Saturday, June 29, 2013

Can anyone top this for today's "whoops"?

I do most of my grocery shopping on line and it works for me because I'm not a huge fan of food shopping and also buying on line prevents me from throwing that six-pack of cupcakes into the basket as I spot them strolling by.

The supermarket, of course, picks out your meat and produce, but I've never had a problem with that. For today's delivery, I ordered four loose bagels -- meaning four bagels from the bakery department: two for tomorrow's brunch and one for a sandwich on Monday and one for a sandwich on Tuesday.

Evidently, the rules changed. I have ordered loose bagels in varying quantities many times before, so I put 4 in the little box on line. New Rule: Now they sell bagels in groups of 6. Didn't notice, so I wound up with 4 X 6 bagels or 24 bagels. Anyone want to come for brunch?

I don't have a full size refrigerator in my tiny kitchen so I don't have a full-size freezer compartment and it already has a big bag of commercial ice along with other food and so I was only able to fit 12 bagels into the freezer.

I like bagels, but not so much that I'd want to eat a dozen of them prior to their going stale around Tuesday.

I really do hate wasting food, and money. I considered waiting to hear someone in the hallway and running out and offering them bagels. But, everyone else in this building is in their late 20s, early 30s and I don't want to be the crazy old lady who tries to give out excess bagels. I just imagined them politely saying "no thank you" and slowly backing away from me.  I don't know if I would take a bagel from a stranger.

I don't like to feed the pigeons as I think they are flying rats for the most part, and I don't want to put  the bagels in my garden for fear of attracting a rat. I have not seen a rat or evidence of one in my garden for more than 10 years, but I want to keep it that way.

I can really be unforgiving of myself with stuff like this, and it's ridiculous. Worst case is that a bunch of bagels get tossed, and I'm more careful next time.

Anybody do anything worse than this today?

Friday, June 28, 2013

Just Curious

So tonight I'm looking at a clothes catalog/website and I do read and take into considerationn the customer reviews, and I'm surprised by the number of people who wash new clothes before they wear them for the first time.

I never do -- not clothes, not towels, not sheets, not underwear, not nothing. I have never washed something before I wore it the first time. I could buy a t-shirt from a rotten-toothed meth addict at a carnival and I'd just go ahead and wear it.

Who washes new clothes? That's not a rhetorical question -- it's a real question -- and maybe some of you think I'm gross to NOT wash something before I wear it -- but to me, that's half the fun -- something new: you don't have to wash or iron -- it's good to go!

As long as I'm confessing, I will add that if I buy new dishes, a pot, etc, I barely wash it -- I'd be more likely to rinse. I may put glasses in the dishwasher, but I must have a good immune system.

The one exception to this is sometimes if I am unpacking a suitcase I will rewash something I haven't worn. I feel those items have been in very close company with dirty clothes, under very hot conditions, so I'm likely to toss the clean (never worn) with the dirty when unpacking. Especially one year, post-Oshkosh, where I had a converted smoking room and my clothes reeked of cigarette smoke. It was horrible.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

More Photos from Stephanie

Here's the couple ready for the prom. Where's Stephanie's wrist corsage?

I'm guessing these are the wives who go with the guys in the tuxedos.

Stephanie labeled these: My bougainvillea, some other flower and my baby Flamboyant Tree. I believe this one is the bougainvillea although I normally remember them as red.

I think this is the "other flower"



Which leaves this as the flamboyant tree.
So now for Botany 101 lesson.

flamboyant tree - tropical shrub or small tree having showy yellow to orange-red flowers

Then I found out they are also called Royal Poinciana trees and here's more:

Royal Poinciana is a native of Madagascar and is consistently voted among the top 5 most beautiful flowering trees in the world.  Royal Poinciana deserves its support.  It may be the most colorful flowering tree in the world as well

Other common names for Royal Poinciana include Flamboyant Tree, Flame Tree, Mohur Tree and Red Flame

and here are some pictures of a mature Flamboyant Tree:

And they come in yellow too!

Photos from Stephanie

These came with no captions so I'm going to guess. This is Stephanie's newest cat which is a calico named Callie and I'm not sure if I'm spelling her name right.

Stephanie at the gala dinner a view weeks back with her husband Danny.

More Danny and Stephanie

More Callie

I think tuxedos do the most for the most men.

I assume this is back at Steph's house.

Sleeping cat

Alert cat. I think she likes getting her photo taken as she appears to be posing.

New Dining Room Chairs

I bought a small table and two chairs when I moved here, about 20 years ago. It was not expensive at the time, and over the years, one chair broke and the second chair was (almost literally) on its last leg. I procrastinated over buying new ones because:

Should I go to a store or buy online?
I wanted quality but I don't want to spend a lot of money
I didn't really see anything I liked
Most chairs required assembly -- even good ones, and I am all thumbs.

As my one remaining chair became so rickety, I'd tell myself that I'm going to be seated, have the chair break, fall on the floor, breaking my wrist... and then what?

Saturday night, I went to and bought these two chairs. No assembly. $219 for two and free shipping:

Totday the big box arrived which I lugged inside, cut open, loads of Bubblewrap which I did NOT save, although I was tempted.

And here's how they look in situ:

I'll probably put them on opposite sides of the table, but they're her for now. I had to laugh when I sat down because they are SO sturdy, no wobbling like the old chair.

Then I had the huge box they came in, and Ana was coming and my first impulse was to let Ana do the box (take it outside) and then I thought that wasn't quite fair, but it didn't make sense for me to lug this box outside, then down the stairs to the garbage cans with the super having then to carry this box up the stairs for garbage pickup.

I put the box outside my front door (wasn't blocking anything), called the super to tell  him what I had done and to come get the box. I got the super's wife, who knows me, but they are both from Malta and not English speakers although they're pretty good. Well, she misunderstood what I was saying (two chairs, outside my door, come pick it up) and thought, somehow, that I had two chairs with bed bugs.

Oh dear God, no.

We were laughing about that because I was saying No, no, no, no... and she said, "So the box is empty?" and I said yes, and then she got it. I would take mice over bedbugs, but her response tells me that it's a sign of the times... who even talked about bed bugs before?

And now, I am going to commit here to a small project. This is the table next to the chair where I sit and read and I stack crap there -- books, magazines, mail I'm not sure what to do with, odds and ends with my reading glasses on the top of the heap. I commit to making it nice and neat by Monday (I'm sure it would take me all of five minutes but I want to give myself some time!) and I'll print the "after" photo. Here's the "before:"

Talk about lazy. That white remote control is to the air conditioner. That little box to the right is something Mary brought me from her trip to Nova Scotia. The wooden frog -- the top part of its body comes off and I have stuff stashed in there too, and I bought that in Puerto Rico probably 35 years ago! I see a little bottle of hand lotion, papers I don't know what to do with, etc. So next time you see this table it will be bootyfull.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Old Time Stars

Joan Rivers, who I follow on Twitter, posted this photo today which is from some sort of tribute to Don Rickles. Joan just turned 80 -- I have to say she looks darn good.

Left to right: Don't know, don't know, Joan (of course), then a very old Bob Newhart, very old Don Rickles, Kathy Griffin, Bob Saget (I think); don't know the guy with the red handkerchief, and I think that's Louis Black. Anyone can fill in the ones I don't know?

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Supermoon Tonight

My NYC moon is hiding behind buildings as I couldn't find it, so I have to rely on Fran's moon as photographed by her tonight:

Heard on the news that Supermoon happens once a year, so maybe next time.

Little Bits of History

It's always so delightful for me to run into some little bit of history when you least expect it. For example, I once took a wrong turn (dyslexia brain) out of a bank of elevators of a high-rise office building near Grand Central in order to come face to face with a historical plaque (so maybe it wasn't a "wrong" turn at that) saying that General Washington (as in George) had done something on that spot during the Revolutionary War.

It's like when Mary and a bunch of us went to that crab restaurant in rural Maryland and came upon, quite by surprise, plaques indicating that the backroad we were on (leading to the Potomac River) was the route that John Wilkes Booth took trying to escape capture.

So Mary had one of these moments today in Baltimore for a Dragon Boat Race. She writes:

This is where our festival was today.  I never thought about immigrants coming to the US through Baltimore (Duhhh). This plaque says many (most?) came from Germany and often took the train somewhere from here.

To complete today's history lesson and to satisfy my own curiosity, here are the first two paragraphs of an article calling Locust Point "the other Ellis Island." Mary should remove the "duhh" because I didn't know that either.

E llis Island in New York harbor is well known as the main entry point for European immigrants in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. What many do not know is that Baltimore was the second-leading port of entry at that time. The establishment of the nation's first commercial steam railway, the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, in 1828 opened the way to the West. As the westernmost major port on the East Coast, Baltimore was a popular destination. LocustPoint-Canton-1860     Irish and German settlers were the first to use Baltimore as a point of entry. Their tide increased after the Irish potato famine of the mid-1840s and the German political uprisings of 1848. The number became so great that after 1850, immigrants were no longer brought directly to Fell's Point, Baltimore's first port. Instead, they were unloaded at Locust Point, next to Fort McHenry. Between 1790 and 1860, Baltimore's population soared from 13,503 to 212,418. Word spread that, for those who worked hard, there were jobs to be had with the railroad and businesses in the city

And now for DC Wildlife!

Fran says:

Your Connecticut Ave. DC reporter, inspired by the beautiful Alaskan wildlife photos, submits this image of big cats spotted near Ellicott Ave. They answer to Angelina and Valentino.


Friday, June 21, 2013

Tom, My Alaska Correspondent, Reports In With WILDLIFE!

This is very cool that they saw all these...unless he just copped them from Google Images!



Tom, My Alaska Correspondent, Reports In With FOOD!

I had asked Tom (Michelle's husband, Meredith's Dad, David's father in law, Mary's and my friend, for those who are keeping score) to send some Alaska food pictures so here goes with Group I.

49th State Brew Pub

Elk Burger

Elk Lasagna

Elk Meat Loaf

I'd want to hear from Tom about what the Elk tasted like, but here's what he said:

I'm old, the entire group is old... we ( for the most part) forgot to take pictures until we were well into the eating part... oh well ya get what ya pay for.

dishes from a brew pub in Healy, not far from Denali National Park

Overall food was expensive with large portions...  not a lot of vegies... lots of fish including your favorite - salmon.  I had great salmon and chips in Dawson, YT - Anita the halibut and Michelle cod...  great seafood stews almost every where but you need to like salmon (smoked and regular)
Me again: So Mary can move to Alaska for retirement and eat salmon breakfast, lunch and dinner, and I'll stick with meat and shellfish.
MORE FOOD from Alaska -- Thai Food, Alaska-style -- with Tom's comment in the caption. Michelle is the one sitting under the woman's picture.
Sesame chicken, stuffed chicken and pad thai

Let's Have a Musical Solstice

Today's the Summer Solstice and while looking for appropriate photos for inspiration, I found this:

I know most of these. The ones I don't know are Black Hole Sun -- am not sure about Pocketful of Sunshine, am not sure about Sunny Afternoon although the Kinks is (are?) from my heyday; Violent Femmes aren't -- so I have no idea what Blister in the Sun is and I know the rest. I haven't heard the first song in ages, but I always liked it.
So wishing you all a sunny and musical Solstice!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Tonight's Plans

Backward, turn backward, O Time, in your flight,
Make me a child again just for tonight!
Those lines are from one of those sentimental turn-of-the-lastcentury poems that I read for the first
time in high school.  It goes on when the poet wants to be rocked to sleep by her mother who will
take away all her cares.
When I was a young girl, my mother had this rule that you couldn't sleep on clean sheets without
bathing and putting on a clean nightgown. It had to be the whole package, and it's a habit I've kept over the years. 
Today Ana was here so I have clean sheets. I ordered a new nightgown which arrived today. Of course, I got a bargain -- it was $39 reduced to $29 then I had a 30% off coupon. I have to say it amazes me that there's still profit in there.
So now all I have to do is take a shower -- Hmmmm, it's a bit early. I guess I'll have dinner first before I get all sweetsmelling and don my new nightgown (which I love because it actually reaches my feet as opposed to most "long" gowns that hit me mid-calf) and climb in for a restful sleep.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Who's Hungry?

My annual Oshkosh trip is just around the corner, so let's get in the mood by checking out what's for dinner at Shreiner's.

Here are the entrees for today:
  • A Popular Wednesday Feature...HAM LOAF with Horseradish Sauce
  • Golden Brown Deep-Fried HADDOCK FILLETS
  • SMOKED SAUSAGE with German Potato Salad

  • Actully all of these appeal to me. I'm not sure what else is in ham loaf -- I like ham, but I wonder about the "loaf" part. I do love horseradish. Ok, I'm not a liver fan so skip that. I'm not a deep-fried fish fan, but that might be good with tartar sauce. The spaghetti could be good or bad -- same with the sausage. So I think I'd go with the old fashioned fried chicken -- haven't had that in ages, with mashed potatoes and gravy and cole slaw.

    Now on to dessert:

  • TOASTED COCONUT CREME PIE with Freshly Whipped Cream
  • CHOCOLATE RITZ NUT TORTE with Freshly Whipped Cream 
  • HOT MINCE PIE with Rum Sauce
  • PUMPKIN PIE with Whipped Cream

  • This is a no-brainer for me: my eyes went straight to the Toasted Coconut Creme Pie. Yes, please, a big slice. Oh, and then I want just a sliver of Blueberry/Cranberry with just a smidge of vanilla ice cream on it.

    And you?

    Tuesday, June 18, 2013

    2 Twitter pics

    I follow an odd mix of people on Twitter -- politicians, comedians, average people I don't know, etc. In addition to words, you can Tweet photos, and here are two favorites -- one from Father's Day and one from today.

    This is Mike Wolfe, one of the stars of American Pickers on the History Channel. I like the show and I like him. I follow him on Twitter. I don't know his family situation, but this appears to be his daughter, and he posted it on Father's Day. The photo has such a great compostion -- part professional photo (maybe) and part snapshot. It just captures perfectly the love they have for one another.

    This is from a woman named Muriel B who is a 94-year old New Yorker who quilts and bakes and is just a lively old lady. The words accompanying this photo said if a planter can make you smile, it must be art. Didn't know what to expect when I clicked on the photo, but it must be art because I smiled. The top left reminds me of the big hair of the 1980s.

    New Bed Pillows

    My big purchase this week is four new bed pillows. I like sleeping with four pillows -- my little luxury. I don't remember how long I have had these old pilllows, but they had gotten flat and little feathers were coming out. In fact, one morning there was a little pile of white feathers and I joked to myself that it looked like angel roadkill.

    So I've also been thinking about money, about how the economy has impacted me, how just because I have always had "a job" doesn't mean I haven't been negatively impacted. This led to an analysis of how much I should spend on bed pillows. As you know, you can go as high as $100 each.

    I always remember these bed pillows I had in a fancy hotel in Hong Kong. I swear it was like putting my head on a cloud. As an adult, I have thought of myself as financially successful and someone who could afford $100 bed pillows, but I don't think that any more.

    I mentioned to my cleaning woman that I wanted new pillows and she said she was going to have a car (that's an urban thing -- meaning she could drive out of the city to buy and wouldn't have to carry things home on the subway) and was planning a trip to Target. She brought me a flyer and asked me to point out what pillows I wanted.

    Meanwhile I had also read that the new fake down is really a good thing. I don't remember why -- I think maybe because of allergies.

    Oh, another reason I wanted new pillows was reading some disgusting stat that by the time a pillow was x years old, it was half stuffing and half dust mite bodies. That might not be entirely accurate, but it was something shocking.

    The bottom line is that Ana brought me four pillows yesterday -- and with Target and her coupons, the four pillows were cheap, cheap. They are the fake down. As I laid my head on my new pillows last night, I thought I'm not the Princess and the Pea -- that if these were $80 pillows I'd feel the same way -- really clean and comfortable.

    No princess here; Target fake down pillows work fine for me.

    I was reading the pillow labels this morning which I tore off -- these pillows can be thrown in the washer and dryer -- only glitch was one label said cold water; the other said warm water. What I've told myself financially is that I'd rather have fake down bed pillows from Target and have a cleaning woman every week and other pleasures of my own choosing.

    Sunday, June 16, 2013

    Day Lilly

    This is a plant that Fran and Mary both liked today, but didn't buy. It reminds me of an orchid.

    What I'm Reading

    Finished Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter and enjoyed it. Lately I've been reading books with interesting unique characters and ones you don't feel you've read about before. So now it's on to:

    Amazon does a better job explaining than I. Have had this book in a stack for a few months -- noted it was just released in paperback, and I knew what it was about; it was well-reviewed but I had not realized until today that it's a true story. Have read a few chapters and am enjoying it so far.
    Here's what Amazon says:
    During her treatment for cancer, Mary Anne Schwalbe and her son Will spent many hours sitting in waiting rooms together. To pass the time, they would talk about the books they were reading. Once, by chance, they read the same book at the same time—and an informal book club of two was born. Through their wide-ranging reading, Will and Mary Anne—and we, their fellow readers—are reminded how books can be comforting, astonishing, and illuminating, changing the way that we feel about and interact with the world around us. A profoundly moving memoir of caregiving, mourning, and love—The End of Your Life Book Club is also about the joy of reading, and the ways that joy is multiplied when we share it with others 

    Fran's Father

    In honor of Father's Day, here is Fran's father -- and then one of her mother in later life.

    Fran says: thought you would like to see my dad. He had some hair then. One is my dad's wedding photo and the other shows my dad singing (on right in top photo)and my mom standing at back of the garden (at time this was taken I had a wall of sunflowers along the back fence.)

    Gardening News

    Mary's new plants, via Fran reporting.

    Fran says:

    Mary mary quite contrary how does your garden grow...with new plants of course.
    First we have the new plants in the trunk, then we have the new plants on the back deck table, then we have one of the new Guinea impatiens in its new place on the back deck.....