Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year

Don't know what all your plans are for ringing in the new year, but I'll be home watching movies on the couch with the dog which is fine with me. I don't like being out on the road with all the drunk drivers.

Happy New Year and wishes for a healthy one (and no lay offs)!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

PTO Days

Why is it that when one is out on PTO (paid time off = vacation days) that the days fly by but when one is at work, it's just the opposite? I've been off the past two weeks and just loving it. Pretty much I have not had any schedule and it's just what I needed. One day has flowed into another. I could get really used to this but alas I'll be back to work on Monday.

I'm sure my four legged buddy will not be happy to see me getting ready for work as that means no freedom for her while I'm gone.

The last two days I've worked on several scrapbooks for my granddaughters and they'll be going over to Moscow with an exchange student at my daughter's school. Tomorrow I'll be packing a box to mail to him with things to bring over.

I had had great intentions to get several big projects done while I was off but ....

Monday, December 27, 2010

Bitter cold

It is bitter cold here in CT and very windy. I am so glad that I am safely home with my doggie and that I was not out in the storm yesterday.

Liesel is so funny in the snow. I shoveled the front walk but no, she leaps into the snowy yard and jumps through the snow. It's funny when she digs her nose down into the snow and comes up covered with snow. She doesn't mind the snow and is so cute jumping through it.

After watching stranded motorists or travellers at the airports, I am so glad that I'm warm at home with my dog.

Storm is over

Well the weathermen were wrong again about how much snow we'd have dumped on us. At my house there is only about a foot. Winds are still high though.

My plowman came at 1:30 this AM but I never got up. He'll be back later today I'm sure as a lot more fell after he left. I didn't plan on going anywhere today so it's fine with me.

I have been out to clear off the car, shovel the deck, two sets of steps and the front walk for the dog. The snow is really too deep for her to jump around in. She came back in and is stretched out right in front of the hot air vent (her favorite place). She asked Santa for a pellet stove to stretch out in front of but he didn't bring her what she asked for. Instead she was given a chew toy.

Guess it'll be another day puttering around the house all snug inside.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow....

We are having our first storm of the season and it's going to be a big northeaster. The weather reports are for a foot and a half to more of snow, drifting and high winds.

Since today was the big after Xmas shopping day, I was pulling out of the driveway at 7:15 and hit some stores along the business road a mile or two away. I started out at two drug stores and moved on to other shops and the grocery store. I did very well finding things at 50 - 75% off for gifts for next December, for my granddaughters and for my daughter to have to stock up her gift box for gifts the girls give to school friends. After quite a few cell phone calls to Moscow asking, "Do you want this, how many, what sizes should I get, etc?", I drove home with my purchases and groceries. I was home around noon and the flakes had just started sticking. I was glad to be back home to beat the storm and with all my "finds".

I made a really nice dinner and have enough for the next few nights.

Laundry is done, dishes are washed and I'm ready to settle down on the couch with the dog to watch a Xmas movie.

Our blizzard is suppose to last until 5 - 6 PM tomorrow night so you can bet that I'll be outside quite a few times shoveling off the front steps, path for the dog and back deck steps. I get plowed so imagine that will be some time tomorrow.

I am so glad that I'm on vacation from work all week so I don't have to be out on the roads.

Let's just hope that the high winds don't take out the power as sitting in a cold house with no lights is no fun.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all my blogging friends!

Sunday, December 19, 2010


I've had the TV on in the kitchen watching Christmas movies while I wrap gifts. They are all done but for the 3 that I need to go to the ATM for. It's a good feeling to be done. I did not have as many to wrap this year as my gifts for the kids (big and small) already are in Moscow or are flying over with my daughter's friend on Wednesday. Things going in airline luggage cannot be wrapped.

I really do enjoy gift wrapping and making the gifts look pretty with coordinating ribbons - metallic, real ribbon or paper for curling. I use paper that is appropriate for the person too. I also wrap my cranberry orange walnut breads in aluminum foil and use metallic ribbon (with silver in it) to wrap it up like a present. This year I added a bell to the center of each bow to embellish them. Can you tell I'm a scrapbooker - embellish?

Hope you are enjoying your Sunday too.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Vacation Time

Yesterday when I walked out the door at 4:30 from work, I let out a big sigh as I am off on PTO and don't have to be back at work until after New Year's Day! I am sooooo ready for this down time and thrilled to have all this time.

I'd saved the last two weeks of December to go to Moscow but decided this fall that I just wanted to stay home so I now have the time.

What to do? I'd need a year to get done what I'd like to do but will have to settle for a few projects, maybe cleaning the house (if I'm in the mood), doing a lot of reading, spending time with my cousins and friends and sleeping late in the morning. I started right off with sleeping late this morning and reading in bed. Plan to do it again tomorrow. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh.........

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


White or colored Xmas lights?

I vote for white.

P.S. It is bitter here in CT. It's a 2 dog night but I only have 1 dog. Gotta take the dog to bed for warmth in those fleece sheets. She loves it.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Happy 8th Birthday Natalia!

Eight years ago my daughter called me at work mid morning and told me she was in labor. She was due on New Year's Eve but since she was having a scheduled C-section, it was going to be on Dec. 26th. The plan was for me to bring Katya home with me on Christmas night. Well, Natalia had other plans.

My first response to her was, "You can't be in labor as I can't leave work." Real bright, huh?

Natalia was born that day (Friday the 13th) and I didn't get to see her until about the next morning. The dog and I were driving out the driveway before the sun was even up on Saturday so we could get to Brooklyn early in the AM.

Happy 8th birthday Little Boo. I love you and wish I were with you to help celebrate your special day and see the fantastic cake you and your mom made for your party at school today.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Packing box for Moscow

Bing and Elvis are singing Christmas songs on the radio as I pack the box to go to Moscow with Xmas gifts for the Muscovites. I'm sending it to Tami's friend in MI who is going over with her two daughters to visit for Xmas and New Year's.

Liesel was trying to get into things so she's been banished to her crate.

I'm wondering how I am going to be able to carry it out to the car as it's heavy. It needs to go out UPS to MI tomorrow.

At this time last year, I was frantic with all that needed to be done before I flew off to Moscow. This year I've decided to stay home so all I need to do is get this one box packed.

P.S. Just finished the box. Took me over an hour. It must weight 50 lbs so I now need to jump in the shower. Taping it was a chore.

So much for the dusting of snow....

I woke up to rain this morning and stayed in bed reading (love Sunday mornings). It is now pouring and it's so nice to be inside.

I made a big breakfast of freshly squeezed OJ, maple cured bacon and fried eggs. Oh, all that cholesterol was so good.

Washer and dryer are going, crock pot has two chicken breasts slow cooking with carrots in teriakyi sauce, a big pot of chicken soup is simmering and the dog is sleeping curled up in her blanket in her crate.

I'm not venturing out at all today as my errands were done yesterday. I have Christmas movies on the kitchen TV and soon will flop on the couch with another book to read.

Hope your day is as good.

Friday, December 10, 2010


I just went out the front door with Liesel so she could do her thing. I have a spotlight on my front door for the holiday season. Because of it, she could see the very light snowflakes coming down. She immediately started jumping in the air trying to catch them. It was so funny and she wasn't very successful.

She's still a pup.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Christmas Traditions and How They Have Changed

I've had different Christmas traditions during my lifetime.

As a very little girl, my parents and I would go to the early Christmas Eve service at church and then go to my grandparents in the next town. My maternal grandparents were from Holland and Germany and the tradition was to exchange presents that night. Christmas morning I was wide eyed with what Santa brought. I also put my wooden shoes on the hearth for St. Nicholas on Dec. 6th to be filled with candy.

As an older child, my grandparents would come to our house as we then lived in a period colonial from 1760 that my father and grandfather restored. My dad had a roaring fire in the dining room fireplace (large enough for several adults to stand in with room left over), had a nice dinner and opened some gifts. The next morning we had a nice breakfast and opened more gifts. My grandparents came over and my aunt, uncle and cousins came in the early afternoon and we had a roast goose with sweet and sour red cabbage to keep with the German tradition (and many other sides and deserts). We exchanged family gifts. This continued through college. My last holiday with my father was my senior year in college as he died on Dec. 9th the following year. It'll be 41 years this Thursday. I think of all he missed in my adult life and never got to know his granddaughter and great granddaughters.

When I married, my first holiday was spent with my ex's family in Oregon as we flew out there after our Dec. wedding and ski honeymoon. The next holidays we were back in Oregon as we were living in Berkeley where my ex was in grad school.

The next year we were back in CT and had a baby. I decorated the entire house the day after Thanksgiving. We were back to Christmas at my mom's on the 24th for overnight. Things were the same. The only difference is that Phil and I came home the night of the 25th and Tami stayed with Grandma for a visit. This continued until the year she was in kindergarten.

That holiday we were in a bigger house and one with a fireplace. Phil had also labored all fall to make Tami a gorgeous two story doll house. There was no way that we could hide it in the car to bring to my mom's house. We started a new tradition. We had started Tami skiing when she was 3 so off we went to the Berkshires for a day of skiing. It's a perfect day to go as most people are home preparing for the holiday. We had packed our thermos with hot cocoa, made yummy sandwiches and had Tupperware with an assortment of my Christmas cookies. We would get home around 6:30, shower, get on our nice clothes, have chili with melted cheddar cheese, crusty hot bread and for desssert, a Friendly's holiday ice cream roll. Then we'd take pictures in front of the fireplace, tree and on the stairs. Off came the nice clothes and we'd come back down to the living room in our flannel pj's and Lanz nightgowns to open presents from each other. After Tami went to bed, we'd do our elf things.

The hard fast rule was that Tami could not come downstairs without us and everyone's hair had to be brushed. Santa had been and we'd open our stockings and gifts from Santa. Breakfast was light and consisted of Pillsbury cinnamon rolls and OJ. I did not have time to cook between gifts and getting ready for the family around noon and a big dinner.

I set the formal dining room table the weekend before Christmas and shut the door. For two days before the 25th, I made whatever food that could be made ahead. The morning of the 25th, I prepared the rest. We had switched to turkey some years before and it had gone in the oven around 7:00 or 8:00 AM. I used to make a mashed potato casserole with sour cream, cream cheese, crushed garlic, butter and chives, a sweet potato casserole mashed with orange juice, and spread on a base of butter, brown sugar and pecans (in a metal round mold to bake), mashed butternut squash, broccoli casserole with Town House crackers with butter and parmesan cheese, brussel sprouts (for my mom and uncle), green bean casserole, tomato casserole, peas, creamed onions and rolls. My mom always made a cranberry salad that was made in a red jello. The cranberries and celery went in the old fashioned food grinder (a real messy job) and had lots of walnuts in it. I also made a green creme de menthe pie and an English truffle. My mom would bring pecan pie. All this food and there were not even a dozen of us. Mom and my aunt went home with lots of leftovers.

Things changed once Tami was grown as she was usually not home for the holidays. She was in Europe, Moscow or CO (at her in-law's). I was working full time and not hosting the holiday so told myself, "Why should I spend so much time decorating as it's not worth it?" When the kids are here, I decorate but scale it back a great deal. My holidays vary. Some years I am with the kids where they have lived (Brooklyn, NY, or Moscow), with my cousins or close family friends. One of the holidays that I was in Brooklyn, NY, Natalia (my granddaughter) was 10 days old on the 24th and had come to us via a C-section. My daughter still wanted to do our yearly trip into Manhattan. We'd started doing that the first year that they have moved to NY. We headed off to Manhattan early in the AM with Chris on his commute to work. Tami and I spent the day roaming Macy's, F.A.O. Schwartz, looking at all the decorated holidays windows and met up with Chris around 4:00 at the ice ring at Rockefeller Center. We watched the skaters, saw the tree and decided to head for home. Poor Tami was just spent and I don't know how she did it all considering she'd had a C-section 10 days earlier. We stopped at a Chinese restaurant for our Christmas Eve dinner. That sure broke with tradition.

I still do all the baking of cranberry orange walnut breads, spritz and sugar cookies. I've sent cookies to her in Europe so she'd have them the year that she did fall semester abroad. I have a tin ready to mail to her friend in MI that will be in Moscow for Christmas. It's not Christmas with us without my green cream cheese butter spritz Christmas wreath cookies.

Whatever your traditions are, have fun!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Kitchen is Closed!

As of 8:03 tonight, my kitchen is officially closed. I've roasted my big turkey, made many turkey casseroles, baked almost 2 dozen cranberry orange walnut breads and oodles of Xmas cookies. I'm DONE.

I'm back to work tomorrow to rest my body and actually sit down.

More time in the kitchen

Since I roasted and picked the turkey clean on Friday, yesterday was cooking time.

First of all was a huge pot of turkey vegetable soup. It simmered away as I started in on casseroles. I made 3 pans of turkey tetrazinni and 2 pans of turkey broccoli casseroles. Everything had sauted onions and mushrooms and I'm one of those mushroom users that rinses well to make sure they don't have any lingering dirt.

My kitchen smelled so good.

Since it was cold out, I put everything on the deck railing to cool once the pans were no longer really oven hot. After everything was cold, I put most of the food into individual plastic containers for the freezer. That meant rearranging the freezer but I was able to make a lot more room. The two pans that won't fit will go in my friend's freezer.

Yesterday I also made 2 batches of cream cheese spritz cookie dough and 2 batches of sugar cookie dough. I'm waiting for some of the spritz dough to warm up so I can start making cookies. I'll be at it all day.

Hopefully this is the end of my holiday baking. I've had Hallmark channels Xmas movies on all weekend so it's been nice.

Friday, November 26, 2010

That's a lot of turkey!!!!

During November the grocery store had a promo for a free turkey or ham after you've spent $300. That's not really that hard to do with regular groceries and ingredients for holiday baking. I picked up a 21 lb. turkey as my reasoning was to get a big one since it was free.

Into the frig it went on Sunday to thaw. This morning when I took it out, I was really surprised to find out that the inside was still frozen so I kept running cold water inside it in the sink. In about a half hour, it was fine and I could rinse it out and get it ready for the oven. I sprayed PAM on it, sprinkled seasoned herb salt, pepper and lots of dried parsley. According to the directions on the turkey, it should have been done around 6:30.

Off to OLD Navy and the grocery store I went. I had to get ingredients for turkey soup and several turkey cassroles. The store was out of celery and scallions so I bet lots of other people planned on making turkey soup this weekend. The next grocery store had it and celery hearts were on sale. The bags were small and there were just two left so I took both. The man next to me then told me he needed celery so he bought the organic one not on sale.

Came home and made fancy mashed potatoes and butternut squash with maple syrup to have with my turkey. Oh, it looked wonderful and was browning beautifully. Come 6:30, it wasn't done. Same at 7:00 so at 7:40, I took it out. I couldn't wait for it to cool and cut a big piece for supper. Oh so good.

Later in the evening I cut all the meat off and it's in the frig. I broke up the carcass and it's simmering in my big pot. I'll let it cool, pick off the meat and store the big pot in the frig. Tomorrow is soup and casserole making day. I will have to rearrange my freezer as it's full. I might have to drive some things over to my friend's freezer again.

The dog is going nuts with the turkey smell and looking for anything that might have fallen on the floor while she was safely tucked away in her crate while I was working on the turkey. She's never had turkey but her nose is telling her that it's mighty good stuff. She didn't find any on the floor but she keeps hoping.

I can tell you that a 21 lb. turkey that only one person ate from yields a LOT of turkey. The best part is that it was free.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


I took today as a vacation day. What really surprised me is that I set my alarm but for 7:15. Got up, showered and made a big artery blocking breafast of sausage, fried eggs, toast and OJ. Put in a load of laundry and hung it out.

Then the real job of the day started. I rinsed and picked through 8 bags of cranberries and made 12 large and 10 small loaves of cranberry orange walnut bread. Most are for Xmas gifts. I never know how many I'll need so I make more than needed as it's nice to pull one out of the freezer in February to have for breakfast with cream cheese. Since it's such a messy job, I like to get them all done at once. I make them in foil loaf pans (much easier), wrap heavy duty foil around them and pop them in a friend's freezer. When I give them, I wrap them like a present with colorful fancy ribbon that has silver in it. What a great gift IMO.

The kitchen is all cleaned and I'm just waiting for the second batch of breads to finish baking.

This weekend I want to bake spritz and sugar cookies too and have all my holiday baking done.

I've had the Hallmark channel on with Xmas movies so it has been a nice day. In my email, there is a 50% off coupon for today at Borders so I'll run there tonight to buy the old movie Holiday Inn. Maybe I'll watch it over the weekend while knitting.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Love That Barbara!

I have always loved Barbara Bush. Love her spunk and her tell it like it is. I just saw a clip of her interview with Larry King. When he asked her about Sarah P, she remarked that she sat next to her once, she's pretty and that she hopes she stays in Alaska. Love that Barbara!!!!! I can't stand Sarah P!!!!!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Getting in the Mood

I grew up to hearing Perry Como in my house as my mother loved his music, his TV show and what a wholesome man he was. It's not Christmas without hearing Perry Como. I used to love his Christmas special on TV (and also Andy Williams'). Checking out at the grocery store today was a display with some CDs. Staring at me was Perry for $5.98 so onto the counter it went. Guess I'll pop that into the player in the car tomorrow and sing along.

Remember all the wonderful Christmas specials on TV? Miss them.

I also bought 3 pointsettias this afternoon. One red one is for a co-worker's birthday on Thanksgiving and I'll bring it in tomorrow. The red one is on my kitchen table next to my laptop and the third one is pink and for my desk at work. When my daughter was growing up and I went all out decorating the house for Christmas, I had lots of pointsettias in the house as I love them. I used to have the traditional red along with white and pink.

Next weekend I'll be baking - cranberry orange walnut breads, cream cheese spritz cookies and sugar cookies. Most of it will be given as holiday gifts to friends and co-workers. Of course, I'll eat some too. Another holiday tradition of mine are my green cream cheese spritz cookie wreaths. I never missed making them except for last December. I was so busy with work and everything needed to be ready to fly to Moscow a week before Christmas. I brought the directions and cookie press with me but never got to make them there. Unfortunately I forgot the press there and my daughter forgot it when she came in March and for the summer. My good friend Cecelia sent me home with her press when I was visiting her in NY a few weekends ago. She didn't plan to use it this season so I'll put it to good use before I get it back to her.

I stocked up on flour and sugar (many bags) this weekend (on sale)as there is nothing worse than being in the midst of the baking mess and running out. I don't have anyone to run to the grocery store for me and having to put on decent clothes to go is such a nuisance.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Xmas Craft Fairs

Love love love them. Today I went to two and enjoyed them. One always has one room for baked goods and prepared soups and casseroles. They have a list of the available frozen meals and you place your order. Someone goes to the kitchen freezer while you pay and then you have lots of dinners ready for after work in your freezer. No work and the money the fair makes all goes to support a local food kitchen. What could be better?

The same fair also has different rooms with used books, homemade candy, tag sale items, tea cup auction and crafts. I always have to make two trips out to my car. I wait for this fair each fall.

It also brings back happy memories as it's where my daughter went to nursery school for two years.

After the fairs, I stopped home to put the frozen meals in the freezer before heading for the grocery store. Made another stop home to put away groceries.

For several hours this afternoon, I went to a drop in knitting session at the library.

This evening the dog and I watched a few movies and I knit on the Xmas socks I'm making myself. I got out my Xmas videos so I'm in the holiday mood. White Christmas is being saved for next weekend. I've bought my eggnog, hot cocoa and whipped cream so I'm all set for the viewing. It's a holiday tradition of mine.

Great day. There's another craft fair I'm going to tomorrow so 'tis the season.

P.S. Sunday Afternoon

The craft fair this afternoon was great. Bought some things for myself and for gifts. Saw one of my daughter's teachers. Went grocery shopping again for specials in the flyer and for my free turkey. Now I have a frozen 21 pound turkey in my frig thawing. I'll roast it later this weeks for turkey dinners, hot turkey sandwiches, turkey tetrazinni, turkey soup and freezing for later use. I asked the butcher to saw it in half but he refused as the health codes have changed. It was free when you spent $300 so it was better to get the large size turkey. Sheets are in from the clothesline and the bed is freshly made up. Another nice Sunday.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Wash freezing on the line

I love the fall in CT. It's cold at night and sunny and beautiful during the day. Normally I hang clothes out as long as I can. Since I'm out first thing tomorrow morning to go to several Xmas fairs in the area, I wanted to get laundry on the line tonight. I washed my summer cotton blanket first and hung it out. While the next load was washing, I guess the temperature dropped as it was a little stiff when I went out with the towels to hang. Love it!

I do put my perma press in the dryer so they come out wrinkle free. Everything else is on the line.

Many of you will think I'm weird. I don't do this to save electricity but because I love laundry off the line. I've even hung out sheets and towels on a sunny, warm winter day.

No, I won't be retiring to the Sun Belt. I love fall and winter. Nor will I ever live where I can't have my clothesline.

My mother never had a drier so she hung laundry out all year. We often had frozen laundry thawing out in the kitchen. Now you know where I get it from.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

White Christmas

Tonight my friend and I met for a quick dinner and then went to see the Broadway play White Christmas at the Bushnell in Hartford. Both of us watch the movie each holiday season so I can truthfully say we know the story well and love it.

The play did not disappoint us and we really enjoyed it. The scenes, costumes, singing and TAP dancing were wonderful. I just love tap dancing and as a little girl always wanted to take lessons. My conservative father said it wasn't ladylike and so I was enrolled in ballet. I wish when I'd gotten older that I had taken tap lessons as I am a tap dancer wannabe. I was a tomboy so tap lessons suited my personality much more than ballet as an elementary schooler. I only took lessons for a few years so never got on my toes.

Now we can't wait to watch our White Christmas movies within the next week.

If the play comes to your area and you love the movie, spring for a ticket and go with a friend.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Work and Pleasure

My weekend was divided into the two areas of work and pleasure.

Work: Laundry both days and one load hung out on the line. Grocery shopping. Took all my window screens out, carted them out to the front lawn in the sun, spread out a plastic tarp, gathered a bucket of hot Lysol suds, wire scrub brush and padded gardening kneeling pad. Scrubbed all the screens, hosed them off, dried them against shrubs and brought them inside. Made a noodle and apple kugel, baked pork loin with sauteed onions and apple slices, salad and broccoli. I have enough for dinner the next two nights (a plus).

Pleasure: Baby shower yesterday for a coworker which was really nice. Couch time this afternoon with the dog while I read my Country Living magazine. More couch time tonight with the dog, knitting on my Xmas socks and watching movies.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

What we do...

What we do to not accept the advancing years.

On my way home from work, I went for a haircut. I have a very short haircut and so when it's cut, the upper part is ash blond/light brown while the true color is what you see on the bottom. All the color is cut off and what's left is salt and pepper (mostly salt).

I've been coloring it myself for years as I buy a box of Garnier on sale for around $5. Yeah, when I had it done at the hairdresser's, I loved the highlights she put in. The only problem is that I get a haircut every 6 weeks and so it needs to be colored at the same time. That was just costing way too much money that I could ill afford. My hair comes out fine (if I say so myself) and it sure is way less money.

The only drawback to doing it myself are the various shades. I choose a dark ash blond/light brown and it comes out a medium brown. Each week it gets lighter. I guess I should look on it as it doesn't get boring with the same shade and I kinda like that.

I've finished it, taken off my hair dye tee shirt, towel dried my short hair and now am in my old comfy turtleneck and sweatshirt. Dying my hair in the colder weather is chilling as I am only wearing a tee shirt and I have a wet head with hair dye for a half hour. At least it takes 45 minutes to do it and then I'm all set for another 6 weeks.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Death Penalty

Yeah! The death penalty for that animal Steven Hayes. Now we citizens of CT will have to pay as his lawyer will have appeals and we'll have to keep him on death row for probably 15 years. I wonder how much that will cost us CT taxpayers? I wish he were fried within the next month or so. You sure know my views on the death penalty. I'm sure some of you won't agree and that's your choice as it's America. But, it's my blog and I can say what I want. I hold back when reading some blogs as I respect the person and their views. Please do the same for mine.

And what came in today's mail - jury summons for right after the beginning of the new year. If I do have to go, bet they won't pick me for any criminal trial as I am VERY opinionated.

Can you believe?

I woke up this morning to sleet and it's Nov. 8. There was about 1/4 coating the ground and car. On the ground, it mostly was not still white but you could see it. Fortunately it turned to big, wet raindrops for my commute to work. By early afternoon, the parking lot was starting to dry.

Wonder what we are in for this winter season here in CT?

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Yarn & Candles Part II & Reading

My friend Diane and I had such a great jaunt yesterday. First stop was for bagels and then we hit the road. We went to Webs' Yarn in Northampton (Exit 18 off Interstate 91 for those of you avid New England knitters). The place is amazing!!!!!! I've been to quite a few privately owned little yarn shops but they never prepared me for this huge place. I was in yarn overload. Diane turned me on to knitting socks and I'm working on my first pair. I made right for the sock yarn area both in the full price and marked down areas and stocked up on great variegated yarns. One yarn even makes up into a patterned Xmas sock. Can't wait to do that as the sample is adorable. I also bought lots of colors for another knitted project. I'll have to figure out how to put pictures on my blog so you can see the finished results.

We then went north to Yankee Candle about 10 minutes away. There is a wonderful restaurant on their property called Chandlers. We got right in for lunch as most people needed tables for 4 or more. We had a delicious apple cider glazed pork loin lunch with butternut squash, oven roasted potatoes and rolls.

We had walked all around Yankee Candle and bought some stuff there. It was MOBBED and we were so fed up with all the shopping cart and stroller pushers who would just stop and block it so no one could get around them. We glanced more than looked at everything as that would take all day and neither of us are needing any Xmas decorations. Our favorite area is the German one with the Black Forest.

The highlight and main reason for our trip there was to see the Von Trapp Children perform. They are the Baron and Maria's great grandchildren and Curt in the movie was based on their grandfather. They are 4 siblings - 3 girls in college and 1 boy (16) in high school in Montana. The girls dirndls were all Maria's. That was amazing. They do not show signs of age or wear either. Their 4 voices are just lovely and the arrangements were so well done. We both bought a DVD of one of their concerts and had them autographed. This was their 5th time performing at Yankee Candle. I'm sure Diane and I will want to see #6. The 4 Von Trapp children were so wholesome and a joy to hear and meet. One of the girls complimented me on my silver dachshund pin so I told her how I named my dachshund Liesel after Liesel in Sound of Music.

With the time change today, I was loving getting the extra hour of sleep. I spent a lazy day reading. Read one mystery and went to the library for several more by the same author. I did hang out two loads of wash and do another with the dryer so I did accomplish something. Mostly it was a veg day reading which I love.

Now it's couch movie knitting time with the dog.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Yarn and Candles

Tomorrow my friend Diane and I are heading off for a day in MA. Our first stop is for bagels to munch in the car as we head north to a huge yarn shop/factory in Northampton. I've never been to the place but she has and raves about it. She told me to bring patterns (and money).

Then we get back on the highway and go to Yankee Candle for lunch, browsing, and shopping. The highlight of the afternoon will be the Von Trapps. Four of Maria and the Baron's grandchildren have carried on the family singing tradition and they'll be performing at Yankee Candle. After seeing them on Oprah's Sound of Music Reunion last week, we said, "We HAVE to go." So, ROAD TRIP.

Sure wish Cecelia lived closer as she'd love to join us for the day's outing.

Thursday, October 28, 2010


I think part of the fun of doing something is looking forward to it.

This weekend I will be visiting friends. Going to their house is like going to a homey, beautiful B & B with two resident gourmet chefs. Their house is a federal colonial that they restored and filled with antiques. It's beautiful decorated and no professional could do a better job of it. Add in all the delicious food they cook and bake, and wow. Both of them are gourmets and love to be in the kitchen. A lot of what they prepare was grown on their land - from the honey, grape juice and jam to the variety of veggies.

There are also some wonderful holiday events in the area that we'll go to on Sunday so that will be lots of fun. I love doing things like that.

The best part will be spending time with friends.

Liesel will have a mini vacation too as she'll spend the time with the owner of the doggie daycare and she LOVES going to her house. She loves her husband and snuggling with him on the couch. She will get to go to the doggie daycare for two of the days to play with her 2 and 4 legged friends. When she comes home, she will be one tired pup.

Hope you have a good weekend and Happy Halloween.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Handknit Socks

I've been knitting forever but never have made a pair of regular socks. Many years ago I knit a lot of red and white tiny socks that were Christmas tree ornaments and most were given as gifts.

Last fall I went to a yarn expo with my super knitting friend. Diane always has a pair of socks in progress in her knitting bag. I decided it was time for me to knit myself a pair. I found one vendor at the yarn expo that had a wonderful assortment of sock yarn. A bright variegated hank caught my eye as it went from lime green to turquoise to medium blue to a deep violet. Love it.

I told myself that I would not start on the sock project until I finished knitting all the little bunnies I'd started the spring of 2009, sewed them together and stuffed them. I now have oodles and oodles of them. In fact, I have a plastic bin of them. They sure are coming in handy as I have lots of baby showers and baby gifts this summer and fall. I am not even making a dent in my supply.

Tonight I stopped at a yarn store and bought my bamboo double pointed size 2 needles and I can't wait to start. I have to ball the yarn and then I'm good to go.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

My dog

When I got Liesel over 2 1/2 years ago, I wondered what I'd gotten in to as she was a naughty, naughty puppy and very hyper. Somehow I survived her chewing the kitchen cabinet and old linoleum floor (2 round holes), her fleece blankets in her crate and anything she could wrap her small teeth around. I wished she would curl up with me on the couch and sleep next to me instead of barking at me and using me for a dog chew toy.

We got through that first year and she mellowed a bit. She still does chew holes in her fleece blankets though. She does love to be curled up next to me on the couch now and especially if she's under the down throw. This is my down throw that I've mended many chew holes in from her chewing stage. If I even walk towards the den, she has to beat me there to make sure she's right with me.

Often when I am standing at the kitchen counter working, she rests right between my feet head first. If I sit at the kitchen table and cross my legs at the ankles, she crawls on top of them. Right now she is sitting touching my left leg. She loves to be RIGHT NEXT TO ME.

Yes, we've bonded.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Sunday - Productive Day

I had good intentions of getting up at a decent hour, starting laundry, hanging it out and getting outside to start on yardwork. I planned on working for 4 - 5 hours in my perennial gardens and also pruning.

Well, Liesel and I were lazy in bed and I was absorbed in my book. We did not get up at a decent hour but who cares. I did do a load of wash and hang it out, pruned shrubs, planted spring bulbs and cut back one of the perennial beds. I did work for over 4 hours outside so I accomplished what I wanted. The nice thing is that I am not limping around tonight from the work as I did not overdue.

I actually at dinner at a decent hour. Liesel has abandoned me and is sleeping up on the couch in the den. She had a busy day as she was out on her line watching me and snooping around in the perennial bed as I worked.

Reading in bed in the AM, hanging out laundry and yard work equals a productive day. The weather was gorgeous and it was nice being outside to enjoy it.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Autumn's Colors

As I was out driving today and going up a CT mountain, the trees were ablaze in color - bright oranges, gold and red. The sun was shinning on the trees and I enjoyed seeing it so much. I love fall with the cold air, warm sun, cold nights, snuggling with my pup, cooking yams and acorn squash, making applesauce, wearing turtlenecks and sweatshirts and thinking ahead to the holidays.

Since I hate heat and humidity, I long for fall weather all summer and so once the air turns dry and crisp, I am a happy girl. I even love winter and it's beauty. Looking out on fresh snow coating the ground is beautiful and I really missed it the winter I lived outside of San Francisco. I longed for a snow or ice storm.

I cook differently once the weather turns. I remember my daughter asking for stuffed shells one day in the summer and I told her that I only cooked those during the cold weather. Once it turns cold and the heat goes on, I cook more comfort food - yams, acorn squash with brown sugar, stuffed shells, pork, mac and cheese with ham, apple sauce, cranberry orange bread (for Xmas gifts), casseroles and lots of soups.

Wherever you live, I hope you're taking time to smell the roses or should I say, enjoy the leaves?


Who thought that when I started scrapping that it would lead to an addiction? Yes, I have one. I love pretty papers, all kinds of brads, embellishments, alphabets, etc. And if I find them on sale, look out.

This morning I hit two fantastic scrapbooking tag sales. I hit the jackpot with some great papers, letters, a QuicKutz alphabet die cut, vintage embellishments, other embellishments, kits, albums, stamps, brads, etc. Things I "HAD" to have.

The deals were fantastic and I saved soooooo much $.

Now comes the task of putting it all away and finding space for it. That required much reorganizing. Oh, to have a scrapbook room with lots of open shelves with paper holders, baskets, drawers..........

Friday, October 15, 2010

Chilly Part II

I took my furry friend to bed last night as it was cold and she's a great hot water bottle. Now that the heat of summer is over, she's back with me and not in her crate at night. Growing up, I always had a cat in bed. Once I got my first dachshund in 1985, the puppy came upstairs with us.

Every dachshund owner I've met tells me that their dogs also sleep with them. Maybe all dachshund owners are nutty.

I've gotten off track.

Well, since it was only 61 in the house when I got home and damp since it's been raining since last night, I pushed the button and hit the up arrow to 65. The furnace turned right on and within minutes, the warm air was coming out the registers. Liesel went right to the air register and curled up on the floor in front of it. She loves to do that.

I held off until halfway through October so it's not that bad. After all, what is this stupid mind game I was playing? It's mid October and CT.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Toasty or a Little Chilly?

Each October I face the question as to when I should give in and turn on the furnace. Naturally I try to hold out as long as I can - a matter of principle.

Most evenings it has been 65 or 66 inside the house this past week. Tonight when I got home and checked the temperature, it said 63. I have a turleneck on, a lightweight sweatshirt, jammie pants and actually put sox on with my Crocs. If I were going to be sitting at the kitchen table scrapping, I think I'd break down and push the on button. But, I plan to be on the couch under the down throw with the dog so I can put it off for another time.

Do you out there go through the same game each October?

Monday, October 11, 2010

Oh, my aching....

What's happened? I used to jump out of bed at 7:00, have breakfast and do physical work until just about bedtime. The first change was that I'd only work until suppertime. The next change was that I'd only work about 6 hours. The stage I'm now in is to start the actual physical work later in the morning and finally stop 5 hours later. I follow that up with 2 Advil for pain and stiffness. Before bed, I took 2 more Advil and was in bed at 9:15. That's 2 hours earlier than my normal bedtime on work nights. I was beat and aching.

OK, I'm older (and "fluffier") but until about a few years ago, my mind had not accepted that fact. Now my mind accepts it after a day of heavy yardwork, lifting very heavy pots to empty them, push a wheelbarrow full of heavy dirt to dump it, kneel in perennial beds cutting back and weeding, moving around on my knees as I work and the constant up and down. Remember that commercial about the elderly lady on the floor saying, "Help, I've fallen and can't get up."? I have had a few of those moments and I stand up and hope that no one is walking by my house.

As I was working the last few hours yesterday afternoon, I told myself that I can go to work on Monday to rest my body as sitting at a workstation and plugging away on my computer doesn't require much physical work. I did take 2 Advil along with my breakfast this morning and brought the pill bottle in my pocketbook (just in case). I didn't need any though.

Where did all my oomph go through the years?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

My Clothesline

I love my clothesline and use it 3 seasons a year and even on unusually warm, sunny, winter days.

I grew up with my mother always hanging out the laundry year 'round in CT. Clothes would freeze on the line and then they'd come inside to thaw out and finish drying. Having grown up with that, how could I not have line drying ingrained into my brain (and heart)? IMO nothing beats sheets line dried. Getting into bed between those crisp, wonderfully smelling sheets and pillow cases is just as good as it gets. I also love line dried towels as I hate wimpy towels from the dryer.

Well, my poor clothesline broke in August when my daughter and the girls were still here. I have been waiting for someone to come fix it and it still is broken. My neighbor told me that her husband volunteered to fix it. One end is attached to my house and I stand on the deck to hang the clothes. It is high off the ground and can't be reached from the lawn. It then goes quite high up to the hook in a big tree. The problem is that it's a wild area and there is poison ivy under that end of it. He's a real trooper and I am so grateful. While he's at it, I'll have a new line and new pulleys at each end.

I am so excited to think that my sheets will hang out on it this weekend drying in the sun. Little things mean a lot.

P.S. My neighbor put up a new clothesline for me today. What a nice surprise to come home to tonight. I can't wait to wash sheets and towels Sat. morning and hang them out.

Monday, September 13, 2010


At work, we call working from home WFH. They are wonderful letters but TGIF are the best.
My computer at work is a laptop so technically I can WFH but until this summer, only did it maybe 3 times in 2 years during snowstorms. This summer I've done it the same number.


1. Don't have to get up as early, shower, dress decently or even get dressed.
2. Short commute from the bedroom to the den.
3. Can start early (one day I logged on at 6:30 AM).
4. Don't have to fix lunch before work and pack it.
5. Have my 4 legged friend as company.
6. Can throw in a few loads of wash.
7. My phone is not ringing and no one is coming up to my cube so no interruptions.
8. More productive as no interruptions.
9. Since I'm home (a rarity), it really doesn't feel like work even though I'm getting a lot done.
10. Love it but wouldn't want to do it every day. One day a week would be ideal for me.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

My store (or should I say stash)

I've always shopped ahead. When I see something for someone, I buy it and put it away until their birthday or Christmas. It's very handy when the occasison comes around and all I have to do is gift wrap it.

Over the years, that has expanded to stocking up when I see something on sale. It sure is convenient when I need a gift for a birthday, Christmas, house warming, baby, anniversary or whatever. All I have to do is go into my storage under the eaves and shop. My daughter has come to like it when she's here and asks if I have anything for a baby girl or boy for her to bring back to Moscow or to mail. She knows I have good stuff stockpiled. Need children's books for gifts, I have them - regular ones and Christmas ones. I also have assorted baby items.

My storage is very organized and I can put my hand on the correct box or bag in an instant. I also have a large supply of gift bags (all organized by size), gift boxes (neatly fit into a large cardboard box), Christmas cards, Bath & Body products, ribbons (curling to metallic - all organized in boxes).

No, I'm not a hoarder. I give out a lot of gifts so this makes things easier for me as I don't have to always go shopping at the local stores when I need a present.

This sure simplifies my life.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

4 Things


Annie called this "Four Things":

Four things that are always in my purse (besides the obvious)
hand sanitizer
picture of my daughter & SIL at their wedding
list of my prescriptions
lots of emergency contact information

Four things in the drawer in my desk (that one wouldn't expect to find there)
different OTC meds

more hand sanitizer

eyeglass spray cleaner

magazines to read at lunchtime

Four favourite things in my bedroom
pictures of my father, my daughter, granddaughters, my dachshunds, me on the beach where we had our family cottage

standing fan, ceiling fan and A/C

current novel I'm reading

TV to watch/listen to news in AM when getting dressed and for PM when getting ready for bed

Four things I always wanted to do
have a daughter and granddaughters (it happened)

retire early (didn't happen)

live by the ocean (happened for many summers but ended)

ride in a Russian troika (happened last December in Moscow)

Four things I like at the moment
reading outside in my hammock on weekend afternoons (soon to end as it will get too cold in CT)


working with a great group of people (Since I have to work, it's good that the co-workers are so nice.)

wonderful group of friend (IRL and online)

Four things no one knows about me
I used to be a Mrs. Clean and you could eat off my floors. Now I suggest you keep your slippers on inside.

I wanted to work in Europe at an Embassy or Military base after I graduated from college. Never looked into it senior year as my father had poor health. I was raised on Jewish guilt (even though we're not Jewish) and since I was the only child, I felt I couldn't move overseas.

Wish I spoke fluent French like my daughter.

Distantly (very, very distantly) related to FDR

If you read my blog and would like to do a similar posting on your blog, please do and let me know so I can read it.

Monday, September 6, 2010

If only....

If only the CT weather that we have had this weekend could be like this for over half a year. Just perfect in the mid to high 70's with breezes, full sun and chilly nights for sleeping. For someone that hates heat and humidity, this was heavenly.

Yesterday a friend and I spent a day on the beach at the CT shore and it was windy but perfect. It was a small beach and not many people were there so we had a lovely quiet day just chatting and enjoying the ocean. Doesn't get much better than that.

I spent the entire afternoon out on my hammock reading "The Girls From Ames". Enjoyable but it took a few chapters to hook me. I know that I would not want some of those details in print if I were a few of those girls though. Wouldn't want my dirty laundry out there for the world to read.

I just love having a quiet afternoon to vegg out with a book and doing it outside on a perfect 10 day on a hammock is the best.

The only bad thing about the weekend is that it is coming to an end and back to work tomorrow.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Ten Years Ago Today!

Sept. 3, 2000

A very special day as I became a grandmother. Katya is turning 10 - a biggie as it's her first double digit birthday.

When she turned 1, 2 and 3, we had birthday parties here in CT for her with friends and my cousins. Such wonderful birthday memories.

Today she'll have a birthday celebration with her classmates at school in Moscow. Birthdays are very big celebrations in Russia. Last year her mom made her a very special, round soccer cake. This summer, while here in CT, she planned what she wanted and chose fancy cupcakes. I'm sure my daughter was up late last night baking so Katya could bring them into school for her class. I'm sure my daughter will blog (with pictures) about Katya's birthday.

Katya was named for her mom's closest college friend who was born in Russia. When they all lived near each other in Ann Arbor, it was confusing with the two Katyas so I called them Big Katya and Little Katya (still do).

I wish all of us grandparents were there to share her day but we'll all call to wish her a special birthday and send our love.


It's only $4.99 a pound for 1 - 1 1/4 pound lobsters so it might be another lobster supper this weekend at my house this Saturday.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Relaxing Saturday

Today was a perfect ten - warm but not hot, full sun and best of all - no humidity.

I lounged in bed reading this morning and set to work with laundry and picking up before making a nice hot brunch.

In the early afternoon, my book and I spent the rest of the afternoon on my hammock under the evergreen trees with filtered sun. There was lots of reading, a little snoozing and talking to my friend.

My day ended with grocery shopping and picking up a steamed lobster that I'd ordered for a delicious late supper.

Perfect ten IMO.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Nice time with friends

Once a month three former neighbors and I get together at Panera Bread for dinner and visiting. We all had not been together since May as one or the other of us were away or tied up. We had a nice evening and were there just shy of four hours.

We all are grandmothers with thirteen grandchildren between us. We always bring pictures of the kids or what we've been doing to show each other.

They are all retired and I'm not the one that comes from work.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Rainy day

This was written on Sunday but I was waiting until my daughter could add pictures. She was too busy packing so no pictures of Liesel getting a bath in the kitchen sink. Sorry

It's been raining all day in CT and heavily late this afternoon. Because of this, the girls can't be outside playing nor could I take them to the town pool and school playground for the afternoon. That would have given my daughter P&Q to pack.

So our day has been spent doing load and load of laundry, flipping my mattress, cleaning out her bedroom closet, blogging, making a big BAL (breakfast at lunch), made a dump run in the pouring rain, washed the dog (I was already wet so why not?), last minute shopping trips (2 so far) and PACKING. Tami and the girls let me sleep in and they went to Panera for breakfast and then shopping so they only got home around lunchtime.

She's busy packing.

The kids have been bored and we got sick of the Disney channel so hours ago said no TV. Right now they discovered the bin of wooden blocks that were buried in their closet and are building in the den.

Hope your day was more exciting than here at my house.

I colored my hair so sit here with a frothy head.

Disaster Zone

I've declared my living room a packing disaster zone. It started when the Moscovites arrived on June 25th and the overnight summer camp packing started for Kayta. Truthfully, I'd started the camp shopping a month or so earlier and had it in the living room. I picked up things I knew Katya would need to go away to camp making the shopping day after they arrived a little easier. So the camp things were gone and then....

The back to Moscow shopping began. Week by week the bags multiplied until there was just a path through the end of my living room to the front door/stairs to the second floor. Keep in mind that my daughter needs to foresee all their needs for the coming year from school clothes, work clothes, birthdays for both girls, birthday gifts for the entire class for both girls (that's how it's done at their school), hostess gifts, birthday and Xmas gifts for the nanny and friends, Xmas gifts for both girls, things for the kitchen and bathroom, OTC meds, prescription meds, toiletries, books for the girls to read, books for my daughter's teaching all year, school supplies, a Nook, shoes (everyday school shoes, 2 pairs of sneakers - indoor and outdoor for school, dress shoes, shoes for my daughter), rain gear and rain boots for both girls, heavy outdoor fleece pants for the playground for both girls, fall jackets for both girls and the list goes on. I don't know if she got winter boots, snow pants and down coats for both girls or not.

Try and think ahead of everything you would need for the year and see what a task it is. Things are just too expensive in Moscow. It's easier (and less money) to buy here and pay the extra baggage fees of the airline.

I am sure by now you are getting a vivid picture of what my living room is looking like. This year I asked my daughter to vacuum the wood floor and put down a clear drop cloth so when she moves boxes, the grit is not scratching my floor. I don't have a large living room so it is FULL. Now it has piles, bags, packing tape and packed boxes.

I really hope it finishes up early so that Tuesday night I don't have much to do by miss the 3 girls.

Busy Saturday with the Granddaughters

Yesterday started off with my making a big breakfast, laundry and up in the attic "shopping" with my daughter.

She packed up the girls' gear and off we went to the town swimming pool. Since it was overcast, there was hardly anyone at the pool which was great for the girls (and easier for me to watch them in the pool). After they had had enough and changed, we went to the middle school playground for the rest of the afternoon. No one else was there so they enjoyed having all the equipment to themselves.

We came home around 5:00 and they showered and got ready for the evening. We packed up the bag with different gear, got all the chairs into the trunk and headed to Panera Bread for supper before going to an outdoor movie. It was outside and a perfect night - not hot, not cold and not a single bug.

My girlfriend is a nanny for a mutual friend and she was sitting for them last night so they could go out to dinner for their anniversary. They have a girl 10, boy 5 1/2 and twin girls 2 1/2. The 10 year old had a friend over as her parents were going out to dinner with the anniversary parents. Diane loaded up the family's mini van and met us at the parking lot. I'd gotten there earlier so we'd saved a big spot for the 9 of us. The kids were all great, very quiet and enjoyed the movie. It was the first time the twins had been to a movie and then quietly sat in their little chairs or on my friend's lap. The last half hour she had one on each leg. The parking lot had lots of families with kids there and you didn't hear a peep during the movie.

A really fun day!

While we were busy, my daughter did last minute shopping, returns and worked more on the packing.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Noah Webster House

Yesterday I took Katya to the Noah Webster House in West Hartford. I hadn't been there since bringing my daughter when she was in middle school. We were the only visitors so had a personal tour. Having been to Old Sturbridge Village so many times and growing up in a house from the 1700's, I think I could have given the tour. I pointed out things to Katya that were the same as my house growing up (the large cooking kitchen fireplace with all the ovens).

She really likes American History so enjoys going to historical places and she's sure had a lot of them this summer starting with FDR's Hyde Park home, Eleanor Roosevelt's Val-kil home, the Vanderbilt mansion in Hyde Park, the JFK Library/Museum in Boston, Paul Revere's house in the North End of Boston and touring the Back Bay area of Boston.

We started our morning at a science museum but it wasn't thrilling as Katya was really too old for it. I'd forgotten how it was. She didn't mind and really liked the flight simulator.

Scrapping this afternoon

Katya and I went scrapbooking this afternoon and finished up the scrapbook I made her from her two weeks at sleep away camp. I'd made the scrapbook while they were visiting their other grandparents and it's a nice keepsake for her to have and to show her classmates back in Moscow. This is the same camp that I went to for many summers and worked at one summer in college. My father also went to this camp. Next year she'll be back there and hopefully so will her sister.

Then I started a soccer scrapbook from the soccer program they were in last week here in CT. This album is for both girls. Tami and I will work on the soccer scrapbook this week so it can go back with them.

While I did this, Katya had lots of fun working on a birthday collage for herself as she turns 10 in two weeks.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Soccer Dachshund - Go Germans!

The girls are taking a soccer camp this week and I went for the last hour after work and errands. I made a quick trip home to change, get drinks and Liesel.

Well, Liesel wanted to get right out on the field with the kids and chase that big ball. After the instructions/play were over, the girls had their balls and would throw them for her. She went wild chasing the balls, putting her front paws up on them and kept trying to get a good grip on the balls with her mouth to no avail. It was hysterical watching her running around.

When she got to the car, she was panting like crazy so we won't be repeating that again this week as it's too hot for that.

The girls loved their first night of soccer camp. Katya loves soccer and anything to do with it and was so excited when her mom told her about the camp. Natalia really didn't have any choice but to go to it as her mother signed her up. She discovered how much fun soccer is and really liked it. Of course, this meant a trip to the sporting goods store earlier in the afternoon for cleats, shin guards and soccer socks (pink of course).

It's great for the girls to be outside involved in physical activity.

Liesel will wait to chase a soccer ball until the weather cools down. I'm going to have to buy her her own soccer ball.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Back to work

Tami and the girls are not flying back to Moscow this Tuesday so I'm back to work tomorrow. I had planned to do something with the girls on their last full day but now plans have changed.

Because of the fires outside of Moscow, unsafe air quality and extremely high heat, they are staying here. She also wants to see another doctor after the results of her blood tests come back this week.

She's made good headway on her packing so she won't have the last minute rush.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Fun things with the girls

Carousel Museum, Rocky Neck State Beach with cousins, Rain Forest Cafe, school clothes and shoe shopping and more fun things to come in the next few days. Special Grandma and the girls time.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The girls are enroute

Liesel and I are anxiously awaiting the girls' return tonight. I'll be taking days off to do day tripping with my granddaughters.

Next week when it's back to just my 4 footed friend and me, I'll blog.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Are you sure I'm living in the CT burbs?

OK, I've had bears walk through my yard and leave me a "present". There are lots of bear sightings in my neighborhood by my friends whose property backs up to the woods.

They often hear coyotes howling/barking in the distance in the woods. Fortunately they stay in the woods.

Tonight at 8:30 it was dusky outside when I opened the front door to clip Liesel to her line for a duty call. Luckily I had a good hold on her collar as across the street leaped a big deer. It ran into the road and then I'm sure through the neighbor's yard to go into the woods. I've seen deer before in our area but never in my neighborhood. Cool!

Liesel went crazy and I'm sure they heard her a mile away. Dachshunds were originally breed to be hunters and I'm sure she would excel if given the chance to go after varmints.

Sure wish the girls had been here to see the deer.

Now I know that the woods in our area have fishers and bobcats but I hope to never see one of them. I live in the burbs and not out in the wilds.

Ready for you

Upstairs bathroom cleaned - checked off

Bed made with line dried sheets - checked off

Sleeping bag all set - checked off

Upstairs hall cleaned - checked off

Cleaned stairs - checked off

Downstairs bathroom cleaned - checked off

Kitchen floor cleaned - checked off

Vacum dining area, hall and den - checked off

Clean sheet on den couch for dog - checked off

All laundry done - (even Liesel's crate blanket)

Food for late night snack and breakfast - checked off

Hammock ready - in living room waiting to be hung outside by the perennial bed and to have you stretched out in it with a book

Remotes to den TV hidden - checked (We will do all turning on and off as TV settings are fixed by repairman.)

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Looking forward to day trips with the girls

When my daughter and the girls return this week, I'm going to take some vacation days off to do things with the girls during the day. My daughter needs her turn to just stretch out on the rope hammock with her books for the afternoon with nothing to do but read and nap.

I'm looking forward to taking the girls off day tripping. I am compiling a list for us to chose from: tubing on a river, going to the beach, going to a science museum, visiting some historical places.

Some of those night, we might end up at Panera Bread so my daughter can have a whole day to herself. She deserves it.

And for selfish reasons, I'll enjoy being with my granddaughters.

Bears in the burbs

I just put my dachshund out for her last call of the night. It is a gorgeous summer night - not too hot, no humidity and just right. It would be perfect for a nice walk around the block but..... There are bears out there in the burb woods. Yup, here I am in the CT burbs and thinking of bears, coyottes and bobcats. I've seen a bear twice in my yard and my neighbors see them often as their property backs up to the woods and they leave birdfeeders out. They have heard coyottes in the woods too. The local paper has had stories about bobcats in the area.

So I had the dog out for a minute and in we came. She went back to curl up in the down throw on the den couch and I'm at my laptop in the kitchen watching a "Everybody Loves Raymond" rerun.

Well, my late night walk was a nice idea.

Swinging in the breeze

I told myself that I was not going to do housework this weekend but was going to just take it easy, relax, enjoy the perfect CT weather outside and read. After doing errands Sat. morning and having lunch, I put my rope hammock out under the hemlock trees. It is along the side of one of my perennial gardens that borders my driveway. So out I went with my book, ice tea and portable phone. Since I was in the shade and there was a tiny breeze, I needed a cover. I brought out the down throw from the den couch, snuggled up and read and napped. I was outside until 8:00 pm. What a day - perfect.

This morning I did a few things in the house and was back out on my hammock until after 6:00. Repeat of yesterday.

While I was out there today, I saw a nuthatch on the tree where the foot of my hammock was tied and watched him/her go around the tree looking for insects. Then a male yellow finch landed on pink cone flowers in the perennial bed and ate some of the seeds. So peaceful.

I could not have asked for a more relaxing weekend. I'm going to make sure to repeat it before the cold sets in.

A mouse!

I was outside this morning in the yard with the dog and went over to pull a few weeds by my walk. When I yanked a big one out, there was a dead mouse. Did you hear my screams?

At first I ran away. Then realization set in. If I don't dispose of it, the dog might get into it and it'll just stay on the walk and rot. I got my handy dandy pooper scooper and got it up and tossed it into the woods grimmacing. These are the moments that I hate.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

It gets worse

Rushed home and no cable company showed up last night. I called the cable company twice and the service despatch dept. was suppose to call me back. Nothing. I called this morning ranting and demanding someone be there tonight or they could take their whole package and shove it and that I would switch to AT&T. Let's see if they call me back this AM at work with a time for a serviceman to show up tonight. Still no phone, Internet or TV. Tomorrow it'll be a week without them. I am LIVID!

Monday, July 26, 2010

No Internet

I had such good intentions of blogging last week but CT was hit with a major storm last Wednesday afternoon and I lost power. When it came on the next day, I found out that I didn't have power in 3 of my rooms and of course one was where my modem is. The electrician was out the following day and replaced one of the circuits. When I called the cable company back, I found out it couldn't be fixed over the phone and a repairman is coming tonight after I am home from work. I've had no phone, Internet or TV.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Preview of our weekend

Today we are going to a college friend of Tami's for their annual Bastille Day Party and tomorrow we are at the CT shore (where we used to have a beach cottage) to visit friends for the day.

Everyone flies off on Monday so I'll blog next week about the past three weeks. They've been busy.

Thursday, July 15, 2010


We've been so busy since the girls arrived that I haven't had time to blog. While they are in another state visiting their other grandparents the next two weeks, I'll fill you in on what we've been doing.

Friday, June 25, 2010

They're here!

Tami, Katya and Natalia arrived from JFK around 9:45 tonight. Liesel and I are thrilled. After a snack, it's shower and bed time.

Busy day tomorrow as we bring Katya to camp on Sunday.


A Happy Grandma Streusel

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Rocking in CT

This afternoon when I was bringing something to another dept. where I work, I saw a group of people standing around asking, "Did you feel that?". I didn't know what they were talking about and asked. The response was, "Did you feel the floor move?" I had no idea what they were talking about and when I got back to my dept., there were several groups talking about the same thing. I hadn't felt anything but then I'd been in the supply room which is in the center part of our wing. The co-worker in there helping me didn't either.

I went back to my cube and to work. After all, this isn't CA but CT. About 5 minutes later, we were all told to leave the building. When we were outside, one of the women was on her cell and said that an area north of Ottawa had an earthquake which registered 5.5 and we were feeling the tremors from that. Here we are so many miles away and still felt it.

We were outside for about 45 minutes in the hot sun, temps in the mid or high 80's and high humidity. Thank goodness there was a slight breeze. We then got the all clear and went back inside. Don't know how they knew the building was fine as I can't imagine a structural engineer has been there and gone through the building in 45 minutes.

That was my exciting day at work.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Where does it all come from?

You bring in the mail or print something off the computer. You put a few envelopes or pieces of paper on the kitchen counter. What happened while you went to work? It multiplies! How did my kitchen accumulate so much paperwork? I spent all day going through it. I have lots to shred and put in the garbage. I've filed too. I'm now down to a small pile that needs more time/attention than I have to give it this week. It'll go in a closet to after the Muscovites' visit.

Wow, I've regained the counters. Sure feels good.

Thursday, June 17, 2010


I had a coupon for Borders for 40% off one item and it expired today so I HAD to go there tonight. I looked over the display tables near the front of the store, looked over best sellers, Greek Mythology books (for my granddaughter Katya), the sale racks and boxed DVDs. I did buy two young children's books (for a baby shower at work) and a DVD in clearance for myself. I still needed to find something to use the coupon for so decided to buy Katya a Hardy Boys' mystery as she has started reading them. I can't buy any Nancy Drews as I think she's read just about all of them. They had a Hardy Boy mystery that had 3 books in one so into my shopping basket it went.

I know that electronic books are a hot item but I don't think I'd like one of those. I love to browse through bookstores, looking at the intriguing covers, reading the write-up on the back covers and turning the pages.

Are you a paper or electronic reader?

Monday, June 14, 2010


My lawn now has clusters of little light brown mushrooms popping up. I was concerned about them and called the lawn service that treats my lawn with fertilizer, weed prevention, grub prevention, etc. She told me they are around because of the rains we've had and not to worry about them as they will disappear when we get a dry spell. I was concerned because of my dog but she told me that they are harmless.

Yes, we've had some heavy rains but we've also had gorgeous sunny days so I'm surprised that mushrooms sprouted up. I don't remember getting them before and last summer was a wet one.

Sunday, June 13, 2010


Today was my cousin's 8th grade graduation. She is a beautiful (inside and out), smart, mature girl and will be now entering high school in the fall and will continue to excel. Her class was small so the kids have formed nice friendships. Not everyone will be going to the public high school in town but to a Catholic high school or area prep schools so they won't see each other on a daily basis.

Our family is very small and I have two first cousins. One is single but doesn't have kids. One is married with two girls. And then there is me, my daughter and her family.

We all were there today (but for my daughter and her family) and my single cousin brought his girlfriend and there 7 of us. It was really nice to be together to celebrate the graduation.

After the ceremony, we all went out to eat and had a delicious meal.

It's hard to believe that at her next graduation, she'll be off to college in two month's time.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Reasons to have a dog

* companionship
* unconditional love
* keep their opinions to themselves
* greet you at the door with a wagging tail
* easy to please
* look at you with their cute faces
* don't care if you put on some weight
* eat the food crumbs that fall on the floor
* faithful buddy
* furry hot water bottle on cold nights
* can keep a secret
* easy to feed as they aren't fussy
* don't talk back
* watchdog - protectors
* and we love them

Monday, June 7, 2010


I mentioned in a past post about the new discount grocery store in the area and the bargains. Well yesterday I was thrilled to see raspberries on sale for 2 for $3.00 and blackberries for $1 a container. I bought two of each and had one container in my yogurt (1/2 plain and 1/2 vanilla) this morning for breakfast. Tomorrow morning I'll have one container of blackberries. A great way to start my day at work while I'm checking my email.

It's the little things that make me happy.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Cleaning Countdown

Over the holiday weekend, I took the Friday before and the Tuesday after off from work to extend my weeknd, start in on my cleaning and relax. I got the upstairs done and today I did my living room. Next weekend I'll do another one or two rooms and will be further along in my countdown until the Muscovites arrive.

This year I am way ahead of schedule as I started early. I'd planned on doing that last summer before Tami and the girls arrived but unfortunately I came down with the shingles. That put a real hault to the cleaning as I was under the weather.

The reason for all of this is that I like it clean when the kids arrive and I slack off inbetween their visits. Liesel doesn't care how the house is as long as she is fed and with me.

I'm tired and now on the den couch. Liesel buried herself under the down throw and is curled up behind me.

Westport not Westbrook

For two weeks Liesel and I had been looking forward to the dachshund rally yesterday. I gave her a bath yesterday morning so she'd be squeaky clean, soft and sweet smelling. I packed our stuff and off we headed for the dachshund rally.

I'd printed out the directions on Mapquest and when I got to Westbrook, I headed for the Green. The only thing was that I did not recognize it from two years ago when we went to the rally. I kept driving on and stopped at a Mobil station for directions. The attendant was extremely, extremely rude to me for bothering her. Sidenote: I am going to write to Mobil about her as she was horrible and I am a Mobil card carrying customer. I told her how rude she was when she was complaining to a customer that she had better things to do than give directions. A very nice teenage boy told me where the town green was. Off I drove and still did not recognize the place. I stopped at another gas station and showed a man coming out from paying my flyer. He was so nice and told me that I was suppose to be in Westport and that I was in Westbrook. Duh!!!!! I guess when I went to Mapquest, I put in Westbrook instead of Westport as I'd read the flyer too quickly. Both are off of RT. 95 along the CT shore. The dachshund event was from 1-3 and it was almost 1:30 and I was an hour away so I headed back towards home.

Since we had lots of time, I went to the scrapbook store in Westbrook and Liesel and I shopped. She sat in the shopping cart and looked cute and was so good. Then we stopped at the ice cream shop. While I had a root beer float, she had a doggie serving of vanilla ice cream (which was free). I also gave her my scoop of vanilla ice cream from my float. She'd never had ice cream before and loved it.

On our way home, we stopped at my girlfriend's as she and her husband had done some redecorating and she'd wanted me to see it. Their backyard is fenced in for their two little dogs so Liesel had a great playdate and had lots of fun. She is very social and used to other dogs from her Wednesdays at doggie daycare each week.

Fast forward to around 9:00, both of us were on the couch under the down throw watching a TV movie. Liesel was stretched out on her side half on me fast asleep while I rubbed her chest. My buddy.

P.S. I just wrote my letter to Customer Service at Mobil and will call them in the morning for the correct mailing address.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Hot Water Part II

My neighbor the plumber came by this morning to look at the hot water heater and all I know is that whatever he did worked as I had hot water. He was going to stop by later in the afternoon to look at it so I gave him a key as I was going out to do errands. I came home around 5:30 and still have hot water so I'm a happy camper.

Sure was nice to be able to wash my dinner dishes in hot soapy water tonight.

I took today off from work and also did the same last Friday so I had a nice long holiday weekend. It's sadly back to work tomorrow.

I wanted to get a headstart to getting the house in order for my daughter and granddaughters' visit later this month and made a good dent. I also had a night scrapbooking, a day at one of the CT beaches and an afternoon reading on the deck. Good weekend.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

It's officially summer!

Summer means sunny days, soft breezes, clear blue skies, warm weather and the BEACH. We've had perfect weather over the long weekend and made-to-order.

One of the things that ushers in summer is a day at the CT coast. This morning I went to the beach with good family friends. It was hot in the sun but my girlfriend, her daughter and I crowded under the beach umbrella and lathered on the #30 and #50 suntan lotion. The granddaughter and her school friend were in the water most of the day but I know how cold the ocean is this time of year so I didn't even put my feet in.

We were there until after 5:00 and had a great day.

I'd worked hard in the house Friday and Saturday sorting, organizing and cleaning so today was my fun day. I'm back to cleaning tomorrow morning and again on Tuesday as I took it off as a vacation day. I'm in getting-ready-for-the-Muscovites'-arrival mode. I like to start a month ahead as I let things go when they aren't here. Can you tell?

Now I'm home with Liesel and about to brave a cold shower. Yes, no hot water again. That happened yesterday. I left a message for the plumber enroute to the beach but told him I would be OK until Tuesday as I don't want to ruin his weekend plans.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Update on hot water heater

Whew! I called the plumber (my neighbor) Thursday evening and he came at 8:15 Friday before he went out on his calls. Twenty minutes later he left after installing a new thermostat. So glad that I did not have to replace it.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Horrible Heat in CT and Cold Water

The weather tonight said that it hit 99 this afternoon by the airport. It broke records and the hotest spot in the country.

I watered all of my gardens tonight after getting home from work and since it was not humid, I did not find it unbearable. Now I am one that HATES the heat so that really shocked me.

Of course I had the central A/C on when I left for work this morning and turned it a tad cooler when I came home. The central A/C doesn't do a good job on my second floor so I went to turn on the two units upstairs when I got home. The one in my room needs to be replaced as it just can't crank out really cold air (never could). The one in my daughter's room would freeze you out. I think it died over the winter as when I turned it on, no air came out. Guess both those units will need replacing this summer.

To add to my joyous evening, I turned the faucet on and found that there's no hot water. The joys of home ownership.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Liesel is a winner!

Today I took Liesel to a doggie event where they had doggie games. Liesel won the kissing contest by kissing me and she was the hands down favorite. I really wish I could have washed my face after that event. Next she entered the tail wagging contest. As I was down on the ground talking to her, her little tail was going a mile a minute. Score another win for Liesel. I entered her in the ice cream eating contest but she was no match for the big dogs that could devour the little doggie frozen treat with one gulp. She was very feminine and took a few licks, decided she didn't like peanut butter flavored doggie frozen treat and walked away from it.

There were vendors, animal rescue organizations, a search dog exhibition and dogs up for adoption. My neighbor was there with her 6 year old son and they adopted the sweetest 10 week old puppy that is half Golden Retriever and German Shepherd. She is so cute and laid back. Her husband thought she and her son were at the grocery store. They have wanted to adopt a Golden Retriever so it was OK. She called him and he and their little daughter came and when they left, her husband was carrying their new puppy. All the dogs up for adoption were so cute. There was a dapple dachshund but I resisted. I am a one child and one dog lady. I know my limits (and my wallet).

Liesel and I had such a good time.

From there I took her to a doggie store and she got a new toy, a chew Bongo stick and a collapsible water bowl.

I even took her to Talbots as a scrapping buddy had told me about the dachshund slacks she had seen there. I picked Liesel up and figured I'd just go ask someone to show them to me. Well, I loved them, they were on sale and they had my fat size. I asked her to hold them for me as I had gift certificates but not on me. The saleslady asked me if I'd like to try them on. I asked her how I could do that since I had the dog with me. She gladly volunteered to hold her. Now here was a lady in her late 60's all decked out in a beautiful white blouse and dressy white sweater and I have a black and tan dog who sheds. She told me that she has two greyhounds and didn't care about the dog hair. Off we went to the dressing room. I handed her the dog and in I went to try on the pants. They were perfect. I remarked that the length was even perfect and she told me that they were cropped pants and that's why they were shorter. Works for me. I saw another pair on the rack the dachshund pants were and they were also on sale so I added them to my "hold". She was going to look around for a matching jersey and put it with my pants if she found one. Now I call my shopping excursion a real example of excellent customer service. Everyone in the store, sales personnel and customers, came up to see Liesel and remarked how pretty she was and how placid. Placid is not my dog unless she is exhausted (which she was).

We came home and fell asleep for a short nap. Good day.

Thursday, May 20, 2010


You all are probably waiting to see where this post is going. Guess it's my public service announcement.

I get together with some girlfriends for dinner and we talk about the usual things - our grandchildren and aches and pains.

I am quite good about going for regular dental and doctor appointments and screenings as an ounce of prevention.... But, not all my girlfriends are the same and avoid the dreaded colonoscopy. Let's face it, the prep is no picnic but it's not painful nor is the procedure. Look at it this way, you get to take a good nap and when you wake up, it's all over.

If you haven't had a colonoscopy and are over the age when you should start getting them, just DO IT! It's nothing compared to colon cancer.

Jeans - Love 'Em

Before I went to work, I mostly wore jeans around the house and when going out to do errands, etc. They didn't show the dirt, could be dressed up with nice shoes, a starched blouse and a sweater. Add a blazer and you were ready to go most casual places.

Then I started working part time and had to switch to dressier pants, a skirt or dress. When I went to work full time, I wore my jeans less and less as I was working Monday - Friday. During the cold months, I usually was home on Sundays and lived in sweats doing laundry, ironing (remember when we ironed everything), cooking ahead for the work week for my family, doing crafts, etc. Fast forward and there was just me (and my dog). I found that some Sundays I broke my routine and had to run out for an errand or groceries.

Two and a half years ago, my boss and I moved to a different location at our company. The big plus was that the building has Casual Friday and that means employees can wear jeans. An email went out today that next week we can buy a badge for $20 that will allow the employee to wear jeans each Monday during June through August. Wahoo! The money goes all to charity. A great idea in my book and I'll be buying my badge on Monday.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


On Monday the 26th, my boss told me that she was retiring - that Friday the 30th. Needless to say, I was shocked and very upset as she is such a wonderful person and I really enjoyed working with her. After I shed some tears, I went back to work to tie things up for the day and head out for home. She told her 3 directors that report to her about an hour after we spoke at the end of the day. I guess things had been in the works but we didn't know anything about it until the t's were crossed and the i's dotted.

I couldn't start plans for collecting for a retirement gift or planning an after work happy hour until Wed. morning. The official email wasn't sent out until the end of the work day on Tuesday so I had to wait until that was done. Wednesday morning I got to work and sent out an email about the happy hour at a very nice restaurant around the corner from work. Then I sent out an email about collecting for a retirement gift. Everyone was emailing and calling so that's how I spent my day.

I was amazed at all the contributions that came in and we gave her a hefty gift certificate to the Norwich Inn & Spa in Norwich, CT, which I know is super posh. I also bought another hefty Visa gift card for her and still had several hundred dollars in cash. People kept handing me money even at the happy hour.

We had a good turnout at the happy hour and everyone had a great time. It was a huge success as Kathy is so well liked. It was hard to say goodnight.

A little over a week later we got together as she took me out to dinner for my birthday.

This is week three with her gone and I miss her and it's still just not the "same".

HR is working to fill her position and I hope that the new exec is as nice and wonderful to work with.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Man's Best Friend

Tonight I had a craving for a McD's hot fudge sundae and gave in to my craving. In front of me in the drive through was a Dodge pick-up truck. On the back window was a sticker that said, "My co-pilot is my dog."

A minute or so later, an arm came out of the drive through window with a vanilla ice cream cone. The driver of the truck took it and immediately stretched out his arm so his co-pilot could lick the cone. It was so cute.

The dog was big and when he turned his head to the side to lick his ice cream cone, the profile looked like a lab.

Man's best friend.


As we go through life we meet lots of people and if we are lucky, a handful or two of them become friends.

We have childhood friends from our neighborhood, school, summer camp, activities and many other ways. As we go away to college, we make more friends. Once we settle down as adults, we meet people and make friends through work, our neighborhood, our children, church, community involvement, hobbies, politics, sports, etc.

Now that we are in the computer age, another way we "meet" people is through our blogs and make friends in a new way. People that aren't into blogging probably hear us talk about our blogging friends and just don't "get it" or understand. Those of you reading this are bloggers or read your special blogs so you know what I mean.

I look forward to updates on the blogs that I read and I also love getting comments when I blog.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Perfect Day

We had a lot of heavy rain in the night so I wasn't in the mood to jump out of bed at a reasonable time this morning. I also was reading a page turner James Paterson book so I stayed in bed and read. Boy, do I love doing that.

When I finally got up, I did laundry and hung it out to start my day.

Liesel spent most of the day on the deck watching me pot and plant. She loves being out there.

I planted lots of annuals in my perennial beds along the front edges, in pots and hanging pots. I love lots of flowers and color. After it all was done, I gave everything a dose of Miracle Grow with the attachment that goes on the hose.

Our weather here in CT was a Perfect #10 - warm but not hot, dry air, constant cooling breeze, blue sky, no bugs. Tomorrow is suppose to be the same. My kind of weather. Wish we could have it 6 months a year.

I'd run to the grocery store for more perennials and fixings for burgers for supper. Guess it officially is summer for me as it was my first time doing burgers on the gas grill. Tomorrow I'll do the same but make sure I keep more of an eye on them so they don't overcook and dry out.

I end my gardening days with 2 ibuprofen pills to help with the stiffness Now it's time to stretch out next to Liesel under the down throw on the couch while watching a movie.

A good part of my day tomorrow will be spent relaxing on the deck with a book and my dog.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Wined and Dined

This was quite the week for me and it extended my birthday from last week.

Monday night my boss that just retired took me out to an upscale restaurant for a delicious salmon dinner. It was so nice to see her as she's been gone for two weeks and I miss her each day at work as it's just "not the same".

Tonight (TGIF) a very dear friend of over 35 years took me out to another upscale restaurant in the historic section of town. I had a delicious fillet of beef with a crabcake. I never cook beef fillet so it was a treat. Another fun evening with a friend.

This girlfriend is going in next week to have her first (of two) knee replacements done so it was one of her last flings.

On my way home, I stopped at the local grocery store that also has a large nursery section. The hanging pink wave petunias were marked down to $5 a pot so I bought two. They are not perfect but with some trimming and Miracle Grow, in two weeks I'm sure they'll be perfect. I also got some other annuals and a white coneflower perennial. You know what I'll be doing this weekend.

Yeah, it's Friday and my night was a great way to start the weekend.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Getting Ready for Camp

The footlocker will be coming in the mail. Wonder how I'll get that big box into the house. Guess I'll be calling my neighbor's teenage son for help. It'll go into the living room and start to be filled.

I bought pretty new greenish blue towels, hand towels, washcloths and two sizes of plastic totes. One will be good for all the toiletry articles going to and from the bath house and one will be good for "stuff".

Tonight at Walmart I bought #70 suntan lotion.

I already have bought camp theme postcards to mail home. I'll be addressing them for all the grandparents and parents and putting on stamps.

Camp sent a list of what is needed and I need to get that out as a guide.

No, I'm not going to camp but Katya is. This will be her first time at overnight camp as each summer she has gone to day camp. I'm so excited to bring her and see the camp because I was a camper there for many years and even worked there as a unit leader the summer between my junior and senior years in college. My father went there, my two cousins went there and my college roommate's son went there. We have legacy. My camp summers were the best and I hated it when camp ended after my month. The camp is not as rustic as when I was there in the 50's and 60's and I loved looking at all the pictures on their website.

I am sure that Katya will love it and have a fantastic camper experience.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Liesel's Surgery

Yesterday was dental surgery day for little Liesel. When she had her yearly check-up two weeks ago, the vet saw that the tip of one of her upper teeth had broken off. She is a real chewer so it was probably broken by a hard chew toy, marrow bone or possibly a rock. Fortunately she outgrew her puppy mischief of chewing on my kitchen cabinets.

I dropped her off on my way to work and then started to worry. I lost my last dachshund as a result of being put under to have her teeth cleaned so that's why I was worried for Liesel. When I came back from lunch, I had a long voice message from my vet and I was so relieved.

Liesel had the extraction, had her teeth cleaned and scraped and was microchipped.

I picked her up around 6:00, paid my big bill and brought her home. She spent the evening mostly curled up on her bed covered with a blanket.

She seemed livelier this morning and after work tonight, she was her spunky self. She's back to normal.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Pets Are Expensive!

I am a firm believer in good vet care for my dog so she goes for her yearly check-up, shots, bloodwork, etc. She is doing well and is at 15.6 pounds with a trim doggie waistline.

Her vet visit went well, she didn't mind getting her shot but didn't like the puff in the nose for the Kennel Cough prevention. All was going well until the vet looked in her mouth and found the broken tooth. This probably was the result of a hard chew toy, stone, marrow bone or maybe it was the corners that she chewed on my kitchen cabinets. I don't know how long it has been like that but it had to have happened since her last check-up last April. Liesel is a very aggressive chewer. Thank goodness she outgrew chewing on the kitchen cabinets.

What does this broken tooth mean? Well, it is a day at the vet's and $400 less in my checking account. That added on to today's $300 bill equals caching caching!

I love my dog so I want good medical care so I am adding to the vet's retirement fund.

After we came home, Liesel immediately curled up in her crate. Now that I am in the den, she followed me in here and is asleep under the down throw. She had a long day between playing with her friends at doggie daycare and then going to the vet's.

Sunday, April 18, 2010


Yup, it's a new verb I made up to show what I did this weekend.

My enjoyable part of the weekend was meeting a friend yesterday for lunch and a movie (Date Night which was funny and had us laughing).

In the late afternoon, I started in with organizing my scrapping paper by category into vertical paper holders. I was up until 2:00 AM working on organizing all my "stuff". This morning I started in around 10:00 and was at it until around 9:00 tonight. Still am not finished. It wouldn't take so long if I had a place to put everything. Trying to figure where to put everything and fit it in is so time consuming. I need a scrap/craft room but since that isn't going to happen, I make do.

Now it's almost 11:00 PM and time to close the computer and head up to bed. I just hate Sunday nights.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Tulips, Tulips, Tulips

Several friends gave me potted tulips for Easter and I went to the local discount grocery store last weekend and bought a few pots (red and yellow tulips). Then yesterday I went back and bought more. Today was planting day and after they were all in two of my perennial beds, I looked at the long perennial bed in my backyard which is an L shape. I had planted 4 in the short leg of the L and thought how pretty it would look to have those same flowers in the rest of the L bed.

Off I went to grocery store to buy more. They were 3 for $10 this weekend so how could I resist? I also went to the garden center to buy the most gorgeous purple ruffled pansies that I'd never seen before yesterday. Yesterday I was walking with the dog and we walked over to the garden center and saw them. I didn't have my wallet and couldn't carry them so went back today to make sure I got there before they ran out as there weren't many packs.

I had on my old gardening pants which are a faded red as they must be 20 years old. The elastic is shot so I have them doubled over at the waist with a big safety pin. The jersey I had on is an oversized one that my SIL left here. On my head, I had on a faded red visor that I wear when working outside to shade my eyes and hide my "working in the yard hair". Get the visual? In past years, I would never go off the property looking like that but I've gotten over that. It would be ridiculous to shower, do my hair, put on decent clothes and make-up to run an errand when I'm in the middle of a project. Of course I ran into a few people I haven't seen in a few years but who cares. I'm who I am. I told them I was in the midst of planting,needed more tulips and the next time I run into them that I should look better.

I came home and planted the tulips, watered the perennial beds again, stepped back and enjoyed all of my work.

I then came in and showered, put on my comfy "at home" flannel pants and ragged turtleneck and sweatshirt and enjoyed my supper and dog. A productive afternoon.