March 31, 2010


We'll meet tonight for sushi.  At our favorite sushi restaurant.  It will be just the four of us, and we will laugh, talk and eat.  I'm looking forward to it!

My daughter had a dental emergency.  So she dropped Jackson, 2 1/2, off at work for me to take care of.  The building is really old, and the rain comes through, especially when it's raining hard.  He loved running in the puddles!  Indoors....
Anyway, that was no good, so off we went to pick up his cousins from school.  On the way he told me about his fishing experience, and how we all should go fishing.  I asked him who would put the worms on the hooks.  Daddy will put the worm on the hook, was the answer.  And Matthew's daddy will put the worm on the hook.  And no, he didn't catch a fish, he just got bites, he told me.  Next time!

I don't like to go fishing.  I don't mind the worm, the hook, what I object to is actually catching the fish.  What do you do then?!  I made the mistake of getting involved with fishing when my son was about 6 or 7.  Thinking every boy has to go fishing, it's un-American not to,  I bought the rod, line, assorted paraphernalia, and off we went.  Of course we caught fish.  Little sunnies.  I didn't know you were supposed to get them off the hook and throw them back in - how do you get them off the hook anyhow?  That would have freaked me out right there!

As it was, we had a couple of fish swimming in a pail, which my son wanted to eat.  I remember that my girlfriend, who was visiting, had to run an errand, with my son (ha!), and they left me with the fish.  I don't remember what I did, but somehow my son got some fish to eat.  One of those horrible memories.  I think, that was the last time I got involved in fishing.
He got fishing licenses later, when he was a teenager, and he went with a buddy.  He never brought fish home, either, thankfully.  Being German I take that whole thing so literally, if you go fishing, I am planning to cook fish for dinner, of course!  I should have learned from experience...  if I want fish, go buy it.

Anyway, we picked up the cousins, who were delighted, and showed of their running-around-like-only-a-two-year-old-can cousin to their classmates, and then ran to catch up with Jackson.

We played at their house, then had supper together. We tried teaching Jackson the 'going around the table and everyone tell what they did that day' routine, but he is still a bit little.

Oh, what fun the kids are.

March 28, 2010

Moseying to PA

My friend Sherri bought a new truck.  Her husband was working and she wanted to try it out.  So we took a ride to Stroudsburg PA, where we wanted to go to the above store.  Boy, what a nice selection!  Of sewing machines, fabric, and vacuum cleaners.  
Sherri was hungry, so first we had lunch.  Then we walked Main (or Broad) St. up and down and admired a closed town.  

One finds a lot of German names in Pennsylvania.
Then we spent time in the store.  And yes, I walked out with a sewing machine.  Not expensive, but a nice machine, electronic, with nice features.  And since it was used, and had a mark, it was decidedly reduced.

But first, more Stroudsburg:
Then, rather than going straight home, we stopped in Columbia, PA, and walked across the Delaware River on an old railroad bridge.  Sherri was seriously skeeved out., not comfortable at all.
Lots of water - the river is definitely looking like a serious river and not like the gentle river that has people tubing gently in it!  This is near the Delaware Water Gap Recreational Area, one of the most used National Parks.  The Appalachian Trail crosses the Delaware Water Gap.

After we got home we played with my new sewing machine, tried all the stitches and sewed a surprise for the kids for Easter (nothing big).
I still want to make these:
I saw these at the sewing store, to store 'stuff' while sewing.  Great idea.  And they hold to the table by a weight.
We went to supper about 15 minutes away, to a Malaysian restaurant.  I'd forgotten about it, and I had forgotten how good the food is!

March 24, 2010

oh, nothing....

What's wrong?  Oh... nothing.... used to drive me crazy, and I know that I used to do it as well....  Just an aside.

Working hard, on my mop covers.  Sewing the elastic around them.  Did, I think, 300 of them today up until now.  I want it gone!  Linda, who works with me, tells me I do them so much faster that she doesn't want to interrupt the flow.   Good one.

I went to my sewing machine fix-it place.  I made the mistake of asking about a sewing machine, a 'house' machine for at home, since I want one with all the bells and whistles.  Buttonholes, fancy stuff.  After being told for the umpteenth time that those machines are crap, Mel dragged me up the stairs and showed me a sewing machine.  I'm still drooling.  Unfortunately it just sews straight.  But oh, how great!  It's in a table, has a setting on speed - and goes as fast as any commercial machine.  Of course in reverse too.  The motor is separate from the head, it's part of the table.  And the motor only comes on when you give it 'gas'.  What a nice machine!  Would last forever and ach, just great.

He also promised to check with a friend of his on one of the 'crap' machines that his friend imports.  I think I'll start with that and then save my pennies for the workhouse.... which would cost as much as a low-end embroidery machine.  But, oh, so worth it....

March 22, 2010


All three grandchildren who live in the area spent the night with me Saturday night.  We had fun!  Made the home-made oreo cookies, and went to the playground just down the street.  Then went for the adventure of going between the schools to the baseball field, which thrilled Matthew to no end.
We actually found a huge baseball - my daughter told me it wasn't a softball, which then Jackson didn't want to relinquish.  He loves holding on to things.

On the way to the playground.
Happy kids

Luckily I found another ball, and Matthew played stick ball, since we didn't have a bat.  He was fine with that.  (Note to self, buy some wiffle balls and bats!  - and how do you spell whiffle?)
When it was time to go to sleep, we all piled in one big bed, and I went to mine after the kids went to sleep.  At some point I checked on them, and found Matthew on his back, and Jackson right below him, sleeping between his legs.
We had bagels for breakfast and went back to the playground and the baseball field after that.

Here is what is blooming in my yard now:
 one early daffodil, and the second one was blooming yesterday
The helleborus, of which I am especially proud - Lenten Rose
And isn't the moss pretty?  So green - lovely.

And yesterday, after the kids were all picked up by their moms, a friend and I went to this art quilt exhibit:
And would you believe I forgot my camera?!  I really did.

March 19, 2010


Google Reader, if any of you use it, is a wonderful thing.

I found my favorites through Google Reader, and it is fun keeping up with lots of blogs, some of which turn out to be really interesting. 

And all the ones I have listed I like reading.

But one of them is totally different, I am always astonished what this writer/photographer comes up with.

Go check it out yourselves!

It is in German AND in English.  To me the fascinating part is that Smilla approaches total strangers on the street and asks them to pose.  And they do!  Smiling!
Which says as much or more about her as it does about the subjects.

Perfect day

It is a perfect day today, with the temps going up over the 70 degree point (over 20 G C)

I don't know if I'm crazy, but I invited all my grandchildren living in the area (3) to spend the night Saturday.  Think I'll get any sleep?

Here is a picture of the happy group at the restaurant on Wednesday:

March 17, 2010


Yesterday was just beautiful.  The spring is really springing here!  We'll see how long it lasts...

I was invited out to dinner last night.  To Calandra's Italian Village, in Caldwell.  It was a great meal, of course the company was terrific.  I'm still waiting to hear from some of the participants to see if I can upload a picture or two of the event.  I had tilapia with shrimp and clams in a tomato sauce - it was great.  And I shared a spinach salad with my daughter.  All together we were 12 people!  Fun.

I'll get cracking on what we are doing for Easter.  I'd love to have it at my house, since this is the first Easter in ages I'm around (being in wonderful places like Hawaii and Germany in years past).

Maybe I'll get a response from someone from this post....

Anyway, today it's 69 degrees F around here (20 degrees C)  -- by the way, does anyone know how to make that little o, but up - you used to turn the knob on a typewriter so it would float up - next to the number for 'degree' in an Enlish/American keyboard?  I have no idea!  Do we not use it?

No kiddie duty for me today, I am doing my walking when I get home.  And clean up some more in the garden.  The moss is coming lush and green, my efforts to keep the leaves off it certainly paid off.  I am trying to have an eco-friendly yard, part of it consists of eliminating the grass, just let moss grow, it looks lush and green, requires no watering or cutting,  and no fertilizing.

March 16, 2010

Nor' Easter

We had a Nor' Easter over our area this weekend.  It started Saturday, and drenched our tri-state area in up to 6" of rain (15.25 cm).  Had it been snow, we would have been shoveling 3 - 4 feet.  I have to say, living on a 'mountain' has its advantages.  One of them being there is no flood.  The water in the basement never materialized, so all was good with the world at my house.  The electricity flickered off and on very briefly, it did knock my cable out.  My daughter's mother-in-law is still without electricity.

Now I have to wait for the cable repairman on Thursday.

But there is quite some damage in the area.  The major highways are more crowded, because some of the more secondary, but still important, roads are closed.  Because of flooding.  Quite a few trees came down, we saw one yesterday, Jessica and I took a walk down the block from where she lives and saw a tree that had fallen across two yards, damaging the houses in the fall.  Not bad, but damage.

And yes, two people in our area died, a tree fell as they were exiting their car.

And the waters are still rising, and the paper announced that this may be the worst flooding ever.

You get the idea with the fallen trees, right?

Some other news, also not good:  The daughter-in-law of a friend of mine had/has cancer.  She was pronounced cancer free last October.  It came back, and I heard yesterday that it might be terminal.  She is the mother of twin girls, turning three in April.   What can I say to that?  That is tough.  A really hard road ahead. 

Anyway, I hope your day is wonderful!
I am grateful for the sunshine today, and the possibility of 60 degree plus weather by the end of the week.

March 12, 2010

Friday commercial

Okay, just because I am a grandmother, doesn't mean I don't appreciate things.

Have you all seen this commercial?

Pretty good.  Even an Oma likes that.

March 11, 2010

More Spring!

It seems like we have the jump on spring here on the East Coast.  For the moment, anyhow.  I hear cold, cold and more cold from my European/German friends.  And that is unusual.

At some point while blogging I had promised myself I wouldn't blog about the weather.  I mean, everyone has weather, right?  And we all talk about it, but don't do anything about it!  (old joke)

What I found unusual as I was looking for signs of spring in my snow and ice covered backyard is what I want to show off:

Snowdrops, coming right through the ice/snow!  Amazing.
They melted the ice right around them, it seems.  Vicki, this one is for you!
And this is my Christmas or Lenten Rose.  I can't wait for it to bloom, this one I got at Harkness State Park in Connecticut two years ago this Memorial Day?  Or was it the 4th of July... I can't remember.  Anyway, they had a plant sale there and I bought this Lenten Rose, it's a hybrid.  Of what?  No idea.  It runs on very little gas!

March 9, 2010

To show what I am working on, I just took some photos:

first the mop covers that I am sewing with a commercial straight stitch machine.

Then the bags, which I am making out of outdated upholstery material pattern books, not one of which is the same
This bag is all finished, the other side is different, of course:

And this I am still working on, just got the patchwork on the outside done:
And the other side:
I have more, I decided to sew the outside first and then worry about the lining.  I usually make an inside zippered pocket, and then add compartments on the other side, if I remember I add a clip to the lining on one side to hang the house keys or whatever else is wanted.
I would appreciate ideas on what else could be done or what they are looking for in a bag.
I also try to make a little bag to go along with the big bag, like a simple zippered bag which could be used as a change holder.


Hmmm, I thought I uploaded the photos of my snowdrops!  This is the helleborus, unfortunately not the niger variety, which blooms around Christmas.  I had the Christmas variety from my mother's house, but it only bloomed a couple of years, and then decided it didn't like it and disappeared.  This one blooms about now, and the flowers last - oh - until into summer.  I leave them alone, they reseed themselves, and they seem to like it in my garden.
I walked to and around my pond today.  Left the house at 6 AM, and met about 4 walkers.  That will change again come Sunday, since we set our clocks ahead one hour.  It'll be dark on Monday morning again at that time.
It felt good, 'real' walking and not on the treadmill.
I checked in my yard after I got home, trouped over the snow, and found snowdrops coming up in the middle of the snow.  Unfortunately it was too late to run for the camera.

March 6, 2010

Spring? Maybe?

It was lovely today.  I had Matthew and Jessica overnight, and we slept in the pull-out bed in 'Murphy's' room.  Murphy is a tomcat who died last year.  The kids call it Murphy's room, just to give it a name.
They fell asleep last night as soon as they laid down.  Really.  And I only let them stay up until 9:30 - wasn't that late, right?
This morning we ate bacon and pancakes, watched the birds outside have breakfast too - the woodpeckers are really hungry, I also had a red-wing blackbird come to the feeder, a really interesting bird, just like the name!

Then I drove them to gymnastics, which Jessica does, and then a little bit to the mall before we parted.

I went home, and hung out in the afternoon with a friend.  We dropped off her sewing machine, which never worked right, to be repaired.
Came home and made these awesome home-made Oreo cookies, the recipe which I found here
Oh, my, they are worth it!
And I am not a particular fan of Oreo cookies, but these ---- yum!

And now I am calling Jackson's mother.  I haven't heard from her today!

March 5, 2010


This week I picked up Jessica from school aftercare.  She already wore her jacket and was ready to go.  Under her jacket I saw a dress I'd never seen.  Thinking it was very pretty, we were walking to the car, when she said 'I am wearing my beach cover-up'.  Recognizing the beach cover-up then - pink, with a ruffle at the below-the-knee-point - I asked if her mother knew she was wearing it.  'No', she answered. 
'All right' said I, 'let's call her and tell her!'
So we call her mother, I handed her the phone, and hearing just one side of the conversation,  Jessica tells her mother that she is wearing her beach cover-up.  'I didn't want to!' she says.  Hmpf.

She hangs up, and I ask what her mother said. 

'She'll have a talk with my dad when she gets home.'

I just had to grin.  We get home, and her dad hears she talked to her mother.  'I thought it was going to be a secret' says he.  'You were going to take it off when you got home, and no one was going to know!'
'But I didn't want to wear it!'  says the five-year-old.

Her mother got home about an hour later.  'Jim', she says, 'in what universe is it all right to let a girl go to school in her beach cover-up?'

'It was the only way I could get her to eat her breakfast'  was the answer.

And Jessica got even stricter rules on what is okay to wear to school.

March 3, 2010

Maybe spring?

It was snowing again this morning.  But I bravely ignored it, drove to work, and only went outside once.  Muddy!  That means it's not freezing, and for the weekend they are predicting balmy weather.  Balmy weather!  In this neighborhood!  In March!  Unheard of.  Maybe I'll see the ground in the yard....  Nah, never happen.

I am daydreaming of winning the $100+ Lottery going on.  What would I do?  First thing, buy a ticket to Maui.  Non-stop to Honolulu, and then island-hop to Maui.  For sure.  Anyone wanna come along?  Drive the road to Hana, and then continue on....  Sunrise on Haleakala - swimming in the warm Pacific... life is hard.

Then.... new car, trip around the world, oh, I would find ways to have fun. 

Anyone else playing the lottery?

March 2, 2010


It is warmer, some of the snow is melting.  But it'll stick around, and not a bit of ground can be seen.

The German bloggers write about snow drops, and daffodils, and budding things.  They are mean, I tell you!  My Christmas roses  (Helleborus) outside showed some promise before I went to Germany, but I haven't seen them since.  And I won't anytime soon.

The only flowers I can be happy with are:

My Amaryllis
and these:
my Clivia
Miniature Rose


Christmas Cactus.
And, just for the record, I can look forward to icy conditions on the way home tonight.