Saturday, November 29, 2008


I came home this morning to find these in my yard. The mother deer is extremely calm and let me come very close to her. There are now five wandering the neighborhood, plus a buck that occasionally can be see chasing the deer. They are beautiful, one of the benefits of living in the burbs (remind me of that when they eat my garden). I have come to accept that we live in harmony now and I plan to plant next year with that in mind.
Oscar and I had a good, long walk at the cemetery today. It was cold, crisp and sunny. It's been hard for Oscar, not knowing what to expect. There is always someone at home with him usually, and I am between two houses. Flurry has accepted me, even sleeping on my lap last night as I read my book. The family bed poses a bit of a problem. Oscar is large....and heavy. Not fat, just heavy, probably over 100 pounds. Flurry is quite small, but a queen size bed poses some problems for the three of us. Oscar won't move. That means that one has to accommodate him. The first night I got out of bed and dragged him off, which injured my back for life, I am sure. The next night I just used my feet to shove him over. That worked for a hot minute. The third night I tiptoed quietly into Bean's bed and left Oscar and Flurry to the big bed. No sooner had I settled in when I heard a tap, tap, tap. I felt something looking at me, then sneaking up onto the SINGLE bed. I waited till he was settled, then made a mad dash for the queen bed, stepping on Flurry on the way since she was on her way to the single bed. Her howl woke up Oscar and we raced for the queen. I dove onto the bed, moved quickly to the middle and prepared myself to not be shoved over. It worked briefly, but this morning....he had most of the bed. Oh, and did I mention, on night one every hour on the hour I heard a loud beeping sound and thought it might be an alarm somewhere. It was the smoke detector, which I did not discover until the next morning. But I have to say, these morning walks are wonderful. All is quiet, the sun is shining and the air is crisp. It has been a very good morning. By the way, when asked what type of calendar Ginger wanted this year (I make them a calendar each year), Ginger replied that she wanted a calendar with sexy firemen laying out their big hoses. Hmmmm. Be safe, Skipper on your sojourn this week.

Thursday, November 27, 2008


I have much to be thankful for, my family, my health, my friends. Today is a day to reflect those things, and it is a day to eat! I don't remember if it was last year or two years ago, but dinner was here with Mippy and family. Got up early, threw the bird in the oven, prepared ALL of those trimmings that go with the bird. The aroma that permeated the house was delightful. All day envisioning sitting down and eating. Anticipation. Guests arrived. Oohs and ahhhs abounded. The table was set with fiestaware, ready to be adorned with wonderful food. The bird was taken from the oven and set on the platter to "rest". Side dishes were placed strategically around the table. And the moment arrived. The turkey was sliced, and alas.....IT WASN'T COOKED! Not only was it not cooked, it was kind of raw. We all stood there looking at it, debating what to do. Mippy suggested we all say something that we were thankful for. She got looks that would have killed. She began by saying she was thankful we had side dishes to eat. No one else had anything at that moment to be thankful for. All got quiet as we passed the potatoes, slaw, jello salad, veggies, etc. Finally the silence was broken by Monkeyboy who said..."I really wanted some turkey". We told him he could have it at his grandmothers next week when he went to visit there. Here's hoping your holiday is wonderful and your turkey is cooked.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Approaching the Holiday

If one were prepared, one would have had her camera with her with a walk with Oscar tonight. It has snowed a bit here and we were walking at the cemetery. Oscar was rolling and frolicking in the snow. It was such a great sight! Running free and loving every minute of it. I am dog/cat/fish sitting this week for Mippy and family. And I am using their laptop this week while at their house. It is pretty neat! They are in Norfolk tonight and will be in North Carolina with family for the Thanksgiving holiday. Back to Oscar, I shall try to get a picture of him in the snow tomorrow. This is the time of the year when I order lots and lots of things on the net. Most of my shopping is done. There are some things that one has to go and buy...I don't much like those things. I am pleased with the things that I bought this year, none of which I can share on here yet, because of who reads this. I met, well, actually I work with him, a new photographer at work today. He shares my passion for black and white photographs. So does Michele, whose site I have linked to mine in the past. Kitty likes black and white photos also. I gave her one for Christmas one year. It was the one I will post tomorrow, the Bridge of Sighs. It is in Pittsburgh, and it connects the courthouse with what used to be the county jail. The story has it that the prisoners would walk across the bridge on their way to their trial, and if they were found guilty one could hear them sigh as they walked back across the bridge to the jail. We have some wonderful old buildings here and the architecture is wonderful! Well, I am going to take the dog out and feed the cat. Have a great day tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Bean took the picture of the snow on the tree. I still get excited when I see the first snowfall, not that a dusting counts as the first snowfall, but when I looked out the window in my office yesterday there were big, fluffy snowflakes falling. I really love the wet snow that clings to the trees and shrubs. And I like it before the salt trucks come around. I love to watch Bird make a sled track for the kids with bumps that make them laugh with glee. And Oscar the dog, running and barking along side them. As kids we used to spend hours playing in the snow, coming in only to use the bathroom (what a chore that was!) or to get dry mittens. We had at least three pairs, and it took an awfully long time for them to dry. I remember igloos and asthma attacks, snowball battles and snow angels, and of course, snowmen. I remember, Molly, the sheepdog and how I put boots on her so her paws wouldn't freeze. She ran down the hill at the cemetery and all I could see in the moonlight were the boots flying through the air. As a pre-teen, I remember throwing a snowball at a car and the driver chasing after me. My brother was asked by that driver if my brother had seen a boy running past. My brother said no. I don't know if he said that because he was asked about a boy and I was a girl, or if he just did it to protect me. I do know that he yelled at me later and I ended up telling my parents because I was afraid he would. I remember the big snowfall the snow in March, 1993 that paralyzed the city...24 inches of snow over a two day period. It was the day of the St. Patrick's Day parade, and they still had the parade. The city was virtually closed down immediately following the parade for several days. Now, that was a bad winter. I hope the first real snowfall is a pretty one.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Bean's Demands

I turned on my computer today and was checking my email. There was one from Bean, demanding a new post. This happens...and not just with Bean. So, here is my Sunday morning post.
Went out to dinner last night to River Forrest. It's a wonderful restaurant hidden in the forrest above the Allegheny River. They had a wine tasting party, which was unknown to us until we got there, so we couldn't partake of that. But the dinner was wonderful. As we wound our way back to the main road we were on the lookout for deer. None were spotted. On the drive home I made a remark that the lights of the small towns we were passing reminded me of a train layout. We have a large train layout here at the Carnegie Science Center every year. It takes up the whole room and there are miniature villages with people walking babies inside their homes, miniature people skiing down slopes, with a wonderful amusement park nearby that has a Farris wheel and merry go round. It is magic, and as we were driving last night, the lights in the small towns reminded me of the Carnegie. At the museum here they have a display of Christmas trees, also a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
The weather has changed drastically here today. Good football weather Ben and Bill, but Kitty better wear something warm to cheer on the Steelers. Most of the leaves are down now, and the raindrops on the trees threaten to turn to ice drops. Winter coats are being dragged out, and it's amazing how many people begin to smell of moth balls! It's dark now when I come home from work. I like that. I like that I come home and everything seems cozy and warm. I can close the drapes and wrap up in a blanket on my chair to read my book.
I took Bean to her dance class on Thursday. I do love to watch these kids dance. It was cold. I listened to the head of the studio talk about casting of characters. The Prince in Cinderella was a young man of color and the Princess was not. Someone had written a very long letter (unsigned, of course) stating that the studio was promoting interracial marriage. WHAT? Ken (the head of the program) was most upset, rightfully so. These kids are extremely talented and work very hard to put on a production that is professional. How sad that someone would focus on something that no one else seemed to notice. There are many children of different ethnicity and cultures that participate in this particular theater, and for the most part, they all have the same goal. To bring pleasure to those who watch them. So, kudos to the kids, and to those who refuse to sign their name to letters, perhaps you should not come to the theater to watch them.
Yesterday I watched "Flashdance", not so much for the plot of the movie (was there one?) but for the great scenes of Pittsburgh. The South Side slopes, the bridges, Trees Hall, the Museum. I have to figure out what movie I want from Netflix next. It's a good day for movies. Have a great Sunday!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Four in a Row

I have been very lazy this weekend, I think. Did some cleaning of drawers and things, got some tires for the car, did some Christmas shopping on line, went to the mall (yes, Sassy, to the mall). What a mess the mall is! We got a new Nordstroms, Tiffanys, some other very up scale stores and people are flocking to the mall. Add to that the sales for Veteran's Day. I came home last night determined to never go to the mall again. At least until the end of January. And people are rude, they really are. Fighting over sale items. I thought that security would have to be called, but they calmed down somewhat. I went to a neat website for kids. It's and it has a great selectio of toys for kids. And the toys are arranged by age. I think between that and I have all my Christmas presents done. Today the car was in the shop all day, so Ava and I hung out, reading, watching Judge Judy and going for a walk. Oh, and watching Boston Legal on line. It wasn't on in Pittsburgh last week, so I had to pull it from their website. I laughed till I cried. What a wonderful show, and now it will be going off the air. Four days off in a row is a wonderful thing. Very relaxing and restful. And for all those who served or are serving in the military, thanks very much.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

A Lazy Sunday

Judith Penzer did the mural. It is actually painted on the side of a building, but looks so real, so 3-D, as though it is a separate home entirely. We have a number of them in the city, and I think it's a great way to display art. Ms. Penzer died in a plane crash, which makes this particular mural special and well worth preserving. I believe this one was her first one. Penn State lost, but they lost to Iowa, so my brother will be happy. Steelers did not win, but that's okay, I guess. Bean's run at the Byham has concluded. She caught a bug from Monkeyboy and wasn't too sure that she would be able to perform, but as the saying goes "the show must go on", and she did her part. Sunday mornings for me are sleeping in, reading the paper, watching Meet The Press and the Steelers, and of course, Sunday dinner. Today will be a little different, but I love Sundays. Total kick back day. It's been a dreary weekend here, so it's nice to grab my book or watch my latest Netflix movie, Bull Durham. I was thinking today, how life is a series of ups and downs and how the extreme highs make the lows worth while. I remember the family reunion and sitting around the pool on the night of arrival. The kids were all in the pool and the adults were sitting around talking. I turned to Poppy and said, "this is what it is all about". It was truly a time of being together as a family and kids meeting and being with their cousins who are scattered throughout the country. What were your highs? What do you remember best with fondness?

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Good Things

I don't want to say too much about the election, just that when I said to my co-worker that it's was quite a night and one to remember, she said, "it certainly was, it certainly was". She then came back to me and said, "I am going to the cemetary at lunchtime to tell my mother and father". It was truly a historic event, and I do hope we can all pull together to make some changes...the course is a tough one.
When I have a busy day at work, I try to think of good things. Today it was Bean's opening night tonight. She is in Cinderella at the Byham Theater and I can't wait. I called Z Florist and told him that I needed a "presentation bouquet", which he did beautifully as always. I told him I am coming to work for him. His florist shop is one of the most peaceful places in the world. And what a talent he has. I love to go in there, said I would work for nothing! (I didn't really mean that, of course....well, maybe I would).
There was a brief (?) period of discussion about speeding tickets at work. I've gotten two in my life and both were traumatic. People all say that I drive fast, but I don't think so. I made it home in eighteen minutes tonight.
Gasoline is $2.45 a gallon. Interesting, isn't it? Wonder what happened to bring it down. It was nice to fill my tank for less than $30.
Well, I am leaving now to go see Cinderella. It is a wonderful thing to see, Bean on stage doing something she loves. It's been a very busy week, with football, the election and now the theater. But it's been a nice one, too. Have a great evening!

Monday, November 3, 2008


Thanks to Mippy for the beautiful picture of the sunrise last week or so. I love to sit and watch people. And listen. I was in a restaurant last week and spent time watching four men eating lunch, talking about the economy and then their families. I presume at least one was divorced. As he spoke he said he wanted a woman with no children, because children were "baggage". This was a man of about fifty. They all nodded in agreement. One other man said his female friend wanted to get married, and he couldn't understand that at their age. Why would they get married at their age? I watched a woman of about thirty and the man with whom she was eating. He had on hospital scrubs. She had on a suit. He talked a lot on his cell phone, while she was on her blackberry. They didn't talk much. When finished eating, the stood, kissed and went their separate ways. I caught the eye of a man across the room who appeared to be doing the same thing I was doing. And then came the women in red hats. And purple dresses. They sure looked like they were having a wonderful time. And they even ordered drinks with their lunch! Today I watched three men at Kentucky Fried Chicken drive the poor man at the register crazy. They wanted the sixteen piece meal, and they began to argue about sides, mashed potatoes vs. macaroni, corn vs. green beans, crispy vs. regular. There was quite a line behind them, and just when we all thought they were done, one of the men ordered a meal to take home. They were delightful to listen to as they talked about everything under the sun, a great, spirited discussion. One time when I took my car to be serviced I went to a local restaurant where senior citizens gather in the morning for coffee and breakfast. They move about freely, talking with one another, laughing and seemingly having a wonderful morning ritual. There are people having very serious discussions, one woman crying as another held her hand. People in their own world. I think I am becoming a student of the human condition, watching and learning. Don't forget to vote could you?????