Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Colorful Tomatoes

   What would you do if you found these growing in your garden?  Just ordered the seeds!!  Can't wait to see what happens.  Aren't the colors beautiful?  They're tomatoes!!  Hope they produce for us.  I promise to keep you posted!!

Spring Cleaning?? More or Less.

     If you've visited our home since my mom died in 2013 you will know that we still had the toilet frame and riser in the bathroom...and a new toilet seat in it's box on the floor near it.  Jeff said he'd change it but never got around to do it until this weekend end when the toilet seat and the riser split company.  Made sitting down very interesting, to say the least.  Anyway, Jeff decided now was the time and started to collect the tools necessary to do the job. After getting the large wrench and bolt cutter from the box in the garage he found out the bolts were too rusted to budge and yesterday decided the reciprocating saw was the best way to go. In a few minutes the job was done...the frame was on one side of the room and the riser on the other...and the new seat was on. He even cleaned the toilet!  Took a lot less time that I ever imagined!  (Sure helps when The Man of the House had been a Supervising Custodian in the Utica Public School district.)  The bathroom looks a look bigger without the frame...and the toilet a lot smaller!  It's like sitting on the floor!!  Fanny loves it!  She can practically climb onto your lap while you're sitting there.  Ever had a nearly 100-lb. dog sit on you while you were taking care of business?  Then you haven't lived with a dog!!  Anyway, it's going to take some time to get use to.  At least no one fell during a middle of the night trip.  Yet.  And it is a good excuse to start Spring Cleaning.
   Friday I'm suppose to meet 2 other members at the shop in Cooperstown but the weatherman is now calling for freezing rain and, since 2 of us live up here, north of Rt 20, the roads might be a little iffy, so we've decided tmorrow will be our 1st clean-up day at the shop.  Only Abby, Sharon and I will be there and we'll only work for half a day but it's a start!  I'll probably wash a lot of shelves. We manage to wash and paint all the walls and shelves in the place every year.  (The shop walls started out as barn boards but there are so many coats of paint on them they are almost smooth 40 years later!) I need a re-do for part of my display area.  I want a better way to display shawls.  Space is at a premium and I used a hall tree last year but I want something different.  Maybe a shelf...for hats... with a hook underneath it with one of those multi-hanger holders? Have to wait and see what the group comes up with.
   I think I'm pretty well set...stock wise.  I have 6 or 7 new sweaters waiting for buttons and zippers and last night I did a baseball hat.  I should be able to do 5 more of them in the next 2 some spring hats, too.  Oh, yesterday I started a size 1 dress, too.  We'll see how that goes.  The shop opens in 16 days!!
   I finally got to see Meryl Streep's latest movie, Florence Foster Jenkins.  It's based on a true story about a rich woman who loves to sing (but can't) and how her husband, played by Hugh Grant, helps her fulfill her greatest sing at Carnegie Hall. Her young accompanist is played by Simon Helberg, who plays Howard Wolowitz on The Big Bang Theory. He did an excellent job because there is not trace of Wolowitz in his performance!  I understand why this movie did not rake in any prizes at the Oscars, it was entertaining but not nothing great.  I'm glad I got it free from the library and did not have to pay for a ticket to see it.  But I missed the popcorn.
   Jeff still has to finish digging out the Outback.  Wally did a damn good job of adding to the snow on it and it's taking more effort to get the car free than normal.  Hopefully, it will start when it is free in a couple of days.  I hate the idea of going to Cooperstown and leaving Jeff without transportation.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Digging Out

     The Forester started right up for Jeff this morning but he still had to dig it out! 
   Wally (from next door) finally got the dirt road open but he managed to fill in our driveway in the process.  (He refuses to turn the snow chute when he drives by.)  Let's just say Jeff was not pleased when he got the car stuck and had to dig it out again.
      Fanny is still hesitant
about going out into the snow.  She barely makes it down the stairs and has been leaving piles on the steps.  Lovely.
   Glad we brought in 3 bags and 2 boxes full of wood before the storm (there's 1 of each left).  The rip in the roof of the shed hasn't gotten much
bigger.  The snow has just pretty much filled it in.  The path doesn't go to the we'll make do with what we have inside...for now.
  The forecast is for a little more snow every day...maybe even another nor'easter...over the weekend.  Oh, joy.  And the 1st day of Spring is Monday???  Where's that damn groundhog?????
   Oh, some guy was interviewed on the 6pm news last night digging out his car on Main St in Herkimer and he said he didn't recommend trying to drive in the village yet.  You couldn't tell which were snow piles and which were buried cars.
    Jeff's got the driveway cleared out and one car free and running this afternoon, then made a quick run to Walmart for bread and cereal.   The Outback is still buried in front of the garage and 
the woodshed hasn't been reached yet.  And poor
Fanny is just not sure she is ever going to like this much snow.  5:15pm, Thurs., 3/16/17

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Storm Stella

   Storm Stella hit us last night after we were well warned.  First, the forecast said just light snow over night but I woke up at 7am to find several inches... much more than just a dusting.  
   This is the view south from the TV room.  That's what's left of the old Boxelder that use to dominate our back yard.  The old trolley road use to run on the other side of those evergreens.  Now it's blocked and overgrown.
     Looking out my bedroom window towards the garden and driveway, you can see the gate to Wally's land.  The bases of those raised garden boxes are about 6" high and the tops are 18-20 gal plastic tubs. 

   This is the view west from the TV room.  Wally's house is right there behind that telephone pole you can just make out in the picture.  It was reported that Herkimer(village) got about 8" so far and the forecast is calling for another 12-18" of snow before Stella is finished with us today with 5-8" more tomorrow.  And then some lake effect snow on Thursday.  And the first day of Spring is next when?  Monday?

   All 60 counties in NYS
have declared snow emergencies with no unnecessary travel. So many roads are closed!  I don't think we're going anywhere.  Here's my car(r)...sheltered

between the house and the garage...with the snow up to the middle of the wheels about 9:30am.. The Outback is just visible behind it in front of the garage.  And here it is (l) at 2pm buried to the top of the tires and enough snow   on it to hide the Outback. Look how high the snow got on the
garden table next to it!
Now look!  Here's the 4pm update! (l). Never
realized how boxy my Forester is!  (What's in the garage?  The snow blower, the lawn mower, wheelbarrows, extra garden tubs, etc.). 
   I called the Ilion library and cancelled my appointment to have the AARP volunteers do my taxes this morning.  The director said they're going to reschedule another session so I'll still have it done in time.
   I think it's time to put some wood on the fire and look around for lunch.  Jill, one of the meteorologist on WKTV, just made a can tell the storm is bad when they start closing the liquor stores.
   Fanny finally followed Jeff down the stairs after supper and into the snow.  When it rose above her back, she jumped up and made it back to the stairs in 1 leap...and peed on the stoop.  Guess she got tired of holding it!  7:35pm 3/14/17 
Snow total: 30" in Herkimer, 40" in Cooperstown...and it's starting to snow again.10am 3/15/17

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Celebrating Birthdays!

   We celebrated Jeff and my cousin Ed's birthdays today with dinner.  I did a pork loin with gravy and baked potatoes and fried carrots that came out nearly perfect...if I say so myself.  I poked the pork full of holes then rolled it in 'A.1 Dry Rub' and put it on the Rondo for about an hour.  Jeff bought one of the high-end gravy mixes and a loaf of garlic bread.  For dessert I did a 'Shirley Temple' cake(made a box cake mix, poured cherry Jell-O made with 7-UP and maraschino cherry juice over it and frosted it with Cool Whip).  Because Jeff's sister was suppose to join us and since she was recently diagnosed as being type II diabetic everything was sugar-free. I was a little hesitant to use the sugar-free versions of the mixes, 7-UP and Cool Whip but the cake was delicious and no one could tell it was sugar free!  I sent Ed home with a enough of the cake so he could have a late night snack and still have some left for tomorrow.  Jeff and I both had a second piece while watching TV and while there is a nice hunk left, I doubt it will be there by morning. Sherry missed a good dinner and a fantastic dessert.
   Jeff had to make a fast trip to Lowe's this morning for a tank lever when the one in our toilet broke making it un-flushable!  When he went outside he discovered a huge rip in the plastic covering the 1st woodshed that wasn't there yesterday when I filled the wood bags.  That plastic is about 4 or 5 years old so it was getting pretty brittle.  We don't know what hit it but the entire side of the roof is now ripped open.  Maybe a squirrel landed on it?  Since Jeff's had that plumbing job to do this morning we're going to wait until tomorrow to try and cover the roof with a sheet of plastic.  The shed is about 3/4 empty but that still leaves a fair amount of wood in it and there is a nor'easter heading in our direction for Tuesday. 
   Oh, and that nor'easter is suppose to give us 10-14"of snow.  Nice, huh?  And I have to have my taxes done Tuesday morning.

(Here's the wood we brought in today, 3/23/17, to be ready for tomorrow's snowfall.  That's 3 bags and 2 boxfuls.  Hope it's enough! And some of Fanny's toys...a rubber camera, star, soup bone and what's left of a pull'd think we had a little kid.  Or do we?  One who barks??. And we couldn't find anyway to fasten a piece of plastic over the hole so we're just going to have to take our chances.)
Here's the Japanese Knot Project Bag by Jean Barresi that I found on Ravelry. Instead of using a US7 and an acrylic, I used Lily's Sugar'n Cream Tie Dye Stripes (100% cotton) and a US8.  I made the base wider, the sides higher and the straps longer.  I'm not sure how well I attached the straps but I like it.  Now I have to decide if I'm going to keep it or use it in a swap.


Thursday, March 2, 2017

Happy Birthday, Jeff!

     Well, we celebrated Jeff's 64th birthday with some style yesterday.  We went to Roma's Pizza on Main St in Herkimer for a late lunch and ordered cheeseburgers and French fries.  The burgers are double patties on toasted buns and Jeff has everything on his except the kitchen sink.  They are delicious!  The fries are crisp and golden!  So good!  And the price ain't bad, either, only $6.95 for the burger and fries. We both had small salads with our burgers and while they came in a small soup bowl heaped with sliced black olives, onions, tomatoes and croutons I thought the $5 each price was a little steep.  They were good but a little hard to swallow.  With coffee (for Jeff) and Pepsi (for me)our bill came to $31.01.  For cheeseburgers and fries.  No further comment.  We will go back coz the food is good, the service excellent and the place spotless but I'm not sure about ordering a salad again.
     In the evening Jeff went down to his favorite haunt to spend some time with the guys.  He called me later and I went down and joined him at Stoney's for a drink.  (One glass of wine...I was driving.)  Before we came home Jeff suggested stopping at Pete's (he wanted to clear up a possible misunderstanding) and while he was talking to Pete I was introduced to him and another guy who was sitting there and who turned out to be an old student of mine from Annunciation in Ilion.  Now the last time I remember seeing Gary he was graduating from the 8th grade and heading to high school.  I didn't recognize him...I remembered his name...but he remembered me!  Boy, did I feel old!
   Today I've got to get Jeff's birthday socks finished.  I'm half way up the leg on the 2nd sock so I should be able to do it.  It's cold outside and very windy so sitting by the fire and knitting sounds like a good idea.
Birthday socks finished with the stripes just slightly off match.  Jeff says that doesn't matter but it does to me...but not enough to rip one sock out and do it over so they match!  3/2/17, 8:34pm

Monday, February 27, 2017


    The birds woke me up this morning with their glorious song.  Sounds kind of pretentious, doesn't it?  But it was a bright, sunny morning with clear blue sky and as long as you didn't go outside or look at the thermometer you'd think it was spring!  The birds were tweeting and singing their little hearts out!  Don't know if they were finding much to eat...still kind of cold for bugs and worms and not even the forsythia outside this window has started to develop flower buds yet.  Actually, the temperature is above freezing at 38...not bad for February 27!
   Well, I finished my baby sweater last night and cast on for the hat and then put it all away because it was time for The Walking Dead and that is one program I can not stand.  So I surrendered the remote control and retreated to my bed and the last of my library books.  It didn't keep my interest and I soon fell asleep...until Fanny wanted to go out around 11pm.  She got a snack and headed back to bed and I looked at the sock.  The thin blue stripe in the middle of the foot on the 1st sock has not appeared on the 2nd one so the stripes are not going to match...they're about 1/2" off.  Doesn't look too bad and Jeff will always be able to identify his socks.  I'd like to do the hat to finish the baby set this morning and then go back to the socks.  I just might get the socks finished in time for his birthday.  Keep those fingers and toes crossed!   But first some mundane chores: fold laundry, wash dishes, sweep the floor.  I am not a happy housekeeper but sometimes those things just have to be done.  Oh, and there are a couple of large semi-frozen 'gift' piles from Fanny on the driveway between the stairs and the car that should be picked up.  Someone should get them before it rains and they turn to mush.  (And Jeff says 'she's your dog....')