February 27, 2011

Sunday, and the Oscars!

Usually I don't go overboard with the Oscars.  And it's not different this year.  I only saw a couple of the movies that are up to win, and one of them last night.  Sherri and Steve invited me over for dinner, and they had rented 'Salt' and 'The Social Network'.  They were both 'eh'.
Salt was entertaining, and somewhat typical of the genre, and The Social Network didn't endear Facebook to me any more than it was before.  I don't even know why I am keeping up my FB account, it's so locked-down that hardly anyone can get to me or share something with me, and aside from that I'm using my maiden name.

No, I'm not that worried about security, I trust Aunt or Uncle Google with a lot of stuff.  I figure with all of us out there spewing data into the stratosphere someone will have to dig pretty deep to get to a little old (opinionated) lady like me.

This isn't even what I wanted to blog about!  Sometimes I just sit down and it just comes out.

Anyway, we had pea soup last night (made in the pressure cooker, which Sherri used for the first time in 10 years), it was very good, and potatoes baked in aluminum foil in the fire place - those are just delicious!

Today is clean-up day.  Trying to get all the stuff I don't need or want or will never use out of the house - ha!
I have to laugh at that idea myself.  But I'll try.
I also saw the first tips of the snow drops and daffodils peeking out of the ice and snow out back!
Yeah, spring will come!

February 23, 2011


Puuuh, I'm tired tonight.  It seemed like a long day.

I brought my serger (overlock) to the repair shop yesterday, since one of the loopers was acting loopy.  The seam it sewed was really not very pretty at all, and it was holding me up, I just couldn't get it fixed.  They have a 24 hour turn-around, and I dropped the machine off, and worked on the filters, cutting fabric pieces, sewing in zippers, etc.  This morning I got the call the serger was fixed.  So I went to get it, brought it back, and it's a pain to set it up, it has to be connected to all the threads again - 5 of them, the belt has to be attached, and then it's a go.
No, it's a no-go, since something is hitting the housing.  Brief discussion with myself - do I really want to figure out what it is?  No, I decide.  That means lugging it back to the car, driving it all the way across town, and then waiting for it to be fixed.  Of course it wasn't the fault of the fix-it place, it had to have happened while I transported it!  Well, I let it go, since it got fixed, and that's what I wanted.

And then I hustled.  I got 22 of my 15' filters with zippers on the end done.  Tomorrow more cutting and sewing.

No wonder I'm tired!
The header photo was taken a while ago in NYC, in Central Park, and in the background is the Dakota Building.  I read a book by Jack Finney 'Time and Again', and I fell in love with the idea in the book of going back in time and visit NYC at the end of the 1800's and the beginning of the 1900's.  The book is based on that idea with photos of New York at that time.
And the Dakota Building plays a part in that book.  At the time the Building was built, it was so far up in the city, that people said 'it might as well be in the Dakotas'.  And that's where the building got the name.
 I still pull the book out once in a while and read bits of it.  Actually it's probably the 2nd or 3rd time I buy and lend it.  I keep lending it, and when I find it at a garage sale, I buy it again.

What's one of the books you find you buy over and over again?

PS - 'The Shipping News' by Annie Proulx is an another one I have to have....

February 20, 2011

The Sheltered Island

That's where I was overnight.  So quiet and sleepy in the winter.  And so awfully cold!  Yesterday was cold and windy anyhow.  Jessica and I braved the weather and wanted to have just a moment outside.
Cold, cold!
She's a good sport

And yes, that's part of the Atlantic.  The 'sheltered' part, but still, that cold wind from the sea whips across this island too.

And, unless you bring your own boat, below is the only way to get there.

What did we do?  We left late on Saturday,
 then stopped at a couple of wineries.
We played Scrabble with Matthew
and he won (okay, he had help)
We had supper at the house,
then watched a movie before going to bed.
The wind was blowing and howling around the house.
It felt so cozy.
In the morning:

The light coming in hit the ship just right.
And it was too cold to go photograph the sunrise (15 degrees F)

This is where we stopped on the way home:
Channing daughters winery

And no photos of our stop at the Vodka distillery!

I'll go cry in a corner now about the snow to arrive tomorrow....

February 17, 2011

Rocky Horror Picture Show

Last night nothing was on TV.  So I flipped (I can, I'm all alone, the remote is mine!!!  Queen of the remote!).  Anyway, I got stuck at the beginning of 'The Rocky Horror Picture Show'.
Since this is my blog, I get to tell about how I found out about this cult classic.  In 1985 I had my girl-friends son from Germany staying with me as an exchange student - actually that's a whole new story in itself.

Anyhow, during that year I was also hanging out with Colleen from across the street.  We'd do goofy things, hang out, laugh, etc.  One night C comes over and says 'what are you doing tonight?'   'oh, nothing' was my usual response.  So she told me to get dressed, we were going to go see the RHPS with Gregor at midnight.  I had heard about it (some people went over 400 times!), cult classic, I tell you!

Kids stayed home.  Well, it was all that I heard about it!  The audience answered questions, sang the songs, it was wild.  I didn't expect to like the movie, but some of the songs just stay with you, there is a reason it was the theaters so long!  Okay, you forced me to admit it, I liked it. (sorta like Las Vegas, I didn't expect to like that either, German austere Protestant upbringing and all...)
Actually I just looked it up, it came out in 1975, and we went to see it in 1985, and it had never left the theaters.  Unheard of in today's time.

Anyway, the whole thing is just captivating.  Yes, I'm a fan.  Susan Sarandon, how young she is in that movie!  And Tim Curry - I just wait for him to come down that elevator - what a role!  And I wonder if and how much courage it took to play that part.

It put a smile on my face.  My favorite song, you ask?  I don't know, I like 'there's a light over at the Frankenstein place',

or the 'Sweet Transvestite' - I'm still full of admiration for Tim Curry taking on that role, there has to be a little of, oh, never mind, a lot of 'let it all hang out' spirit there!

the 'Time Warp', of course ----
and more.  No, I didn't see the whole thing, just up to 'I am making a man'.

And no, I never went to the theater to see it again either.

And remind me to tell the Gregor story some time.  The one with the boa constrictor.

February 16, 2011


Work is ... well, unexpected.  I am working by myself now, since the money wasn't coming in as regularly as I liked.  So now that it's only me, wouldn't you know it's pretty steady!  I just got a pretty big order from a customer, 60 filters, to be finished in 3 weeks.  Pretty easy, just a straight tube, with a zippered closure.  I was a bit nervous, but I started today and was already able to sew 30 of the 60 zippered closures.  The customer dropped off a check today, so I'll get the rest of the material tomorrow.

And oh! it got warmer.  Still long underwear in the warehouse kind of cold, but definitely warmer.  Heaps of snow are melting/disappearing without a whimper.  Good, right?

And I hopped on the treadmill again.  I had taken a break, it somehow seemed I was too tired.  Maybe when all the mess is gone, I'll take up my morning walk again.  It was just too dangerous at the moment.

February 14, 2011


Valentine's Day - is there an equivilant to 'bah humbug'?  One for Valentine's Day?  Hmm, maybe there should be.  No chocolates, no roses....  but a long phone conversation with my little brother (the older of the two, they are both little brothers).  And funny, too, that I call them little brothers, the older of the two is 6'6" (2 Meters), the little, little one only a little bit shorter than the older.

Actually I didn't mean to go there.  I just meant to tell about my weekend without any photos at all!  My daughters came over with their 'youngens', and we had a lovely afternoon together.  I made clam chowder from scratch (New England, of course!)  and tried the crazy no-knead recipe for bread I had found.  Crazy because you need at least 18 hours of 'messing around/rising' time, and it's baked in a cast-iron pot with the lid ON.  I had serious doubts about it, but it was crazy enough to give it a shot.  When I took the bread out, I was convinced it was ruined.  But no, very crunchy on the outside, nice and tender on the inside!  If I get the timing right, I'll make it again.

Anyway, I was meant to keep Jessica and Matthew overnight, and when Jackson asked if he could stay as well, of course I said 'yes'.  Which meant that all of us piled on the trundle bed (pull out), and I had to promise Matthew that I wouldn't sneak off and sleep in my bed.  And stay there until he woke up.  All right!  And then we got up, and Jackson came and joined us.  And he told me later also not to leave before he wakes up.
This is getting difficult!

Chocolate chip pancakes in the morning.  Yummy!

February 10, 2011

Brooklyn Bridge and new skyscraper

Back in October I walked the Brooklyn Bridge with my friends Sherri and Steve.  We noticed this skyscraper and wondered about it, not having heard anything about new skyscrapers, or anything else.  It is remarkable looking, and today in the New York Times the mystery was solved.
It's designed by Frank Gehry, one of the famous architects, who also designed the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain.  I guess we weren't interested enough to check on it at the time.  
The NYTimes calls it the finest skyscraper in almost 50 years.

We appreciated it on our walk, and appreciate it even more now.
(note to self, let Sherri know)

February 6, 2011

Sunday, and NO new snow!

It rained yesterday.  And that's enough about the weather.

A little bit about work.  I sew for a living, and no, I am no expert.  The sewing I do at work is so much different than home sewing, it's two different sets of skills.  For one, the sewing machines are heavy duty, sort of like driving a truck, partially with the possibility of great speed, against driving a mini cooper.
Some of the machines are very old, like this example from the 1930's, and yes, it still works:
It has the free arm, and I can't find any newer machines like this, that are reasonable.  It has double needles, and it's a bear to work with, since for some reason the power to the machine is intermittent, which means sometimes it races and breaks the thread, and sometimes I have to coax it to even start.
And then I sew on something like thick felt, with one side coated with a thin layer of plastic/polyester:

And I not only have to sew them into shapes, I also have to sew in a metal frame.  Yes, nothing in home sewing comes close.  Home sewing machines seem slow and delicate to me when I sew 'for fun'.  To give another example, the finest needles I have at work are an 18.  Mostly I sew with a 20 needle, sometimes 22, and as a home sewer you may know that most of the time you tend to stay around 10, above or below.  And that's what the machines are set for, I'd have to have them set-up for finer threads and needles.

Change of subject.

And since I posted about Matthew and his injuries (he's much better now, thank you), I have to post something about Jessica.  She was busy drawing and making books about bunny and 'tertl' on her snow day.
And I just love that grin.

Yesterday I was brave and drove in weather I normally would have avoided, to hang out with a six-month old and his brother and mother.  While I was driving up their driveway, which is an eighth of a mile long, I came across this:
Greg promised me he'd look today for some of the antlers, which they shed at this time.  They should be easier to spot on the snow.
Finding antlers, or complete racks is my brother Claus' sport.  And he finds pairs, which is pretty special.
But I maybe told you about that already?
Anyway, here is a happy 6 1/2 mos. old:

We gave him some of those baby treats on a tray.  He managed to get one in his mouth, and wasn't impressed.

Coming home after some shopping, this was in the driveway:

No kidding.
Enjoy your Sunday, stay warm, and have fun if you are watching the Super Bowl.

February 4, 2011


Thank you all so much for worrying about me!  Yes, the photos in the last entry were taken while driving.  But the dangerous looking ones, with the truck next to and behind me were taken while practically standing still or crawling at 5 MPH past an accident.  Which I also photographed, but it's not much to see, they were cleaning up the accident as we were passing.
Just to keep things exciting, we are looking forward to another snow storm tomorrow.
I'll keep you posted!

February 2, 2011


And I did go to work.  And yes, it didn't look good ---- here are some scenes from today:

And then I got to the kids, and Matthew fell on his face while sledding in front of the house.  And this is the kind of damage the layer of ice does:

Poor baby!

The Ice Storm commeth

Well, the above is the title of a show that was on Broadway, a long time ago.  And I just saw that I'm not very original with that title.  It's being used in just about every newspaper that is covering the storm here in the Northeast.
Home again today.
No driving, the schools are closed all over the place.  No NJ buses, some trains are suspended, flights are cancelled, it's a mess.  And I am NOT putting my body in the middle of it.  No, sirree babadoo, staying in.
All those projects I've been procrastinating on can be worked on.  Or not.
I have enough food, the electricity is working so far, I have heat, I'm fine.
Yesterday I put my trusty camera on a tripod and came up with this:
My beloved Amaryllis

This one grew out of an offshoot of one of the others, I've been nourishing it for years, it's finally blooming.
I made my own 'cakes' for the birds yesterday.  I like the suet cakes, they are a little more squirrel proof.  But all the stores were out of them.  So I bought some cheap shortening at Walmart, melted it in a pot, and added seeds.  I then put the mix in shallow bowls, stuck them in the freezer for a little while, and was able to just pop them out.  And the birds love them!

Correction:  I just remembered the show was called 'The Ice Man commeth'.

February 1, 2011


Eskimos are supposed to have lots of different words for snow.
We don't, but we have and are getting a lot of snow.
I was going to go to work this morning, but - you guessed it - we are having another snow storm.
It's supposed to last through tomorrow.
I was trying not to be  a baby about driving in it, but I have to get up a fairly big hill to go home, and if just one car is in front of me, I won't make it.  And even our town, which is excellent about snow removal, gets behind sometimes.  So home it is for me.
Maybe I can catch up on some of my projects.  The trouble is that I get tired shoveling snow, and then I have no energy for fun projects I might like to do.

Anyway, enough complaining about the snow, some more photos of fun driving in the stuff when the sun is out:

Going to work in the morning when it's sunny.