May 31, 2010

Mashomack and Shelter Island

We spent the weekend on Shelter Island.  And the weather and the scenery was so beautiful, one couldn't stand it.  We managed.  It was tough.

When you get up and go outside, this is the view on a holiday weekend.  Hard to take, I know.  I suffer.

We meandered to the cocktail party on the open day of the nature preserve on the island.  And checked out the beach - again, suffering involved.
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To endure a couple of hours there, one has to have a drink, meander through the woods to this gorgeous beach and remember to breathe.  And in Matthew's case, throw rocks.  Yes, tough, I know.  And there were refreshments, tables with cheese, fruit, and ham and or turkey. 
The rest of the weekend was more suffering.  Horrible weather (as one neighbor asked me) in the form of balmy breezes, sunny skies, and blue water.

Who could live with this?  Early in the morning, before the breezes started up, here is more

The wild roses were blooming, and they are allowed to grow all over.  Every lot that doesn't have a house on it, has the wild roses blooming.  They climb up trees, wind their way around and about everything on the lots, are on the walk all the way from the house to the dump (which itself has a mature huge stand of bamboo), on both sides of the road.  Jim and I walked it this morning before 8 AM, and the smell of the roses was just wonderful.  The breeze - the roses, the smell is still in my nose, and I will associate it with the island forever.
We went to the parade that goes around twice, and then we drove home.

May 29, 2010

Memorial Day weekend

It's early.  It's very early.  I went to bed at 9 PM last night.  And I want to go for my walk before I head out to meet the rest of the gang.  We'll be heading out to Shelter Island this morning, it's just easier than fighting traffic Friday night.
Weather should be nice.
Last night I admired these in my garden:

The deer leave them alone.  A deer came along and munched on my newly planted, beautifully blooming rose.  And ate all the blossoms, like I set out a salad.  Grrrrrr

Really and totally annoying.
I love the foxgloves (digitalis).  And yes, I know they are poisonous.  But so are tomatoes!  Did you know that?  The plant part of a tomato is poisonous.

This year the colors of these are amazing.  They self-seed, so I don't do a thing anymore.
I'm grateful the deer leave the peonies alone.

I'm off, a cup of coffee, my walk, throw things in the car, and I'm gone.
Enjoy your weekend!

May 26, 2010

Art Museum

Got the kids from school and a play date yesterday.  And brought Jessica to the art museum where she is taking a class.  Matthew was at a playdate, and I picked him up before we went to the museum.  And he complained about having to wait there.
Even though he had his DS with him.  I then had a brilliant idea:  Let's go do your homework!
Well, you know the dirty look I got.
This is after he scammed me out of a bag of Pirate Booty and a bottle of water from the machine.
(hmm.  he's getting as good at that as his uncle when he was that age)
But we did it.
And read one whole Amelia Bedilia book, which we both enjoyed.
Jessica's homework we'd already done while getting ready for art class.
And she brought home a self-made bobble head.
And Erika made tacos for supper.

May 25, 2010


Detergent is a funny thing.  I don't think it makes the laundry clean at all.  It just gives us the illusion of clean.  Why would a brand like Tide sell a 'stain remover' if laundry detergent was effective?
Another thing I don't understand is that we in the US get to use 'dangerous' things like antiperspirant with aluminum chlorohydrate, which you can't get in German deodorants (and there must be many more examples), and you can't get a decent laundry detergent in the US?  The laundry washed in Germany in January was perfectly clean.  And don't tell me it's the hot water.  Even if I try to wash with hot water here, it doesn't come as clean.  And no, it's not the washing machine either.  I have a front loading washing machine, just like people in Germany.  It's the crappy detergent, I'm telling you!
It just makes me nuts.  We get to pour bleach all over everything.  Well, bleach is fine for a wash or two, ruins the fiber in the long run, and in the very long run, does the opposite it's supposed to, items turn yellow.  And bleach is terrible for the environment.

When I complained to Tide, that I didn't think the detergent worked, even though it's the most expensive on the market, I got a coupon for a free bottle of Tide.  Does that help?  It's so annoying.

I want clean laundry!

May 24, 2010


Noah calls me 'Sweetie'.  Hi Sweetie, he says.  His mother says that's because I call him 'Sweetie' I wasn't even aware of it until she pointed it out.

Erika threw her sister a small baby shower.  Since Nicole had Jackson when she was 31 weeks pregnant, she had the baby shower after the baby was already here.  So Erika organized the party, got the invitations out, and we aimed to surprise Nicole.
Sue made a gorgeous cake for the occasion, really beautiful, and it was delicious too!
The premise was going to see 'Sex and the City'.  Since it doesn't start until next weekend, Nicole was told we'd be seeing a preview in a theater nearby.  She swallowed it hook, line and sinker.

As she pulled up to the house, one of her friends was going in, she actually didn't recognize her and asked 'who was that?', getting, 'oh, just a neighbor, dropping something off', before she walked in.  Totally, totally surprised.

'So we're not going to the movies?'  No, Nicole!

We had a good time, and since we were only about 12 - 14 people, the opening of the gifts didn't take that  long either.
Good surprise!
These are the outfits I made for the baby.  One for a girl and one for a boy, since they don't want to know beforehand what they are having.
Her face as she walked in the door.

The gorgeous cake Sue made, and it was delicious!
The diaper cake (made by Sue) with booties that started with Jim's sister Laurie's children, her daughter will be 14 years old soon, and the booties were worn by 6 children so far, and the new baby will be the seventh!

And pregnant friends!

And Saturday Sue came with Noah just a minute after Matthew and Jessica came to spend the night.  Matthew set the tone for the evening, we went to the playground and then out for pizza.  Was good!

And yes, I have plans for Memorial Day!  Erika called and asked if I wanted to come to Shelter Island.  Yes!

May 23, 2010

Fotos from the weekend

Here are the photos from my treasures

First the cuckoo clock, and if anyone has a pendulum, I would be ever so grateful!
This cuckoo clock is a little bit larger than the regular starter version, just a bit.  The pendulum from the first cuckoo clock doesn't really fit it, I need one a little bit bigger.  But the clock does work!
Isn't it lovely?  I always wanted one and thought the prices for them insane.

This is cuckoo number one, also a treasure:

And then the Blue Willow:
And the milk can:

Totally patriotic, right?

And Sue and Noah came for the weekend, to surprise Nicole.

and Matthew and Jessica spent the night
More tomorrow....
Forgot - made the hat too!

May 22, 2010

Rummage Sale

Just got back from a little carousing through the neighborhood for garage sale treasures.


I found an awesome cuckoo clock!  Just awesome!  I'll take pictures later and show off.  From the Black Forest, is my guess.  Only thing is.... no pendulum.  Apparently the woman who donated it didn't realize all the things that went together, and the pendulum got lost.  I left my number, so hopefully they'll find it, if not, it'll be fun to make one.

Also found one of those milk cans, the huge ones, to put in front of the house.  It's lovely, black, with the American Eagle decal.  Maybe someone will try to talk me out of it.....
and more blue willow...
and more classic cook books - 10 cents a piece!

May 20, 2010

Grey's Anatomy

The season's closing is happening right now.  Let me just tell you, it's bloody.  And suspenseful.  And it's after 10 PM and I'm still up (2 hour show).
That's my teaser.

Yesterday I actually got caught up in a cop show.  I haven't watched cop shows if I could help it for years and years.  But there is really nothing interesting happening on Wednesday nights, and I flipped the channel to Fox, and started to watch - just for a minute - a show called 'The Good Guys'.  Funny!  I laughed out loud at times.

Totally enjoyed it and will watch it again.

Cold is coming to an end!

The day before yesterday I was so cold at work, that I went to the car and got the pj top I have in the bag for emergency sleep-overs (you may think what you like!), and put it on over my t-shirt. 
Yesterday was not much better.
Today I came armed with another fleece jacket, and yes, I put it on.  In the building it's chilly, and it's almost the end of May, so you wouldn't expect you need heat in a warehouse.

A friend and I went to a tag sale at a local museum on Sunday and had a blast.  She's into buying earrings, since she dresses up for work, and changes her accesories a lot.  I managed to find two glass carafes, the ones with the glass stoppers there, and another two at another garage sale.  Plus another Blue Willow plate.

My skirmish with Toyota is over.  On Monday when I called I was told, that I had to wait 5 - 10 days for the refund, since they had to get it from headquarters.  Sure, I said, hung up, and then thought about it.  I called back, saying that had they accepted the warranty in the first place, I wouldn't have had to pay at all.  True, I was told, but now it's a different situation.  I got a bit mad.  And argued back, no, it isn't, I want my money back, and what about the towing fee???  My jaw dropped when I was told, sure, give us a receipt marked paid' and  we'll refund that as well.  Can you believe it?!  Only when you ask...
And yes, I am writing a letter to the main office. 

Okay, off to work.

May 19, 2010

Bad Kreuznach

Bad Kreuznach is where this photo was taken.  The feedback I got on the pictures I used as the blog header, this was the favorite.  All rightie then, that's it - until the mood strikes me and I'll change it again.
It's as chilly here as it seems everywhere in the blogging village, in Germany, in the Pacific North-West, in CA, in VA or WV - but it's supposed to change for us tomorrow.  Sunshine and warm.

And Bad Kreuznach is a lovely town, I used to go to school there.  A very long time ago.

May 17, 2010

Tattoo, dragons

For our trip in January I bought 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo'.  It took me all the way through the time there, and I left it in Germany, my niece likes reading books in English, and Nicole didn't seem interested.  When I got home I started to look for the second book by Stieg Larsson, 'The Girl who Played with Fire'.  Couldn't find it, and was too lazy to order it on Amazon.
I found it last week in, and bought it.  I am so hooked!  It's so interesting, like the first one, the writing is compelling, really a very exciting book.  What I also discovered reading this one, is that the third book isn't even out in English yet.  Hardcover to be released this year.  Hmm.  And I could have bought it in German.  Oh, well.

I can't even share this one, because (I think) you need to read the first one before going on to number two.

Anyway, if you like to read, these books have it all, the who-done-it, character study, somewhat love stories, but love stories more like they happen in real life, with missed opportunities, rather than straight on love stories.
Only real downer:  the author died after delivering these three books, so there will not be any more for devoted readers.

May 16, 2010

Cygnets, Swans, Walk and Sunday

I already walked to my pond and back.  And discovered that the swan babies are out, and the proud mom showed them off.  Of course I didn't have my camera with me.
I went back with Sherri to exercise some more, this time with cameras.
And here they are:
the proud parents with their brood
Eight cygnets, hopefully some of them will survive.  We also saw the heron and the cormorant, the Canadian geese, the ducks, and all the other walkers admiring the swan babies. Oh, and they weren't there yesterday, so these cygnets are only 1 day old at the most!
and now my flowers, the lillies by the pond
my favorite peonie:
with the ants:
and no, not with my digital SLR, taken with a Canon point-and-shoot.
I'm a show-off, I love this time of year!
One more:
have a great Sunday!

May 15, 2010


My car was broken and got fixed two weeks ago.  A computer on board didn't work any more, the car was towed to the dealer to be fixed, and the call came that the repair was simple, but would be very expensive.
The car died in front of a mechanic's shop, who is also a friend of mine (how lucky was that!), he had checked it before he towed it to the maker/dealer, and told me that the fix should be covered by warranty.  So I was hopeful that it would cost me nothing to maybe a little.
Well, Toyo.ta told me that no, it was not under warranty, and please pay megabucks.  Since I had no choice, I paid said megabucks.

On Friday I stopped by the mechanic to pay him for towing, and he asked me how I made out.  I told him I was told, no, not under warranty and I had to pay lots of money.  He patiently told me, no, let me check, got the papers, showed me here is the problem, yup, that's the number, that was the same number on the receipt, and it should be covered by the warranty.
Today I went back to Toy.ota, and showed my receipt, showed the print-out referring to  the warranty (print-out from the Internet), and was told, so sorry, we made a mistake, of course it was under warranty, we are so sorry!  And I will get my dineros back on Monday, when the office is open.

Moral?  Never give up.  I had planned to write headquarters and complain, but thankfully, due to the diligence of my mechanic, I didn't have to.

I was so happy, I even went nuts with garage sales and found all kinds of treasures.  A brooch for me, a coocko clock for $5, trucks for the boys to play with at my house, a tin just like my mother had, it was a gift in the 1950's, filled with candy, and she kept it and used it as a sewing kit, and to keep buttons in for 50 cents, a milk-glass cruet, and some lace.
So, good day all around.  Weather is perfect, albeit (I always wanted to use 'albeit') a bit windy.
I'm off to do the dishes, and finally sew.  Birthday presents, etc....

May 14, 2010

Birthday Celebration

May is the month of birthdays.  I was invited to the birthday of a co-mother-in-law tonight.  I'm ready!  That is, I will be, after I go home and freshen up. 
Can't talk about the itty-bitty present, because it's supposed to be a tiny surprise.

Jackson showed up with his parents yesterday and used the loudspeaker system to page 'Oma, Oma, come here please!'  They went to the shore.  A mini family vacation before the family gets larger.  This is the weekend that Jackson was born - in the 31st week.  It would be great to see her go all the way to forty - not a bad number, is it?!

My plans?  Hmmm, garage sales, although there are precious few.  Sewing.  Two dresses.  At least.

May 12, 2010

Alone again

Noah's parents picked him up.  He was quite unhappy to be woken from an almost 3-hour nap.  But glad to see his folks.


Noah will be picked up today.  He is a gorgeous little boy.  So sweet, smiles at everyone, can pronounce everyone's name, says hello, is delighted to see his cousins, and easy to take care of.  That I didn't get any work done yesterday, well, he is only (not yet) two.  I thought he could be kept busy, maybe even take a nap while watching 'Cars', and yes,  he did, but only while I was holding him.  That's all right, I'm not that busy anyway.
We then picked up the cousins, and they were delighted to see each other.  

His parents are enjoying their stay at the Finger lakes in upstate NY.   
Rain here today.  And hopefully better weather for the weekend.

May 11, 2010

Cold Tuesday

Wow, what a weekend!  Started with the arrival of my son with his wife and son.  My son-in-law surprised me with Matthew and Jessica.  And the weekend was off!  Saturday we got together again, this time we had Jessica with us, since her mother had to work, and she was in no mood to go to the Mets game, as originally planned. 

Jackson came with his parents, plus another couple, who were waiting for good news. It was lovely, a cookout, kids piled on the bench like visioned, just lovely.
The mini-lilacs were blooming:

and I blew out birthday candles:
yes, while someone was calling me, wishing happy birthday.
here is the munchkin who is staying with me.
some of Saturday's cook-out gang, and
And just like I thought, the pile-up on the bench.

And Sunday's pile-up on the couch
Too little to really get them to sit and 'smile'.
and our attempts at getting them there.
Yesterday I took the day off, and we played with cousins and wished Erika a happy birthday.

May 7, 2010

Birthday, Visit

What a gorgeous day it is again!  This really deserves an exclamation mark.

Chuck and Sue and Noah are on the way, and  I can't wait to see them.
(Chuck, you have a to-do list, sorry).  I will leave work early and beat the traffic, and hopefully my visitors home.

I found a Seabra's!  Right around the corner from the bank.  A Portuguese  grocery store, with the best bread in the world.  Beats the Italian bread hands down.  And I stocked up.

Everyone called except my older (younger) brother.  How dare he!  I guess I will have to call and request my 'happy birthday'.

Matthew was cute, he sang me the 'this is your birthday song, and it isn't very long', on the phone this morning.
And I got a happy birthday, Oma,  call from Jackson.  And Noah sang the birthday song for me over the phone.
And Krista, Thomas, Cathy, Christa, Nicole, Erika, Chuck, all called.
Thank you!
These two photos match my mood.  Happy pictures from the Chihuly exhibit in the NY Botanical Garden.
This was BB (before blogging).

May 6, 2010


What a gorgeous day today!  So was yesterday.  One of those fabulous 'Top of the World Trade Center' days I used to think.  Empire State Building now, I guess.  (It's not the same)

I had Jessica yesterday at work with me all day.  She was too contagious to go to school, so she hung out with me.  I'm tough, I'm not afraid of contagious.  We did a Costco run, went to the post office, cut out a dress for her, she drew - lots of pictures for mommy, and we put the drops in her eyes.  Fun to hang out with her.

Tomorrow the - so far - youngest - member of our family will come with his parents.  And stay with me for a few days.  I'm so looking forward to it!

And we will get together for Mother's Day.  That's something I'm looking forward to.  Plus the round of birthdays will now start, we will fall from one birthday to the next.  Jessica will be six!  Noah two, Jackson three, Erika - no, I'm not going there.  And Chuck is in the mix too, as am I - and Ron and Beth....
Happy Birthday to me!

PS: ... and I got the most beautiful card from a great friend today.  Thank you, Linda!

May 4, 2010


Jessica has pink eye.

I went to jury duty today.  For the first time, and I found it very interesting.  We were a group of over 80 people, watched a little movie about jury duty, listened to a very inspirational speech by our jury manager, and then waited to see if we would be called.  Half of our group was called, and we trouped 4 flights of stairs to a court room.  Where a very nice judge explained it all again, and then the selections were slowly made.  One by one, with some being excused.  I was half hoping I would be picked, and at the same time dreading it.  Oh, to spend three days, possibly four, on jury duty, and then also being responsible for the outcome - a lot of pressure.  It was only Petite Jury, so not a huge deal.

So I was just as happy to walk out of the courthouse and back into my life.

Which included getting Jessica from Aftercare, and bringing her to her art class.  Where I left her with my phone, since I was going back to the house.  Her mother picked her up.
As I was walking out the door, I looked at Jessica, and noticed that one of her eyes was swollen and red.  She has pink-eye, I thought....
It came on so fast!  One hour later her mother brought her to the doctor, and yes, that's what it was.

Quick lapse into the past, my young readers may exit stage left now.
Years ago, my folks were both still alive, we went to Lake Constance in Germany (Bodensee).  Erika was doing her European tour with a girlfriend, and Nicole and Chuck were with me, so was Kerstin, my niece.  We were there with my folks camper, and the week was pretty lousy as far as weather was concerned.  The kids slept in the camper, so did my folks, and since there wasn't enough room, I slept in the tent in front on a well, what do you call those things?  You  lay on them on a porch, or deck... like I said, the nights were... something to be desired.

During that vacation Chuck came down with bright red eyes.  Our departure date back to the States wasn't that far away, but we still had a few days in Germany before boarding that plane.  And the eye didn't get better, even with over-the-counter drops.  I had to bite the bullet and go see an eye doctor with my son, fearing all the while that the bill would be exorbitant.   Made an appointment, went to probably one of the most well-equipped offices I've ever been to.  And my diagnosis was confirmed (I do have some kind of badge for being a mother of three, someday I'll find it), pink eye or conjunctivitis.
Medicine was prescribed, picked-up and we were asked to come back a few days later.  No bill yet.  So we bought the meds, came back, were pronounced healed, and presented with the  most ridiculous low bill of any medical service I've ever seen.

May 3, 2010

Lawn (not mowed)

Weekend was hot.  Yesterday humid and hot.

I had enough energy to walk three times around the pond - in company, thank you Sherri!

And then cleaned up the yard some, and did some work around the house.  Not too much, I was still tired from the day before.

Gotta get a new faucet for the kitchen.  Why do they make plastic parts in faucets that can break?!  Why?!  On the other hand, I had the faucet since 1992.  Then again, some faucets are 100 years old or more.

Anyway, anyone have any suggestion on the type of faucet?  I liked the one I have, a sprayer and faucet all in one, no handles on the side, just a handle on the top.

I talked to Noah on the phone this morning.  He was telling me 'gulla'.  Which translated means he is holding (snug)galla, those little blankets with a bear head.
  And that was it for my weekend.

May 2, 2010


Baglady, that's what I was yesterday.  Trying to sell my bags.  The day was gorgeous, even hot.  I had a hat and sunglasses on all day, but still got  a sunburn on my shoulders.
The sale went all right.  Not great, just all right.  I sold some bags, but only after I marked them down to a price I wouldn't normally mark them down to.  I just didn't want to go home with all my bags.
And yes, I would and will do this sale again.

I met some very nice people, Barbara, who was selling books next to me, was very nice, and we chattet  throughout the day and enjoyed ourselves.  Penny, my friend who got me into the sale, was awesome, and it was fun.

My son-in-law ran a difficult quarter marathon yesterday, with an elevation difference of over 6,000 feet, through mud and water, and I can't wait to find out how he did.

I got asked out to dinner with four other remarkable ladies last night.  We had so much fun, laughing and talking and reminiscing and all of us wondering what happened to time (and how we got so old).  And after we had dinner in a (very) noisy Italian restaurant, we went to B.'s house and sat out on the porch until almost midnight.

To fill in some:  car repair was expensive.  And it was a computer in/on the car, and it took at most 20 mins. to swap out, and then T.oyota wanted dineros.  Lots of them.

Today?  What'll I do today?  Walk to and around the pond.   And then - maybe sew, maybe clean up around my house....  Enjoy the day!