About Me

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

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Free Hugs in Sondrio, Italy

If only we had people doing this all over the world! It would be a better place!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Look at yourself after watching this...

Please take 4 minutes and 11 seconds from your busy holiday week and watch this video.  This man has touched my heart.  I will never forget him and I'm posting this video here so that I'll always be able to go back and hear him say, "Every single girl right here, right now, I want you to know that you are beautiful.  You are gorgeous just the way you are.  And you boys?  You da man!"

THIS is the lesson I hope all young women can learn, and it's a lesson I hope all young men can learn.

You/we are all beautiful.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

On Being a Woman...

I'm not a feminist.  That's the last word I would use to describe myself. 

I think it's because I just automatically and unconsciously (until I really think about it) put a negative connotation on the word "feminism."

And I'm wrong to do that, I know.  I'm where I am today, in my life, in my career, in the world, because a lot of women stood up for themselves, their mothers and aunts and grandparents, and for their unborn children and younger sisters and cousins, stood up and shouted, "We're not going to take it anymore!" 

We vote.  We work.  We own homes.  We have valued opinions.  Sure, a feminist can be still be stereotyped to be a bra-burner, a political rant, an in-your-face, gruff sort of woman always fighting the men even when she doesn't need to, but of course, not all of them are...  It's a stereotype that needs to be tossed.

But I do think sometimes that many women DO still fight a battle that has been raging for generations, whether we know it or not.  And I ran across this blog post today on The Wild and Wily Ways of a Brunette Bombshell.  I don't know the author of the blog, and I never saw the article she's reposting, but man, did it strike a chord with me today.

There are some women I know who are living this every day.  And I probably encourage them to fight back a bit more than I should:  after all, I'm not living in their shoes.  I should really support them any way I can, and not tell them, "You should fight back!"

I'm lucky to be married to my husband, a man who respects me, my abilities, my brains, my heart, who believes in me, believes that I can do anything I put my mind to even when I'm doubting myself.

The women mentioned in this article (original author is Yahsar Ali) do exist, even today, in 2012, after all we women went through in the 50s, 60s, 70s, and on...  They're still living with those sly little comments that do nothing but demean them, even - and I do truly believe this - even when the men in their lives don't realize what they're doing! 

We've learned, women, now let's teach the men in our lives to cut this $&*# out!!!  Be sure to teach your sons and nephews and husbands and brothers NOT to make comments like "You're overreacting!  You're so sensitive!  Get a grip:  I was just kidding!"

Bottom line, guys?  If you have to say that after we react to whatever it is you just said?  IT WAS A STUPID THING TO SAY AND YOU SHOULD HAVE NEVER SAID IT!!!

Friday, December 02, 2011

Oh, Thank Goodness!!!

from Shelf Awareness, Friday, December 2, 2011, Volume 2, Issue 1617

Future of Print Books: 'You’ll Be Neck Deep in Them'

"Will the e-book kill off the print book? Every time I hear that question, I think about the 'paperless office.' Back in the '80s, the rise of word processors and e-mail convinced a lot of people that paper would vanish. Why print anything when you could simply squirt documents around electronically?

"We all know how that turned out.... When you make something easier to do, people do more of it. Now that every office worker has access to a computer and a printer, every office worker can design and distribute elaborate multicolor birthday flyers and spiral-bound presentations.
" 'Print-on-demand' publishing is about to do the same thing to books. It'll keep them alive--by allowing them to be much weirder.... So don’t worry about the fate of print books. Heck, you'll be neck deep in them."

--Clive Thompson in Wired

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Children really are still reading!!!

My baby sister sent this one to me; I hadn't seen it yet.
I'll sleep better tonight!

From this article:

Came this quote:
“When we go to bed and he knows it’s reading time, he says, ‘Let’s play Angry Birds a little bit,’ ” Mr. Thomson said. “If he’s going to pick up the iPad, he’s not going to read, he’s going to want to play a game. So reading concentration goes out the window.”

THAT's what frightens me, people!  NOT the geeky, dorky, shiny toy - I, myself, am the proud owner of a new Fire (although admittedly I didn't buy it for the books) - but the fear a child will choose the shiny toy over the book...  I want them to learn to love books, and choose an e-book, perhaps, when it's convenient, not all the time.  And it IS convenient, when traveling or commuting, for instance, but I don't want them to miss out on the pages, the ink, the smell, the experience of a b.o.o.k.

Borrowing Books from "Amazon Library"

This is a much bigger deal than simply e-books vs. print books...
I don't know enough yet to take sides, but this article and the accompanying comments are enough to spark some serious thought and debate...

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Taking down another tree...

We came up to the lake house this morning, by way of Weight Watchers, Walmart, and Hearth and Home.  We had a couple of rather inactive hours and then J decided to tell me he was planning to take down 1/2 a tree.  Well, he didn't tell me, really.  I heard a familiar rattle and looked out the window only to see the ladder leaning against a tree.

After 1/2 an hour of me complaining, begging, crying, he won.  "Fine.  Cut the tree down if you're convinced it won't hit our house, our neighbor's house or you!"  I wasn't real enthusiastic about this project.

So here's photographic record that he got the tree down.  Of course, it wasn't easy...

First he ties a rope above the place where he's going to cut so I can pull the tree in the direction we want it to fall, which is away from the houses.  I was supposed to duck behind another tree to make sure I wasn't hurt once we heard the ominous CRACK that meant it was on its way down.

We heard a small crack so he scampered down the ladder and ran over to me to take the rope and pull.  "HEAVE!  HO!"  And the tree didn't come down.

And that happened several times.  He'd cut more, he'd hear a cracking sound (he was up close and personal with the tree when he was on the ladder) so he'd quick come down off the ladder, run over and take the rope from me and try pulling.  To no avail.  That tree wasn't going anywhere!

He finally decided it wasn't coming down because it was caught in the twin tree next to it.  I wasn't that convinced that was the reason; the weight of the part he was cutting down should have been enough to make it fall... 

So after some serious contemplation...

He decided to cut the tree lower to the ground, make that bottom piece fall in the opposite direction from where he wanted the top piece to fall, and he started cutting...  And it worked.

That was one LOUD CRACK and he ran for cover on the other side of the tree trunk, away from the falling trunkS and the falling ladder and the falling SawzAll blade that was stuck in the trunk of the tree 25' above our heads!

So now he's out there cutting the trunks and branches into more manageable pieces, stacking the trunks for lumber for our wood-burning fireplace, and dragging the branches up into the woods.

And he's taking me to Olive Garden for dinner because I want a Sangria. 

Monday, November 07, 2011

A FUNNY look at e-books...

E-Books: A Threat to Marriage?

"The lightness of the e-book medium, literally and figuratively, holds a terrible allure and an insidious threat to the heavily booked-up among us. How many marriages, seemingly held firm by the impossibility of moving several hundredweight of vinyl or CDs out of a family-sized home, have already foundered post the digitization of music? How many more will break if apparently inseparable and immovable matrimonial libraries become something that anyone can walk out with in their pocket?"

--James Meek in the most recent issue of the London Review of Books

From Shelf Awareness, Monday, November 7, 2011 - Volume 2, Issue 1598

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Am I pretty?

I read this blog called Carrying a Cat by the Tail!  Spuds is a single dad with 6 kids, 2 of them girls.  He posted a really funny piece the other day about Halloween and I linked to it a couple of days ago.

Today's post?  Not so funny.  Heartwarming?  Yes.  Important?  Double yes! 

Spuds knows how important it is to make sure his daughters know they are beautiful.  Inside AND out. 

My parents never made a big deal about our looks.  No "You're the most beautiful girls in the world"" or "You're so much prettier than XYZ!"  I didn't grow up thinking looks were important.

But I'm a girl.  I got to a point in my life where I knew I wasn't as pretty as some of the other girls in my class.  I knew I didn't have a great body.  Admittedly, no one ran screaming into the wind when they met me, but no one dropped dead of shock over how beautiful I was, either!  If you ask me to describe myself, my description will always be the same:  "I don't see Jaclyn Smith in the mirror in the morning, but young children don't run away screaming when they see me!"

When we get dressed up and my husband tells me I look pretty, my first and only thought is "Not pretty, but better than usual."  I'm 50, soon to be 51, and it's taken me a long, long time to almost believe I'm okay the way I am.  And I credit my husband for that.  Not for the thousands of compliments he's tossed my way (NOT!) but because he makes me feel loved.  Accepted.  Okay the way I am.  In fact, BETTER than okay just the way I am.  Just what he wants in his life and in his heart.  And that makes me feel pretty.

Spuds doesn't want his daughters to grow up putting themselves down.  He's one smart cookie.  He knows how important it is that his girls know, with every fiber of their being, that they're beautiful, that their dad loves them and that he knows how beautiful they are.  And he's going to make sure they remember...  What a lovely gift from Daddy to his girls...

Read his post here...


Books are magic...

from Shelf Awareness, Wednesday, November 2, 2011 - Volume 2, Issue 1595

The Book as Object: 'A Piece of History'

"You must hold a real book in your hand, smell the pages, examine the type face, the spacing between letters; must note the shape and size of the book, the weight of it. Only then can you experience the book’s full import. And its magic.

"A book as an object is a piece of history....

"Of course, new books are not quite the same, but you can be a book's 'first' owner, the first to hold, read and study it. You can learn from its binding and paper and weight and lettering and smell. You can hold a new book in trust for its future owners. You can become part of its history.

"Give your e-reader a rest, grab a real, printed book: and feel the magic."

--Helen Selzer, owner of Farshaw's Too, South Egremont, Mass., in a post on her blog Books Books Books.

This quote touches my heart.  This is a great way to explain how I feel - I'm not really ANTI e-books, I'm just so much more passionately PRINT books...  It's the magic I refuse to give up...

Tuesday, November 01, 2011


I'm not particularly "into" Halloween.  For a while, as a child, I'm sure I was.  (Mom seems to remember me being excited to put on a costume...  I seem to remember loving bottomless Smarties...)

And when we first moved into our house, I was excited to decorate for Halloween and buy tons'o'bad-for-me'candy and give it to all the cute little kids who were going to be ringing my doorbell...

I'm Catholic but I live in an Orthodox Jewish neighborhood.  We get some trick-or-treaters but we don't get nearly enough for me to dole out a candy bar or two or twelve to get rid of said bad-for-me-candy...  So for a while I bought a bag of candy I didn't really like so there'd be no temptation to eat it. 

You see where this is going?  There are starving children... and I ate the candy I didn't like, so I went back to buying what I did like - it wasn't worth feeling sick over what I ate...

Then I finally figured it out.

Don't be home on Halloween.  Go to your sister-in-law's house, go to B&N, go shopping, go out to dinner, have a colonoscopy, anything not to be home listening to the doorbell ring 8000 times because THIS year you didn't buy any candy...

So this year I went to my sister-in-law's (option #1 above!) and that was cool 'cause I got to see my little E dressed up like Madonna, right down to the fingerless gloves!  She was so cute!  [Oh, before I cause you all to have a mini-stroke at the thought of cone-shaped brassieres on a little almost-16-month-old, we're talking Like-a-Virgin-Madonna with a pink/white/gray/black tulle skirt, a poofy and lacy barette with hot pink ribbons/feathers in her hair, flat pink glitter maryjane shoes, black leggings, and a cute top with her initial "E" on the front...  nothing inappropriate...]

Then I came to work today, and caught up on one of my favorite blog feeds, Carrying a Cat by the Tail.

Did YOU know God tastes like salt?  Intrigued?  Read Spuds' Halloween post!!!  You'll know from whence I speak...  Word to the wise:  do NOT be drinking your hot coffee or cold Dr. Pepper/Diet Coke when you read the punchline!!!

Pirating Books

Ran across this article in Publishers Weekly.  For a change this has nothing to do with e-books vs. print books. 

This is just an article about a lawsuit that hits close to home.  It's not a long article.  Check out the punchline:  "The company did note that Bit Torrent users on the demonoid.me site downloaded Photoshop CS5 All-in-One-for Dummies more than 74,000 times since June 6, 2010."  74,000 TIMES!!!


Friday, October 28, 2011

Yea, e-books AGAIN!!!

From Shelf Awareness, Friday, October 28, 2011 - Volume 2, Issue 1592

Used Bookseller 'Not Afraid of E-Books'

"My customers still have all sorts of reasons for purchasing printed books. The collector of modern first editions; the new mother passing her childhood favorites down to the next generation; the reader of forgotten and esoteric texts unavailable digitally--all are seeking out an experience greater than the words on the page. The e-book can't replicate that experience, and it doesn't have to.
"E-books are fantastic at keeping us reading; traditional books are great at reminding us why we started in the first place. We're fortunate to live in a world where we don’t have to decide on one or the other."

--Michael Popek in his Wall Street Journal piece headlined "I'm a Used Bookseller, and I'm Not Afraid of E-Books." Popek is the author of Forgotten Bookmarks and a bookseller at his family's used bookstore in Oneonta, N.Y.

You all know how I feel about books vs. e-books.  This perhaps is the most even-handed clip I've ever posted on the topic...  And believe it or not, this TOTALLY is my opinion!

I CHOOSE print over e-books, but I would never tell YOU to make the same decision. 

That's probably what annoys me about other people who have such strong opinions - they try to force me to feel the same way or they tell me I'm wrong. 

But e-books, in my personal opinion, are just like politics:  I'm NOT wrong, I just don't agree with YOU!

Just like I will never tell you not to be a Democrat or a Liberal or not to be Green, I don't expect you to tell me e-books are the bomb and I'm wrong to be against them. 


Proud Republican print book supporter!!!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Couple married 72 years dies holding hands

Some people might think I was crazy for posting a link to this story, but this is love, in my book...

Couple married 72 years dies holding hands

What a beautiful story! I LOVE that they were buried together.

A Blog Post - YAY!

So I know I haven't been blogging all that regularly lately and as a voracious blog READER, I know how that sucks.  Although I ALSO know you're not all sitting at the edge of your seats waiting for pearls of wisdom to fall from my lips on a regular basis; you probably didn't even miss me!

There's another blogger I read who's been a bit incommunicado recently, and she's decided to blog every day of October, using a list of blog subjects she got from someone else.  I've been keeping track of her subject and figure I'll use them to spark a little somethin' somethin' when the muse is on vacation...  AND I thought I'd start today...

I'm not posting in the same order as she did, and I'm not even going to IMPLY that I'll post every day for a month; I know me better than that!  But at least when I have a few minutes, I'll have a list of stuff to write about.  We already know my life is not really all that blogworthy...  LOL...

My List of Short Term Goals for This Month (and yes, I'm aware that the month is more than half over!!!

1.  Start Christmas shopping
2.  Start planning a redesign of our lake house bedroom
     a.  Decide on a face for the fireplace
     b.  Shop for a new mattress (the old will go into the spare room Murphy Bed)
     c.  Clean out dressers and nightstands
     d.  Bring standing lamp up to lake house will be done this weekend!
     e.  Reorganize walk-in closet
     f.  Donate and/or discard old clothes
     g.  Start shopping for nightstand lamps
     h.  Decide on photos, wall art
3.  Start planning a redesign of my lake house scrapping room/spare room
     a.  Purge, donate, discard
     b.  Adhere poster on posterboard and hang on wall
     c.  Clean out the closet
     d.  Winter jackets go downstairs to cedar closet will be done this weekend
     e.  Clean desk will be done this weekend!
     f.  Start shopping for folding table for sitting room so we can scrap up there
4.  Organizing and reorganizing my kitchen
     a.  Clean out cabinets
     b.  Clean out refrigerator
     c.  Discard old condiments, canned goods
     d.  Get rid of tools, mugs, anything we don't use or have too many of
5.  Take my sister and mother out for my sister's birthday
6.  Scrapping Day 10/15/11 done!
7.  Finish swapping out spring/summer clothes for fall/winter clothes 1/2 done!
8.  Change bedsheets to fall/winter flannels done!

Think I'm too ambitious?!?!?

Sunday, October 16, 2011

R.I.P. Dan Wheldon

So sad.

33-years old and gone.

It was a horrific accident - 15 cars crashed and burned 13 laps into the race.  Dan Wheldon was air-lifted to a nearby hospital where he died of "unsurvivable injuries." 

We watched the accident on the news after it happened.  The phrase is "like a train wreck..."  Watching it on the news, it was so horrible that it brought us to tears, but you couldn't look away.  After they announced his death, the MCs said they'd play the crash footage one more time, but out of respect wouldn't play it again.

The 19 drivers whose cars were not damaged did a 5-lap tribute around the track, in honor of Dan.  His car number, 77, posted at #1 for the remainder of the afternoon.  For the first time since 1999, they said, they were cancelling the remainder of the race.

33.  M's age this year.  So sad.  What a waste.  I'm so sad for his family.

Have been incommunicado...

... and not for any good reason...

Work's been busy, or I've been busy working...

Here are some photos from recent weeks...

Last Sunday we took a motorcycle ride down to New Hope, PA, with T (one of our 2 best men), and D and D (J's two partner teachers at work).  Here's a photo of J with one of the Ds...

Here's a photo of the main drag in New Hope.  We got down there, ate breakfast outside, walked around town for a little while, then left for home up the Delaware River, on the PA side.  It's so scenic; the road is right along the river for most of the ride.  There are so many beautiful riverside homes there, and you could see how many of them were flooded this past summer when we had rain and hurricane issues.  There are, sadly, LOTS of those beautiful homes for sale.

Took this "self-portrait" in the motorcycle mirror on Saturday afternoon, before we left to go home.  We were meeting our riders at the Tick Tock Sunday  morning and going home Saturday night meant we could go to church and get a good night's sleep before being out all day Sunday...

She loves to read.  She must have gotten that from her Cioci!  She gets the book and says, "Book, Unca Da!"  And wrapped as he is around her finger, just like that, our departure is delayed until she gets bored!  And her mommy is trying to teach her to say Cioci (that's aunt, in Polish).  For now, I'm "Kiki!!!"  And I can live with that until we get to Cioci!

The beginning of the school year means shopping for new sneakers.  No, we don't start in August, BEFORE the school year.  We have to wait until we realize we NEED them, rather than WANT them, and that's when we start school and last year's pairs just don't cut it anymore...

I spent yesterday scrapping with my friend E.  After December, when I finally get a smart phone of some kind, I'll be posting/updating in real time, not a day or two later, when I finally have some wifi at home...  I'm already looking forward to posting photos in real time, posting on FB when things are happening, or at least when I think to post them, rather than hours later when I'm home and trying to watch my sitcoms, read my books, eat my dinner, talk to my husband, clean my house, and get ready for bed...

Will try to update more regularly...

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Rest in Peace, Steve Jobs

Yesterday, Steve Jobs died.  Now I've never been particularly iObsessed, I'm more a PC girl than a MAC girl, simply due to proximity.  I admit that once I played on a MAC Pro in Best Buy (or some model of MAC), ooohh, could I see why people go the MAC route!!

And I'll also admit that my "Congratulations, you're turning 50" gift to myself was an iTouch last December, and I like it!

But this man has touched everyone's life in some way or another.  If you're an iFan, there you go.  But even if you're not, you probably have an iPod or ten, or an iPhone v. something-or-another...  At the very least you've heard of apps.

I saw on Twitter last night that Albert Brooks said Jobs was "our Edison."  You know what?  I don't think he's far off the mark.

Saw this on Molly Irwin's blog - and I decided I wanted it in MY archives, too...

“When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: 'If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.' It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: 'If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?' And whenever the answer has been 'No' for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.

Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure — these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”

- Steve Jobs

Saturday, October 01, 2011

It's been a while...

I have no idea what's been going on, what's been happening to me, to us, that has kept me away from this blog.  I feel as though I've been sucked into this huge black hole, where time is not, and where I just can't have enough hours in the day to do all I want to do...  Enough sobbing, I'm sure you all know what I mean...

So what's been going on, you ask?  (Despite my opening sentence, I'll try to remember...)

Let's see...

I.ORDERED.A.KINDLE.FIRE.  That's the most exciting thing that's happened in the past couple of weeks.  Originally I was going to wait a bit before I mentioned it to J (he's not the techy one in the family and doesn't understand why I need one when I have a phone, a laptop, a desktop and an iTouch).  And to be honest, now that I reread that, I really don't "need" one...  I want one!  Heck, it's only $199.  My iTouch was more!!!  So I'm waiting with baited breath for November 15th...  If you don't know what the Fire is, here's a link:  http://www.amazon.com/Kindle-Color-Multi-touch-Display-Wi-Fi/dp/B0051VVOB2/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1317511225&sr=8-5  But I told him the other day about the new tablet and he asked if I wanted one, so I told him I ordered it already... 

I thought my allergies were bothering me.  I started with a wheezing chest cough and no other symptoms.  Gradually, over a week, I added runny eyes, a congested head and ears, and a runny nose.  (Attractive, no?!?)  So, being the genius I am, I deduced that it's really a cold, not an allergy.  And that wheezing cough?  A couple of years ago I had a really bad winter cold, and ever since, I've had a lingering wheeze in my chest.  When I lay on my back, I cough, in a wheezy way...  And now, it's getting aggravated by this cold...  I'm not too happy about this.

FYI, I LOVE House Hunters on HGTV.  (Just thought I'd share!)

J is in the basement, building a new floor for the laundry area.  We got a new washer and dryer a few years ago and the washing is walking all over the floor!  We never had that problem with our old machines.  Today, when he moved the washing machine and pulled up the old floor, it became (naturally!) a much bigger job than he anticipated.  While he likes doing work like this, he likes to plan for it, and he really didn't know there was so much damage underneath.  He thought he could just tighten the existing floor, but it got to bad over the years that it needs to be entirely replaced.  So, he's replacing it...

Went to the gym this morning. I did 35 minutes on the treadmill, using the pre-programmed weight loss plan.  It's an hour long program and boy, did it kick my butt!  I'm not much for hills, but this plan included an incline that went as high as 6.5; not all that much, I suppose, if you're fit, but to me?  It may as well be Mt. Everest!  Then I moved to the bike, and I did 4 miles on the bike, again using the weight loss program.  That's not half as bad.  And then I started some weight training.  I did a couple of sets on the chest press and a couple of sets on the butterfly machine.

I did a 1/2 hour with a trainer the other day.  I must say, the program is fine, but she didn't impress me at all.  I signed up on a Friday night and they said she'd contact me within 48 hours to set up an appointment.  Well, Tuesdsay night, when I went to the gym, I asked and they said they would text her and that if she didn't contact me within 24 hours, to call her and they gave me her telephone number.  She didn't, so I called.  She had an excuse for not calling me, my file wasn't in her binder.  Okay, she's a trainer, not a psychic, so we just made an appointment for 2 weeks later on a night that worked for us both.

I got there early to do some time on the treadmill; she suggest 7 minutes.  Not 5.  Not 10. 7.  Okay, moving on...  I did about 15 minutes on the treadmill then went over to the counter to ask if she was there yet.  Yes, she's waiting for her appointment.  That's me, so they flagged her over.  She was there, but she started whining about not having paperwork for me, where is it, without paperwork how's she going to get paid... 

Hey, I have MY receipt to show I paid; you can use that!  Oh.  So rather resentfully, I felt, we started my session.  She was better while she was actually working with me, but I really don't like her very much.  We finished my session, then she started on the paperwork again...  I just left, thanking her for the session.  The girls behind the counter told her they'd take care of it, that she has nothing to worry about, that she'll get paid...

Today I asked them and they took care of it.  It was misfiled in the other trainer's binder and he inadvertently flagged me as done, so they just switched his person to my trainer and they both got paid...  Ah, the joys of robbing Peter to pay Paul...  If it works...

Boy I miss the days before HIPPA and privacy laws and all that nonsense...  Today I was on the phone with Optimum for 10 or 15 minutes and after all the account numbers and passwords, they had to talk to J because he's the account holder.  His name is on the account.  Yea, go ahead and ask him about the password for wi-fi, or about the user ID for the account...  I dare ya!

Back in the day I used to set up PSE&G and phone accounts for my friend Dave all the time.  I'd just say I was Mrs. DW and we were moving and could we switch accounts from address #1 to address #2 and could you come set up cable on Thursday because one of us could be there that day and yes, I'd like to keep the same phone number when we move next week...  And Dave would just move into his new apartment, and everything would be set up for him...

Well, I'm going to take a break now and heat up some leftovers - J said he needed another 15 minutes or so and I guess it's been about that long...  He made a delicious sauce the other day, with fresh tomatoes and fresh eggplant, and all the herbs, all from our garden.  We've got tons of peppers, a few more eggplants to go, and our crops will all be gone...  We had such great veggies all summer long, save so much money on fresh vegetables... Winter is going to be tough!

More later...

Friday, September 30, 2011

Funniest Post Ever - full disclosure: it's not mine!

For the record, I have not yet read anything else at all by The Bloggess but I will be playing catch up all weekend.

And for the record, this is the single, funniest, MOST HYSTERICAL BLOG POST I HAVE EVER READ.

PLEASE take 2 minutes and read this.  I promise you won't regret it.  (Apologies in advance for the mild profanities.)


Thursday, September 29, 2011

Reading - make 'em love it!

My mom is a huge fan of James Patterson.  She loves his short chapters, the quick action, the fact that you can't get bored - something is always happening.

I know he's a huge supporter of reading and that he's involved in various literary endeavors...  And I found this...  "How to Get Your Kid to Be a Fanatic Reader."


Thanks, Mr. Patterson, for pushing reading, books, and literacy...

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

"Books 'Are Memories'"

Books 'Are Memories'

"Books can be passed around. They can be shared. A lot of people like seeing them in their houses. They are memories. People who don't understand books don't understand this. They learn from TV shows about organizing that you should get rid of the books that you aren't reading, but everyone who loves books believes the opposite. People who love books keep them around, like photos, to remind them of a great experience and so they can revisit and say, 'Wow, this is a really great book.' "

--Daniel Goldin, owner of Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, Wis., in an interview with OnMilwaukee.com.

From Shelf Awareness, Tuesday, September 13, 2011 - Volume 2 /  Issue 1556

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Bar Mitzvah #3

DISCLAIMER:  ANY and ALL misinterpretations of the Jewish faith are mine and mine alone, and not presented here with any intended disrespect.  This is only my observation of the neighborhood in which we live and the customs and traditions of the Ortodox.

Our neighbors have 5 boys.  Their middle boy, E, was bar mitzvah'd yesterday.  We are very close with the family (they are absolutely wonderful!) and they kindly include us for all the celebrations.

We went to the school for 8:45am, stayed for the ceremony.  Then we had appetizers, then lunch, and finally left for home at 3pm.

At 6pm we went next door to have dinner.  We stayed until 8-ish.  At 9pm we went back to the school for E's dance!  He wanted to celebrate with a dance for all his friends!

I admire them for how they live their lives based on their faith.  They have a lot of rules.  I will admit that several times yesterday, I thought, "I'm glad I'm Catholic."  They are very superficial reasons, and please know that I mean absolutely no disrespect.

But men and women can't dance together.  The women, after an hour-and-a-half of watching the men and boys dance their hearts out, dragged the potted trees into the corner to separate themselves from the men and danced with each other in a little 10'x5' space.

          I like dancing with my husband.  Even though I don't like dancing.

We spent 3 hours sitting on two different sides of a wall in the same room.  Men and women can't sit together at shul, or apparently, at their son's bar mitzvah.  For the first two that we attended, there were only temporary screen dividers that one rabbi actually moved away after one of the bar mitzvahs so that the women would be included in the end of the service.  At the other, S was at least able to peek around the corner to see her son become a young man.

          I like going to church with my husband and holding his hand when we say the Our Father.

What I DO love about living here is the strong sense of community and neighborhood.  The kids are outside playing with each other.  The moms are outside talking with each other (and with me!).  We know each other and recognize each other and care about each other.  We used to have more of that in the neighborhood where I grew up, but in recent years, as the "old folk" moved out, there's less of that.  My mom doesn't "know" her neighbors like she used to "know" her neighbors.  [I will admit that she does speak to them when she sees them and perhaps this is more my impression since I don't live there anymore and I don't know the neighbors anymore!  As a matter of fact, I'll talk to my mom about this later this week.  I DO know she doesn't have her best friends around anymore; J died several years ago and E moved away many, many years ago.  I know that makes it more lonely there for my mom but she manages!]

Here are some photos from the party yesterday...

This is their school.  They just completed it a few years ago, perhaps 2006?

This is the room the women sat in for the ceremony.  To our left were some permanent screens that prevented S from seeing E.  Apparently peeking is, if not permitted, understood, so they were quite upset that these new screens were installed!

The boys danced for 1-1/2 hours straight!!!

They dragged J in just long enough for me to get a photo of him with the neighbors and E!!!

I must admit it was incredible to see an entire room full of teenage boys dancing the Electric Slide!!!

If they can do it...  I might just give it a try next time!!!

10 Years

It's been ten years since 09/11/01.  Ten years since we lost so many family members, friends, acquaintances, and strangers.  Ten years since we lost our innocence.

I wanted to write something profound, something moving, something that might express what I felt that day.

I can't do it.

I've hit the same wall I hit when I try to write about my dad, who died in 1987.

I can't find the words.

Ten years ago I was at work and my mom called to tell me that a plane had hit one of the Twin Towers.  I ran down the hall and told my girlfriend M, then ran back to my office and turned on the radio so I could listen.

What I heard - well, it felt as though it stopped my heart.

A SECOND plane had hit the SECOND Tower.

It wasn't an accident.  It wasn't, God forbid, a pilot who'd lost control of his plane.  It wasn't bad visibility.  It was a beautiful, sunny, gorgeous sunny day...

We went to the boss' office.  We saw the Towers fall.

He sent us all home.  He told us not to bother leaving any messages on our phones.  "Just leave.  You need to be with your families."  That was, beyond any shadow of a doubt, the most sensitive and humane thing he ever said in the 15 years I worked at that company.

This was the in days before cell phones (at least in our family).  I called the school to see if all was okay there; J was only a mile or so as the crow flies from the Twin Towers, maybe a little more.  I couldn't get him.

I didn't hear from him until he got home after 6pm that night...  He said what he saw on the way home shook him to his core.  People walking on Route 3, shell-shocked, covered in ashes and blood and bandages.  No disrespect intended, but he said they reminded him of zombies...

I spent the next 48, 72, 96 hours GLUED to the television and/or the radio.

I couldn't believe it happened.

We were attacked.  Attacked in our own home.  Not once, but FOUR TIMES, twice in the City, and again in Shanksville and at the Pentagon.

That was the day I truly realized how much I had to lose.  My husband.  My family.  My home.  My country.  It's not the things that matter, it's what's in my heart.  And what's in my heart is irreplaceable.

I've had a headache today, all day.  I blamed it on the weather, on a late night last night (more on that in another post), but since the Advil Cold and Sinus didn't really work on it at all, I'm thinking it's reliving the pain of that black day 10 years ago...

Prayers to and for all who perished, to and for their families and friends, to and for our great country, that we all heal as best we can, but also prayers that WE.NEVER.FORGET.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Me: I just feel like sharing...

I was visiting Carolina Girl and she posted some random facts about herself and I've always loved these kinds of posts, so I thought, "What the heck?  It's not like you have a lot of work to do..."  And of course I can't do it exactly like the instructions say...  What if I don't have SEVEN random things to share?  What if I don't have a "best feature"?  So let's just see where "random" takes us...

Here you go...

1. I spent the first night of my freshman year in college under a pool table, in the midst of a hurricane warning.  No hurricane, and no pool-ball related accidents...
2. The only time I ever got a "B" in gym class was the year I cut gym.  If I attended every class and tried my hardest, I only ever managed a "C."
3. And I'm married to a gym teacher.
4. I spoke English and Polish equally for the first 4 years of my life (or at least from when I started talking until we moved out of my grandparents' house to our house 2 miles away...).
5. I have forgotten almost all of the Polish I ever knew.
6. I read every organizational book I can get my hands on and still my house is just a few uncontrolled months away from being featured on Hoarders:  Buried Alive.  (OK, a slight exaggeration about the condition of my home... let's just say I have a high tolerance for clutter...)
7. I'm going to cave and get a smartphone of some kind in December; I'm a Verizon customer - any suggestions?
8. I don't know how to swim even though I took 2 classes at the Y.
9. I've never been to Europe.
10. I used to work with my best friends.  Now I work with friendly acquaintances who think they're my best friends...
11. [edited out 09/11/11]
12. My other sister is a fine artist.
13. I am addicted to reading.  I always have several books going, with several backed up and ready.  I read the cereal box in the morning, the can of hairspray in the bathroom, street signs while I'm driving, etc.
14. I skipped senior year in HS to attend the Freshman Honors Program at the University of Delaware.  We spent our first year on the Wesley College campus in Dover, DE, then moved to main campus in Newark, DE (then I got stupid!)
15. I've visited 25 of our 50 states.  Admittedly, some were business trips only, to one city, one conference center, but still...
16. I was once diagnosed as having gout.  Turns out it was bursitis.
17. My mom was born in Poland and traveled to Siberia, then through Russia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Kenya, Uganda, Egypt, to the UK, and then finally to the US where she met my dad, fell in love, got married, and the rest is history...  (and yes, I realize that's not about me, per se, but it's a cool fact anyway!)
18.  I could go on, but I'll save some for another time...

Favorites and Bests... (most borrowed from Carolina Girl)
Favorite Color:  it was purple for all my life but since I got married I'm liking green, too
Favorite Song:  A Love Like This, by Dan Fogelberg (our wedding song)
Favorite Singer:  Dan Fogelberg
Favorite Dessert:  Cream Puffs (unhealthy) and watermelon (reasonably healthy)
Favorite Candy:  Candy corn or circus peanuts (those orange marshmallow ones)
Favorite Actor:  Clint Eastwood
Biggest Pet Peeve:  when someone doesn't say thank you
When I'm Upset:  I either cry or slam things
My Favorite Pet:  My Samoyed Belle
Black or White:  Black (unless it's summer and I have a tan, then white is okay)
Biggest Fear:  Fire
Best Feature:  I can't answer this 'cause by nature, I'm too picky about myself
Everyday Attitude:  Generally pretty positive, although when I am cranky, watch out!
Perfection Is:  Being in love with the person who's in love with you at the same time
Guilty Pleasure:  An ice cold mojito!
Favorite food:  pizza or fried eggplant
Burger King or McDonald's:  Burger King all the way!
Favorite Author:  Ayn Rand (fiction) or Richard Bach (fiction)
Favorite Book:  Jonathan Livingston Seagull (Bach) or Anthem (Rand)
Favorite Movies:  Pretty Woman, Ghost, While You Were Sleeping, You've Got Mail, Dirty Dancing, Gone with the Wind, and of course - anything with Clint Eastwood in it
PC or Mac:  PC but only 'cause I never used a Mac and can't afford one...  played with one in the store and I can see how easily I'd become a convert
Surgeries:  appendectomy (I was 8) and back surgery in 1991 (I was 30)
Contacts or glasses:  Both!
Favorite Number:  2 or 3
Favorite TV shows:  What Not to Wear, Castle, Hoarding, House Hunters, Big Bang Theory
Favorite Holiday:  Christmas all the way!!!

I know usually I'm supposed to tag someone, but I'm not going to!  If you feel like posting some random facts about yourself, though, let me know!  I'd love to visit and read all about you!!!

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

He Listened...

No locusts, but more rain...

J and I drove through Little Falls and Paterson, Wayne and Lincoln Park on Monday.  My  heart simply bleeds for those people.  They're no longer getting rid of "stuff" from their flooded basements; they're getting rid of their basements!  The piles of "stuff" on the street, waiting for trash pick up, no longer include Grandma's old sofa, Lola's toy kitchen, Roy's train set, last year's Thomas the Tank Christmas present.

They're throwing out insulation, oak floors, sheetrock, paneling, water heaters, washing machines and dryers, refrigerators and freezers, dehumidifiers, shop vacs, cars, bicycles, milk crates of tools...

I complained and bitched and moaned about the water in my basement, water that J and I spent hours and hours sucking up with a shop vac, carrying up the stairs and dumping it outside the side door.

Guess what?  WE.HAD.IT.EASY.  I am ashamed that I spent all that time groaning about 6 total inches of water in my basement that never got over 2" since we were on top of it.  Eventually we were able to sweep it all into our sewer trap, once high tide went down.


We didn't lose anything, not a stick of wood, not an appliance, not even a lousy garbage bag filled with crap I took out of my red Honda when I sold it - in 2000!!!  (Side note:  that WAS my favorite car EVER!)  My treadmill never got wet, our washing machine and dryer are up on a 3" platform so the water never touched them.  None of J's tools were damaged or ruined.

We saw PSE&G volunteers and command centers and food stations giving out hot meals in styrofoam containers, a guy driving around in his SUV giving away cases of water.  I watched a guy carry 2 cases of water into his home, shouting to the driver, "I wish I could do something for you, but I'll never see you again, so I'll pay it forward, I promise!  I'll do something to help someone, someday.  Thank you!  Thank you so much!"

I am ashamed. 

Yes, we had hoped to stop by my girlfriend's house in Lincoln Park to see if there was anything we could do, but honestly, it was more like a field trip on the way home from the lake than a mission or a call to action.

My life has changed.  I have been sending extra clothes and stuff to the Vietnam Vets for years because they come pick it up at the house (how convenient, Krys!).

I will be doing a bit of digging today, online, making some phone calls, to find out where I can help LOCALLY.  There's got to be a place I can bring things for these people, people like me and like you who just happen to live a little too close to the Passaic River.  People whose lives were affected FOREVER by Irene last week, and guess what?

That damned river is going to flood again this week!  All the clean up and siphoning out of their basements they did this week?  For naught, because the water is coming again.

There's a guy on William Street in Little Falls...  I don't know his name but here's a video of his home:


He sets this up every year and opens it to the public in his 2-car garage.  Trashed.  So much damage to his home and to his garage, and it's September.  He should be preparing to bring joy to thousands of kids, he should be plugging in light strand after light strand, getting ready for the holidays.

Instead, he's cleaning up.  Again.  And Lord knows how many of his decorations were damaged in this latest flood...

I want to help these people, all of them, directly, not through the Red Cross, not through Flood Relief organizations, I want to touch their lives directly, and I'm going to find a way to do it, even if all it means is buying a handful of pizzas and dropping them off at the Command Center/Food Tent...

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Last week, an earthquake. This week, a hurricane.

What's next? Locusts? I REALLY don't like bugs, Lord, so can we stop at just two natural disasters and forget the plagues?

Although the actual hurricane, Irene, wasn't as bad as we had been prepared for, we got water in our basement. If Jack and I hadn't jumped on it first thing after breakfast, we'd be underwater now. It never got deep; it was just a constant stream of water, well, constant streamS of water coming up through the floor, in through the windows and walls. Our neighbor on the left has 6-8 inches of water in their finished basement. Our neighbor across the street has a completely renovated basement that was done a few years ago after the sewer backed up into her basement - so deep that her second refrigerator wad literally floating. She sent me a photo that year of Ole' Faithful gushing out of her basement toilet. And that happened again this morning. Not quite as bad as last time, but she was SUPPOSED to be on vacation in Virginia this week... Imagine if it was spouting lime that with no one there for a week...

It can always be worse; we just have to keep telling ourselves that...

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

5.9 Earthquake in Mineral, VA...

... and we were evacuated from our building!!!
I was in yoga class, in the middle of some stretching, and we felt the floor move.

It was more than the rumble of a truck passing in the street below.  This was, for lack of a better word, "different."

It felt shakey, like a truck, vibrating up and down, but it was also swaying back and forth.  You know how they say, "Once you feel it, you'll recognize it!"?  Well, that's true.  To a point.

We knew it was something more than a big truck.  But we never expected it to be an earthquake!

We finished another 3 or 4 minutes of yoga, and were just settling in under our blankets for a 15-20 minute nap (this is "Yoga Snooze" class, after all!), when the sirens went off and they evacuated the building!

I grabbed my flip flops and my clothes and my work I.D. and ran out of the building to my assigned spot.  The 4th floor meets on Pier A, on the right side, about midway.  My purse, keys, and phone, and all my money and credit cards, were at my desk.  I could get on the train, and get home, but I couldn't get into my car.  I could walk from the train station to my house but I couldn't get inside.

And besides that, it was H.O.T. outside today - I was wearing a t-shirt and some capri-length work out pants that were a heavy jersey.  It was so warm that an hour later, by the time they let us back into the building, I needed a shower!  (Keep in mind, after Yoga Snooze, I don't normally need to shower; it's not a class in which we really exert ourselves all that much!)

I haven't seen any news reports yet from the epicenter - I don't know how much damage was done there - but apparently this earthquake was felt as far south as South Carolina and as far north as Rhode Island and/or Massachusetts, depending on the news media you subscribe to...  I must say, though, if I felt it as strongly as I did, and it was nowhere near a 5.9 in Hoboken, NJ, then I can't imagine what "The Big One" must have felt like!!! 

And, quite frankly, I don't want to know...

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Lots to catch you up on...

I spent 4 days in Boston/Cambridge last week.  I traveled up there on business and for the first time, I found something that said spouses can't travel with you...  didn't want to get in trouble, and he was working anyway, so this trip didn't work out for a side trip to Cape Cod (sorry, D & A!).  He said for the rest of the summer, he's free to accompany me, so we'll see what, if any, trips I can schedule quickly...  Here are some photos from this trip, along with some notes...

This was my view from breakfast at the ArtBar in the Royal Sonesta Hotel, BEFORE I walked out without breakfast - 35 minutes I sat there, without even a cup of coffee!  And when I complained to the hostess, she stopped a waitress who looked right at me, shook her head "no" and didn't come over to take my order.  Another 15 minutes and I was outta there!

The waitress who refused to serve me...

The view of the lobby wall when the elevator doors open - I like those pictures!

South Street Station on Thursday, on my way home.

A mural on the wall, done with tiles, in the hotel, on the 2nd floor.  Apparently the hotel is known for having art on display all over the hotel; you can even take a self-guided tour of the art...  There were a few pieces that caused me to think, before I knew it was "art," "What on earth is that and when are they going to finish it??!!??"

Appetizer at evoo, in Cambridge:  Lourdes' Burratini with Drumlin Farms' Arugula, Kimball Farms' Cantaloupe, Cucumber, Red Onion and Toasted Pine Nuts

My hotel room at the Royal Sonesta Hotel.  Opposite the bed, to the right, was a corner window that let in a  LOT of light - loved that, even though the view was of the Galleria and PF Chang's...

On Sunday, August 7th, Mom turned 39 (again!).  I threw her a little surprise party at our house.  She knew I'd invited my baby sister and her family, but she didn't know I'd invited my cousin and his family, and my husband's family, too!  She was very surprised when they all arrived!  Here are some photos...

We put together an appetizer of tomatoes, roasted red peppers, red onions and mozzarella, drizzled with evoo and seasoned, on a bed of fresh basil. Personally I could have eaten that whole plate, and nothing else, and been perfectly happy!

We had cavatelli and broccoli, sausage with peppers and onions, mini sandwiches, cole slaw made from the red cabbage from our garden, three bean salad, potato salad, and a tomato salad my sister made.

My little great niece, at 13 months old.  Apparently we had to be sure not to draw attention to her barettes or they would be torn out of her hair! 

My SIL, mom and one of my nieces.

My sister and her beau.

My niece's hubby (she's the one in the photo above), my sister's beau's son, and the baby's daddy, who's married to my other niece (they're twins!).

Mom blowing out her candles - my sister got red candles that sparked colored flames!

Mom with my cousin - he's more like a brother to me than a cousin...  His family couldn't come, dang it - his wife and son were working, and his daughter was away for the weekend with some friends.  Yes, it's my fault, I left invites to the last minute...

Hubby and me!!!

Monday, August 08, 2011

From Shelf Awareness...

Good Advice: Live with More Books than You Read

"He should live with more books than he reads, with a penumbra of unread pages, of which he knows the general character and content, fluttering round him. This is the purpose of libraries.... It is also the purpose of good bookshops, both new and secondhand, of which there are still some, and would that there were more. A bookshop is not like a railway booking-office which one approaches knowing what one wants. One should enter it vaguely, almost in a dream, and allow what is there freely to attract and influence the eye.

"To walk the rounds of the bookshops, dipping in as curiosity dictates, should be an afternoon's entertainment. Feel no shyness or compunction in taking it. Bookshops exist to provide it; and the booksellers welcome it, knowing how it will end."
--Economist John Maynard Keynes, as quoted in a Canberra Times piece headlined "Bookshops about more than just purchasing."
From Shelf Awareness, Friday, August 5, 2011 - Volume 2, Issue 1525

Saturday, August 06, 2011

You will be missed, Mr. T.

If you're friends with me on FB, you might have seen that my friend's dad died this past Thursday. I'd like to take just a minute to write a little something here in honor of Mr. T. 
     Mr. T., I didn't meet you until 1981 even though C and I had been friends for three years already.  I'd met Mrs. T. at the end of freshman year, for just a minute or two.  You and Mrs. T. made me feel so much at home when I came out to KCMO to visit C in 1981.  We alll hit it off spectacularly well.  We talked and talked, I never felt uncomfortable spending time with the two of you while C was at work.  I felt at home at your home.
     I remember when you told me about C's eye.  What you said was that you'd been looking through his things for my number so you could call me because you knew he'd want me to know and you knew I'd want to know he'd been hurt.  You were so worried about your son but you took the time to tell me what you knew, reassure me that C was okay, get me the room number and phone number for his hospital room... 
     Then when I came out for C and D's wedding, you rode back to the hotel with me from the rehearsal dinner.  That's when you said I was like a daughter to you.  Mr. T., you'll never know how much that meant to me; my dad had passed away the year before so hearing that...  well, you'll never know how much it meant to feel that I had another "dad" out there if I needed one, to know that someone else loved me ...
     I invited you and Mrs. T. to our wedding but you watched the boys so C and D could come.  Thank you for that.  I wish you'd been there to celebrate with us, but thank you for letting C come.  That meant a lot to me, that he was there.
     I had always talked about you and C with J, and we promised that if we retired and drove cross-country, on the motorcycle or by car, we'd stop in MO to see you and Mrs. T.  I'm so sorry that I won't be able to spend time with you, but if the timing works, I'll stop by and see Mrs. T....
     I know your life wasn't easy.  I know you've had some health issues, especially these past few years.  I'm so sorry for any pain or suffering you went through.  But knowing you're with God now, that brings peace to my heart.  Hearing from C that your children were with you, that it was easy, that brings comfort to those of us missing you. 
     We will miss you, Mr. T.  Say hi to my dad, will you?!?

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Home Re-Do - in My Dreams...

Oh, my, someday, when I can do whatever I want to do in my house, decorating-wise, without having to explain to my husband "why" I want to do it, I'm going to do this:  painted wood floors  [For some reason although I was able to save a photo or two from her blog to my desktop, I am having trouble posting it here so please click through to her blog and look at her painted floor project.]


Although most times my traditional decor leanings have been in line with J's, lately I find myself wanting to go either the cottage route (see painted floors above) or the neat and clean and more modern look of the Petersiks (Young House Love).  Oh, my, all that white and gray with pops of color around the house!!!  See here for an example of what I mean:  Tea Time - and to top it all off?  NO CLUTTER

It took YEARS to get color on my walls and now I sort of want to go white again?  Go figure.

It must be the impending onset of menopause...

(That may ALSO be the reason I am itching to just throw out everything I own and start all over...)

Monday, August 01, 2011

I'm Not Alone!!! Thanks, Kelly!!!

One of my favorite scrapping bloggers feels as I do about books vs. readers...  Just thought I'd post a link to Kelly Purkey's post about her love of real books...

I especially love when she says:  "Give me my books!!! I admittedly sleep with books in my bed and call me old fashioned but who wants to wake up face to face with a computer. Give me my books. Let me keep my bookstores."

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Week in the Life - Thursday, July 28

The usual, up at 5:50am, ready for the 7:20am train  Which was 22 minutes late.  Without any announcements on the track.  If it weren't for Eva's smartphone, we wouldn't have known.  Although then I could have turned around and "worked" from home...

Spent 5 hours doing that damned 500+ line report for Grainger. No matter what, I just KNEW I'd wind up doing it...

Ate two sandwiches for lunch - no idea why.  They were just so good...  Then I had to eat dinner 'cause if I didn't, J wouldn't eat dinner and he had nothing all day.  Think I'll be taking a Tagamet before I go to sleep!

Took some photos of theclock tower and the train station in Hoboken, Franklin Avenue in Nutley, the front porch of our house.

Tested Sue's chocolate chip cookies (she put too much baking powder or baking soda in them and she was afraid they tasted bad).  Chatted with Shifra and her girls for a little while, and an old neighbor (the Dennises up the street, who moved to Florida years 9 years ago).  She popped by to see the neighborhood...

Picked up some photos at Costco for the past few days of Week in the Life. 

Got P's anniversary card today.  It was a funny one!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


Not that I'm late finding Pinterest, but I'm late posting my LOVE of Pinterest on my blog and linking you to my pages so you can see what floats my boat!!!

Enjoy!!!  If you want an easy way to keep track of images off the internet that pique your interest (Pinterest!), click on "Send Me and Invitation" at the top of my main page.

Krys' Pinterest Pages

Week in the Life - July 25th,26th, and 27th

I'm doing Ali Edward's Week in the Life project this week, and I guess what I'll do, starting a couple of days late, is summarize my days here on the blog, so I have a record somewhere, just in case the jotting down thing doesn't work!  (And I know it doesn't 'cause sometimes I forget to jot...)  I'll go back and add photos when I'm on my laptop...

Monday, July 25th
Took the day off from work to spend it with J - it IS, after all, our 12th wedding anniversary!  He got up at 7 to go to the gym; I slept in a little later than usual.  Got into the shower at 7:30, watched some Good Morning, America, lounging around in bed.  We opened our anniversary cards and then went to breakfast at the Corner Bakery Cafe (iced caramel latte and a slice of pumpkin bread for me, coffee and a banana for J). 

By 10am we were in Hoboken to help Gen and Murray move some furniture from her mom's apt to their house.  (Gen's mom passed away a couple of weeks ago and she has to have all her mom's stuff moved out of the senior housing apartment by Sunday.)  Spent some time just talking with her about her loss and about dealing...  So sad...  By 1pm we were done so we were off to WalMart.  Did a little shopping, didn't buy anything, though (THAT must be a first!).  J asked about air conditioners; he's thinking about putting a new one in our bedroom; the small one takes too long to cool off the room.  I think I'd rather put one on the first floor; we don't have a working one down there and it was pretty miserable last week when we had that heat wave.  We went to the Olive Garden for "soup, salad, and breadsticks" (no cooking for me on our anniversary!).  Back home where we both putzed around for a while, him in the basement and outside, me cleaning our room and the computer room.  It's still in a shambles from the burst pipe - need to really put all that stuff back in the closet!  Some cold salads for dinner; we were still full from lunch!  Dropped $25 at Mom's for A - she finally realized she can make some gas money cleaning Babci's house for her, a deal I offered her last summer and she forgot about until last week!  Went to my sister-in-law's house for our usual Monday dessert.  We watched T's graduation video to see her give her speech, watched E take a few steps on her own (she's thisclose to walking by herself!), and then went home at 10pm, watched some TV and went to sleep.  Happy Anniversary to us!!!  One of the best moments of the day:  E falling asleep in my arms - you can feel her little body just becoming heavier and heavier...  Love the smell of a baby!  Got the invitation for Ezra's bar mitzvah.

Tuesday, July 26th
Woke up at 4:30 to visit the bathroom (too much coffee the night before!) so played a couple of rounds of Words with Friends on my iTouch.  Back to work - the usual:  up at 5:50am, in the shower and getting ready to be on the 7:20 train to Hoboken. Took some tomatoes from our garden to snack on at work.  A tractor trailer got stuck under the Delawanna bridge near the train station - just can't understand how this happens.  You know how high your truck is - you know how high the bridge is.  If the truck is higher than the bridge, don't drive under it!  Seems easy to me...  Played catch up all day at work - lots of phone calls and emails... 

Caught up on some blog reading at lunch, and worked on a To Do list that includes prepping for Mom's b'day lunch on the 7th.  Lunch was pasta with peas and bacon in a cream sauce - not too healthy, I know, but yummy!  Of course I balanced my meal with a sugar-free raspberry iced tea!  Then I promptly ruined it farther with free Ben & Jerry's ice cream!  The B&J truck is apparently traveling the country and yesterday was Hoboken's day!  They were promoting two new flavors:  Americone (vanilla with caramel and chocolate-covered waffle cone pieces) and Late Night Snack (vanilla with caramel and chocolate-covered potato chips).  When I told J about it, he knew IMMEDIATELY I was an Americone kind of girl!  (He knows me so well!)  J had to go in to work at the garage at 8am instead of at noon; someone ripped the sidewalls on 128 tires at the Comcast lot!  Think they're annoyed at the new union regs?  We had a cold Spicy Italian sub at Subway for dinner and went to see HP7.2 for the third time!  (LOVE those free movie tickets on Tuesday nights!  Thanks, Optimum!) 

When we came outside, it had apparently rained; it smelled like a warm summer night's rain.  According to Neen, it STORMED while we were in there, complete with lightning and thunder!  And we missed it all!  Both of us fell asleep quickly last night - we must have been tired!

Wednesday, July 27th
Up at the usual time, a delicious iced caramel latte from Chock full o'Nuts to start my day.

Catching up on my blogging (you're reading this, aren't you!?!?).  Checked Amazon delivery notification:  yay, my 2nd Project Life binder is being delivered!  (Becky, mine is already too full for the one binder, so I ordered another!  Thanks, Ali, for encouraging us to add extra pages!).  Taking Mom to get our nails done tonight.

Here's a photo of the vitamins and supplements I take every night before I go to bed.  I do feel better in a number of ways, so I guess they're working.

This is a new blouse that I bought at Dress Barn earlier this week.  I also got it in maroon.  I got two others at the same time, a black and white floral tank that looks awesome with my white shorts, and a ruffled floral top that I think flatters my shape, but at the same time makes me look a little boxier/shorter, not in a bad way.

Words with Friends:  My name is Krys and I am a Words with Friends-aholic.

Dinner tonight was peppers and onions on a garlic pesto wrap - mmm, good!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Posting... Finally!

It's been a while...  But I was traveling.  To St. Louis for business, to Atlantic City for vacation, then to the lake for the rest of the week...
Timing is everything and I managed to time a last minute trip to STL around a surprise party for my best friend from college.  I flew into STL in the morning, businessed as I had to, then checked into my hotel.  It was 2 blocks away from historic downtown St. Charles, so I spent Friday night eating at The Mother-in-Law House Restaurant, and wandering along the MO River and into some stores that were still open.  [Surprising to me was the fact that so many of the boutique-y stores closed before 8pm on a Friday night, while it was still light out and while tourists galore were still tourist-ing around town...

On Saturday, I went downtown again (a nice walk in some very hot and humid weather, although it didn't hold a candle to my current 101 degrees and 75-degree dewpoint) and decided at the last minute to go get my toes done for the party.  I went into the Chamber of Commerce/Tourism Office and the closest pedicure to my hotel was $56.  Yea, right.  So I hopped in my 2011 red Impala and drove to the big intersection near the hotel (it was a bit too scary to walk!) and went into Walgreen's.  I looked for a nice lady to accost and ask directions from and of course, the very nice lady I chose wasn't a local!  But she pointed me to Zumbehl Road, two exits west of where I was, off Interstate 70, and said there were lots of malls there and she was sure I'd find something...

So I went.  I found boats, tons of boats parked in the parking lot outside a sporting goods store!  They looked so odd in the parking lot; there were more boats than cars!  I found a spa/salon who charged $46, but that included a $5 bottle of polish (so I wound up with a stocking stuffer for Mom!).  They could take me within 45 minutes and of course I wanted to go back and shower and get ready for the party, so I caved.

To kill 45 minutes I went to the St. Louis Bread Factory, aka Panera Bread in the rest of the world.  Apparently the "St. Louis Bread Factory" store name didn't cut it outside of St. Louis...  Had a delicious strawberry and poppyseed salad and a large iced tea.  Then I went and got probably the worst pedicure of my life for one of the highest costs I've ever paid, but they were cut and clean and polished, even if not as well as I get done here in NJ!  I also popped into this knitting store in honor of my middle sister and my mom - they're going to be opening a website and an online store soon...

I got ready, went to C's house, and he was being treated to a day'o'bowling by his 3 sons, since the bowling alley was way more air conditioned than the golf course (their original plan was a day'o'golf!).  He came in and was suitably surprised, especially when he saw his ex-roommate T and T's wife, who had come from Kansas City.  He commented about the distance, that he couldn't believe they came!  Then C's wife said something about them not winning the longest distance travelled award, and she pointed at me. 

C was FLOORED!  He couldn't believe I had come to MO for his party!  He ate dinner with T and J and me, and the three of us stayed the latest, after the rest of the party left.  I was the last to leave, at a little after 11pm; his youngest son was falling asleep in the living room!  We could have talked all night, but didn't.  I wanted to get a shot of the family before I left, so I asked them to pose for me.  I couldn't get them to look at me; well, DANNA couldn't get them all organized and in place so I just took a shot.  The flash got their attention and they IMMEDIATELY turned to the camera and smiled!

They invited me over for breakfast the next morning but I had to get to the airport so I couldn't.  It was so nice to see him - and apparently he, too, feels 6 years is too long between visits.  I only wish J had come with me...

Then on Monday, J and I left for AC.  He had to be there for a credit union seminar, and spouses always tag along.  I lost a little, then broke even, but I prefer to come out ahead.  It just didn't work this time; the slots were against me!  I sat on the balcony outside their meeting room for a few hours and got a nice sunburntan.  We had a nice dinner at Casa de Napoli in the Showboat Casino and Hotel and then came home on Wednesday. 

We hung around Clifton for a day or so, then went to see Harry Potter and the Deadly Hallows, Part 2 in Real-D!  It was awesome!  My favorite one ever!  (We just went to see it a 2nd time this past Tuesday, for free, courtesy of Optimum Triple Play's benefits card.)

This weekend we went to the lake; there's central air there, so staying home where only my bedroom has a small air conditioner is not really an option.  I would have to shop in the mall, or sit in B&N for hours...

Speaking of B&N, which leads me to think of Borders...  How sad.  10K+ employees are losing their jobs.  10K!  In one shot.  Not 10 here, 20 there, a few hundred in our building when my company closed down...  10K!  I've never been a Borders fan; I didn't like the way their stores were arranged.  I feel as though in recent years they looked more at book "stuff" than at "books."  At least that was my feeling in-store...  I know someone who got their start in a Borders store, worked their way up to shift manager, or store manager (I forget), but then came to work at SDC and we became friends and I know she's hurting over the people she knows from her years there losing their jobs...  Do you realize that with the exception of a handful of independents (compared to years ago, and they're going the way of the wind, too, these days), B&N is all that's left? 

We spend hours in B&N a week NOW.  Guess it will be a bit more crowded soon...

P.S. I gave mom the polish as soon as I got home!  And the TSA officer thought my toes looked GREAT when she body scanned me in the airport...