Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Family Time

The Morgan's: Mary, JD, their mom, Jo, Paul and David
     Monday night Jeff and I went to the calling hours for my cousin Tom.  Jeff met a lot of my relatives from out-of-state...and I met a few people I hadn't seen in years.  It's too bad that funerals are the only time our extended family gets together.  Tuesday morning Jeff doggie sat...Fanny isn't the best animal to leave alone...while I went to the funeral with my cousin Ed.  I was going to wear my dress boots...instead of these work shoes but Fanny and I had a disagreement while I was dressing.  She thought putting on pantyhose was a game...and I lost. (Good thing I hadn't bought the expensive pantyhose.)I knew I couldn't get to the car on the ice with the dress boots so I planned on changing my boots at Jeff's when I left the dog but that didn't happen. I couldn't get the dress boot to zip up over my swollen right ankle even with pantyhose(or what was left of them) it was back to these sturdy work shoes. (It's been about 6 years since I broke my leg and tore up my ankle and the ankle is still swollen.  It goes up and down with the barometer!  This time of year is not good for it.)  There was a reception/luncheon at the Mohawk Valley Country Club after the funeral so I collected Jeff...and Fanny...and we went there.  More relatives...and people who knew Tom.  I can't tell you how many times I was told I hadn't changed...but they all got old!  And gray..or bald!  (I said a silent prayer to my father for the lack of gray hair at my age.)  Even if it was a funeral,we had a good time.  These are some of my cousins after the funeral at the Country Club.  

Mary Morgan and Joanie Valenti

Elizabeth and  Colleen Paul
Joanie with Jerry Paul
Joanie with JD Morgan
Joanie's not my we kept explaining...her mom and mine were BFF as girls...but she is cousin to the Paul's and Morgan's. If I could pick another cousin, I'd pick her.
    I spent the afternoon finishing my 12 baby hats for the shop.  Today I'm working on a couple of adult hats and then I have to decorate them.  The baseball hats will take the longest...I don't enjoy embroidering the stitches...but the rest of the baby hats just need their knit roses sewed on.  I had a new hat rack made for my display yesterday and can't wait to see the new set up. The shop reopens for the season Friday April 3rd. 

Saturday, March 14, 2015

RIP Tom Paul

My cousin, Tom Paul, died while vacationing in Costa Rica yesterday. He was actually my half cousin Carol's son but with a multi-generation Italian family in a small town, he was my cousin.  Back in the mid 1950's when Tommy was the baby in our group, his sister and I sometimes got stuck with him...and Chester, the little kid from next door.  But we figured things out and came up with a version of cowboys that kept us all happy.  Tom and Chet became the nephews of the Lone Ranger and Barb and I his nieces.   We played house and with our dolls while the boys played cowboys and Indians...until it was 'dinner time' and they came to play 'dinner' with us. Worked out fine for the 3 years we lived across the street from each other.  Life was a lot simpler on Bellinger Street back then.   My mother always thought Tom was the most Italian of us all...grew garlic, made wine and always had a hug and a kiss for you. He was just getting to know his first grandchild, a 6 month old sweet girl named Mackenzie.  He will be missed.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Ah, Life...

           Fanny thinks changing my bed is a game and I have to plan carefully to get the job done.   This is because she 'buries' treasures in her half of the least between the top cover and the blankets and under the pillows.  You never know what that bump is...a Nylar bone, a tennis ball that she can squeak, dog biscuits for later or a small log to chew on in the middle of the night!  (Better than the bumps...mice nests...we could find in our beds at camp.)  One day last week when Jeff was here I quickly stripped the bed while he entertained the dog but I forgot to remake it until after he had gone home.  It was bedtime before I realized I had to make my bed with a dog 'helping'!  I tried putting her outside on her lead but she got back onto the porch (how???) and that meant the outside door was swinging open and that was an invitation to small rodents.   I brought her in and waited for her to fall asleep in Jeff's chair...which she did quickly (she plays so hard with Jeff that's one night I know she'll sleep straight thru no matter how many deer come into the yard!).  I knew I had to work quickly so I threw all the blankets on the floor at the foot of the bed with the pillows on top of them and got the sheets on the mattress and the survival/space sheet spread out on my side of the bed. I put the pillows and shams across the head of the mattress and tucked the top sheet in on Fanny's side of the bed.  I pulled the blankets up over the sheets and smoothed them across the queen size mattress and then reached for the quilt.  I got tangled in the quilt and the comforters and fell on my hands and knees across the floor at the bottom of the bed.  Boy, was I glad there were still 2 comforters and a full size blanket on the floor! (All the floors in my house are old hardwood, oak, and, let me tell you, they are hard when you fall on them! And no, Fanny did not come to see what fell.)  My knees were sore but nothing seemed out of place so I finished the bed and didn't think about it any more.  Then over the weekend I tripped in the woodshed and banged into what's left of the woodpile. I limped back to the house with my bags of wood but again I didn't think about it.  I just chalked up my growing aches and pains to the way my legs always feel this time of year. Granted they've gotten worse since I broke my leg in 2009 but, hey, I am getting older....  Anyway, after I took a shower yesterday and was putting lotion on my feet (since I spent those weeks in that cast in 2009 my skin has been so dry I feel like I'm a reptile shedding skin!) I noticed that the middle toe on my right foot was black and blue and slightly swollen and the discoloring and swelling ran down the center of my foot. I must have done something in one of those trips but it's too late to do anything about it now.  
     (I noticed today that by pulling the top sheet up and tucking it and the blankets in on Fanny's side of the bed, and then covering them with the quilt and comforter and a pile of pillows, Fanny sleeps in the pillows and does not get down to the sheets.  She looks like 'the princess and the pea' on top of the pillows but the sheets are doggie smell-free. Pillow cases are easier to change than those queen sheets! What a life my dog has!)
    My computer continues to cause problems and is at the top of the list of things to be replaced.  Right now it has lost 3 drivers including the printer and speaker.  I'm also having problems with the phone and expect to lose that any day since it goes thru the PC. (I still have my cell and Jeff's answering service.) The shop reopens April 3rd and I'm hoping we have a great season so I can replace the pc soon!!  I still haven't gotten batteries for the camera...I refuse to buy 8 when I need 2!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

We're Having A Heat Wave

    We're having a heatwave...apologies to Irving Berlin...not exactly a tropical heatwave, the temperature's was 38 isn't is March and the clocks changed! Went out to get wood with just the wool shirt over the sweatshirt! (Got a lecture from Jeff about doing it, too!) The driveway has started to rut...can't wait until Tuesday and the garbage truck does it's thing! I suppose we'll get a storm with 6" sooner or later but until then it feels good!  The sky is blue and the sun is bright.  Only 12 days til Spring! 
   I found a pattern for a tea cozy that I liked so I've started a couple for the shop.  We're planning a new area...a dedicated kitchen display...and I thought they might be nice in it.  I forgot to get batteries for my camera so I can't post photos



   Jeff's nephew, Timmer (Tim, Jr) had thyroid surgery Friday.  I remember when I had mine done and the ENT said it was a no stress/out-patient deal.  If the test came back positive they'd just take the whole thing.  Timmer's tests were positive before surgery and they had problems with his blood gases so he had to be admitted.  I know Jeff really wanted to be there (Timmer lives in Pa.) with his brother & his nephew's family but ended up home spending yesterday afternoon on the phone and PC relaying his nephew's condition to family and friends.  Jeff just talked to Timmer...who's still in the hospital but feeling better...and now will call everyone and update his nephew's condition.  I hope Timmer regains his strength and endurance quickly...he has more surgery facing him.

of mine yet but this is the what came with the pattern.  Mine is a little different coz I don't follow directions roses are cuter!  As soon as I can I'll share my version!


Wednesday, March 4, 2015

A Subaru I Don't Like

      When I first started at the library I drove a Subaru Impreza...a cute, little hatchback that was too small for anything. We had a hard time getting our gear in it when we went to camp and Mom and I had a harder time getting our stock in it when we did shows.  It was hard to handle with a mind of it's own.  A real 'voom, voom' car!  I ended up totaling it during a rain storm when the drains on Rte 5S going into Utica were blocked and the street was flooded.  I lost control of the car and bounced it off the guardrail as I drove in early morning traffic on my way to Mid-York for a meeting one day.  It took all my strength to keep from hitting the cars on my right...that's why I kept hitting the guard rail!  I avoided Imprezas in all the years since until this summer when Matt at HillSlide (on Rte 5 just before Little Falls) offered me a good deal on a 2004...the price and the condition blinded me to the fact that it was an Impreza.  Jeff thought it was too small but since we don't have the camp anymore and I'm not doing shows I thought it might work out for me. WRONG.
    Jeff pointed out early this winter that the Impreza wasn't very stable and he dumped about 100 lbs of lead that he found in the garage on the floor in the back to correct that.  That helped to stabilize the rear end some but I still had to watch the speed...that little car thinks it's a race car and goes from 0-60 in no time at all!  I noticed that it fishtails easily and doesn't do curves real well.  
   This morning I had an appointment at 10:20 am to have my fingerstuck...a simple blood test to check my clotting factor.  Fanny and I left the house at 9:45 am and slid off the driveway into the field as the Impreza turned towards the mailboxes.  I tried to get back on the driveway but all I did was dig the car deeper into the snow.  It was a nice soft, wet snow that was good packing.  At first I couldn't even get the driver's door open!  After I calmed down a little I called Jen my Nurse at Bassett and told her what had happened and changed my appointment until tomorrow. (You don't want to have your INR tested right after an upsetting incident coz it causes a false reading.)  Then I called Jeff and woke him up and told him what happened.  And I started kicking the door until it opened enough for me to get out!  I got around to the other side of the car and got Fanny out and we went inside to wait for Jeff but I was so nervous I couldn't sit still!  After I put on a pot of coffee I got the shovel and cleaned off the stoop and the stairs.  Jeff was there by then and I hooked Fanny up outside and we started to try to move the car.  It took 2 1/2 hrs, many tries pulling it with the Outback, using the come-along with the telephone pole as a lever and digging around the tires before Jeff got the Impreza free of the snow and  I was finally able to drive it out the driveway, turn it around and drive it back in and park it between the house and the garage.  But I was still so upset I asked Jeff to take me grocery shopping because I didn't want to drive the damn car!  He wanted to drive it anyway to make sure nothing was damaged with all the pulling.  Now I've got all night to think about driving that demon car tomorrow morning so I can have the blood test.  Only good thing is that it's suppose to get below freezing tonight and the driveway should harden up and be ok to drive on... except maybe for the 4 wheel holes on the far side of the driveway that didn't fill in very well. 
   But the Impreza remains the only Subaru I don't like.  

Sunday, March 1, 2015


    Woke up to a loud crash a couple of hours ago but Fanny wasn't disturbed.  I couldn't tell what had caused it for sure...without getting out of bed...but I did a quick check in my mind.  There wasn't a great breeze blowing thru the house so I was pretty sure a tree branch hadn't come thru the roof or a window. The weather forecast last night had put us under a storm warning from this morning until Monday morning but things seemed least from my point of view in bed.  Maybe the big county plow had been out salting and had scrapped bottom when he went around the curve on Smallsbush...but there hadn't been any headlights brightening my bedroom or gears grinding as he went down the hill so I ruled that out. A deer hitting the house?  Or snow falling off the roof on to the deck?  Maybe.  There was heat blowing thru the register next to my bed so the furnace hadn't blown up.  I couldn't think of anything else so I took a clue from the dog and rolled over and went back to sleep. When I got up a little while ago I found out what had caused the noise...the miniature shelf in the kitchen had come apart and fallen.  It had been made out of a type drawer...actually a drawer and a half...and had been glued together for 20-25 years ago and the glue finally dried out.  Most of the miniatures are either wood, pottery, ceramic  or metal and never stayed in place until I glued them in.  That seemed to have saved most of them from breaking!  There are plenty of softies, too, mini-dolls 
and animals that Mom had made for the shop...a lot of the mini's came from the shop!! Craft pieces made by old friends that are no longer with us.  I guess it's clean this section with some Q-tips ...and decide what pieces from the other section I want to keep and reassemble the unit!  I knew it was dusty but looking down at it with the, it's worse than just dusty!!!
   Today is Jeff's birthday.  He's 62 years old.  Not bad for an old man.  Here's wishing him many more birthdays!  Usually we do a small dinner party but this year we decided to wait a couple of weeks until the weather gets better so I'm cooking just for us today. We went out for supper Friday and Jeff got carrot cake for dessert to take home so I crossed that off as a birthday dessert.  I got 2 pieces of cheesecake instead.  When his sister and my cousin come for the birthday dinner I'll have to do something semi-fancy for dessert.  Suggestions? Please???
  (I've got about 2" left to go on the 2nd sock for Jeff's birthday.  Actually, they're a replacement pair.  I was mending the originals and Fanny decided to 'help' and now I can't find one of those socks!) 
(actually it's 8:17am, 3/1/2015)

Friday, February 27, 2015

A Day At Home

     Jeff and I spent the afternoon together yesterday just hanging around talking and drinking coffee. It was a nice day.  He took Fanny out for some exercise  and came in in agreement with me...she's forgotten what 'stay in the yard' means.  The temptation from the deer tracks was too great for her to resist.  It took quite awhile before she came back and now she's back 'on lead, only'.   She pulled the same stunt on me the day before when we had gone to Hanniford but I had gotten some chicken nuggets at BK and she smelled them all the way home.  When I let her off the lead I showed her the bag of nuggets and reminded her they were her 'treats'.  I took my groceries in the house and then went back out with the bag and called her a few more times.  I had to shake the bag a bit and it did take some time but she came back when it dawned on her what the 'treats' I was yelling about were. Jeff didn't have any treats to bribe her with but he's never needed them before, either.  He wasn't too happy with her.  Jeff also discovered that the oilman isn't the only one who's been using the path he plowed around the house.  Jeff said there were fox, squirrel, rabbit, coyote and of course, deer track in the path that runs around the house from the driveway back to the private road to Wally's house. No wonder Fanny's been going crazy at night running thru the house at night barking!  The path must have been busy with all the critters using it.  It's a whole lot easier that trying to dig thru the snow! The cedar tree outside the big window in the TV room looks like someone's trimmed it's lower branches.  I can't believe the deer have been that close!  The apple tree in the middle of the garden has been left alone so far this year.  Jeff thinks this might be because the plowed path kept the deer away from the garden and because the garden is made up of raised boxes and the growth supports are mainly still there and visible.  There's not enough room for the deer to move around between the boxes in the snow!  Hopefully, that will help the tree to flower and produce apples this year.
   Sunday, March 1st is Jeff's birthday and usually I do a fancy dinner party for him but this year I'm still coughing, sneezing and blowing my runny nose with a cold and Jeff's trying to cut back on smoking...and doing a great job already having cut his tobacco intake by more than half...and  taking Chantix which affects his appetite and makes him a little anti-social so we decided to wait a couple of weeks until we both feel better.  My cousin Ed's birthday is later in March and we'll combine the birthdays and I'll do a big dinner then with a fancy birthday dessert.   Instead, I'll do a special  dinner for just the 2 of us and  Jeff won't have to pick a birthday dessert but will end up with 2 special desserts!  And maybe the weather will cooperate and we'll get snowed in together Sunday night.