October 30, 2009


Tomorrow.  Halloween.  Was never one of my favorite holidays.  When I was a kid, we didn't have halloween in Germany.  And when I came to the States, I thought it was strange.   Of course I celebrated it with the kids, walked with them in the neighborhood, ate their candy, once they were asleep (like you didn't know!).  But I was never crazy about it. 

I love Thanksgiving!  I wish I could have it at my house every year, but I have to share.  And with some of the parents not being able to get around so well, my house is not the easiest to get in and out of.  And it's small. 
Twice we went to the Thanksgivings Day Parade in New York, it is easier to watch at home, though.  One year I went with my friend and her Dad and my kids opted to stay home and cook Thanksgiving Dinner.  No, they said, we'll stay home, you go and have a good time!

No clue where Thanksgiving will be this year.

I will be walking with the grandchildren and their parents tomorrow,going trick-or-treating, in a nice neighborhood with lots of houses close together, and every house will be decorated and have someone give out candy.  That part of it is fun.

On Sunday I will watch the kids again, their folks are going to see the President speak.  I have no clue where yet (and I'm not going, so no worries), and when.  They'll tell me when I will be getting the kids!

Exciting stuff.  I'll go next time for sure!

October 29, 2009


Yesterday I picked Jackson  up at day care.  He was funny.  Gave me a big smile, but continued playing.  When I said 'let's go home', he answered 'mommy'.  No, I said, I'm taking you home.  Let's go!  I started to get his things together.  A little two-year old girl knew where his things were and pointed it out. 
Finally he was ready.  Off he went, when he is ready to go, he runs. 
We met his mother at Joann Fabric.  Where he loved it.  running up and down the shelves with the quilt material and pushing the signs in front of the shelves back and forth.  He could have done that for hours.

We had steak at the house, white acorn squash baked with butter and maple syrup, and rice with peas.  Delicious!  And I got a hug and a wet kiss when I left to go home.

October 28, 2009

Love letter to a newspaper

I have to share something:  I love the New York Times!  I love reading it on-line, I love that I don't have to recycle (which is the reason I gave up getting papers years ago), I love the way they write, I love their excellence in reporting, I love their photography - most of the time, I do wish they used more and bigger photos, but it's all right.  I love their editorials, I love the tech pages, I look forward every Sunday to the  weddings page with the high lighted story about the couple, which isn't always brand-new, sometimes with a long and twisted way to finding each other.

Newspapers are dying left and right.  I'm sort of surprised that the papers are complaining about their decline.  Isn't the drive to live more cleanly, use less resources, make everything more efficient?  Well, getting rid of all the printed matter, the trees being felled for paper, the ink, the delivery of paper, it all uses enormous resources.  And the Internet is faster and cleaner.  What's the problem? 
Like I said, I gave up newspapers years ago.  When I figured out that the one that the only one who recycles in a household is the housewife, and no one else bundled the papers, and lugged them out front, I had had it. 

Anyway, I should say, I like newspapers on-line.  Not the pick-up-in-your-driveway kind. 

And on top of the on-line papers is The New York Times

October 26, 2009

Industrial tour

I got home after a typical drive on the Merritt Parkway. It  was a fabulous weekend, I enjoyed my industrial tour immensely, and I would do it again at the drop of a hat.  This time I would be prepared for the length of the tour and bring a snack!

Really amazing, one forgets that New England isn't all maple syrup and colorful leaves and quaint little villages with white churches.  It has a hard and long history, with factories, child labor, long hours, craftsmen who knew how to make and fix machines, and the sort of first computer or forerunner of the computer with a binary code - anyone know without looking?

And I bet not a lot of people know that working with cotton is a really dirty job and that people got as sick from it as someone working in a mine, instead of black lung they ended up with white lung.
And we saw Eli Whitney's invention and could even try it out.

This is Teddy and Linda's house in CT

the Slater Mill, this is the building the museum houses the different machines

The Blackstone River with the dam, a steady power source

one of the thead machines a child would have worked on

Teddy and Miss Vickie

Teddy in the in the machinists room

one of the machines which made braid for shoe laces

Teddy next to the Slater Mill

More tomorrow!

October 25, 2009


Rhode Island, is where we ended up.  At the cradle of the industrial revolution, for real. 
We chose to do the Black River Tour, which is a scenic route from Providence to - I forget, somewhere in Massachusetts.  We stopped in Pawtucket at the visitor's center, and never got any further.  The young lady who led our tour made it so interesting, and was so personally engaged in the subject, that our tour took 3 hours. 
We started at the Slater Mill in Pawtucket, with the little red house Mr. Slater first lived in when he moved from England to the States.  Typical colonial style house, with the herb garden, etc.  I got to try an old weaving loom, and I spun a few strands of linen.  She demonstrated how the linen/flax was grown, and then threshed to get to the silky strands.
We then moved right to the mill, with a water wheel, which was turned on, and sounded like church bell.
And then she was off - leading us through the exhibit, turning on machines, showing us samples, a just amazing and thorough tour.
And I will post pictures and tell more about it.
Now Linda is getting up, and we're getting ready for breakfast.

The day looks calm after yesterday's rain, and I'll have to grab the camera and take more photos of the lake.

October 23, 2009


After work I will be on the road.  To Connecticut.
Near UCONN - University of Connecticut where my daughters and my husband graduated.

I'll see Teddy, who will be 90 years old next year and who is one of the most with-it people I know.
And they live here

And I'll see Linda, who - well, someday I'll write another ode about Linda.

I spent the first six years of my life in the States in Connecticut.  It will look like a Bob Ross painting now, a painting when Bob Ross uses ALL the colors all at once.  Fall is beautiful anywhere on the East Coast, but New England manages to up it a notch.

I can't wait to see what we'll get into.  Maybe dinner in Little Compton in RI?  Or somewhere in Massachusetts? 

My camera is packed, don't worry.

I would put up a lot more photos, I just hate that I have to make them smaller first, then upload - maybe some day I'll find a way, and slap myself on the forehead - oh, that's how that is done.  In the meantime - - that's all folks!

October 22, 2009

The Germans

My daughter and her husband went to the German Consulate today.  A cousin of mine died about a year and a half  ago and since he didn't have a family, his cousins were all inheritors.  Since it was very complicated, and of no real value to anyone, all the cousins declined the inheritance, all their kids did, and they did it for their children as well.  Well, I got asked if I had children,  I answered yes, I did, and even gave names and addresses (which really I didn't have to, they just asked if I had children, not for the rest).   I also made it a point to tell the German office to please write my kids in English, since their 'legal' German was nonexistent. 

Of course they got a lengthy letter in German asking if they would accept the inheritance.  Since they had 6 mos. to answer, they dragged their feet.  Finally daughter number 1 went today in NYC to the Consulate.  The form to decline is available in German and English.  No, said her husband, I am NOT signing anything in another language.  He has a point, one can say it's says the same thing in the other language as it does in English, but that really is a leap of faith.  So they signed the letter in English only.

And the official accepted it, because how can you argue with that logic.

I am curious to see what happens.

October 21, 2009

Trip with Mom and Dad

My daughter came home last night from work.  We were already sitting at the table and eating.  While her husband and I eagerly wanted to know all about her day, the kids were into their own world.  Since they are still little enough, they were indulged first, and got to tell about their day, Matthew's book report, Jessica's accomplishments in making a pony tail.

After everyone settled down, the Mom announced that the kids (5 and 7) were coming along on a train ride, and have an overnight stay at a hotel to Washington, DC next week, didn't have to go to school for two days, and would be attending a ceremony where their mother was being honored.  The reaction was priceless.

Matthew protested that he didn't want to miss school, and especially didn't want to miss gym.  Jessica also wanted to stay home because she wanted to go to aftercare.  Neither one wanted to sit through a ceremony, and they didn't care who would be honored.

I was howling with laughter.  It made my evening.

October 20, 2009

Action in Germany

The German bloggers are all enraged.

A German company with the logo of a wolf paw print is taking action against small crafters who are using fabric with cat paw prints.  The company claims the crafters are not honoring the copy right, and want to be compensated for supposed 'loss of business'. 
This is the company.

The craft bloggers in Germany are raising holy hell.

Hopefully they'll succeed in getting the outdoor clothing company to either retract their attempt to strong-arm the small-craft community, or they feel the wrath of the on-line community.

Sometimes this gets so totally silly that one is tempted to laugh.  But getting hit in the wallet by 'the big guys' is not funny anymore.

I am betting on the on-line community.

Go girls, go!


The office my daughter works in will get a visit from the President today.

No kidding.

He is there to thank the office.  I am so happy for her.

And it was in the news this morning, he will be there to visit the office and also go to some other locations (not so important to me, oh, now I remember, to help NJ get a democrat as governor).

Too bad my son is not traveling along, that would have been really cool.

October 19, 2009

Oma alone

Oma alone at home, that was me this weekend.

I had Matthew, Jessica and Jackson, and we did all right.

Friday night I was at Nicole and Greg's house with Jackson, and we picked up Matthew and Jessica Saturday morning after Jessica was done with gymnastics.

We went home, had lunch, and then went to the Children's Museum of NJ, which was crowded with regular visitors, the folks there for the birthday parties and the little ones in Halloween costumes for the Halloween spectacular.  Jackson loves the sandbox there, and that's where we spent most of our time.  Wandering through the other rooms was fun, but since it was so crowded, the kids had to wait their turns, and then make sure they didn't spend too much time, so the next group could do whatever they wanted.

On the way home to meet Jackson's grandma for pizza we came across a band competition, and one of the bands we saw was this one 
Matthew and Jessica's mom was in the band while in High school, and I have fond memories of being a band parent.  So we stopped, and watched the above band.  And another one.  The kids were totally impressed that their mom did something like that.  And Jackson wanted to climb the bleachers.  Which is one of the dangers still left in public in American life.  A two-year old could easily fall between the steps.  I am surprised they haven't changed that.

October 15, 2009

Rain and maybe snow

Hard to believe.  I talked to the Germans, and they are expecting snow.  So are we!  We never have snow in October!  Brrrr, it's chilly and nasty outside.
I got my walk in this morning, it's still dark when I start, and barely light when I get back.  I guess I won't mind the time change at the end of the month, maybe it'll be easier.  I have to convince myself to step outside.  But can't give up on all that work I put in for almost one year.

I never did cut the grass one more time.  And after this weekend it'll be time to rake....

My girlfriend found a boyfriend.  Yup, at our age.  She was giddy in love last weekend, calling him three or four times a day.  I guess some things don't change, no matter how old we get.

And my other girlfriend got worse.  She doesn't walk much anymore, hardly got out of the car, even at the beautiful spots.  She only came out at two of the six wineries we stopped at, and she did none of the gorges, not even the couple of steps from the car to the viewpoint.  That's so sad.

October 13, 2009

I'm baaaack!

Nice.  It was nice.

We walked every morning.  Up to the gorge, which was only 1/2 mile away.  And then through it, all the way to the end and back.  Awesome scenery.

The hotel was nice, just as last year.  The beds are awesome.

We drove to another wonderful spot
and stood on the top with our mouths open.

And then asked how to get to the bottom, and did that.

We tasted wine all around Lake Seneca, and ate lunch (at 4 PM) here

We found a great place to get grape pie, with two lovely sisters, who could have been longtime friends of ours here

We saw butternut squash for $1/piece, and loaded up the trunk with 10, plus one pumpkin.

We drank wine, and bought enough to make us worry our suitcases wouldn't fit.

We picked grapes, and were reminded that grapes aren't flavorless like the ones in the supermarket.  They tasted like grandma's, which she used to make grape jelly.

We saw colors!  Fall - the best.

We laughed at lot.  We ate a lot.  We giggled, and I took too many pictures, as usual, if you want to see, go there

October 8, 2009

I got this award:

From  Frau Lakritz und Schokolade
and I want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart.  I've been blogging for such a short time, that
I'm just floored to have received an award.

And then I'm supposed to
1. say thank you (did that, do it again, thank you!)
2. copy the logo and place it in my blog, (did that)
3. create a link to the person you got it from, again
4. name 7 things about yourself that the others don't know yet - that one is hard, since I don't know who     reads the blog, and the rest of the world knows my secrets.
5. Nominate 7 other bloggers and
6. link them here
7. Notify these bloggers with a comment

And the nominees are, in no particular order:
number one
I enjoy reading about life in different countries - same as Frau Lakritz,  and Ireland, while Enlish-speaking, is still very different from New Jersey (but then a lot of places are different from NJ!)

  same here
reading about living in Switzerland -we dreamed of living in S'land when we visited there.  Berner Oberland, specifically.  And her/their life is so very different from mine/ours here.  At the moment.

and then here
same reason, but she lives closer to 'home'.  And I like her blog. And she has to watch over him, if I understood the connections correctly.  And I'm still chuckling over the Wuzze Schnubbe.
and here

She also has to deal with another country.  While I feel perfectly at home, the kingsizefairy still seems to struggle with some of the aspects of her new home.  And she is so much closer to her old home.

And then I was going to suggest  her, but she already has two awards.  So this is an honorable mention, with no obligation whatsoever to respond.  Or fulfill any of the conditions.

Which brings me almost to the end, if I look around for more people, everyone I want to nominate will have an award, and I'm no longer original.

So, now I have to tell the things about me.

I don't like spiders.

One of the men in this photo is my son, and no, it's not the man in the middle.

I don't like peanut butter.

I have a lot of unfinished projects at the house, but I'm trying to get them done.

I am looking for my first boyfriend ever, who is lost in Africa, has anyone seen him?

I am a widow and raised my kids by myself

I love the 'Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy' series.

So, off you go, blog!  Deep breath in.... push 'publish post' already....

Good Morning!

It's still 5 AM (in the morning) here.  Dark outside.  Will I go wrestle the bear today?  Or vacuum my house, since the Hietela sisters are coming?  The H-sisters are awesome housewives.  They even pull out their refrigerators and stoves once a month to clean underneath!  They taught me a lot - some of which I do, the other I only think of and say naaa, some other time.  Yes, I cleaned the refrigerator.  Inside and out.  Yes, the kitchen is clean, so is the bathroom.  And I made up the guest beds.  I'm stripping my bed now, and I have to wash the kitchen floor. And that's it. 
They're spending the night, because tomorrow we're driving to the Finger Lakes!  I don't know why I'm making such a big deal, I've been to the Grand Canyon and Las Vegas, Germany, California, and Washington, DC twice this year. But this one is with friends, and not with or to family like usual.  (not that that isn't special, it is, it's just different)

I got an award.  Yup, I can't believe it!  I am soooo excited! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Now all I have to do is figure out how to show it, and fulfill the conditions that come along with it.  Which I will.

But I still have to finish my house, make my bed, try to fit the bear in, go to work, to the bank to make payroll, sew some mop-covers, pick-up the kids from school, and deal with whatever else the day throws at me.

I watched Oprah yesterday.  NieNie was on, you know, from the NieNie Dialoges.  Which is what got me into reading blogs and creating my own in the first place.  Jessica watched it with me, and wanted to know all about her.
Okay, no more blogging!  Later ---

October 7, 2009


Man, sometimes you just aren't as intelligent as you think.  Just click some buttons, and you'll find what you thought you lost!  I know that!  And you'll find the new and improved google way to do things.
Without further ado:  Jessica and Jackson on the carousel, a beautiful quilt, a fireman, somewhere I am in there, and the crowd I was hanging out with.  At the street fair.

October 6, 2009

Street Fair

There was a street fair on Sunday here
and we went. The day was just gorgeous, with a beautiful blue sky, dry air, and puffy white clouds.
I was just going to add photos, which I downsized, and my 'add photos' icon is gone. I guess you will just have to wait, because I don't know how else to insert them.

October 5, 2009


There is an incredibly bad TV show on Monday nights after 'how I met your mother'. It's with Jenna Elfman, (Accidentally on purpose) omg! and it's bad, bad, bad! I stopped watching HIMYM, because this show comes after. And I love 'The big bang theory', which used to be the lead. Nope, CBS, you lost me. To Heroes, which I had given up because people kept dying and coming back. That drives me nuts.


I got it! That's what my blog is for, stories!
There are stories to tell. Stories from my life, stories from my kids lives, stories I heard from my parents.
After all, I'm the last one who remembers a lot of these stories. And instead of telling them when asked, I should write them down.

So, the first story is for Jackson:
I had fun with you on Saturday. I came up to Ramsey on a cloudy, damp Saturday morning. Your Mom checked the train schedule, and we took the train from Ramsey to Ridgewood. We tried to teach you to stand behind the yellow line and wait for the train, but two years old is very young to take that seriously, and you forget!
You were very excited to be on the train, and focused on the ride. When I asked you, if we were going fast, you ansewred 'es', which is your 'yes' - so darling.
We got to Ridgewood, and we went to the toy store, where you played with the Thomas the train set. Like you don't have one at home!
When I asked you, which engine or cabin you wanted, you told us 'Emily', even though Emily was in your hand, because she is one of your favorites.
We had lunch, and ice cream in Ridgewood, and then went back to the train station, where a family was also waiting for the train. You started to play with the other kids, and were upset when the train came and you had to leave.

Your Mother and I wanted to go to the Christmas shop after, so that's what we did and you were very good.

October 1, 2009

I get it!

I'm having such a hard time learning blogging! I can't believe it. I picked up all that stuff oh, almost 20 years ago! Computers, software like office, we played with the first Apple computers to come along. We still used floppy disks which where bigger than CD's now. And all of it came pretty easy for me. That is, learning where to point the mouse took me a while.
So I thought it might be intuitive to learn how to blog, but it's not! Getting the photos to line up, and adding a link - I have to go for 'help'!
And no, I'm not asking my kids. First of all, I don't think they know I'm keeping a blog, and secondly, I don't think they are interested.
Anyway, this is my challenge for my 'old age'.
To include the links - pretty easy once you figure it out, but to get there!

I should really be blogging both in German and in English. I am reading several interesting blogs in German. They have a dialog going, sometimes I wonder why they just don't pick up the phone and talk to each other that way. Hmm. Since I'm dialoging with myself, I don't really get it. Maybe I should call myself?

The blogs I read in English are interesting also. Not so much dialogue with other bloggers, though. Mostly just day-to-day happenings, recipes, how-to's, directions, and lots of show and tell. Which I like, being a show-and-tell person myself. I love taking photos, I have my little camera on me most of the time. I'm not so good taking pictures with the cellphone, since I don't have any way to download them other than to send them, and I don't have the 'pix' feature in my plan.
My 'little' camera is so dinged up, that the display is starting to show wear and tear. But as long as the photos are fine, it doesn't matter.
I'm still sort of wondering, why I am blogging. Should I talk about my dilemmas? At my age dilemmas aren't as traumatic as they used to be. You just deal with them, and then let them go. The secret of how children turn out also is not a secret any more, and the secret with the grandchildren not as ... hmm., now I'm stuck for a word - not as tension filled as it was with my own children. I know it'll turn out all right. They have great parents who care a great deal about them. And they will be fine.

Okay, that's enough musing for today!
for really great pictures, click here:

Next weekend

Next weekend I will be on the Finger lakes in upstate NY. It'll be in full color, and I can't wait to give my cameras a workout again. We will go to Watkins Glen, where we will stay in a new hotel, which is right on the lake.
We will be tasting wine, drive a lot, hopefully hike some, laugh most definitely, and eat.
I can't wait!
And this is where we will stay: