Sunday, April 12, 2015

Spring in Cooperstown

Why am behind this counter?
   I was scheduled to work in the shop yesterday...a cold, gray day, and Jeff wasn't feeling well so I decided to take Fanny with me.  Jeff's doctor's tweaking his meds and that always makes him cranky...effects his sleep and appetite.  And besides, Jeff's apartment is on the 4th floor and when Fanny's there she wants to go exploring...or at the very least to sit by the door waiting to go out.  So I thought it would be better/easier for both of them if she went with me.   Fanny isn't the kind of dog you can leave home alone for long.  Maybe she should have been crate trained but that's not our way.  She starts off with a nap but when she wakes up and realizes she is alone she goes thru the house looking for her family and taking the house apart...garbage pail by waste basket by knitting bag by tool box (and yes, she has destroyed the handles on screwdrivers...Jeff was not happy).  It's easier and cheaper just to take her with us.  She rides well and sits in the car without barking at other dogs or people who come close.  In fact, she tries to hide in the back seat from anyone who tries to talk to her thru the car windows!  Anyway, the ride down was uneventful,  she sat in the backseat and looked out the windows.  When we got to the shop, we walked around a few minutes before going inside...in case she needed to...but when I shut the door behind us and the aromas from the handmade soaps and beeswax candles and everything else hit her she backed up to the door, her nose in the air and her tail tucked between her legs!  And stayed there!  I did the opening routine and since she was still leaning against the door decided to put her back in the car.  I could see her...and she could see me...thru the windows and with a treat and a bowl of water she seemed comfortable.  After lunch I walked her around the parking lot for a few minutes and then took the bowl of water and her back into the shop with me.  There weren't any customers in the shop so we walked around the store for a few minutes and then I took her behind the counter with me and told her to lay down and take a nap.  And she did...well, with one eye open.  And that's how we spent the afternoon.  She just stayed at my feet and looked at the few people who did come in...no barking or getting up to investigate what was happening.  Oh, Fanny didn't like Cooperstown's water, either...only took 2 or 3 laps out of the bowl but when she got home she drained her water dish!

    This is part of my display.  You can see the new hat rack in the
background above the sweaters.  These are skirt and sweater sets done in a Pima Cotton and acrylic blend in size 1 and behind them to the right are ladies hats and tank tops, also in the Pima Cotton and acrylic blend.  And this photo
shows a corner of our new dedicated kitchen area with  a couple of my tea cozies.  Hope they sell.  So far it's been hats...a baseball hat and a ladies flower cloche. 
     I have to work again on Wednesday and I think Fanny and Jeff will stay home together.  He's talking about planting potatoes early (!) and wants to start working in the garden and Fanny just doesn't want to be a shop dog.  By the end of the day the aromas had gotten to me, too and I was wheezing and having a hard time breathing.  Happens every year...too much good scents with the door closed and the heat on!

Friday, April 10, 2015

Advantages to Turning 65?

   My pc is 'scrubbed cleaned' and back on line! Today Jeff made sure I could 'stream' and now I can watch my British mysteries on Acorn and everything I've missed on PBS...in fact, this afternoon I watched an episode of 'Call the Midwife' that I had never seen. I've rearranged the furniture in the living room...which is becoming the computer room...so I can sit in comfort in the other wing back chair and watch my computer screen. (No way was I going to sit in my computer chair to watch an hour or two long program!) I've already moved one of the wing backs into my bedroom so I have a comfortable chair to sit in and read...or play cards on my netbook...in there.) Jeff still wants to use the Raku his sister gave us but first we have to get an attachment to plug the TV into the computer.   In the meantime, I'm satisfied with the way things are set up. Now he has to check out the printer connection...maybe it will work, maybe it will have to be replaced. 
   So far I'm glad I gave up Time Warner and saved some money. My pc is thru Earthlink...and yes, I know that's still Time Warner but the price is lower. (Time Warner is all there is around here except for satellite connections and this little house in the little woods has too many trees around it to get a signal.) My phone is Verizon (315-866-1021) and because of my age and income, it's only $25 a month. Together that's a saving of over $75 a month. My health insurance...now medicare and a supplement...went down about $125. Anytime I can save $200 a month I won't complain. Maybe there are advantages to turning 65. 

p.s.  The shop had a fantastic first 2 days sales rush before settling down to the usual early spring sales slump.  15 out of the 18 members sold something in those 2 days but I had to wait until one of the slump days before finally selling something...a baseball hat.  Oh, well, what else would you expect from a baseball town?  I'm scheduled to work tomorrow and the weather's suppose to be pretty good...maybe sales will be, too?

Monday, April 6, 2015

Easter

      Yesterday was Easter and Jeff's sister Sherry and my cousin Ed joined us for dinner.  Jeff got a large bone-in ham and I cooked a pretty decent dinner. Fanny knew something was up because of the good smells coming from the kitchen...and because I was running around cleaning house!  She was excited when Jeff left her run around the house, and later when he went out for firewood and she went with him and got to run around some more.  Sherry is one of Fanny's favorite people...reasons to follow...but she's not too sure about Ed.  She kept an eye on him all day...either from beside Jeff or from under the kitchen table.  When it was time for dinner Fanny was already in her regular place but Sherry sat in Jeff's usual spot.  That worked out fine for Fanny cos Sherry was soon passing bits of ham down to her!  (That's why she likes her so much!)  By the end of the day when everyone had gone home we were both exhausted.  I decided to sit in my room and read before bed while Fanny went straight to sleep...practicing her 'Princess and the Pea' routine with my pillows.  She was good until 11:30pm when I was ready to sleep and she was ready to go outside...but she did sleep the rest of the night! 
It's exhausting being a good dog.

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)on...so 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 cousin...as 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 bed...at 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 rising...it was 38 today...it isn't surprising...it 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 exactly...my roses are cuter!  As soon as I can I'll share my version!