Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Beginnings

It's that time of the year, a time for resolutions, a time to say goodbye to the year and reminisce on the good and the bad.
I woke up this morning to a beep on my cell phone from Buzz telling me the roads were pretty bad if I had to go to work. Giving me the best route to take always helps from someone who has been out in the snow.
I looked out my window and a heavy, wet snow had fallen through the night. As snow goes, this was beautiful. No plows or salt trucks, schools are closed for the holiday and no need to get the roads cleared quickly. A truly beautiful sight.
It's been an eventful year for me. Leaving one job, taking another. Finding a new lifestyle. Making new acquaintances. Friends having significant medical problems and one literally fighting for her life. Family visiting. Steelers winning a Super Bowl and Pens winning the Stanley Cup. Monkeyboy's team winning, winning, winning. Bean moving a bit from dance and exploring sports. A party in the heat of the summer for neighbors to meet and talk with one another on a beautiful summer night. Peg and I dancing and singing in the kitchen at midnight cleaning up after the party.
All in all, it's been a good year. I don't generally make resolutions, but this year I am going to write down at least one thing that I am grateful for each day.
Monkeyboy had some minor surgery yesterday and appears to be doing well. Bean has to have some teeth pulled in the new year for her braces.
I hope everyone has a happy and safe new year. May this year bring more happy things and the strength to deal with the not so happy things. Do you make resolutions for the new year? Care to share them if you do? And how was everyone's holiday? Christmas here was a combination of laughter, presents and fun. My grab bag gift was a great success. It was M & M's with my picture on them.
Happy New Year.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

I hope this holiday brings health and joy to you and all those about whom you care.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Winter Has Arrived in Pittsburgh

Of course, I knew it was coming, I just have been spoiled with the lack of winter weather, but alas, yesterday was an eye opener.
I was scheduled to work at Phipps at 9:30, so knowing that it was raining and possibly going to sleet, I left the house at 8:30. When I backed out of the drive, I realized that not only were the streets wet, but icy as well. Strange, I thought, since the temperature was above freezing.
I thought it was just my street, and the main street did seem a little better. I live on top of hills and when I went to go down into the valley all streets were closed, with emergency vehicles blocking the streets. Apparently, five cars had piled up and a number of them were off the side of the road. So, I went back home to wait for it to warm up. Gave it an hour, then left again to the same situation. Finally the roads opened and I proceeded slowly down the hill and on to work.
I work with Kay, who always has amusing stories. She told me that she joined a senior citizens exercise group with the anticipation of spending some "alone" time exercising. Her husband decided to go with her, much to her chagrin. Her husband was quite an athlete in his younger days and scoffed at the slow pace of the group. Kay became annoyed, of course, and decided after the exercise part she would go on the treadmill. She began to use it and her husband decided to try it also. Fortunately, for the annoyed Kay, there was an older woman between them, so there could be no direct violence from Kay. Kay set her treadmill for the appropriate speed, which her husband found to be much to slow. She caught him from the corner of her eye, punching the button, punching it, punching it...because of course, it wasn't going fast enough for an athlete. Suddenly the speed caught up, and Kay could not help but smiling, because her husband looked a bit confused. Finally, she heard him shout..."It's going backwards, it's going backwards!" She, in disgust, didn't say a word while the little old lady explained to him that it doesn't go backwards, it's the way the treadmill goes. He finally slowed it down, and was walking with his hands firmly planted on the handles. The older woman left and a younger lady got on the treadmill and began to jog...not holding on. In order to impress the younger lady, Kay's husband let go of the handles and sped the machine up again. No, he did not fall off, but Kay left after he put his feet on the side of the treadmill and said he had enough.
The same man yesterday went out in his robe and slippers to get his newspaper. (Remember, it was icy). Kay asked him if he shouldn't get dressed and put his shoes on, since it was raining. No, he said, it was fine. She watched him attempt to walk up the drive. One step forward and three slides back. But not to give up, he kept trying, almost falling. Kay's thought was she had to do something or she would end up taking care of a very cranky man. So, she went to the garage, got the car out, drove up the drive, told him to get in the car and drove him back down the drive and into the garage. She never said if he got the newspaper.
Yes, winter has arrived in Pittsburgh.
Happy Winter.

Friday, December 11, 2009


I usually begin my posts with a title. I can't think of one for this, although I will at some point.
Tonight I am sad.
It is fairly late on a Friday night. Yesterday I learned that a good friend was in the intensive care unit. A freak series of events landed her there. She has cancer. A healthy woman, never any problems to speak of before this event. It happened about three weeks ago. She fell. She is now in intensive care. How does this happen? I cannot "wrap my mind around this" as the saying goes.
Remember my friend, Linda, that I have mentioned here. She also has some significant medical problems resulting from what physicians found in surgery that she had.
Both of these women are intelligent, caring, funny women. I love their sense of humor, their spirit, their "are you kidding me?" attitude.
I sit here, after two glasses of wine (is it more?) thinking about how much I care about them, and how helpless I feel.
I work with a young man at work, Christian. He is majoring in neuroscience and has helped me understand some of what is going on medically with my friends. I thought it would help, but it doesn't.
I talk to my friend's sister, as well as to Linda's husband. They sound strong, ready to do battle, ready to help no matter what.
Both women are facing some very difficult times ahead. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

I Am Not A Scrooge

There is a tradition here in my community. The Sunday after Thanksgiving women gather at a local church and make wreaths. Real ones. I don't much like doing this. I bellieve that you can buy a nice wreath at K-Mart, or, if you like a real wreath, McTighes. But alas, every year I am made to feel guilty and end up making a wreath. This year was no exception. ST buys the greens for our group. Does a wonderful job of it, they are fresh and full of sap. This year, again, Bean came along. Thank goodness! She ended up pretty much making my wreath.
Usually there is a woman playing the piano. She plays Christmas carols, just to get us in the mood. She wasn't there this year, and one can only imagine where she was. This year they had CD's.
The older women in the church make cookies and tea. I don't much like tea. The young girls in the church serve the cookies and tea. I do like the brownies.
My goal is to cut the greens, wire them together, throw them on the form and go home. Oh, yes, and to wash all the sticky sap off my hands.
Some of these wreaths are quite elaborate. And beautiful. One woman's job is just to make the bows for everyone. Luckily, I saved mine from years past.
Ginger made it a point to tell everyone that I didn't want to be there. Mippy made me the most annoying nametag. Bean was the only one who understood my reticence and made most of my wreath for me.
One year Monkeyboy went with us. He decided he would be in charge of the broom and do the cleanup. The broom was larger that he, and he had somewhat of a difficult time maneuvering with all of the ladies. While sweeping, he hit a woman on the head with the broom much to Mippy's chagrin. She claimed it was a former teacher who never liked her anyway. That was the last year Monkeyboy came. Don't know how he gets out of it every year.
I got my Christmas cards ready to go. Most of my shopping is done, so see...I am not a scrooge.
Thanksgiving was wonderful...hope yours was also. So very much to be grateful, family, chocolate chip cookies. The turkey was actually cooked this year, to perfection, if I may add. The kids decorated the tree and my house, so that is done also.
Things are going well at Phipps. We have a great group of people there that are fun to work with and who make the days pass quickly. Well, for the most part.
Pitt lost the conference game yesterday. It was a nail-biter. Hopefully, the Steelers will do better today. Ben is playing, so we can hope. It's cold, Tim, so wear something warm to cheer.
On a more serious note, my friend, Linda, had her surgery and needs follow up treatment. Please keep her in your positive thoughts and prayers.
Have a great Sunday.

Monday, November 23, 2009


First of all, Monkeyboy's team for the great hockey win for the Mayor's trophy. It was an upset, a night game under the lights with parents cheering madly for the teams, coaches yelling to team members and kids playing deck hockey as though their lives depended on it. It was a well played game and did well!
The dilemma as presented to me was to whom do we tip for the holiday. My personal opinion is this: I tip the paperboy. They don't get paid much and they use their car at an awful time in the morning in all kinds of weather to get my paper here on time and besides, I don't tip him during the year. I do not tip the postman. They get paid a lot of money to do their job, and they do it well, but I can't justify paying a tip for a service that is mandatory and has people waiting in line to do it. I don't have children to whom this would apply, but I don't understand getting teachers a gift. Again, they are paid to do something, and here at least they are paid very well. A thank you on a card would suffice for me. I don't tip the garbage men because they whale the can in any direction they feel is fun and they back up the street beeping their back up beep at 5:30 in the morning. I don't tip my haircut person, I tip him everytime I get a hair cut. I did tip my guitar teacher, just cause I liked him and he put up with me. Besides, his wife baked excellent cookies that I devoured on the way home from my lesson. In other words, I tip people at the holiday that I haven't tipped all year for a service they have provided.
A co-worker called off sick last week, saying he thought he might have had a mini-stroke. He lives alone and everyone at Phipps was worried about him. Fortunately, it was not a stroke, it was just a medication adjustment. I saw him today for the first time since he was sick, and he said something to me that I thought was meaningful at this time of the year. He said that everyday was a thanks giving day for him. He has had two heart attacks and his health is not good. I am glad he is okay now.
On a lighter note, I am hoping that the turkey is fully cooked this year. For those who may not remember, several years ago I cooked a bird that when it was carved, it was pink. Mippy asked at dinner for everyone to say something they were grateful for, and she began by saying that she was grateful that we had a lot of side dishes to eat. Others grumbled something and Monkeyboy couldn't think of much to say, except he was really looking forward to having some turkey. So, I'll try again this year, and hopefully, all will be cooked to perfection. But if not, I have so very much to be thankful for...and I hope you do also. Happy Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Glub, Glub, Glub

Do you know what that is? It is the sound of my drain in the tub draining. On Thursday I took a shower. The tub backed up....a lot. Usually, it backs up slowly and I put in some drain cleaner and it works again, but that day, it didn't drain. I went and got dressed, ate breakfast, got ready for work and looked at the tub. Bad news, it had not drained. Left home, bought some drain cleaner and went to work. Came home, and the tub had drained. I put in drain cleaner and waited for the half hour they recommended and then ran hot water. Uh oh. Waited. Tub drained. Put more drain cleaner in. Waited the alloted half hour and tried again. Whoops, didn't work again. OK, let it go till morning. Woke up and took my shower, figuring I would plunge the drain. That didn't work, (and in fact, had four inches of water in tub) so called a NEW plumber and gave my sad story. He said he would try to stop by at the end of the day. I left to have lunch with Michele, who got a new job. So, we celebrated. Lunch was awful, by the way. Came home and tub was still full, so I was pulling and pushing various things on the shower, and presto....the tub drained. Is there sound that is better than glub, glub, glub as the tub drains?????? Somehow, the drain got closed (I prefer to think it was Ava and not me) and now that it was open, all was right with the world of bathtubs. I called the plumber (didn't tell him the WHOLE story, just that the tub was cleared) and he said he was glad. Very nice man, and I am sure cheaper than the other plumber who would hav charged me $500 to open the plug. Anyway, it is working beautifully.
Monkeyboy played hockey on Saturday and was amazing. This child has some inborn skills that wonderful. It was a beautiful day and we had lots of fun (and food) while watching the game.
I looke out the window today and saw the last leaf remaining on the tree. It was interesting to see and I wonder how long it will hang there, waiting to fall.
The Steelers won tonight....YAY. The Denver family called tonight and B. said he was wearing his Steelers shirt I sent him. He said whenever he wore it, Steelers lost. THE CURSE HAS BEEN BROKEN. Thanks, B., for wearing it! He is my buddy.
Two very close friends are having surgery...Wackymommy and my friend, Linda. Keep them in your thoughts. Surgery is always stressful, and positive attitudes help, as Linda has proven! My positive thoughts are with you both.
Have a great week!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Chi Town

I love riding the trains. Took a cross country trip years ago on Amtrak. So, a trip was planned to go to Chicago for the day. That's right, for the day. The train leaves the Pittsburgh station at 11:59 PM and arrives in Chicago at 8:40 PM. We went sightseeing for the day on a hop on-hop off trolley.
We got to the train station and watched the Yanks beat Philly. Everyone in the train station moaned a collective sigh for the loss. We then went to the loading platform, where we had to wait for a few minutes before boarding. There was a family there with a small child who kept saying "Boo very tired, boo very tired". Her name was Brook and she was 2 years old.
We boarded the train and promptly got into our very small cabin and fell asleep.
We got up at 7 AM the next morning and had breakfast before arriving in Chicago. A very annoying young man was in the room next to ours and ate breakfast with us. That can be a problem on the train, since it is community seating in the dining car. The breakfast was very good, although we had to watch him literally stuffing food in his mouth.
Figuring out the lockers in Union Station was a challenge. Have to put your finger up against a screen, the against an infrared button, then put in money, find the locker and quickly jam things in. Getting things out was the same process, and you had to use the same finger, which, since it took me four times to figure out, I wasn't quite sure which finger to use.
The weather did not look good when I checked it on the net. Thunderstorms and windy (windy in Chicago????). It was only drizzling when we got on the trolley. The tour was a great way to see the city. We went to Navy Pier, to the Aquarium, to different museums. By the time we got back to our stop, it was pouring. We got soaked as we ran to the train station. Umbrellas were turning inside out, rain coming from all directions, and I swear I heard thunder. I was laughing so hard I though I would be institutionalized for being out of my mind.
It's fun watching people in the station. Union station is large and a great place to explore. Our train was a few minutes late, but we sat with a couple from Australia for dinner. They were wonderful company and had lots of interesting stories. They were in the states for a month and doing all their travel by train.
Arrived home, went to pick up the paper on the drive and again, my back spasmed. So, I sit here with a heating pad typing this. That's what one gets for carrying a puter tower down two flights of steps, sleeping on the top bunk on the train and not being able to do stretches for two days!!!
Mippy came downstairs last week to find this absolutely wonderful message from Monkeyboy. I thought it said it all. She took a picture of it...I am sure to remind him of this when he goes mumbling up to his room as a punishment.
Bean's play is this weekend. I am told it is long and difficult to follow in places. Fortunately, Bird gave me a condensed version of the storyline.
An amazing sight to come down the street this morning and see all the leaves. I like the sight, I'll try to get a picture of it. I think it looks lovely.
Happy Halloween and have a great weekend.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Because Bean Said So

Bean is in rehearsal for Les Miserables. She got home late tonight and told me to, for you Bean.
As you can see, I have been with camera. I truly love the colors of Autumn. The landscape is so amazing. And the sun on the trees is magnificent.
I have been working lots this week at Phipps. Training, tours, etc. So forgive me for not posting on Sunday, but it seems I post either on Sunday or Thursday, and technically, it is Thursday for a few more minutes. I watched the baseball game tonight, so I am a bit late.
The Angels beat the Yankees tonight. I am glad. Too many glamor stars on the Yankees. I want it to be the Angels and the Phillies. But if not the Angels, then I hope the Phillies whip them!
There was a family from Philly at Phipps, and we had quite a discussion about our teams. We agreed that the the Eagles were not a team to cheer for, but that we would both cheer for the Phillies since the Pirates weren't in the running.
We have different codes for things at Phipps to use on the walkie talkies so that we don't panic the public. I have never used walkie talkies before, but I think I like the idea. "Mia to Events" sounds like fun. I like listening to the calls. Kind of like eavesdropping on a conversation. Sometimes comical, sometimes serious, sometimes just pain amusing. I love to listen to conversations. In this day of cell phones it becomes very easy. How does one carry on a very private conversation in a restaurant with someone on a cell phone? One can only imagine the other end of the conversation.
Cell phones are great to a point. I am so tired of seeing people on cell phones driving and so engrossed in conversation that they pull out in front of you without looking. I know, the argument exists that any distraction is dangerous. Technology abounds, doesn't it? Phones ring in a restaurant and you see six people pull out their phone to see if it is their phone.
Monkeyboy and I went to a movie last week. A telephone rang in the pet shop, in the book store and in the movie. All was quiet and you could hear the entire conversation. I don't care to hear how Justin was suspended from school and how angry Dad was, with Mom screaming back at him. Nor do I care the dog has a diarrhea and is it improving? And a teeny bopper giggling with her boyfriend over the phone. Can you just take it somewhere private????
My big project right now is trying to gist the right lighting in my kitchen. My track lighting blew, so I am trying to find the right light so I can read the paper as I eat breakfast. A lamp on the breakfast table does not seem to work. I am using the light on the ceiling fan, which is not optimal, but seems to work somewhat. We shall see.
HP at work catered an event over the weekend. As she explained it briefly to me it was to follow the example of somethng she was involved with in California when she lived there. Check out the website, it is really unique.

So, Bean, I posted. And your play is next weekend. For those of you here in Pgh., it is at the Byham theater. Bean is in the ensemble. Monkeyboy is in hockey playoffs....such a decision.
Have a great Friday.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


I was taking some pictures today. The one I posted is of a planting in the yard. I love this time of the year. The days are warm and the nights are cool enough to snuggle under the covers on the bed. And when the sun is shining it is a glorious picture that Mother Nature paints for us. In the morning, the sun is coming through the trees at a delightful angle, casting shadows on the street where the leaves have fallen. Do you remember jumping into piles of leaves? I do. We lived in a neighborhood with lots of trees, and everyone would rake the leaves into the street in big piles to be picked up by the borough. One had to be careful when jumping not to land on the curb...that was painful. I love to wander through the neighborhood and see the grass covered with a blanket of beautiful leaves, all different in color and shape. When I go to the mailbox now I have to be careful. The oak trees are dropping acorns, and more than one has bounced off my head. I guess some get depressed with the coming of winter. Not me. And is there anything more beautiful than the first snowfall? I could not live where there is not the changing of the seasons. I don't like the ice, the bitter cold winds, but it only makes me appreciate the warm, sunny days like today.
My brother and sister-in-law visited for some time over the weekend. It was fun to have them here and to drive all over the city and then some! I believe it was about 150 miles in search of an antique shop and a botique. Never did find the botique. But we had fun.
Final baseball game is Tuesday, I believe. Monkeyboy isn't supposed to play, but he has been sick all weekend, so maybe they will call him up since he missed the game on Saturday. I think his deck hockey goes on for a while.
Bean has begun rehersal for Les Misérables. I can't wait to see it. I love to watch their productions.
Seems as though lots of folks are sick with some kind of flu. 'Tis the season, I suppose. I think Bean said 20% of her class was out. Monkeyboy was sick most of the weekend, but seems to be on the mend.
The Steelers won again, and I think I may have won some money. I'm not sure, since I don't quite know how to read this sheet. I'll let you know. Troy is still out, but some of the new players are showing great promise.
Hope all is well in your world. Have a wonderful week.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

I'mmmmm Back

Thanks to all who have inquired and nagged. I am back.
Autumn has arrived in Pittsburgh. Rain, cool weather, little sun. More like November weather. I admit, the furnace has come on. Shame on me.
Lots of happenings in the 'burgh. G 20 Summit with lots of changes in traffic, daily routines and in news coverage. Phipps hosted the G 20 dinner on Thursday night. HP, one of the administrators in my direct line of supervision, stood with President and Mrs. Obama in the Welcome Center, along with LM, the woman instrumental in my being hired at Phipps. HP said it was pretty neat. Phipps was very busy preparing for the international guests, and the Conservatory looked lovely.
I have taken a number of pictures at the Conservatory and have some of them shown here. Hans Frabel is the glass artist that created the clowns, jokers and flowers here. Chihuly still has pieces at Phipps, but I like the Frabel pieces better. They are whimsical and fun. I watched a video of how he creates them, and they are hand created, not from a mold. The detail on them is astounding. Such a talent.
Monkeyboy has been playing fall ball and I love it, of course. They are beginning to pitch the ball. He is a great pitcher, strong arm and very accurate. He has been hit by a pitched ball several times, but "carries on for the team".
Bean's guitar lessons are amazing. Both kids have an ear for music and it amazes me how well they play. Both of their instructors have commented that they are their best students.
Rainy day for homecoming here last week. Rainy and cold. We splashed our way to the parade route with umbrellas up banging them into one another. Mr. G joined us. Quite a crowd. Ty's mom, Ginger and Skipper, Mr. G., Mary Rose G, Monkeyboy, Mippy, Bean and Bird as well as myself. Umbrellas are a pain, in addition to being dangerous! One can get poked in the eye by people turning to call your attention to the idiots riding in a convertible in the pouring rain. Who would have a brand new Corvette with the Queen of the Hockey Team in her strapless gown, shivering with hair dripping wet...waving and smiling, teeth chattering? Oh, did I mention the top was down? It was.
Parade was quite a bit shorter this year, I suppose because of the rain. People in cars and floats throw candy to the crowd...or should I say AT the crowd. It landed on wet streets, in puddles and in the grass. The kids raced to pick it up and plop it in bags, parents saving it for halloween to give away. Times are tight, you know. So, watch for those penny (quarter) candy that no one likes to eat and end up giving away. Never the good stuff, of course. By halloween, it should have dried out somewhat. Bean was dancing up the street with her umbrella. I tried to put it on the blog, but it doesn't seem to work.
I am getting to know the people at Phipps. Kay has a delightful sense of humor, teases Alex all the time about his wild weekends. Alex is one of our supervisors. Kerry is patient and teaches me things on the computer and gives me hints about the job. HT is our manager and is great fun as well as being very organized and knowledgable. She is especially fun to tease with and together we all make the day go quickly. I cannot stress how wonderful it is to work in an environment that has people happy and wanting to be there. The public comes through and comments on "peaceful, beautiful, one of the best Conservatories they have seen". HT remarked that she is going through some of life's greatest stressors and all at with friends, buying a house, switching jobs and moving to a different city. And she maintains a sense of humor...probably helping her to stay sane. Truly a bundle of energy who is always looking a problems and asking for input into solutions.
My brother and sister-in-law are heading for the 'burgh at the end of the week. Means I have to clean. Not that I don't clean, but when you have overnight guests (is family guests?) I feel a need to clean a little more thoroughly. I don't know why, they know what a slob I am.
Much of the garden is dying for the winter. Although I will miss sitting and reading, I love the autumn with the changing of the leaves. And winter to me is a time to hibernate and store energy for spring and summer.
New fall shows have started. They took The Unit off, much to my chagrin. But NCIS is on, and I like the new show, The Good Wife. And of course, Criminal Minds. I watched the movie, The Wrestler, with Mickey Rourke. Excellent, but sad.
Steelers are on tonight. They have lost their last two games. Here is hoping they will pick up the pace tonight. I don't know if Troy will be playing tonight, but the Steelers need him.
That's it for now. Enjoy your Sunday!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A Mini-Reunion

I went to visit family over the weekend. It was an interesting visit.
The flight there was good and uneventful. Arrived at 4:30 and a big dinner party was planned for 5:00. Racing from airport to hotel, checking in, phone calls, picked up and had a wonderful dinner with extended family. Too much to drink.
Called Michele in Pittsburgh, who advised me to take some Advil and get some sleep.
Saturday was birthday for brother, Wacky Girl and Sara. Such fun to watch the kids build a tent in the living room and race around the yard. Nice party with old and new folks.
Sunday was quiet. Hockey God left to go home, then the AZ contingency left. We had a wonderful breakfast sitting outdoors. Lemon pancakes...mmmmmm. So good.
Monday went to free lunch to serve. Interesting. People come to eat for free...anyone can come, college students, people passing by. It made me sad, but happy. Quite a feast. Quite a group, both serving and being served. It was Labor Day. Here in Pittsburgh we have a parade. There we served free lunch.
I did the treadmill every morning, and my exercises. Got up early this AM and did them both, then prepared to leave for home. Checked out of the hotel, took back the rental car and checked in at the airport. I had to go through Chicago, which is always a challenge. Got to Chicago and had an hour or so for lunch, which was a salad listening to people and trying to follow their French conversation without much success. Boarded the plane and a gentleman got on racing up the aisle and said he was the middle of our three seats. Since he had on a Steeler shirt, I told him he could join our row. Lots of odd noises coming from the plane. A slight delay while they checked the hydraulic system. The Steeler fan and I just looked at one another. A bit more of a delay while they continued to check it out. Now the fan and I began to talk about the hydraulic system. They closed the door and told us we would be leaving....oh, wait. They had to get paperwork. The fan told me they were covering themselves. Twenty minutes later they said they had received the paperwork. I asked the fan how they received the paperwork and he said they put it in the black box so that when we crashed the airlines wouldn't be held responsible. After ten more minutes, we began our journey. When the wheels went up there was a collective sigh of relief. Then the fan stated that there was probably just enough hydraulic fuel to lift the wheels, not to put them down upon landing. The flight was uneventful after that, but there was some anxiety when the pilot stated that we were preparing to land. As we descended the fan was practicing "brace" with his hands over his neck. The attendant did not think this was funny. We heard the wheels come down, but not lock. Fan said we should be like the Flintstones and drag our feet. We landed safely. There was a crowd waiting to board since we were late. I think I heard the fan say "the hydraulic system is flawed". He was fun to sit beside. He and his friend had been on a fishing trip in Utah. His friend was a Brown's fan. I didn't hold it against him. He was nice, too.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

A Wonderful Place to Work

My first week has ended at Phipps.
I think timing is everything in life. Leaving one job, taking another. I left a job that was very rewarding and very difficult. Where life and death decisions were often made, and I am trying not to be overly dramatic here. It wears one down. It takes away the spirit.
I love working at Phipps. Among the plants, flowers and Frabel glass exhibit and Chihuly glass. Children dancing around the flowers, parents smiling, grandparents bringing small children and laughing with them. The excitement and wonder of it all.
It is a peaceful place to work, that is, until the G20 conference! Dinner and a tour will take place at the Conservatory, and the place is buzzing. Secret Service, FBI, delegates from other countries. Exciting for Phipps.
Ava has recovered from her flower feast. I think no more cut flowers for the house, which makes me sad, but I never want to go through that again. Very scary.
The party was a great success. People are still coming to me and telling me what a good time they had. Somewhere between thirty and forty people came. It was a beautiful night and people drifted between the house and the yard. Peg and I danced in the kitchen at midnight cleaning up, laughing...oh yes, and a little too much wine. But it was such fun! And the food was wonderful!
The Steelers lost last Saturday (surprisingly, no one really watched the game). They play again tonight and we will see how they do. I know, pre-season doesn't mean much. I look at the rookie players who get play time and I think how exciting for them..their first time on the field and some have been making excellent plays.
Went to the Pirate game against Philly on Thursday and Pittsburgh won in the eighth inning. Very exciting. The people in front of us were from Philly and one woman had on a Vick shirt. Say what you will, I am sad that he is a part of a team from my state, but glad the Steelers didn't sign him on.
It's been a wonderful week, with a major change for me. It was a difficult decision to leave my other job, I liked the people and the work was challenging, but as my supervisor there said...."you will know when it is time, and the time will be right".
Have a wonderful weekend!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

An Important Warning

I just came home from the vet's this morning. I got some flowers and some were lilies. I know they are poisenous to cats, but watched them closely and she didn't seem to be paying attention to them. This morning there were three petals gone from a lily and Ava was throwing up. I called the vet and he said to bring her right over. He took a blood sample, hydrated her and gave her some medicine and said to watch her closely for vomiting and lethargy. She is sleeeping under the beds now, which she does not usually do, but hopefully she will be okay. If you have cats or small dogs, please do not allow them near any lily plants. I called the florist, who said she did not know this and she would be sure to make note of it.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

More Summertime Fun

Thanks to all for the support and good wishes on my job at Phipps! I am very excited to begin this Friday. It is orientation day and I begin officially on Monday. Needless to say, this has been such a good move for me. I needed to make a change in my life and this has proved to be such a positive move for me.
Yesterday was Mia day and it was a day of transportation. And I am again impressed with everyone we came in touch with, from the busdriver to the lady in the park cleaning up from the pigeons!
We began early yesterday by catching the bus into the city. The driver was helpful in telling us how to do this in the cheapest manner. It was a quick ride, then off to the subway. While Bean and Monkeyboy waited somewhat patiently for the subway, I started taking some pictures. A short subway ride took us to Station Square and a ride on the incline. I opened my eyes only once to take a picture of the kids. Bean took all the other ones on the incline.
Once at the top of Mt. Washington the kids ran to the lookout. I cannot even stand on the lookout I have such fear of the height. If affords those who venture out on the lookout a spectacular view of the city, and it is truly a beautiful sight.
Back on the incline and a quick bite to eat at Station Square, then off to the Ducky Tour. A picture of the Duck is to the right! What fun! We sat in the back and toured the city, quacking as we traveled. Into the Ohio River for a quick tour and an opportunity for anyone who desires an opportunity to drive the duck. Neither Monkeyboy or Bean wanted to do so, but there were others who tried their luck.
Back onto the subway and into the city. As we arrived at the park, we had some time to sit and Monkeyboy began his ever faithful attempt to catch a pigeon.
The rain began and Monkeyboy donned his poncho and splashed in the puddles running madly about the small park.
Off to catch the bus and end our day of transportation in the city! What a great day, even with the rain.
Am trying desperately to get ready for the party in the new back yard on Saturday night. They are calling for great weather, and I am looking forward to having everyone share the great yard.
Bean and company are going camping this weekend and I am spending a good deal of the time with Oscar and Flurrie. It's nice to have a dog for the weekend!
Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

More Summertime Fun

The Cardinals were in town last week to play the Pirates. It's hard to keep up with who is playing with the Pirates, because as soon as someone plays well, they trade them. The young lads behind us yelled to McCutchen "Double deuce, don't play so well, they'll trade you". But Mia day was to go see the Pirates play and that we did. And what a good time we had! It was, again, dollar dog night, my favorite...sorry to all the vegans out there. The Cards have a very good team, I am told by Monkeyboy. Their first baseman did well in the all star game. I can't quote the stats the way Monkeyboy did, suffice to say, he is good. Pujols is his name, I believe. We find our way to the parking lot in good time. Monkeyboy's excitement is hard to contain. He has gathered all his mitts to distribute to catch fly balls and balls hit during practice. We arrive at the stadium and follow him to the seats, which are in the outfield bleachers. The kids station themselves at the rail with others to catch the balls. I sit in the seats, waiting to get the dogs. Waiting, waiting. A ball is hit my way. Oh my gosh, what to do? Two men are racing towards me. The ball goes into the ivy. I stand up, push the two men out of the way and race towards the ivy. People are yelling "You can't go in there". Well, I have no intentions of going "in" there, I am only reaching. The look on the kids face is one of horror, fearful that I shall be arrested. I reach for the ball through the fence...almost reaching it. The man reached around me...a quick shove to him and I have my hand on the ball. I hear shouting that I am not to be doing this. In triumph, I raise my hand holding the ball. Kids come back to seats after practice and tell me I should not have done that. What do they know...I have the ball. Time for those dollar dogs, so a trip to the food stand and peanuts, cracker jacks and dogs are there for the eating. Once our stomach is full, it's to the souvenir stand. Monkeyboy wants a McCutchen shirt, Bean opts for the McLouth shirt, which of course is cheap now since he is no longer with the Pirates. Monkeyboy puts his McCutchen shirt over his Bey (Jason Bey was also traded), and we go back to our seats. Monkeyboy shouts to McCutchen to throw us a ball, and sure enough a ball comes into the stands and lands on Bean's leg. Monkeyboy grabs it and now we have two balls. The game was a good one, we lost, of course, 6-4. We got two home runs which brought forth fireworks. It was a great evening. Well, there was this incident when we left the game, but I knew the bus wouldn't run us over.
It has been warm here the past few days. Sorry, Wacky Mommy, but I have air conditioning, and I have had it on. After a few days, I get tired of it. So (shhhh) last night I cheated and opened my bedroom window with the air conditioning still on. The cicada's are singing their end of summer song and I love to listen to it as I fall asleep. I lie there in bed listening and thinking about what a wonderful summer this has been. Tonight is cool enough that I have the windows all open and the air off completely.
I had another interview at Phipps. I think it went very well. I had to do a drug test and background checks and they will call me once they are done. I went from Phipps to my old office to see folks, and I do miss my unit! We all sat in my old office and talked for a good half hour. I saw everyone there and talked to all my co workers and friends. It was great to see them all again. I do miss them, but not the job.
There is another mini-family reunion coming up in September over Labor Day. It will be good to be together again. I am flying through Chicago again...and am hoping not to get stuck in the airport for 20 hours again this year!
Have a wonderful rest of the week!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Road Trip '09

Here we are, back in the 'burgh. Yes, I believe I did see Tim in Virginia, but I can't be sure since he was surrounded by hotel security.
The weather was perfect for the beginning of the trip. We sailed along, singing merrily, anticipating a wonderful trip. Called Bird and said how well things were going...and then...traffic.
Who would think that at noon on a Friday cars would be lined up around DC for over an hour. No, there wasn't an accident, it was just a mess. But we got through that and rolled along again. We arrived in Williamsburg somewhere around three. Our room was ready and so was the pool. Kids played in the pool for a couple of hours, then off to dinner. Spilled milk, but no other disaster, and off to bed to anticipate a wonderful day at historic Williamsburg.
It was 86 degrees when we woke up. We ate breakfast and headed out. Arrived at the visitor's center, got our passes and were off to explore. By this time I think it was 98 degrees. Grumpiness ensued. We went into a few buildings, only because they were air conditioned. Monkeyboy wanted to take a carriage ride, but they were taking the horses off the street at 11:00 because of the heat. I was impressed with that...Monkeyboy was not.
We left soon after that for another afternoon of swimming. And then went to explore the town a bit. Again, an extremely hot day. Don't know what I was expecting, but the heat and humidity were awful.
Then we discovered Yorktown. What a charming place! We walked around for a bit, then decided to take the free trolly tour around the town. It stopped at the Visitor's Center and we had to sit and wait for about 20 minutes for a bus to arrive. Children (not our party) were getting cranky and it was hot...did I mention that? Bean mentioned that she thought she saw lightening, and she did! We finally began to move and the sky became darker as we moved through the town. There was a woman in a wheelchair who had to get off, and apparently, the driver of the trolley car wasn't real familiar with how to operate the lift. It took three or four times of jostling this poor woman up and down to figure it out. Meanwhile, the sky was getting darker and large drops of rain began to fall. Did I mention the lightening? The driver told the woman to back up a bit which the woman did, and almost fell off the lift. It was not a pretty sight. She did finally get off and her husband raced her to the car.
We were the only ones left, and the rain got more serious, as did the lightening. We picked up a couple who were drenched and dropped them off. We were dropped at the parking lot and raced to the van. The wind was howling, the rain coming down in sheets and trees were bending to touch the ground. We decided to wait it out and I was glad we did. As we headed back to the hotel the roads were close to being flooded and there were a lot of trees down. We did see a rainbow, but were not successful in getting a picture of it.
Back to Yorktown the next day and to the beach. 86 degrees at 8:00 in the morning. We had a great time at the beach in spite of the jelly fish. Bean began to build a sand castle, but with no help from anyone, she decided to cheat. See results at the right.
We made a decision to head to the farm. I went to use the computer in the business center and there was a young girl using it along with a gentleman. I asked if they would be long and said I would come back. An hour later the young girl was still on the computer and another gentleman was there. I asked how much longer they would be and the gentleman said he had just logged on and the sweet young thing said she didn't know. I told her I would be back in ten minutes to use it and she said ok. I came back in twenty minutes only to find her still on it and another person on the second one. She said she would be a little longer, and I said I needed it and I would wait until she finished up. Then I pulled a chair right beside her and waited. She got the hint. Why do people think they have the right to use one of two computers in a business center for hours at a time?????
Got a reservation at the farm and we headed for Lancaster the next day. How wonderul to sit in the orchard in the cool breeze and enjoy a good book while the kids played with kittens and jumped on the trampoline!
An interesting group at the farm this year...a man in special forces in the army, a family from Germany, a Chaplain from a state prison in New York and of!
It was a great road trip and except for the heat, darn near perfect! Have a great Sunday.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Summer in the 'Burgh

The last baseball game was last night. Monkeyboy's team won 3/4 tournaments, last night being the fourth. What will I do on a warm, summer night? Such fun to watch these kids develop skills over time and the elation of winning. Lessons learned.
Phipps has been in touch with me. Some budget problems, some problems with HR director's illness in the family. I will check when we return from the road trip.
Road Trip 2009 will begin in just two days. To Virginia for a week. I have been having muscles spasms in my back, so hopefully they will quiet down before we leave! We have lots planned, Williamsburg, Busch Gardens, the beach and lots of food, of course.
Not working has it's benefits...the biggest one being enjoying the world around me. I have had time to sit and enjoy the garden. The flowers are magnificant! And the deer are hardly bothering them. I have painted the bedroom, again! (hence the muscle spasms in my back). It looks very beachy. Thanks to all who have had input.
This has been an incredible summer here in the burgh. We had rain last Friday for the first time in weeks. Took the kids to Color Me Mine to paint and have art pieces fired. Monkeyboy painted a frog, Bean a tile, Sprout a cup and I painted a stone that said "Welcome" for the garden. We went to the library, where the kids sat on the padded window ledge, watched traffic and listened as Bean read a story to them.
Bean helped me pick out a swimsuit. Haven't used it yet. Tried on lots of them and many gave us a good laugh! The first one I tried on is the one I ended up buying. Had to have one for the road trip.
A neighbor is cutting their grass. I love the smell of fresh cut grass. It is one of my favorite smells of summer. Do you have one?
Time to do, shower, shop, get ready for road trip, or just sit in the garden enjoying summer.
Hope your summer is as pleasant.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

A Sad Day In Mudville

It had to end, this tremendous winning streak that his team had. I believe it was 16 or 17 games. And end it did. They lost their game last night, 6-5. It looked as though they tied it up in the last inning, but alas, the runner was called back to third and the last out was called. Another game today, perhaps two. We'll have to see.
Bean got an electric guitar, and generously allowed Monkeyboy to try it. Both kids have talent when it comes to music, and already they have collaborated on a song. MR plays keyboard, Bean plays guitar and Monkeyboy plays drums. They have been banished to the basement to practice. All they need now is a name.
I have a fan that is stuck on one speed. I wrote to the manufacturer and told them the problem. They suggested sending them the model number which is located on top of the motor housing, which just happens to be three inches from the ceiling. So, I am on top of the bed with a mirror looking for the number. Aha, this must be it. But they said it started with a "2". Hmmm, could this thing that looks like a "5" actually be a "2"? And I am having some difficulty reading the numbers from the reflection in the mirror. So, I try to take a picture, but that doesn't work. And it is very, very dusty. I clean it and get everything below very, very, dusty. I write back to the manufacturer and give him what I think are the numbers and tell him they could be in any order. We'll see what happens with that.
The magnolia tree has scales. They are little white bubble kind of things. Scales, I am told. They cannot be gotten rid of this year, but the medicine should take care of it next year, I am told. Oh, yes, and the deer have returned. Madly spraying plants and it seems to have helped.
Other than that, unemployment is wonderful. I wake up and think about doing something, then do nothing. Not true, of course. Bean, Monkeyboy and I went to pick out paint for the bedroom with the fan that doesn't work properly. We decided on light blue. That's the name. It is a pure blue, no grey or green, and I think it is going to be pretty. I had to repair the window where there was water damage (and I did a fine job, I might add), and I just sanded that down, so Monday will be paint day. Maybe. That's the great thing, you know. I can do it or not.
We went for a walk the other night, well, actually we went for a walk several times. Mippy, Monkeyboy, Bean and I. The kids rode their bikes and Mippy had Oscar, the dog. Monkeyboy wiped out twice...lose gravel on the road, and according to him, Bean making him wipe out. The first time he ran into a tree. Bean and I had a difficult time containing our laughter. I have a problem with that...I tend to laugh when people fall. He didn't get hurt on that one, only his pride. Two nights later, the same thing, only he got pretty scratched up on that fall. I didn't laugh. His arm was bleeding (Bean's fault,of course, she cut him off) and he held his arm up for about 1/2 miles watching the blood. And he was never going to ride his bike again because it was stupid. He rode it the next day. His father was riding his motorcycle to work and Monkeyboy rode up the street on his bike beside his father.
Off to clean and get ready for the game today. This next one will be do or be done time, I believe. It's so hard to follow all this.
Have a wonderful summer weekend.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Thoughts on a Sunday

Woke up this morning and decided it was a perfect morning to take a walk. Generally, a walk of this kind demands the cemetary. I look at the headstones and wonder about people. Who were they? How did they die? Some are very young. One was a teen who died and her parents decorate the grave quite elaborately.
Came home and decided it was much too lovely to go inside, so I brought my book out and sat on the patio, watching the rabbits, the birds and reading my book. It's called "Twenty Wishes" and is about a group of women that make a list of twenty wishes that they want to accomplish...kind of a bucket list if you will. I think I am going to start another one, since I lost the first one. I'll share mine, if you share yours. It should be something that is fun, something whimsical, if you will. For me, the first wish will be a pair of red cowboy boots. When I was a kid I always wanted a pair of cowboy boots and never got them. Now I can. Don't know where I will wear them, but I want them.
Bean and I were at one of the many tournament games this weekend and I noticed Monkeyboy and his friend, Noah. They don't talk much, kind of just hang out together. I asked Bean how she chose friends. She thought about it for awhile, and said that when she was in second grade, it was a matter of asking someone if they wanted to color with you. That was the beginning, or at least could be. She said a friend is someone you can be with and don't feel like you have to make conversation. You can just sit quietly and if feels okay. I think that's a good description. I also think a friend is someone that you haven't seen in a long time, but when you do, it is as though you have never been apart.
Tournaments. *Sigh* Monkeyboy's team (it's not actually his team, but the one on which he plays) is undefeated after fourteen games. This is the third tournament, and the final game of this one is tomorrow night. There was a homerun this game, and Monkeyboy made an outstanding double play from third base.
I have not heard from Phipps Conservatory, but am hoping to this week. I will keep you posted.
The beautiful flowers were from the Iowa contingency. Some might refer to my lack of employment as retirement, but I am fortunate to have a friend who said to me "You are now faced with a new adventure. Make choices, suffer the pitfalls, and bask in the glory of the right ones. Life is not a journey to the grave to arrive in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming--- WOW WHAT A RIDE!!!!"
I don't know to whom I should credit the last part, but it was a quote that they used and I thought both parts were perfect.
It's a new adventure, and I can't wait to see what lies ahead.
Have a great week.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

A Sunny Saturday

Can life be any better? Great weather, good food, nice people surrounding me and BASEBALL TOURNAMENT WEEKEND.
Monkeyboy's team is undefeated. The food they cook tastes wonderful. MR joined us today. The sky was beautiful. Do you look at clouds and see things? I do. I see a big dog in that picture. And isn't it funny when you see something and no one else does. They begin to argue what you have seen.
Bean was taking pictures today, wandering the field. She began to wave madly at someone, thinking it was I (or is it me?). She was insulted when the lady didn't wave back. I think that lady did look like me, only much older, of course.
Why do burgers always taste better on the grill? I chowed my down today and it was wonderful.
I am reading lots in the backyard. I read a bit, watch the kids behind us, watch the birds, the bees...wait, that's not what you think.
The parents on this baseball team are so very nice. And when one of the players has a bad day, everyone cheers anyway. The kids do try their best, and I think everyone wants to win, of course, but everyone cheers when there is an exceptional catch or hit, no matter what team it is.
Five more days and I will be done at my job. I don't feel sad, but there is so much I want to do before they de-activate everything. I really loved my job, it was something different every day. And the people are wonderful. Well, most of them are. There are some...well, we won't discuss them!
My interview at Phipps went great, I think. I really want the position. It is kind of a glorified Walmart greeter. I think it would be wonderful, and I would be eligible for courses they offer on gardening, flower arranging, etc. Free. How great is that? I am told that everyone will be called back for a second interview, and I am assuming that it will be after the Fourth of July holiday.
Time to gear up for the road trip. You may remember, we are headed for Williamsburg, VA. I love these road trips. Singing in the car, staying up late, eating whenever we are hungry. We will spend some time at the beach this year. I have no swim suit. Debating whether I should get one or not. It's very traumatic to try on bathing suits. I always think I can get into a certain size, and it never works, so I feel disgusted. Perhaps I'll just forget the suit. No, no, not that...I'll wear shorts on the beach. And a tank top. Yes, that's what I'll do. Why ruin my vacation by trying on suits that won't fit.
Well, the big bed calls my name. Three games tomorrow and a very busy week ahead. Have a wonderful Sunday.

Sunday, June 21, 2009


Sorry for the delay, but it has been a busy week.
The small road trip was wonderful. So relaxing. Except for the Pens game. That was NOT relaxing.
Rain on the way out, seems always to have rain on the road. About 5/10 hours. Yuk. The way back was sunny and great. Well, except for getting off the turnpike going 90 miles per hour around the off ramp. That Mippy! Now whenever we take a turn Bean and I yell "Wheeeeeeee". But we made it home in time for the baseball game.
Brother and sister-in-law always show us a wonderful time, whether it be sitting quietly talking, eating sister-in-law's wonderful cooking, listening to her play the piano or watching the kids. I am amazed when someone can pick up a song book and just begin to play. It is so wonderful to listen to. Bean played also, as did A. and even C. played a bit. The kids are a delight. Lots of giggles, lots of laughter. A bit of a scare when Bird had an eye problem back in the burgh, but it turned out okay, thank goodness!
The Penquins....what can one say except they were wonderful. Screams abound, cheering and jumping up and down. Monkeyboy went to the parade with his friend and got to high five the coach. Our teams are the greatest. Well, most of them are.
I have been sitting in the yard, under the tree, reading away the day. It is so wonderful, and it helps to have a good book.
I leave my one job in eleven days and I have an interview on Wednesday for a position at Phipps Conservatory.
We had quite the crowd at the ballgame today. Family for North Carolina, Ginger, Mippy, Bird and Bean of course, and all of the regulars. Even Mippy's brother came. Final Sunday tournament game and the next tournament begins next Friday. I am so glad it is summer and we have all the summer activities of which to enjoy.
Happy Father's Day!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Is this Heaven...No, it's IOWA

Just so we can make this clear, this is Bean speaking. I am the guest blogger. We (Mippy, Mia, and I) drove to Iowa to visit Mia's brother and family. It was a lllooonnnngggg drive!!!! It was supposed to take 10 hours so it shouldn't have been too bad. Well, that wasn't exactly how it worked. We got stuck in traffic, and more traffic, and some more traffic. The GPS, named Stacy, told us that we were supposed to arrive at 5pm. We arrived at 6pm. When we finally arrived, all were awaiting to see us. We had a wonderful 6-minute dinner prepared by Mia's sister-in-law. The next morning the trio of cousins came over for the day and we went to the near-by park. We had a lot of fun. We were all sweaty by the time we were walking back, while the youngest of the trio was complaining she couldn't walk anymore. We all got back and we pounded down many glasses of water. The rest of the day, we did arts and crafts, played outside, and just had fun. When it came time to go to bed, we all layed down and were told a bedtime story by Mia's brother.

Ohh...and don't think I forgot. PENGUINS WON! PENGUINS WON-in Detroit, in front of Detroit's fans, and we beat Hossa!!!! Ha ha ha. If only you had all heard Mia screaming. People in other parts of the house thought there had been a robber and it scared the heck out of them. That goes to show just how different Pittsburgh fans are from other fans.

The next day, we went to the oldest of the trio's softball game. I never realized just how many girls play softball. It's a great sport. Afterwards, everyone came home and we all had a meal called Million Dollar Spaghetti. Boy, it's true-it's got to be worth atleast a million dollars.

Everyone have a great rest-of-the-weekend!!
PENGUINS WON!!!!! (And don't forget it!)

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Sunday Afternoon

I have been sitting in the "new" reading area in the yard, reading a delightful book called "Dewey". It is about a library cat in Spencer, Iowa. And I am so enjoying the back yard. It's another beautiful day here in the 'burgh.
As I was enjoying the outdoors and reading the book, my thoughts drifted. Back to a house in which I grew up. It was a large house, five bedrooms, three stories. A great house, as I remember it, although my brother does not have the same memories. We didn't have a swimming pool nearby, so many of my summer afternoons were spent on the front porch. People had front porches in our neighborhood, and everyone could be found sitting on them. We had a swing that hung from the ceiling, a glider, and two rocking chairs. Ahhh, the rocking chairs. I wore the paint off the floor, rocking on those chairs, reading books, all summer. Oh, I would leave the porch in the afternoon when my mother and I would walk to the local market to shop for dinner. She never bought for more than a dinner at a time.
I remember this as I sit reading today.
The Pens did not do well last night. Not well at all. To not do well is one thing, but to start fights out of frustration is quite another. A bit beneath them, I think. Back to Pittsburgh on Tuesday, and I hope we win that one. Or at least play competively. And with no fights from frustration.
Monkeyboy had a game on Friday and one this afternoon. He got a double, a single and played first base like a champ.
Getting ready for a mini road trip this week. Looking forward to it, as always.
In preparation, I went to the library to get some books. Imagine my chagrin to find that the library I love best is closing for eighteen months for renovation! I like to wander the library, look at all of the new books, read the jackets, then make a choice. The local library doesn't have room to display all the new books on carosels, so they put them on a shelf. It's harder to brouse that way. The library looks fine to me, why do they have to rennovate it?
Summer is a time for road work. Lots and lots of road work. Delays everywhere. Perhaps if they did the roads right the first time, we wouldn't have all this construction every summer. It took me forty-five minutes to make a twenty minute trip yesterday. I don't know how I am going to go to work tomorrow since I understand they are closing yet another ramp to the bridge. This one project has been going on for several years, and will be going on for several more! Progress, they say.
It is time to go to Monkeyboy's baseball game. At least in his team they don't get rid of good players. What was the thinking in trading Nate McLouth???????
Have a great afternoon!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Baseball, Flowers, Gardens, Life, Boredom

A beautiful Sunday afternoon, sitting at the computer, waiting for Monkeyboy's Sunday ball to begin. Another great, relaxing weekend.
Well, kind of. Cleaned out the closet. Since my lifestyle will be changing very shortly, I have to go through all clothes and shoes and decide which to save and which to disperse. Business attire. Never to be used again. So, I make piles. Pile one is clothes to be donated. Pile two is clothes I will never, ever, in a million years, fit into ever again. Pile three is clothes I probably will never wear again, but can't part with. Pile four is the "keeper" pile. And then there are the shoes. Sometimes I wonder why I ever bought plaid shoes. And how about the strappy black silk shoes? There are pairs of shoes I have never worn. And there are sneakers that are oh, so comfortable. I have not yet begun to go through t-shirts. Mippy and I used to enter races all of the time, and we always got t-shirts. Three drawers worth of t-shirts. I don't wear t-shirts much anymore, nor do I run races much. I have lots of piles on the floor of the bedroom.
Monkeyboy played under the lights on Friday night. Perhaps "played" is too strong a word. His team does this once a year (plays under the lights), and it is something we all look forward to. Until the game begins. Monkeyboy's team was one man (or boy) short. Perhaps that had some impact. Perhaps not. The scorekeeper quit registering the score once the other team hit 18 runs in three innings. Such a wild cheer, and of course, the "wave", when Monkeyboy's team scored one run in the third inning. Soon to be followed by six more, but alas, they lost. Parents on the other team began to cheer when we got a hit. I don't even know the score, and that really doesn't matter, because in the end, the kids were thrilled to be playing under the lights, and the parents were thrilled that we scored. That 18-0 did not look so good on the board however.
The Pens played last night, kind of. The Redwings looked very good. I'm not sure why hockey players just hit the puc, not to anyone in particular, they just slam it down the ice. I'm sure Ben and Bill will explain it to those of us who are clueless.
They began the landscaping on Friday. I watched some, between lunch with friends and Judge Judy (one of my favorite shows, you know). I am always amazed when professionals seem to know exactly what to do and how to get it done. I don't know why I am amazed, but I am. I lost the plan they drew for me, so this is all quite a surprise, and a pleasant one at that. I didn't know they were going to put in a path, and it looks wonderful. They will hopefully finish it on Tuesday.
The front "garden" is one that I undertake each year, and it looks awful as usual, but at least there is something there.
I watched Susan Boyle sing again last night, and she has an amazing voice. I also watched "Diversity", the dance team that won. How innovative! I don't watch the talent shows, but these two were amazing.
Since I was sitting at my computer, waiting for baseball, I decided to start goggling (is that a word?) different words and phrases. I found out how to fix my front walk, how to find cat safe plants, how to get rust stains from concrete. It's amazing, you just put a word or phrase in the box and get all kinds of answers.
There will be no snack bar at the baseball game, so I had better get some lunch. Oh, by the way, don't try to reheat a bloomin' onion or Texas know one of those deep-fried onions that you get in restaurants. What a mess, and it was awful! Tried to do it for the hockey game last night, and it just did not work at all. Big, blob of a mess.
GO PENS!!!! Have a wonderful Sunday!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Memorial Day Weekend....So Far

I was going to wait to post, but I have been getting pressure from SOME for a new post, so here we go.
What a beautiful weekend it has been! Sunny, hot and a great beginning to summer. Baseball tournaments, the Pens winning, some gardening and, of course, dinner out on a Saturday night.
It's been a fast week. Training at work that is very tiresome, except for CC in my unit, who entertains us as we go. Two more days this week. You know, this may be the best system that has been introduced in years, but my gosh, the training is awful! And everyone is mandated for this three day training. With the holiday and all of the trainings, people aren't around much, and it make for a very interesting day at the office.
Springsteen on Tuesday with Monkeyboy. I love Springsteen, but when a concert is due to start at 7:30 and doesn't start until after 8:30, I get a little angry. I mean, if there is a problem with something, let us know. But the E Street Band came on stage and gave a wonderful concert. Unfortunately, after an hour, Monkeyboy sat down during a slower set and fell sound asleep.
Had dinner with a friend of mine that I haven't seen in sometime, like 10 years or so. She made me laugh so hard remembering things and telling stories of her life now. It is so nice to reconnect. She was such a good friend and we lost contact. I don't know how that happens. She is back in my life now and we have pledged to meet every month for dinner. It was odd how we reconnected. I got one of those emails from another friend, and on the forward list was her name. So I clicked on it and sent her an email, and I am glad I did.
MJE is in NYC this weekend. Wonder if she made it to GCS to dance. Perhaps she will see Tim, or perhaps she can make arrangements to assist him should he need it.
The Pens are up three games over North Carolina. They play again on Tuesday, and we will all be watching here in the 'burg...well, all except Kitty, who doesn't follow sports much and only this year knew anything about the Steelers. I don't like it when the Pens are only up by one point, I close my eyes a lot at that point. Malkin got a hat trick the other night, and that was certainly a great thing to see. I thought he might get one last night, but he only got two scores.
Tournament for little league baseball. I believe this was only the first of Monkeyboy's tournaments. I do love to watch these games.
This one was quite a distance away, probably about 25-30 miles from the city. It was in a rural community and it was a beautiful drive. We saw one house and Mippy yelled..."Did you see that? Elvis forever". I thought that she had seen the same thing that I saw. I saw...on the a different color shingle....ELVIS. It was actually on the roof. I believe she saw it on a painted rock. This brings to mind some odd customs we have in Pittsburgh. We put chairs in parking spots to save them. And no one moves them. They wouldn't dare. People spend hours cleaning snow from a parking spot, then they put their chair there. They even do it in the summer. Not clean the snow, but put chairs to save parking spots. But I digress.
Tournament day number one. Everyone piles into the park and sets up their chairs. We all plop down and await the start of the game. Kids on the team are throwing balls to one another while parents watch with pride. Anticipation builds. Bean and Bird are practicing lacrosse while they wait. The teams take the field. Batters hit their spikes, hats are adjusted. Mitts are pounded, swings are practiced. And then the magic words. PLAY BALL.
"Little league ready" is called for the fielders, cheers for the batter. These parents are good, they cheer when someone hits the ball, they cheer when someone catches the ball, the cheer just to cheer. Coaches show respect for each other and for the teams. It is a good game and Monkeyboy's team wins. Hot dogs all around and off to the next game.
This coach is an idiot. Yells at his team, throws his mitt after each inning and tries to change the batting order, which I am told is not allowed. He is called on it and gets cranky. His wife does some crazy hoots and hollers while waving her arms furiously and screeching at the top of her lungs. Someone said she fell off the top of the bleachers after getting extremely wild on one play, but I think they were kidding, weren't they? Monkeyboy's team could do nothing, but, hey...they tried.
Home yesterday and up early this morning for another round. Bean and friends took younger kids to the playground, while Bird put up a canopy for some much needed shade. All of a sudden, our spot became the spot of the day. Made one feel popular.
Same routine pre-game. Team just couldn't get it together, but had a rally at the end. Not quite enough though and they lost. Hot dogs all around then off to the next game. The team could do no wrong in this game. Hit all the balls, got runs and fielded the ball beautifully. Game was called a win after four innings due to rain on the way and the uneven score...I believe 12-2.
It has been a great weekend. Tomorrow we go to the cemetery for a memorial service.
I hope your summer is off to a good start, and please remember those who served our country and are currently serving. Happy Sunday.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Where Was Everyone?

We are home.

We had the most wonderful trip. The drive up was a bit dicey. Fog and rain. And the windshield wipers were not so good....and there was this driver who almost cut us off, but Mippy took care of it.

Garmin doesn't work in NYC. It said to turn right onto W42nd, then immediately said to turn left onto 10th Ave. It was very confused. We were tired. Got cranky. Mippy kept saying "Don't yell"....does she know the meaning of the word yell?

Got to the hotel and checked in...thanks to Ralph. He was wonderful, just what we needed. Got to our room and off to Toy R Us. Rode on the darn ferris wheel. I hate ferris wheels, scare the heck out of me. Kids laughed. They thought it was cool that I went on. I didn't.

Went to pool. Watched them swim. Monkeyboy is doing well. They got a bit wild. Well, actually they were wild with anticipation. I thought to myself that they would medicate Monkeyboy if they saw him, but I thought it is just excitement. Anticipation.

Woke up and had breakfast before leaving for Statue. It worked perfectly. Got on the boat, went to see Statue. Had beautiful weather. Mippy wanted to take subway...we took cab. She is such an adventurist, but Hotel said....get there early. Trip over, Bean started to feel sick from fumes from boat. We all did, just didn't want to talk about it. Made it to the island, and what a sight. I was impressed. We had lots of fun, just exploring.

Came back on boat. Woman heaved overboard and hit the deck below. Lots of "ewwwwww" from deck below. Felt badly for the woman who heaved, not thinking about the people to whom she heaved. We all got a little nauseous from watching heaving.

Arrived at hotel after eating dogs on the street. More swimming.

Went to see Wicked. What a wonderful show! Laughed, laughed some more. Left theater feeling very good, heading back to hotel. Eating cookies.

Shopping day and Monkeyboy and Mippy went to GCT. Did not see Tim. Waited for many, many hours for song and dance, but nothing.

Met back at hotel for swimming. Tried to do dance and song in pool, did not work.

Went to dinner and off to Gazillion Bubble Show. Was wonderful. Monkeyboy went up on stage to participate and was great! He was part of foursome that went inside bubble. Anna, the bubble person, was born in 1965 in Vietnam. She told her story, and Monkeyboy knew it all to convey to his father.

Trip back.

Awoke early, went to deli to get breakfast. Deli man remembered me and gave me the order. Wished me a safe journey home and wished the Pens good luck. Went back to hotel and packed to leave. Got car, porter, and were on our way. Did I mention....Garmin doesn't work in the city? Thanks to Mippy got out of city and on our way.

Through the Lincoln Tunnel and a sigh of relief. No traffic to speak of, on the road and clear sailing. Well, maybe not. Bean said she had to stop. We were just outside the city. It sounded rather urgent, so we pull off and find this gas station. Bean gets out of the car and heads to the ladies room. It's quite windy and somewhat cold. We wait in the car. And wait. And wait. Bean finally comes out, looking a bit green. She asks if we can sit for a while, she doesn't feel well. Nope. We can't. Get out the plastic bags and head back onto the freeway.

I should mention that this happens when we are on the road. Kids get nauseous It generally passes rather quickly.

We drive on for an hour or so, checking with Bean who says to continue. Monkeyboy wakes up and says he needs a restroom. Bean concurs and says she does also. We get off at one stop and no restroom. On to the next stop. We see a sign for a motel and for a Home Depot. We figure there must be a restroom in the motel.

The motel is boarded up. Things are getting urgent. We head for Home Depot at top speed. We pull into the parking spot and get out of the car. Mippy is hiding the Garmin (it's finally working) and tells the kids to hide things. I say let's just get going here. She says to quit yelling.

We race into Home Depot, four of us running madly. We ask the greeter who tells us that the rest rooms are at the other end of the store in the back. We run. And make it. WHEW.

Everyone feels much better, and the rest of the trip goes without any problems. We arrive home to be greeted by Oscar, Flurrie and MR, the next door neighbor.

It's great to go away, and the trip was wonderful, but boy, my bed felt great last night.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

I Think I Am Ready

The Pens lost...but we have a chance tomorrow night.

So much excitement.

Monkeyboy played so well in baseball Monday night. Boy, can that boy run. And he can hit. He made Sunday ball.

Bean turned 13 on Monday. Bird always cuts their age into the grass. She is a teenager. How scary is that?

OM gosh, I am so excited to get on the road. I packed, and re-packed tonight.

I hope Mippy doesn't take her blackberry...those are so very annoying.

We are renting a van and packing food. So much better than flying, though I have three tickets on airlines from fiasco in June.

We are seeing "Wicked" and I can't wait.

I wish we could meet in Grand Central Station and dance to the music.


Friday, May 8, 2009

Getting Ready

We leave for New York City on Thursday, and we are counting the days. We are a group of singers, we are. Each person has their own part to a song. Monkeyboy beats out the song with drumsticks on the back of the seat and also chimes in on the singing. MY goal is to learn the words to this song. Mippy and I attempted to sing it and yelled to Bean "Hit it" for the chorus. Bean is too young to remember this song, but perhaps she will read the blog and she and Monkeyboy can practice it.

Michele is photographing a wedding tomorrow, her first I think. She told a co-worker about it and he was very mean about it. She takes wonderful pictures, but she is nervous, so keep your fingers crossed that she doesn't trip the bride!

Kitty SOLD one of her beautiful bags yesterday. They are truly unique and eye catching. I am thinking she has a second career here.

Know this is short, but Pens are playing, so gotta run. Have a good one.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Take Me Out to the Ballgame

Last night Monkeyboy and I went to a Pittsburgh Pirate game. What an experience! Bean was having a birthday party and I offered to spend the evening with Monkeyboy. I wanted to make it a good time for him, so for a child that said at the beginning of baseball season "This is the best time of my life", I thought the game would be a good choice.
We left in plenty of time, 5:00 for a 7:00 game. Monkeyboy directed me to the parking lot and we walked the two blocks to the ballpark. Since his father had told me where they usually sat, Monkeyboy took me to the seats, pointing out sights along the way.
The Reds were warming up, and apparently, the center field bleachers are the place to sit to catch balls. The Reds threw them into the crowd on occasion, and as you can see, Monkeyboy was right there, ready to catch them.
It was umbrella night, as well as dollar dog night (limit, four to a person). Monkeyboy explained the game to me in detail and was impressing those around us with his knowledge. I had one highlight, when I told him why players used to tuck their pants into their was so the umpire could see the strike zone more clearly.
They have questions throughout the game on the jumbotron, and one of them was asking the players which birthday they thought was the most fun for them. The one player said that when he was a kid, he got lots of presents, had a big party, was very special for the day, but now he got a card and a happy birthday. Sometimes, growing up isn't fun.
The rain began in the seventh inning, and it came down hard. We had ponchos, so we kept fairly dry. The nachos got soggy, though. My favorite part of going to a ballgame is the nachos and beer. I had no beer. Just pepsi. But it still was a wonderful evening. The Pirates lost, but I got to know quite a bit about their team, thanks to Monkeyboy.
Now to get ready to watch the Pens....GO PENS.
Do you remember your favorite birthday? Mine was when papap and mime came to Pittsburgh and we went to the Point to see the fireworks.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

A Perfect Weekend

What is your idea of a perfect weekend? Is it the weather? Is it the family time? Is it reading a good book? Going to a sports activity? To the museum? Perhaps a concert?
The Pens won yesterday afternoon. We had to plan around that event. We ended up at a sports bar. As we walked in, the crowd went wild with a goal that we had just scored. I mean, absolutely wild. We are a sports town. Then we raced back to the house to see the end. Philly has a great team, but we took the series. Now we wait to see who we play next. I understand the cup isn't until June. Wow, that seems so far away.
Bean, not feeling well, played lacrosse Friday night. She is getting much better very quickly, if that makes sense. She looks like a gazelle as she runs down the field, really very graceful, fast and in control.
Monkeyboy played a scrimmage game yesterday and had a hit everytime at bat and did some excellent fielding as well. They have a girl on their all boy's team this year. She also runs very quickly.
Sprout makes her first holy communion today. I will be leaving for church in a few minutes.
Ava is enjoying the open windows. She is an indoor cat, which I guess is mean by some people's standards. I fear her getting hit by a car, so I keep her inside. She was making the oddest sounds this morning as she was talking to a bird outside the window. I was watching her as I was contemplating getting out of the very comfortable bed.
So, this is what makes my weekend perfect. I even read my book and am almost finished. Reading, sitting at a little league field and lacrosse game in the warm (okay, hot) sunny day in the burg, seeing the Pens win, a wonderful dinner with friends and Sprout making her first communion. About as good as it gets.
Have a wonderful Sunday.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Sports and Such

The Pens win, and what a game it was. Overtime. Onto Philly. Today is a perfect day here in the 'burgh. Sunny, warm. The landscape man called today, and the yard is scheduled. All the bricks around the beds are stacked neatly and the man is coming tomorrow to look at the tree stump that needs ground up.
I went to see Bean play lacrosse today. I don't understand the game, should look up the rules. I always yell for Bean, and I believe she gave me an annoying look today, but I can't be sure. In the midst of the game, running, bumping into one another, one could hear "sorry". I knew immediately it was Bean. She apologized...on the playing field! She later explained that it was because she bumped into one of her players.
Monkeyboy is trying out for a Sunday team for baseball. I don't know how Mippy and Bird are going to manage all this, but the kids really seem to enjoy it.
M.R.G. went with us to the game today. Bird and I got nachos, of course. MRG just watched us eat them. We were all hoping the MRG would go to school with Bean next year, but she has elected to go private. Private vs. Public. I won't even go there.
So, to Hockey God, who told me he was going to root for Philly....and to KK, who also wanted to see Philly win....neener, neener, neener. Here we go Pens, keep looking good.
I hope you weekend is a great as mine is starting to be. Need to go get ready for dinner...mmmmmm.
Have a wonderful spring weekend!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Random Thoughts

I took pictures in the yard tonight.
The magnolia's got a little burned, they won't be as perfect this year.
We got our parking places back at work. Little things mean a lot.
The woman who sang in England on Who's Got Talent was amazing. Here is the link. Quite inspirational.
After four trips by Jim the Plumber, the tub is not leaking as badly.
But it is still leaking.
The landscaper person is coming tomorrow and I am excited.
We begin the dance with Lord Stanley tonight, go Pens.
James Harrison got a contract that was for $51.75 million plus $20 million in bonus.
Approximate starting for a county caseworker, $26,000 per year.
Today is Tax Day.
Why not have a fair share tax, tax on what we buy, do away with all other taxes.
I love spring.
President Obama is expected by people to have all of the problems solved after 90 days. And it took how long to mess things up so badly?
I think the new first dog is great! Such energy and life in the White House now.
Bean had her first lacrosse game today. Go, Bean.
Have a great Wednesday!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Do Re Mi

Something to brighten your day. We have had a very sad week in Pittsburgh. Wicked Kitty sent this to me tonight and suggested I send it to the dancer, Bean. It is late, and I am tired, but I called Bird and told him to have Bean watch it tomorrow. Then, at this late hour, I had to call Bean and tell her to watch it now. I know it is staged, but it makes me feel happy. And all week, it has been a sad week. This is not to negate what has happened, I am still feeling such sadness over the death of the three policemen. But this brought a smile to my face and I hope it does to yours.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

How Sad

On Saturdy, April 4, 2009, three City of Pittsburgh police officers died while responding to a domestic. There is blame all around. Blame to the young man who shot the officers, blame to the mother who called the police, blame to the dispatcher who failed to tell the police that there were weapons in the home. When this kind of tradgedy happens, everyone wants to find someone to blame. Does the blame help us feel less guilty? The bottem line is, three men died. They had families. They had children. They were doing their job as best they could. Can we put aside the blame and just mourn the loss...the loss of the officers, the loss of a husband, of a son, of a father.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Saturday in the 'burgh

Jim, the plumber, came. It is not a pretty picture. Thanks, Ben, for the suggestion, and I probably should have listened. Instead of focusing on the leak, Jim chose to focus on the drain. Many, many, many dollars later and the faucet is still dripping, kind of. Needless to say, Jim will be making a return trip, even though the drip comes and goes...that's the drip in the faucet, I wouldn't dream of calling Jim a drip. Did you ever feel as though you are being taken????
I am still awaiting the guy's idea about my back yard. I can't wait to get started. Getting estimates on getting a tree stump removed. He said he can even design something for under the magnolia tree, which by the way, is so very ready to break out in flowers. I am hoping they hold off because we are to get SNOW in the next few days.
It's a busy time of the year. Baseball starts, lacrosse in full swing, school winding down, my job winding down...just thought I would throw that in the mix...and several trips coming up in the next few months. Tigger, our first one is to your fair city. And we are seeing "Wicked".
Some of the recent pictures are when I went for a walk on Thursday at work. Lost my swipe card along the way, but it was returned. It was a beautiful day for a walk, and it feels good to get out of the office for a while.
I am playing the guitar again. Have to prepare for Bruce to come to the burgh. You never know, he might call me on stage to help with the band.
So, the battery for FiOS is fixed, the faucet is not. Wonder what it will be next? Guess this happens in old houses. Thanks, Ben, for your help, it at least gives me information to ask questions.
Have a great weekend!

Monday, March 30, 2009

No Final Four :(

It was a wonderful game, even though we lost. Right down to the final buzzer.
The flowers Peg brought to Sunday dinner are still beautiful.
The man for the deck came on Saturday. A very nice man. Designed a deck for me right at the dining room table, and it looked wonderful. And he wasn't pushy at all, just explained things to me and left an estimate. Tomorrow a gardner is coming...well, I guess they call them landscape designers. There is so much work to be done in the yard, one hardly knows where to start. Have to keep in mind the herd of deer that wander the neighborhood. The old gardens are coming up, brick borders and all. The one thing that I do want to replace is the hydrangea tree. I love the big flowers it gets in the fall.
I think when it rains, it pours. I heard an annoying beep in my house last Monday and couldn't figure it out before I went to work. I came home, and alas, it was beeping as I came in from the garage. A handy person, I am not, but it was coming from the FiOS box over in the corner...that would be the corner with all the junk piled up so that you can't even get to it. After moving everything and taking the cover off the box, I read the directions. It is a back up battery...a very large battery. Actually, they told me when I called that I could buy it at a motorcycle shop. Nevermind, I said, just send me one. So, it should be here tomorrow.
Then I discovered that the faucet in the tub is dripping. So, I began to take it apart and couldn't figure that out. Called my friendly plumber, Jim. You remember Jim, he was the one who sent the plant after he dug up the basement and the driveway. The very large plant, which, by the way, thank you, is doing very well and getting even larger in spite of Ava nibbling on it daily.
Minor problems, I assure you, but annoying none the less. Sometimes I think an apartment would be nice, but then I get claustraphobic. And I love my house. It is my sanctuary at the end of the day.
Sunday dinner yesterday. Cheesburgers on the grill...mmmmm. Monkeyboy got a buzz cut. He looks older. He loves it, and that's all that matters, right? It was a good dinner and Monkeyboy played hockey in the basement while Bean danced and Sprout called the plays. They are funny, those kids.
No more basketball for me, Pitt is done. But they did very well, their first elite eight game in a lot of years.
Happy Monday, only four more days this week!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Elite Eight

Pitt plays in a couple of hours, and I await the game with anticipation. They haven't made it to the elite eight before, so tonight would be the first, I believe.
Yesterday was a beautiful sunrise. Bean was embarassed because I was taking pictures from the car window. I pick Bean up and take her to the bus stop each morning. It begins my day in a happy way. Then I race to beat her bus onto the boulevard. I usually win. My work day begins in much the same way each and every day, with some variations, of course. Today it was stopping for gasoline for the new car. I am getting 23 miles to the gallon, not too bad, but not as good as the Celica.
I usually arrive at work at the same time each day. Sometimes I meet Kitty and we walk in together. Sometimes I SEE people that I really don't want to walk in, so I pretend to do something in my car until they are ahead of me, because it is just too much small talk for me.
I haven't seen the elderly man walking his elderly dog lately while I drive to work. I hope he is okay. I will miss these small things when I leave my job in July.
We had a meeting today for my co-workers. I love these meetings. They are informal. We have lunch at a pre-determined restaurant. Today it was Mitchell's Fish Market. We usually have one person pick the restaurant. Then we discuss policies, questions about policies and helpful hints. I have the most extraodinary group of people. They all have the best sense of humor, which keeps us all sane...well, more sane.
I don't much like fish, so I had a cheddarburger. I usually have that. Most of the people stick to the same eats salmon, one eats salads, one eats chicken. We are a predictable group. We share desserts. Today it was carrot cake and some other concoction. Delicious.
I have been surfing blogs, and some of the pictures on the blogs are incredible. I will get very serious about this when I leave in July. The best time to take pictures is in the early morning and late in the day. I could do it now, but I am just too tired!
Well, I shall try to catch up on some things here before the game tonight. If you watch, cheer for Pitt. Have a sunny day, we are having much needed rain showers...will help the flowers grow!

Monday, March 23, 2009

I Saw It, I Really Did

On our walk Mippy and I saw the green leaves on the tree just beginning. We really did! So, even if it does snow, it will be the heavy, wet snow that melts within hours, right?
I cooked Sunday dinner and Peg came and brought the flowers. I love fresh flowers and so does Ava. She eats the greenery, sometimes knocking them over in her excitement. And speaking of Ava, Flurrie came for a play date yesterday while we had dinner. Flurrie was in her cage as Ava hissed at her, hair on end on her tail. We waited a few minutes and opened the door to her cage. They avoided each other and when they met by mistake, there was some hissing and then running from each other. However, but the end of the evening they met on the stairs and really began to sound like they were going to fight. So much for Ava's hospitality. I thought I taught her better than that!
Monkeyboy, Peg and I are among a small group going to see Springsteen, so of course, that was a topic of conversation. And it was great cooking for everyone again. I love to cook, just don't do too much of it.
My tulips are coming up in the garden, just in time for the small herd of deer that travel the neighborhood. I haven't seen them in some time, but Skipper and Ginger have, and I believe it is the same group. Am wondering if there will be babies this year. Should be with all the nourishment they got from my garden. Plus, there was a buck traveling with them for awile.
We talked about sports at dinner last night. Monkeyboy is very much into sports and Bean seems to becoming interested in lacrosse now also. Peg's son was into baseball big time. I never went in for sports, but I love to watch them. Pitt made it to the next level in the NCAA tourney. I read once where boys' popularity is often defined by sports. Hmmmm, wonder if that's true.
It was a lovely weekend here. I could never live in an area where we did not have the change of seasons. I complain about extremes in temperature, but this time of the year when things are getting green and flowers begin to bloom is the best! Happy Spring!!!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Can It Be?

Winter over? Probably not, but one can always hope.
We all spent most of the day outside. Mippy and I went to the cemetary to walk and saw a hawk flying around. If you look closely, you can see it in the top of the tree.
There was a lot of damage this year to trees. The broken tree caught my eye.
Then we went to the track after taking Oscar back home. Monkeyboy hit balls with Bird and Bean caught balls in her lacrosse thingy while Mippy and I walked the track.
So, what do you think about plastic flowers? We have yet another neighbor who puts them in a flower box on her porch. And the are obviously plastic...I mean, who has flowers that are THAT color?
Some years ago a decorator came to my house to re-do the living room. She did a wonderful job and I think it looks great. She was into silk flowers, and I have to admit that at first I liked them. Now they are all dusty and I have no idea what to do with them. I'm sure they were expensive, so I hate to just pitch them. Besides, the cat has been playing with them, slowly pulling them apart. I love flowers, but I think this year I will decorate that table with real flowers. Ava will like that, also.
It's been a great weekend. Had a wonderful dinner tonight and everyone was mellowed out from being outside all day. I like the longer hours in the evening and it is beginning to be light during the morning when I drive to work. Ahhhh, made it through another winter!
Michele went on a road trip to California a few years ago. She took a gnome with her and posed him along the way. I suggested to Bean that we do the same, take an object of some sort and set him up along side a swimming pool, or perhaps having a cup of coffee at breakfast. Then I can post them here so that everyone can see the road trip from the perspective of an inanimate object. I think it would be great fun. Can you think of what we might use for an object?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Worm Moon

I took Monkeyboy swimming tonight as Mippy had to pick Bean up from Lacrosse practice. Monkeyboy has progressed amazingly in swimming. He actually appeas to be having a great time. Bean got hit in the bean tonight by a ball. She claims she will probably have to play defense since she can't hit the ball straight. We came out of the school and observed the full moon. Mippy proceeded to explain the "worm moon", so I thought I might share it with you.
The 'Full Worm Moon' is the moon that occurs in March when the sunlight is getting stronger and the frozen ground begins to thaw. You can tell the worms have begun to come awake when you find the little curly mounds of dirt on the ground. These mounds, or castings are part of nature's way of preparing the earth for new growth. Then the flowers and herbs and trees and green grass suddenly burst out and let us know spring is here. (
It is a beautiful night out there, with that full moon. The picture doesn't do it justice, of course. I didn't want to alarm the odd neighbors beside me by standing in the dark taking pictures. Most neighbors would understand, but I don't know these neighbors at all. There seems to be a large turnover in the house next to me, and I'm sure it has nothing to do with me! This couple moved in about two years ago, and I don't think they have ever said a word to me. I recently found out that they had a baby, and when I told Peg, she said she had never seen them. We live in a very diverse neighborhood, people of all ages. And although we aren't the kind of group that gets together all the time, we really help out when there is a problem or when someone needs help. Through frozen pipes, frozen drains, trees falling, weddings, births, and yes, deaths. We are there for one another.
I have a friend who knows none of his neighbors. Says he as no desire to know them. I think that must be lonely sometimes. I am the type that speaks to everyone, even total strangers. I sometimes embarrass people I am with by doing that. Makes me smile!
Enjoy the worm moon as the earth gets ready for new life.