes of staples down there, and of course, I brought the wrong ones upstairs. Why? Because DH didn't tell me there were two different sizes of staples, and he was even wrong about where in the basement they were, but I managed to located them. [For the record, the second set wasn't anywhere near the first. For an uber-organized male, that was a big oops!]

Oh. Sorry. I didn't bring them "upstairs." BECAUSE WE DON'T HAVE STAIRS THERE.

Now, going upstairs to the addition is a pleasure. Those stairs are wide, oak and beautiful. I love climbing upstairs, even to do work. I have to pick out a bannister and a newel post. And a chandelier. For the stair landing. It will hand in front of a window in the hallway and will look ever-so-nice at night...

This whole downstairs thing? The stairs they made to go from the first floor to the basement didn't fit. They "missed" the fact that our foundation wall has both 8" and 12" cinder blocks, and they change from 8" to 12" right in the middle of the staircase! I think we're going to put a ladder down into the hole in the floor that currently leads into our basement. Sigh. More ladders.

I absolutely promise to get pictures posted this week, no matter what.

Friday, August 10, 2007


I can't even guess at how many times I've moaned and groaned about having to climb up a flight of stairs. But as is true about other things, we really take stairs for granted.

As you know, if you're either (a) a reader of this blog, or (b) anyone who knows me or my husband personally, we're under construction at the lake house. It took only three days for the framers to put a second floor on our home.

Now, keep in mind that I'm not a fan of ranch-style homes. I grew up in a colonial style house, with living quarters on the first floor, and bedrooms/bathrooms on the second. That's my idea of a home. You shouldn't, IMHO, be able to just sort of roll out of bed into the kitchen. You should be able to go to sleep while your housemates (be they family or husband) have company downstairs and not worry about someone hearing you brush your teeth or go potty. It's sort of like separation of "life" and "home," or "day" and "night."

Well, we have a second floor at the lake now. It's not livable, but we can work up there. The only thing is:

I have to climb a ladder to get there.

Now, I know, dear readers, that you're thinking, "So what? It's a ladder. Climb it already and stop whining."

However, (1) I'm not a fan of heights, no matter how low they might be, and when I climb a ladder, I'm almost always climbing to a spot higher than where I start, and eventually I have to climb back down from a spot higher than I'm heading toward, and (2) my legs are too long to climb a ladder.

Yea, sure, go ahead and laugh. But I'm serious. When I try to climb a ladder (and despite my professed fear of heights, I do, to help DH do his work!), my knees hit the rungs or the sides of the ladder and it's very awkward. Can I clamber up said ladder with my legs spread wide and pointed outward? Sure. I look stupid and I'm unsteady, but it can be done.

I don't do it.

I take one rung at a time, one leg at a time (always the right one). And it takes a lot longer than a flight of stairs would.

The point of all of this?

They're delivering our stairs today and they're installing them tomorrow!!!

Life is good.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

I started physical therapy yesterday. It was a piece of cake: a few leg lifts (2 different kinds), tightening my quads (2 different exercises), some icing (cool down) and electrotherapy. Then Lorraine, my therapist, enlightened me: "Of course today was easy. It's like fishing. We reel you in with an easy day, then put the screws to you next time!" Basically, it gets me back in the door at least once...

I understand I will be adding in some bike work, some treadmill time, and some weight exercises into my routine. In addition, she's assigned me some homework:
  1. Hip/knee Strengthening: Hip Adduction - Isometric - With ball or folded pillow between knees, squeeze knees together. Hold 10 seconds. Repeat 10 times per set. Do 2 sets per session. Do 2 sessions per day.
  2. Hip/knee Strengthening: Straight Leg Raise (Phase I) - Tighten muscles on front of right thigh, then lift leg to height of left knee, keeping knee locked. Repeat 20 times per set. Do 2 sets per session. Do 2 sessions per day.
  3. Hip/knee: Straight Leg Raise with External Leg Rotation - Lie on back with right leg straight, opposite leg bent. Rotate straight leg out and lift to height of left knee. Repeat 20 times per set. Do 2 sets per session. Do 2 sessions per day.
  4. Hip/knee Quad Set: Slight Flexion - Tense muscles on top of right thigh. Hold 10 seconds. Repeat 5 times per set. Do 2 sets per session. Do 2 sessions per day.

Of course, I have to do it for both legs, not just the right one. I'd look pretty darned funny if only one leg was developed/strengthened...

Tonight is Scrapping Game Night. Should be fun!

The plumber has begun. He thinks he'll be back even next week, too. We're hiring someone to insulate. The chimney should be done today. The sider will come next week, perhaps. It's getting there, it really is. In a couple of weeks, you won't know that we don't have walls inside, that it's not livable inside - the outside will look like a new house!!! I can't wait!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Happy Birthday, Mom!!! Today is mom's b'day - I hope it's one of the best ones yet! Jack and I are taking her out to dinner, and we're supposed to have cake at my house, but the heat and humidity might put the kibosh on that... Maybe we'll do that another evening... Mom will talk to C and let me know later today.

So the plumber came on Sunday to look at the work that has to be done. While we are putting a tub in the new bathroom, no one will ever use it - we're shower folk. But I really wish I could put a real tub in the space, not one of those hotel tubs that are only 14" deep... But because of the space restrictions and the places where the beams/floor joists are located, we're sort of stuck when it comes to running the drains and water pipes. So I suppose I'll have to decorate the bathroom with a full shower curtain, rather than just frame it, so you can't see the mini tub we're being forced to put in... Of course, if we wanted to delay the bathroom work until they ordered another tub, we could do that, but really, according to DH that's "NOT AN OPTION." Now, he really didn't say that, but I know that if I even mention delaying the work, his head will really and truly explode on his shoulders and I'll have to clean up all that gray matter. We have to have it done before the end of August 'cause he goes back to school and no one will be there to have the work done unless I take off and if I take more days off now I won't be able to take days off when we want/need them in November for Teachers' Conference or in December for my birthday or Christmas or even for Christmas shopping...

I visited one of my favorite blogs the other day: http://phopecj.blogspot.com/
I hope Miss Hope doesn't mind if I cut and paste the pertinent info here - to those of you who say the media isn't biased: WHY HAVE WE NOT HEARD ABOUT THIS HERE IN NJ? [Note from my mom: It was mentioned on whatever TV station she was watching, but no follow up story, and they don't know why these guys had the stuff they had in their car and there was no mention of the Naval base or the jail...]

We sat in silence when the story turned to two guys who were taken into custody for allegedly having bomb fixin's in their vehicle. Location of this incident? The local anchor stated it was Charleston, South Carolina. The banner on the bottom stated Goose Creek, South Carolina. A standard roadblock interceded and stopped these fellows. Now, here comes the good part. I'm not going to tell you any classified information. That's probably because I don't know a lick of it to begin with. But, do you pay attention? I mean, REALLY pay attention? Because if you did, you would know that we have the Navy Nuclear Power Training Command in Goose Creek, South Carolina. I know this because my husband was an instructor there for three and a half years. This is where we have a few thousand kids that are fresh out of boot camp. They are cramming so much knowledge into their young brains in a short amount of time so they can go out in the fleet and protect our country. I've had the honor of being on this base and, believe me..it's loaded with our smartest and brightest. It holds our hope for a generation that will love this country and continue to protect it and serve it well. I will give you the link of the article that I found online so that you may gleam more information. Plus, it'll save me alot of typing.http://www.abcnews4.com/news/stories/0807/444994.htmlHow about that? Are you surprised? Truly? This worries me. Of course, it worries me. I wouldn't have taken the time to write about it if it didn't. Let's just talk hypothetically now. Let's just say these boys were seriously thinking of doing harm. (Remember, it's supposed to innocent until proven guilty here in American...so for now...we'll just do some "suppose this or that" talk). Let's just say they managed some how to get on base. Let's just say they even managed to get as far as the school where our young men and women are sleeping in barracks....or even the building where they attend school. Let's just say they blast this rolling bomb of a vehicle and take out the school.Have you any idea what this could do to our Navy? Any idea at all? It could have the potential to severely damage an entire generation of sailors. I can't even fathom what the repercussions could be in the long run. But, I'll be more than happy to let you stew on it for a few.Because I have another concern I need to address.Again, I'm not giving out any classified information. My husband doesn't tell me stuff and I don't ask. I respect his job and duties and would never in my life ask him to betray an oath that he has taken. So, do you know what else is at our Goose Creek, South Carolina Naval Training Command? A brig. That's a jail. And it's a jail that holds some of the worst bad guys that threaten our country. Take for instance:http://archives.cnn.com/2002/US/06/10/dirty.bomb.suspect/If you hung with the article long enough, you would have seen where Mr. Muhajir is being held. Yeah, scary, isn't it? It's enough to make a person wonder. Were Two Bomb Suspects harboring thoughts of taking out some of our kids? Or were they thinking about breaking out this Muhajir character..or even taking him out so he can't rat on anyone? Will we ever know?Now comes the good part. This is where I once again spout my love for this country because I am getting ready to state some of my very own personal opinions.All you tree hugging jerks who keep talking out of your butt about stopping this war and cutting funding?Shut up.When you know every single little detail and get a full complete picture of what's going on? THEN, open your mouth to speak and just shut up again. You don't know it all. You seriously don't. The media will only show what is guaranteed to boost ratings and if that's something that slants against our troops and defense plans, what do they care? Anything to stir up controversy and keep viewers tuned in to their stations. Let the people do their jobs. Let them keep us safe. Let them keep OUR CHILDREN safe. Let them work to keep our country a "free" country for future generations. I'm all for everyone having an opinion. Unless it's a stupid one and I've heard too many stupid ones on this subject to last me a lifetime. If we are to survive in any capacity, we must remain diligent. We have no choice. We have to have surprise roadblocks. We have to have someone standing watch at all times. I welcome any and all comments and arguments. For or against. I reserve the right to delete stupid stuff. Cause I'm crazy like that. I love living here in the U.S.A.

Friday, August 03, 2007

My french doors are installed! DH came home last night (to see me!) and said that he can't wait for me to get there today and see what he did... Pictures to come next week! He says it looks great!

And all the window grids are in in our new living room, and the new window with the missing balance - fixed! (It's so nice to be married to a handy man!!)

The humidity here in NJ is getting unbearable. The few days in the year when we suffer this way really get to me. Thank goodness (drumroll, please!) I'll have central air in the lake house by the time I begin to suffer from menopause and hot flashes! I don't think I could tolerate it any other way! Of course, if I'm still working when I start suffering that way, I might have to relocate and commute from the lake house...

I got a call from my dr the other day - my fibroid tumors appear to be the same. One view showed a slight increase (less than a quarter of an inch) but he seemed to feel it might be the view only, not an actual size change. I'm still totally symptom-free, so we're not going to do anything about them. I asked about the pill; yes, I'm staying on it for a while longer. He said I would see a difference in my period if I started menopause, even though I am on the pill, so unless I want to practice safe sex some other way, I should stay on it for now. I'll continue to check in with him every six months.

I'm training up to the lake today. It's 1-1/2 hours, one way. Once in a while, it's not bad. I get a bit of reading done (I tried some writing but that's not happening - a laptop would work; the train wouldn't affect my typing like it affects my handwriting...) and of course, some people-watching...

Sometimes I hear stories about other people's families, and I'm so grateful for my own. Even with all our foibles and quirks and pesky pet peeves - we are so very normal! I have a friend whose family is, well, to put it nicely, nuts. And they make her so darn miserable that it's even hard, sometimes, to hear her tell her stories! I know, I know, I'm only hearing her side of the story - and I tell her that - but even when I try to look at it from "their" side - no way. They're nuts. For instance... she just called me, en route to work. She was in the shower this morning, washing her hair, sort of prepared for her dad to yell at her to get out of the shower, that she's taking too long, like he's done in the past for no good reason.

He did. Yell at her to get out of the shower. "RIGHT NOW! WHERE ARE YOU? WHY AREN'T YOU OUT HERE YET? I NEED YOU OUT HERE RIGHT NOW!"

When she got out of the shower (after shouting back that she just had to rinse the conditioner out of her hair - how long could that take? 30, 40 seconds? Her hair is barely shoulder length and it's very thin, from medication she's taking), she pulled a towel around herself and opened the door to see what was so urgent.


Now, I'm no psychiatrist/psychologist - he's certifiable. He's also 70. I wonder if he's having moments of senility or dementia. Or if he's just nuts. Yeah, he's just nuts.

P.S. My friend went back into her room to dress and by the time she came downstairs, fifteen minutes later, he was in the car, leaving for Home Depot, never having spoken with her again.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Minneapolis Bridge Tragedy

Last night, at 6:05pm (local time), a major bridge on I-35 collapsed in Minneapolis. So far, 9 people are confirmed dead, over 60 injured, 10 critically, and 20 are missing. My heart bleeds for those families. The pictures are horrific. There was no warning. There was some work being done on the bridge, general maintenance and repair, apparently, and there is no evidence yet that it contributed to the collapse. It was a HUGE section of bridge that fell; I don't know yet how much initially fell and how much was pulled down because of the failure of that first part. A school bus was caught on the end of the bridge and didn't fall into the Mississippi River; the children exited from a rear door since the front door was jammed against the side of the bridge.

I remember years ago Eric G. told me that he was afraid of bridges, that every time he drove across one, he all but prayed, even though he wasn't a particularly religious person. "I hate them!" he said. I can remember being mildly amused: how could this big truck driver be afraid of bridges!?!

Today, as I was driving to work, I had to cross over and under several bridges on Route 3 East. Most of them are concrete bridges, built sometime in the late 40s and 50s. One of them, the Berry Creek Bridge, in the Meadowlands, is a big structure. That one makes me nervous; you can't see anything above or below you, or immediately over the sides...

I hope for the best in Minneapolis.

[Note: As of today, 5 are confirmed dead, not 9. That's 5 too many.]

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Boy, do I have my neighbors fooled! S seems to think I'm talented, in an artistic sort of way. She asked me to help her create some sort of scrappy centerpieces for A's bar mitzvah. Ultimately she decided to just fill a bunch of picture frames with photos of A and his brothers and cousins and friends. We spent an evening last week doing it and another evening last night. Had a great time. Thanks for including me, S!

Today is SL's wedding day. She and T are getting married tonight. If we weren't working so hard on the lake house, if DH was actually going to be home tonight, I would have happily RSVPd "yes" but as it is, I'm not going. We wish them well! They're both divorced, with 4 children between them, and today they join their families forever. According to S, T's ex-wife is very nice about the whole thing, praising SL to the boys, encouraging them to like SL and feel comfortable with her. That's a nice thing.

Today is also Tenant Appreciation Day at work. Free food, fortunetellers, stilt walkers, clowns, Mr. Softee. Yay! My next door cubicle mate ought to disappear around 11:30 and I'll be we don't see her until around 2/2:30. She'll be adding yet another caricature of herself to her office space. In fact, she has no room there now; I'll bet she takes down pix of her kids just to put up another of herself...

Speaking of her, I have a great story to tell about her someday when I have time - just remind me to relate the story about her and LL Cool J - they're best friends, after all...