September 25, 2009


It was a little over a year ago we went to Windham, and Jackson had his adventure with the chickens and the cows.
And his mother wondered why he is not that interested in animals at a zoo.

September 24, 2009


My father was handicapped. He was a WWII veteran, and he lost his leg in the Mediterranean toward the end of the war. He was fished out of the sea by the British, and held in a military hospital in Egypt as a prisoner of war, until he was exchanged for a British prisoner of war in Germany. By that time he had met my mother in Greece, who was stationed there in a 'Soldier's Home'. Toward the end of the war, my mother was ordered to go home, and she told some stories about leaving, being on the train, going through the Balkans, coming home to Koblenz, finding her home bombed out, and looking for her parents.
Really, they deserve better than a short paragraph in a blog.
But that wasn't my point today.

Since my father was handicapped, the one advantage he had was to park in the handicapped spaces. And he did take advantage of it. In all other ways he tried to live his life as normal as possible. He held a job until retirement age, he learned a new job when it became impossible for him to stand any longer in his old job, he was involved in athletics into his 30's, he somehow learned to drive a car (this was before automatic transmissions became common-place). In his 60's he still had the body of an athlete, my son, 6 years old at the time, brought home a friend and asked 'Opa' to pull up his sleeves and show his muscles. With a big grin, he did.

The one thing that could get him very upset, was if the handicapped parking place was thoughtlessly taken by someone NOT handicapped. And that happened often. Other than waiting for the offender, there was not much one could do - call the police, certainly, but then you still would have to wait.

So, I think of my Dad every time I see someone park in a handicapped parking space without the handicapped sign. And I wonder every time if I should do something about it. Like call the police, leave a sign on the front windshield....

September 21, 2009


I remembered to bring the little camera for my morning walk/run. And here is the sunrise, worth every second of overcoming my lazy alter ego.

September 20, 2009


Lawrence Farm, near Newburgh, NY, has an enormous field of apples. Nicole and I picked and picked and picked. Mccauns, Macintoshes, Braeburns, Delicious, and i forgot, my favorite, something honey. Even though it's pretty far for me, I have to drive 30 minutes to Nicole's house, and then at least another 45 minutes to the farm on top of a ridge overlooking the Hudson Valley, it's just fantastic up there.

Jackson loved hauling the wagon around. Or sitting in it. He played with those possibilities, and I don't think he ever came to a conclusion. He loved both.

I came home with a sack of apples. A possibility is eating them all - which should take me a while - or share them. I will share some, but eating should be no problem either, they were wonderful.

September 18, 2009


Matthew tried to tell me that he could play WII before school. His mother called right after that, and when I told her, she just laughed.
I spent the night at Matthew's house, since his Dad had to go to work really early, and his mother was still at work. Jessica is sleeping, and Matthew and I are still in our pj's, watching AFV.

September 16, 2009


Yes, I got the smile from Jessica. She was very happy when I picked her up, and said she only cried a little. For a second. When she had to go on the bus.

She practiced her bike, and can make a small circle on it, both ways, to the left and to the right. After she mastered that, she wanted to know if she could learn something else on the bike. She still wobbles along, and scares me, but she is confident.

My son-in-law hurt himself yesterday, so badly, he had to go to the emergency room and get stitches in his thumb. He will be fine, but it's scary none-the-less.

I woke up last night and couldn't go back to sleep. So I read, Dean Koontz something. About a little boy, something with eyes. I had to put it aside, I really don't like scary things. I picked up a book on the quilting series, and that lulled me back into a relaxed frame of mind, and I went back to sleep.

I loved St. King, loved his writing, but got so over it. I know exactly when it happened, I read his co-written book with P. Straub, something ... house.. and was so outraged at the violence, which felt so contrived, which normally it doesn't in S.King books, but I didn't even finish it. I still think he is an awesome writer, no one better to describe a given situation, but the stories lost their momentum.

September 15, 2009

cool jobs

Erika is working late today. She went to work early as well too. That will go on all week. She also had to work the weekend. There are some trips coming up for her as well. That means that I will help out. I love giving a hand with the kids. Jessica was so cute when I picked her up from aftercare! Big smile, all happy - I hope I get that today.
Matthew gave his parents problems on a couple of days. He runs screaming out the door, when he decides he's had it. And he is smart, and well liked, he claims he doesn't like one of the kids in after care.
That makes it hard on the parents.
And I am glad I made the choice to not working when my guys were little, I don't think I could handle it. Which is why Erika has the cool job, and I just mosey along. That's all right.

The walk this morning was awesome. A gorgeous sunrise once again, and yes, this time I took a picture. With my cell phone.

An old customer of ours found us after 6 months and stopped by, wanting to know where we were. And of course, he needs his filters.

My hip is bothering me today. It hurts when I lean over the table to cut material. But today it's especially bad. I'll have to take ibuprofen.

I also went out to sushi dinner with Cathy last week:

September 11, 2009

Two Things

Two things are on my mind today.

The first is

September 11th

Big and heavy and something that's there, dark, in my life. Oh, there are other things with weight and dark. But this one has it's own special place. And I will not forget.

The second is a wedding. Which is happening tomorrow in Germany. Two people coming together in marriage, and I was very instrumental in getting them together. Maybe five years ago on Thanksgiving, the bride called from Boston, asking if that spot was still free at the Thanksgiving table. Of course, I said. For the rest of the weekend, though, I'm going to upstate NY, to relax. After asking if it was quiet there, and would she have time to study, and time by herself, which were all resounding yesses, she came. With the Chinese bus from Boston to Chinatown in NYC, then by PATH to NJ.
We celebrated Thanksgiving as a family at Erika's, it was wonderful, and the next day we left for upstate. As I remember, we went out to dinner to the German restaurant on Saturday, when the today-groom joined us at dessert. They were introduced, and that was it. The kids stayed after dinner to go out, and the co-mother-in-law and I went home. The bridal couple (which we didn't know then) spent a lot of time together, the groom drove the bride back to Boston, and the mother-in-law and I agreed it looked like something would come of it. My daughter poo-poooed the very idea.
Well, we old 'witches' knew. ... by the pricking of my thumb, something wicked this way comes....

September 10, 2009

is anyone reading this?

that must be a question every blogger asks him/herself. Do I want to keep it as a form of diary? It really isn't a diary, because I really do not put my innermost thoughts in it. So it's just a partial diary. Am I writing it strictly for others, or for myself and others?

I thought my blog would be one thing, and it's turning into something else. I'm not sure yet, which way it'll go.

Anyway, I'm wondering if Matthew had a better day in school today. Yesterday he had one of his infamous episodes where he ran screaming from the school. Even the principal acknowledged that he has kids that run, but no one ever made it out the door. And what his mother thought to be his 'emotional immaturity' turns out to be something else. We just don't know what. Anticipatory anxiety? That sounds great, doesn't it? He claims he is afraid of the 'mean girl'.

Well, he and I practiced telling a teacher, with me being the teacher, or going up to the mean girl and yelling 'stop'! So Matthew walked up to me, and yelled 'stop!', while raising his fist. No, no, no, I said, no raising your fist! You only get to tell her to stop like you mean it. So we did it again.
He was happy enough with my efforts to ask for a hug when I left to go home.

Now I have to wait until one of his parents is not busy enough, so they can answer the phone and tell me.

September 9, 2009

Learning to ride a bike

These are the Annalee Christmas dolls I found at a garage sale, all stuffed in a plastic bag in the basement.

aren't they cute?

and this is the painting that Cathy brought over for me from Germany.

Matthew learned to ride a bike over the weekend. His uncle Greg taught him. He didn't really want to, had to think about it, but he finally did it. And he showed me yesterday. He is doing well, but he does need a good bike.

It was also the first day of school for both him and his sister yesterday. Jessica started Kindergarten, and was just beaming when her Dad and I picked her up. She loved it, she loved aftercare, and can't wait to start another day. When we picked up Matthew, who started first grade yesterday, she had to show me her classroom, where she sits, and sat down for me in her seat.

Matthew also enjoyed his first day. I will try to get him to ride his bike this afternoon, maybe I'll get a chance to video him and her.

Over the weekend I worked on my quilt - almost done - and went to some garage sales.
And I had this old hand-made linen towel from Cathy and Thomas' house, I added the lace this morning, so Cathy can use it as a table-runner. I think those are gorgeous!

September 8, 2009


Cathy is here. Cathy came to Newark Airport on Friday, from Basel, via London, on her way to Lafayette, LA. Where her mother and sister live. I met Cathy at Newark Airport. She brought a painting with her that I had to leave behind in April, the airline would have charged too much for me to lug it along.

My uncle painted the painting in probably the 1950's or 60's. It's of the Rhine River, hard to tell exactly where. But I love it, first because my uncle painted it, and then because it is a scene of the Rhine. She also brought a book a friend of mine had sent to my brother's house after I left for home.

Anyway, back to Cathy. I think it was wonderful that she just brought the painting, which is fairly large, and thought nothing of it. I think she had a great time with her family, just sad that her son couldn't enjoy it right along with her, since she has to work this week.
We had a wonderful time together yesterday afternoon, first chatting, then going to a mall (yeah, I know, soooo New Jersey!). Then to the movies 'The Time-Traveler's wife'. Pretty good. Entertaining. And really close to the book, which I had read years ago. An interesting idea, time travel. Would I go back and change things? That is, if you could change things? In the book one can't, one can only go visit. Would I like to go back? Probably not. I am really not even into looking at old family movies, or looking at old family pictures. Only seldom do I allow myself to go there. Yes, I love taking pictures, but sometimes visiting the old pictures hurts. Oh, there are wonderful memories in the old photos, but still, some of them.... bring back so many vivid memories, that throws me off my 'path'. I always feel I have to set aside a time to 'time travel' back.
Also, I am so very busy creating more memories.

September 3, 2009


Yesterday I took the day off. Actually, I stopped the night before at my daughter's house, to welcome a friend from Germany. I ended up spending the night, my clothes being washed, borrowing a pair of pj's to sleep in, having breakfast the next morning, dropping the toddler off at daycare, and then taking the fast train into Penn Station in New York.

What a wonderful day the three of us had! We stepped out of the train, made our way outside, and took a deep breath of NYC air - filled with hot dog, and steam, and exhaust, and whatever other mysterious smells New York offers.

Weather was perfect. We decided on the Empire State Building first, and were early enough to beat the line. It was still crowded on top, but the view is amazing. And yes, I still miss the WTC. After winding through all possible venues to spend money, we made it back downstairs, and decided to just wander 5th Ave. We had lunch at Burger Heaven, famous for the macaroni and cheese in our family. Then through Takashimaya, a japanese chain, stopping at Bergdorf Goodman to drool over the shoes, we made it to Central Park. Everbody was out, relaxing on the lawns, playing on the playgrounds, climbing the rocks, enjoying the sunshine, or taking a turn at a carnival set up on Wollman Rink.

It always comes as a shock to me, when it's time to go home again when I am spending time in the city....
Wonderful day.

September 1, 2009

Grandma's Flower Garden

This is the quilt I am working on at the moment. If anyone has any helpful hints as how to finish it, I would really appreciate it!

The quilt consisted of the flowers, and one row of off-white 'surround'. The rest were holes. Which I've been filling in, and I finally figured out how to do it the easiest way. I put five little petals together in the shape of the space they are supposed to fill, and then add the finished little piece to the whole quilt.

And this is what it looks like from the back