August 31, 2011


For us life returned to normal.  Work (which also wasn't damaged), commute (slightly harder because of some closed exits), evenings (TV), all back to 'regular schedule'.
For a lot of people it is still not back to normal.  Floods - the rivers are cresting NOW - closed roads because of flooding or damage, no electricity, no, we're still not all  the way back.  Just some lucky 'us'.

The walk around the pond is interrupted by a taped off area, some trees are ready to fall, and need to be taken down.  Not safe.  Some dark areas there as well.  And lucky, lucky me that that is the only inconvenience!

We had planned to go to Windham, NY for the weekend.  I still don't know if we will, since there was a terrible flood in Windham.  The house we want to stay at is not affected at all, it's just will we be able to get there?  No idea yet, we'll find out!

August 29, 2011

post hurricane

While the hurricane roared through the area, we slept.  I woke up briefly, went to look at the trees waving in the wind, listened to the rain, and went back to bed.  Sometime during the night the electricity went out.
We woke up to rain and wind, not bad, though.  We went for a what we thought short ride around the neighborhood, which ended up a little more extensive, we got coffee, and checked out which shops where open.  We lazed around the house, decided what else we needed, went and got it, and went home again.
And waited for the power to be restored.  That happened sometime in the middle of the night, after we heard our neighbors struggling with a generator.
We did go for a walk, to my usual pond, a little bit around town,
All my kids are/were fine.

I just got back from my walk.  I only walked partway around the pond, it was still dark, and the power isn't restored in that section of town yet.  And I met another walker, who told me that the other (dark) side was strewn with debris, and that he fell twice.  No need for that!  And I feel very grateful and lucky.

Here are some fun pictures from yesterday, some from the man-made lake nearby, water spilling over the dam and kids having fun sliding down the embankment:

Doesn't that look like fun?  Okay, not the kind 'I have to mop up the basement  because there is water in it' kind of fun.
Seen on our walk yesterday:

I'm off to work!

And thank you to my little brother, who called yesterday morning from Germany to ask how we were doing, and after checking on the Internet, told us what was going on in the world, since we had no power, no Internet, no email....
And Bon Voyage to my cousin, who will be going on a cruise on Wednesday, which sound just wonderful!

August 26, 2011

Irene --- our expected hurricane

Life is normal for us so far.  It's Friday, he already went to work, I will go as soon as I share my thoughts and a recipe here.
Someone asked for the chicken pot pie recipe, and here it is.  We use P.ilsbury pie crust, ready made, it can't be beat.

1/3 cup butter or chicken fat
1/3 cup flour (all purpose)
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 3/4 cups chicken or turkey broth
2/3 cup milk (we used cream)
1 package (10 ounces) frozen peas and carrots (we used peas only - just because)

Heat butter over low heat until melted, blend in flour, onion, salt and pepper.  Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mix is mooth and bubbly, remove from heat.
Stir in broth and milk (we used extra liquid, since we like it moist).  Heat to boiling, stirring constantly.  Boil and stir 1 minute.  Stir in chicken and frozen vegetables, reserve.
This is where I filled the ready-made pie crust.  If you need a recipe for pie crust, drop me a note!
Oh, and Bake at 425 F oven until crust is brown.  Oh, and you know about putting a top on the filling and fluting it?  Yes?  You're all set!  Oh, and if you have someone creative in your life, hand them the pie before putting it in the oven, and ask them to make the vent holes.  See what may happen?

Bon Appetite!

Forgot to talk about Irene.  So far - ho hum, we'll see what happens.  We're supposed to have the garage sale tomorrow, it depends on when the hurricane hits, before we make up our minds, I guess.

August 25, 2011

Chicken pot pie

We made chicken pot pie last night.  The last few days it has been just beautiful, cool nights, not too hot during the day, 'normal' weather.  I'm sure the heat and humidity will come back with a vengeance before summer's end, but for a bit we can move easy.
And turn on the stove, bake a chicken, and then make pot pie.
Look at the pot pie!

 the creator of the face
 the finished pie
and the inside - yummy!

August 24, 2011

Earthquake, hurricane, wasps, what else?

The earthquake that was felt on the East Coast yesterday didn't bother us much.  I didn't feel it, I was in the car. My daughter, who was in the office, was dizzy, and didn't know what was happening until later.  My son and family, who live in Maryland, are fine.  The others were/are in Canada at Niagara Falls.
Big excitement, not much to it.
The bees are still around, despite being sprayed with chemicals.  Even in the evening and early morning they are flying around.  I can't go near, because of allergies.  Hmm.  Try Home Depot for stronger chemicals?

We'll be having a garage sale this weekend.  Since there will be changes in my house, I'm going through closets, and deciding what else can go.  Living in a house for over 30 years, one accumulates a lot of stuff, especially when one has a passion for garage sales (me)!  Well, I did limit myself to the house, refusing to consider storing things in the attic, reason being that if one person living in a house by herself can't store her stuff in said house without spilling over, she should be considered being a hoarder.
Speaking of hoarding, I had to laugh when a friend of mine said she watched a whole afternoon's worth of the hoarding show, and ended up cleaning out her kitchen!  Talk about an effective show!

More rigorous checking of my abode is required.  I have stuff in the garage, meant for donation, I'll lug it to the garage sale (which will not be at my house), and donate the left-overs later.  Making room.....

August 21, 2011

Wedding and Wasps

Last night we went to the wedding of a friend's son.  It was lovely!  The food super, the music loud, the ceremony touching and funny, the couple beaming, my friend enjoying her day, the company at the table lovely, all together fantastic.
No, not the happy couple, just us.
(Not that we're not a happy couple)
(and of course I have something green in my teeth...)
That's the happy couple and the cake
and all the glasses at our table...
The one waving is the mother of the groom, doesn't she look happy?

We had a great time.

This morning when I went outside to bring some garbage out, I got stung in the neck.  Same pesky painful bite, so I swatted at it, and went inside immediately to wash the area, and put ice on it.  Well, this time I found out what it was:  Wasps.  
So my Sir Gallahad will go outside in a minute armed with a can of wasp spray and lay waste to those suckers.  They must have a nest close by, but with my allergies I can't let them live in that spot.  I was all for letting them be, but if it comes down to them or me, I'm afraid I pick me.

It's thundering, and that means we'll have a storm soon (it always rains in August).
Enjoy the rest of your Sunday!

August 19, 2011

Unknown insect stings/bites

While putting the junk mail in the garbage early this morning, an unknown insect stung/bit me.  It hurt!  I brushed my arm off, and of course couldn't identify the culprit, who knows where in the grass it/he/she landed.
The last time I got bit/stung I ended up in the hospital, which I wanted to avoid in the worst way.  So I washed the affected elbow with soap and water, doused it with alcohol, and put an antihistamine gel on it.

And then hoped for the best, since the last time this happened, I ended up in the hospital.  I started having an allergic reaction the last time, with bumps appearing on my arms and legs, and I went to the emergency room, where I got a shot of benedryl, and was pumped full of fluids.  I didn't want to repeat the experience, and tried my best - taking an aspirin, getting antihistamine tablets, took one (and now I'm sleepy), but I am avoiding having to go to the hospital.
Oh, and of course I took my (expired) epi-pen to work with me, handed it to the good-looking guy, and asked him to please give me the shot if he found me laying on the floor and foaming at the mouth.

A wedding tomorrow.  We were invited, and we're going.
Hiking?  Somewhere along the way....
Enjoy your weekend!

August 18, 2011

Computer problems, part 2

The computer is in good hands.  We think it's the fan assembly, and hopefully once that is swapped out, it will work again.  A friend recommended a person living in my neighborhood who does this for a living, and he seems very competent.
The visits in MA and CT went fine.  Teddy was really happy to see me, to meet my new friend, and other than give me a big hug when I came, and another when I left, the men got to know each other.  Since they both have a lifetime of working with wood behind them, they had plenty to talk about.

I am into making gooey goodness.  M. loves a VERY sweet danish, can't find them in my neighborhood, and grumbles about it.  So I remembered my pre-diabetes  days when I tried out every sweet yeast recipe I could find once I finally figured out how to make yeast dough, and started making gooey goodness in the form of cinnamon buns.  I made a batch last night that involves a dough made with yeast and buttermilk and a few other ingredients including baking powder, and is baked like an upside down pineapple cake.  Just looking at it gives me a tooth ache.  But it is appreciated!
The last batch was shared with the relatives in MA, and they loved it as well - kids, if you read  this, may I remind you that you are skinny people and you love sticking with healthy things.  This is way too fattening for you!  (not that the MA relatives are NOT skinny, they just appreciate sticky things and know how to handle it).
We are invited for dinner tonight, we will eat with Matthew and Jessica, and their parents.  Can't wait!  Jessica requested tacos, we'll see if she gets her way.
And when the computer problems are solved, there will  be photos again!

August 12, 2011

Computer problems

My laptop is acting up.  Okay, it doesn't work.  'The screen goes black, and doesn't light up.  One of my friends gave me the name of someone who fixes computers.  The go-to-guy.  That's where the laptop will have to go.

Yesterday, on my way to work I ran into the deer family again.  The fawns were standing in the middle of the road.  I stopped beeped, and one of the fawns moved to the side.  Then the rest just stared at me.  I beeped again, and the 'mom' moved to the fawn in the street, and nudged it on the side.  It finally got the idea, and moved over to the other side of the street.  Well, at that point I had to wait for all of them to be on the same side of the street, because you know that's what they wanted!  Good thing this was in the neighborhood, where one has to go slow anyway.

Weekend you ask?  Busy again.  Back to Massachusetts, and then a visit in Connecticut to a 91 year-old friend who is sick  We love you, Teddy!

August 11, 2011


Over the weekend my daughter and her husband drove to a wedding in South Carolina.  The boys were staying home with their grandmothers, who split the babysitting.  My turn came on Saturday, and let me tell you, I'd forgotten how much work a four-year-old and a one-year-old can be!  And I had help!  I didn't have to cook, or shop.  But it worked out, and how sweet it is to be with children, just the best.
The one-year-old is saying some words, like 'night-night' and choo-choo, and 'ball', and 'na-na' for banana, just great, and the four-year-old is exploring his world and his limits.  We took them to the playground, and let the little one get 'lost' in the tunnels (which luckily are large enough to allow a grandmother to crawl in after him).  When the mom came back, she told us, the little one stays in the stroller when she brings the older one to the playground!

This morning I saw a bat.  Flying - I was still early enough, it was about 5:30 AM, so it was still darkish.
I saw the egret, I saw the deer family, and they were close enough to almost touch.  They aren't skittish with me at all, I even get to say 'hello' and talk to them.  I tell them how attractive their 'children' are, and what a good-looking family they make.

And to one of my readers who asked:  no, no NJ Opa, a new addition to my life, maybe with time....

August 3, 2011


This morning I took off for my walk at 5:40 AM.  And two houses down, right before the school gate, a skunk meandered out of the woods, crossed the street in front of me, maybe 10 feet away, never gave me a glance and disappeared around the corner of the house.  In my almost 3 years of wandering this 'track' I've never seen a skunk.   It never even occurred  to me, even though I know there are some around.  Yesterday I saw two fawns laying down in the grass by the school, still sleeping.  My steps woke them up, but all they did was raise their heads and watch me.
Do you think I live in the middle of no-where?  No, I don't!  I live on the rim of the Greater Metropolitan Area (meaning New York), and there are houses all around, and towns lined up, one after the other.  And I see foxes,  deer all the time, beaver (in the pond), herons, swans, canadian geese, mandarin geese, I get scolded by the crows all the time, and I'm still waiting for my encounter with a black bear, which I'm sure will happen.  No, I haven't seen a raccoon in some time, but they do rummage in my garbage.  And in the winter, actually now too, they come up on the deck.  I say now too, because we saw the paw prints of raccoons in a shallow bowl of water set out on the deck for the birds.
I used to see bats (Fledermaus) all the time, but there haven't been any in ages.  I used to have to be careful with my deck umbrella, because they thought it was a house just for them, and opening it could be a 'wild-life encounter'.
No, of course I didn't have the camera on me this morning.  Never on mornings like that.  And the morning sky was so beautiful, light blue and pink with the rising sun rays mixed in.

Okay, enough!  Tomorrow I will take the camera along.