December 31, 2011

Happy New Year - Prost Neu Jahr!

Almost there.  It's a little after 5 in the evening and we are resting.  We went for a 7 plus mile hike today to the Hawk Watch in the Wildcat Ridge woods.  Nice.  It almost drizzled a little, but the weather held.  What a neat thing to do on New Year's Eve!

We watched two gorgeous little boys from Thursday to Friday.  They are fun, and just lovely.  And it's amazing how quickly they grow!  And how funny they are!  The little one, Evan, is 16 mos. old, and he woke up in the middle of the night.  I wasn't able to soothe him back to sleep, so I laid down with him on the couch and both of us fell asleep, until Jackson (4), woke me up with the request to cover him up.  In the morning we went to the playground by the school, and the boys loved it.  Yesterday evening celebrated Nicole's birthday, we brought back the boys, and then all of us went out to dinner.

Some of the bloggers I follow do a flash back to last year.  I won't bore you with that, let me just tell you that I totally changed my life.

Wishing you all out there a Happy and Healthy New Year - I'm off to enjoy my evening.

December 22, 2011

count down

Busy!  I finished all the orders that were on deck yesterday.  I'm supposed to move into a new room at work, and I'll get going on getting the move started today.  I'm still getting last minute gifts, I have to finish shopping to bring things to where we are having the Christmas celebration with family.  It'll be a big celebration, with relatives coming from St. Louis (can't wait to see them), and my daughters and their families.

But I refuse to be rushed.  I fully intend to enjoy it all, from the last minute shopping, to the last cookie eaten - oh, yes, I do want to bake some more cookies too).

My tree is standing in front of me, well, not directly in front, I'm sitting on the couch, the tree is quietly standing in the window across, pretty with all the ornaments I collected over the years.  I had a phase when I bought only glass Santas, beautiful glass ornaments from home, then I collected vintage ornaments as I came across them at garages sales.  I still have one glass ornament from my husband's grandparents, that has to be at least 60 years old!
Last night I was at Matthew's soccer school, and four women were chatting.  The subject of how conscious of every minute we are here in the North-East came up.  My daughter works in the city (NYC) and was complaining of all the tourists in the way of the day-to-day folks there.  Standing in doorways to put on their gloves, button their coats, while the regulars just want to move on, standing on the sidewalk gaping up at the sky scrapers, while the regulars just want to get to the subway, they 'regulars' even talk faster!
We were laughing about it, and that is part of getting ready for some toning it down.

We fully intended to throw ourselves into the fray, join the shopping mob last night.  But we stayed home, had supper - lovely white asparagus!, ham, and potatoes au gratin (for me) and macaroni and cheese (for him).  And then we just relaxed.

And should I not get a chance to post again before Christmas, I just wanted to wish you a very merry holiday, a happy Christmas, and I'll see you in between - before the new year!

December 18, 2011

Santa sighting

No clue what we did yesterday - oh, yeah, errands.  Shipping packages, grocery store, etc.

Today?  Well, since I broke the toilet (don't ask, I have a shelf of milk glass vases over the window next to the toilet, I took a vase down, and it promptly fell  out of my hand and cracked the toilet), we bought a replacement and it was installed today.  Yeah, we went with the higher seat (old people!), and it was installed without drama.
Then M was nice enough to take my washer apart yet again, since I have a tendency not to check the pockets for coins, a nickel got caught in the pump, and clogged up the works.  Thank goodness it's an easy enough fix and doesn't require a service call (note to self, keep checking the pockets!)

We did manage to go for a walk.  Close by, and it was great, and we are out of shape, and promised ourselves we'd be better  about it in the future.
 M walking toward a bat cave.
It's an old mine entrance, boarded up, but with openings
for bats to go in and out.  There also is a platform,
 where one can watch the bats.
Not at the moment, I think they hibernate.

 Bittersweet, one colorful point in the mostly grey woods.
another spot of color.
And then we ran into Santa!
Really, check it out:
 He wanted to know if we knew any naughty little people!
Of course we told him that everyone we knew was nice.
We don't know anyone naughty!

December 16, 2011

Quilting present

Last weekend M's sister K and her husband R came to visit.  We had tickets for the 911 Memorial, and went to Midtown to see the Christmas windows, the tree, the ice skating rink, Trump Towers, Times Square, the whole christmassy nine yards. See my last posts for pictures.
What I should have posted about first, was a fabulous quilted table runner that K made for us!  It's gorgeous, I love the colors, and if I ever get that good at quilting, I'll consider myself lucky!  Yeah, I know, I sew for a living, but believe me, industrial sewing with industrial machines is worlds away from quilting.
I just have to show a few pictures of the runner:

Isn't it gorgeous?  I just love it!  Thank you so much, K!

December 13, 2011


The day after our NYC visit, we had family over.  My daughters and their families came for brunch, and it was great.  I love seeing the kids, they are all so good, and hanging out with family is always a pleasure.
These photos were taken with our cell phone cameras.
 we had quiches, bagels, cinnamon rolls, coffee cake,  
I don't think anyone walked away hungry.

 even the littlest guest got his fill.

 Here's to spending Christmas with you!

December 12, 2011

More New York Christmas

There are so many more photos to share from our trip to the big city.

Here are just a few:

construction at ground zero

 busy Times Square
it's impressive how many people are out at Christmas time

 statues around the ice rink at Rockefeller Center

 at St. Patrick's Cathedral
 life-size (or bigger) manger, 
and a mean looking camel

and the windows at Tiffany's

December 11, 2011

Christmas in NYC

Yup, that's where we ended up yesterday.  First the visit to the 911 Memorial.  We had tickets.

 Very moving, and one has to remember that for a lot of families it's the cemetery for loved ones.

Then, on to the Christmassy NY.
And there were Santa's all over - I guess the two
bunnies lost their way from Easter...
(it was a bar crawl, we asked)
 Santa girl, just for M.  
We also saw a girl dressed as a lampshade, with the legs from
a 'Christmas Story' - too late to take a picture!
 construction on Ground Zero
 Entertainment in the subway.
It was actually very good!
living statue in the subway station
 On the Times Square Glass steps

The view - always amazing and very crowded.
 brother and sister - happy
 The obligatory photo of the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center
 This year's star on the top
NY pretzels and chestnuts on the street
And this Sunday a lovely brunch with the family.
Thank you so much for coming!
It was great!
Loved seeing the kids....

December 6, 2011

Baby sitting weekend

This weekend was taken up with little ones.  My son and his wife came to visit and brought Noah (3), and Kate (7 mos).  No problem on Friday, the parents left when both kids were already asleep.  Saturday we spsent with parents and kids, the baby was no problem at all, and we went for a hike with Noah, his Dad and Nibby, their dog.  We discovered a new hiking area here in the neighborhood, which we've been meaning to explore.
This area was mined for iron ore, and I brought home a couple of rocks with remnants of iron in them.
The ridge we hiked used to have iron mines on it, it still has a  cemetery in the middle of the woods, no roads around, no village - spooky.
 But after reading up on it online, I found out that the cemetery isn't that old, the beginning of the 1900's  (okay, maybe not old to someone who grew up in Europe, let me just say 'Roman ruins).
 Water play 
 Ready for take-off?
And what kind of face is this?  With a hat?
 vicious dog ;-)
 downhill a lot easier, and below a happy little boy playing in water

 little and big cousin
pretty Katie-did!