September 29, 2010


The sky on the way home last night was very dramatic:

Yes, I took those while driving home.
We had a tornado warning last late afternoon for a couple of hours.  Matthew and I made contingency plans in case one was close.  We were going in the basement.  That was good enough for him.

And this morning this photo, taken because of the way the light hits the wires.

Yes, I'm driving into the sun.  I like the light on the wires - it looks like they're liquid.
And no, traffic is usually bumper to bumper.

September 27, 2010


It's raining.  Hard.  Not a big deal, we do need the rain.  This morning at 6 AM it was just moist in the air, enough for me to grab a coat for my walk.  It didn't rain, but was oh, so very gently, drizzling.  And on my way up the hill I was hot enough to take the jacket off.
Oh, and I did see a wild turkey, outlined against the school fence, it looked like it didn't want to move until I got really close.
We celebrated Matthew's birthday on Saturday. His mother made fondue. Two different kinds of cheese fondue with bread and vegetables, and then chocolate fondue, two different kinds, plain and then flavored with some Frangelico - delicious, served with strawberries, marshmallows and brownies - so yummy we were tempted to lick the plate.
(which Erika did, sssshhhhhh)
When asked if that was the birthday he had imagined, Matthew nodded his head, yes, it was.

On his real birthday, everyone called him, I even managed to have my brother on the phone, who said a quick hello, plus his cousins called, his aunts, uncles, and grandfather, grandmother, not a single relative let the day go by.
Next birthday in the family?  The end of December.  And then a whole slew in January.
Yard sale in the morning.  I got a brooch made up of gaudy rhinestones, I've been collecting those since I saw a friend dress up a rather drab black sweater.  What a smashing difference!  And finding them in yard sales - easy!
And another covered milk glass dish.  I've been collecting milk glass for years, but just now are the covered milk glass dishes appearing in yard sales.  From the 1950's even.
Saturday I found the fondue dish, a Belgian covered enameled cast iron covered dish, a boogie board requested by the family, trucks for little boys who come visit, a 25 cent doll for Jessica, books for the kids....and fabric.
Not bad.

September 23, 2010

Harvest Moon

It was still dark when I left the house to go on my walk.  The moon was hidden behind some trees, and I checked to see, since the light was so brilliant, that I thought about going back and getting my camera.  Then, when I saw it, it was big, but the lit up area around it was huge. 
I saw a fawn as a silhouette against the still dark sky.  It watched me for a while, then raised it's white tail and ducked down the embankment.  I peeked over it, and there was the mom with her three fawns making sure I stayed up on the road. 
When I got to the pond, the moon was totally romantic and captivating.  It was warm, and there were a few people already there.  The younger man who always walks, the one woman with the black dog, the car of the older people was there, and the one older dog walker was making his way around.  The man with the 'smiling' dog was just leaving. 

The white dots are the lamps, still on this early in the morning.  There is a paved walkway all the way around the pond, one of the reasons it's so popular. 
I tried to hustle back up the hill to catch the moon just as it disappears, but the moon was faster and already gone.
This is my meditation, my solitude, something I look forward to.

September 21, 2010


Fondue is requested for Matthew's birthday dinner on Saturday.  He really wanted to go to the Melting Pot, but for an eighth birthday, and a dinner that lasts at least 3 hours+, his mom offered the option of doing it at home.
Can we have cheese?  And bread?  And the chocolate dipped strawberries?  Yes, he can.  So I dug out my fondue pot as well, since there will be the main event and desert on the fondue menu.  Yes, it's from Germany, bought over 40 years ago, and I still have it.  (note to self - someday you have to go through your house and get rid of things!).
Maybe the Noah and his Mom can be there too, that would be fun!

Jessica is off with her Dad to piano lessons.  She envisions us standing around her at Christmas time, when she'll be playing Christmas Charols and she'll be playing the piano.  Why not?

I made her an adorable skirt with shorts attached out of a brown cotton knit  with pink and white flowers.  She paired it with a pink top, and it's adorable.  I found the pattern on the Internet, and will definitely be making it again.  Drat, I forgot where.  And I have to take pictures!

Oh, and Nicole and Greg have a fig tree - more like a fig bush, really, but there it is.  It looks every spring like it's done for - dead, nothing but black sticks.  Well, neither one is crazy about figs, I'm the only one truly happy with the harvest!  And yes, last weekend I found about 8 ripe figs on the tree-bush.  I have to remember to tell them to check if there are more figs - soooo good!

Now if I only will find a chance to go to the Skylands Botanical Garden and find the Osage oranges that my cousin picked every October she was here....

September 19, 2010

Sunday in September

On Friday morning I left my house intending fully to return in the evening.  Things change.  I left my cell phone at home, forgot it in the pocket of the coat I meant to wear.  I had to pick up children after work, I brought them home, and their mother was back from a week-long trip to the nation's capital for work.
Happy kids!

The mom took Jess to a birthday party, and I took Matthew to soccer practice.  The wrong field!  No one told me which field - but that was quickly rectified.

Then off to the toddler and the baby, I wanted to stop at home first to get my phone, a change of clothes, my book and my pillow (love my pillow, hate to sleep other places without it).  Well, once again after Labor Day traffic going West on a Friday was at a virtual stand-still.  Crawling.  So instead of going home, I skipped that half-hour plus on the highway and turned off toward mother and children.  Much better choice!
Yes, two days in the same clothes could be managed. 
(Note to self: stash some clothes at Nicole's).

And the happy news that friends of ours eloped!   Yup, got married while on vacation in Bali.
How very romantic....
Congratulations, Dani and Holger!

September 17, 2010


Not official yet, but it looks like there was a tornado in Brooklyn yesterday.

We also had a bad storm in NJ, I didn't even notice at first, since I was cooking, making curry chicken with coconut milk sauce.  Matthew called me, look, Oma, it's raining!

And the wind was blowing a drenching rain sideways.  Really - sideways!
It lasted maybe 10 - 15 minutes, and slowed down.  Some thunder and lightning, but not much.

Jessica and her Dad had gone to gymnastics, and to gauge by the timing shouldn't have been caught in it (they weren't).
Then I turned on the TV, and our local station in NYC reported only about the storm. A lot of damage!

In 15 minutes!

The weather is supposed to be gorgeous over the weekend.
I'm hanging out with a baby, his mother and a toddler.
Can't wait.

September 16, 2010

All is well

The kids are fine, I'm fine - all is well with the world.  I'm picking up M&J after school just about every day - my side job.  Yesterday was soccer for Matthew, today it's gymnastics for Jessica after school.

Nicole called me, they took Evan for his 2-months check-up.  Nicole got her case all together, she diagnosed Evan with having reflux, and she even brought a video of him doing the typical baby-reflux thing to the doctor to convince her.  And it worked.  Evan is now on the meds he needs to be on to get to the point of having a mature esophagus.

I did my walk around my pond this morning and this is what I saw when I was starting to go back home:
taken with my cell phone.  Not bad, right?

September 13, 2010

For my cousin

I got a loving e-mail today, reminding me gently that I haven't blogged and haven't e-mailed.  Was everything all right?  Yes, it is.
The weekend was go go go.  Friday I didn't have to pick up small children, so I went to Jo-Ann's and indulged in fabric.  And ran right to a Pampered Chef party and enjoyed myself.  (Pampered Chef, for those who don't know, is a home-party selling kitchen gadgets -  A bunch of women - what a blast!
Saturday started early with my friend asking me to come along to the Chester Craft Fair with her and her sister.  I want a sister!  It was so much fun to watch those two!

And I saw my first fall tree while walking through Chester.  The craft fair was fun, although everything seemed expensive.  Which I understand, one has to live in this country, and everything needs to be paid for.... so....

 and a skeleton  for Halloween:

Anyway, we got lots of ideas, since our budgets didn't allow purchases.  We had lunch, we wandered the rest of the craft fair, and it got later then I thought, because I then had a dinner invitation from Erika, Jim, Matthew and Jessica.
When I got there, I found out, that Linda, who works with me, condemned my daughters to make a fuss over me, after all it was Grandparents Day on Sunday!  Yes, she did.  Told them what to do - have a dinner, get me a card, make me feel special, would you believe?
I had picked up the game 'bananarama' and we played that with the kids for hours.  Special?  Yes.,

And yesterday I was invited to go apple picking with Nicole and her family. 
Early, early in the morning, since it was supposed to (and did) rain.  And it was wonderful.  Instead of going to the great apple picking orchard we've been going to in the past, which is terrific, but very, very crowded and very, very commercial, we went to a family owned and run orchard in Warwick, NY.  We were the only ones there, we had the entire orchard to ourselves, and all the trees were full of apples.

Jackson got to jump in the blow-up castle at the end of our successful roam all over the orchard, with the owner's twin daughters. 

that's how excited Evan was with our apple picking idea.  But then he got fed, and all was good.

Getting home I ran to Joann's again with my friend who had gone to the craft fair to get supplies to start in on our ideas.

And that was the weekend! 
I'm back watching small children - love it!

September 9, 2010


This is it - last post about the mini-vacation.
Here are a few photos of us in the rain, first one Erika and I running toward the house
then one of us splashing in the rain in the water.  The temperature was great - there really wasn't a difference between the ocean and the air, which made it very pleasant.
what fun, and what a great memory.
and the boys all wet, having ridden their bikes in the rain.

In the meantime, we're back, Matthew and Jessica have started school, it's very exciting, and I pick them up after school, standing by the school with all the other moms, grandmas, dads, and grandpas, waiting until the teacher pairs each child with his/her relative/pick-upper.
Weird for my European readers, right?  Yeah, I think so too.

Today it's actually 'cool'.  Cool meaning 21 C in the house, a little less outside.  Still sandals and shorts.  Okay, I wore leggings for my morning walk, but shorts would have been fine.  I'm good with that!
The weekend?  No idea.  I should get going on my kitchen renovation, maybe I'll get going with that....

September 6, 2010

Block and Shelter Island

More Block Island photos - it was just so gorgeous there, and we so lucked out with the weather.  The ferry was going to be closed/not running the next day, since that was the hurricane day.
So we enjoyed our very fast, and somewhat choppy ride back to the dock where the fishing boats were lined up for the night already:
A wonderful day, we went home and had dinner and went to bed wondering about the next day.

Which had a beautiful start:
Truly amazing. 

Then it got cloudy, and more clouds started piling in.  Not raining yet, so we decided to pull out the bikes and go for a ride.  We got pretty far considering a three-year old was pedaling with us, we went to the boat yard and watched them pull boats out of the water.
Then it started drizzling.  And then, as we were on the way back to the house, pouring.  Jessica was screaming, she hated being in the rain, and Erika and she took off.  I hung back to give moral support to Jackson, but Greg sent me on.  When he got back, just a few minutes later, he was laughing, and saying that Jackson aimed for the puddles, pulled up his feet and rode yelling 'wiiiiii' through the puddles.
Well, then it was back inside, playing games - Scrabble for the adults - Wii for the boys, with rain off and on.

At some point in the afternoon, when the hurricane was a possibility, and we had received a call from the town to be prepared for winds, etc., we decided to just go outside.  It wasn't very windy, not raining hard, and it wasn't cold.  The kids and I tried the water, and before we knew it, all of us except the moms were in the water swimming in the rain.  It was fabulous!  No, no pictures,  not from me, I was to happy having fun.

Yes, we were lucky we were spared the storm.

The next day we had one of those perfect, washed clean days, blue, blue skies, cool, dry air, windy but not cold, perfect.  And far windier than in the announced hurricane that wasn't.
This is my sunrise that day:
Do you see the moon?

We 'walked' the ferry to Greenport
More tomorrow!

September 5, 2010

Unofficial Summer's Finish

And I was without Internet access for four days.  And I didn't miss it.

What did we do?

We went out to Shelter Island on Wednesday and arrived in time to go to the picnic at the Pridwin, that Erika wanted to try for years.  We weren't the only ones, and enjoyed it:

Jessica is wearing one of the dresses I made her
The kids had fun playing by the water after:
The next morning we left early to go to Montauk and catch the boat to Block Island, RI
and we saw the Montauk lighthouse in the distance
And one of the lighthouses on Block Island
If that doesn't look New England....
This guy had the best time running in and out of the waves, screaming with fun

 And after the kids were done playing in the water, they ran up and down the dune until all were tired.

and more photos tomorrow....