Tuesday, August 28, 2007


Surgery tomorrow.
Here's to being back to normal soon!

Have a great week!

Monday, August 27, 2007


Don't ever buy Silverline windows. If you want all the reasons why, by all means ask. But I assure you, you can just take my word for it. :(


I'm glad the Encyclopedia of Me is done. It was fun, don't get me wrong, but it was a big commitment too. We had a busy weekend. The Tramp started a new job today so he was a bit nervy all weekend and I'm having surgery on Wednesday which makes me a bit out of sorts too. The Tramp will probably roar with laughter when I say a "bit" out of sorts. I'm sure I'm not at all easy to live with this week.

So I'm trying to finish up a bunch of things before Wednesday. I've been working on my Extraordinary Chair (Christine Shively) and hope to have a photo of the finished product later today. I'm pretty happy with it. Since I won't be able to do any heavy work for a couple of months we did a bunch of yard work this weekend and now I'm facing getting this house as spotless as I can while I can. No fun!

The window people (Silverline) also called this morning and should be here around noon with the replacement bottom sashes. I hope they fit this time! All eleven new windows were defective...so we'll see if the guy measured right. As soon as he's done I have to clean all the windows and make sure they fit right. I cleaned the top of one and there's dirt and fingerprints between the layers of glass. So when I get them clean I'll have all the ones I don't like replaced again. Clear Choice assures me that they will make me happy so we'll see. I'm sure they want their money!

Ok. Work time. (sigh)

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Encyclopedia of Me - W, X, Y, Z

W is for Wellington and Wanganui - Where I haven't been and where I want to go.

W is for Witch - When I was a kid witches were one of the things I was afraid of, though I dressed at a witch at Halloween for years. As far as I was concerned there were witches in the shadows, under the bed and in the closet. I remember when I was very young watching the yearly showing of the Wizard of Oz. We had a big oak front door. I watched the TV with one eye and the door with the other. I was never sure the wicked witch wasn't going to come through that door! Funny the things you remember.

W is for Water - Something we don't have enough of here right now. I've lived through very dry summers before, but never in an agricultural community. It surprises me how green it is despite the dryness and the extreme heat. Nature is amazing.

Y is for the Young Rascals - My favorite song as always been "How Can I Be Sure" by the Young Rascals. I was 12 years old when the the song came out and I remember thinking it would always be a favorite. I saw Felix Cavaliere's Rascals about four years ago at a concert in the local county park in New Jersey. Boy can he still sing. But sorry to say the whole thing was spoiled by the sound system. Sad.

Y is for Yellow - We have a bright yellow car, Saturn Vue. Part of the reason we bought it was the all-wheel-drive. I suspect that won't be an issue in North Carolina. :)

Z is for Z - I just can't get used to "zed" the same way The Tramp can't get used to "zee".

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Encyclopedia of Me - S, T

S is for Susana - I was so sorry to hear of the passing of Susana Oroyan. I have all her books. I even have two of one of them. I was so eager to have it I bought it twice!

S is for Step-Child - A blessing. :)

S is for Santa - For several years The Tramp dressed as Santa for a "pictures with Santa" fundraiser for our local shelter in New Jersey. Poor guy, he was sooooo hot in that suit. It was really nice of him to do it...especially as he just can't understand why in the world anyone would take their cats and dogs for photos with Santa. He thinks Americans are pretty weird sometimes!

S is for Snow - What we moved away from.

S is for Smurf - My DIL is crazy about Smurfs. So I surprised them with a Smurf cake-topper at their wedding. She loved it!

T is for Tea and Toast - With butter and jam of course! My favorite food. :)

T is for The Tramp - How did I get to be so lucky?

T is for Tiffany - I went to the same church my whole life until our move this June. The church has a breathtaking set of Tiffany WWI memorial windows in the Chancel. The last time the Sanctuary was refurbished they used the color scheme that was suggested by Tiffany when the windows were installed almost 100 years ago. I miss it.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Encyclopedia of Me - P, Q and R

P is for Pink - Pink is The Tramp's favorite color. So far I've painted our bedroom, master bath and dressing room pink, the kitchen/sitting room is a beigy-pink and The Tramp's study in pink and rose. I took this photo from up on the painting scaffold. Ngaire is intently watching a fly on the window. At first I thought she was inspecting my paint job!

P is for Parakeet - I have two parakeets.

P is for Paint - I'm taking a few weeks off from painting!

Q is for Quilt - It's been fun unpacking all my sewing stuff. I have so many quilting projects waiting for me!

Q is for Quiet - I'm not used to quiet. The Tramp and I've been joined at the hip since we moved in together, we even went to work for the same company. Now I'm at home taking care of an empty nest I'm slowly learning how to use time again. It suits my introverted personality, I'm just out of practice!

R is for Ribbons - My mom wins ribbons for her quilts, bead work and basketry. Each quilt she makes goes for competition before it goes to it's new owner. She displays the ribbons on the wall in her sewing room with photos of the item.

R is for Rod Stewart - What's not to like? This spring The Tramp and I saw him perform at the Nokia Theater in New York City. Wow.

Monday, August 20, 2007

N is for Ngaire - Ngaire is our black German Shepherd Dog. Her name is Maori and means Silver Fern. She is 2 1/2 years old and full of energy. We call her the Stealth Dog since even in daylight she can hide in plain sight. Something about her coloring. She's all black except for the white between her toes! Cute.

N is for November Child - Eldest Daughter is my November child. She was born on the day she was due, Thanksgiving Day. She is just under 6 ft tall and has beautiful light blue eyes. I miss her. I can't wait for her visit in September.

N is for New Zealand - The Tramp is from New Zealand. I haven't been there yet and it still sounds very exotic and different. One of these days....

N is for Nutcracker - I have managed to collect a large number of nutcrackers. It gets harder and harder to find a place to display them at Christmas!

O is for October Child - Middle Daughter is my October child. Despite the date it was 80 degrees F when we brought her home from the hospital! I used to say she was my "juicy" girl. She didn't feel the cold and as a small child always had a few beads of sweat on her nose and her hair would be a bit damp. I could never keep hats or mittens on her and for years she never wore a winter coat. She also has the ability to cry without creasing up her face. She would look at me with her huge eyes and leak buckets of tears! I don't know how she does it. She's also about 6 ft tall and has chameleon eyes that change color all the time. I hope she can visit soon.

I'm the short one. :)

8 Random Things

I've been tagged! Thanks Kathy.

1. I'm an ISTJ. It describes me pretty well.
2. I can't eat raw apple.
3. I was married the first time for 29 years. Weird how quickly it all becomes a distant memory.
4. I suffer from severe migraines. But I've been so much better since we arrived in North Carolina in June. :)
5. This is the first time in my life I've lived in a house with cable TV! Frighteningly, I've been an HGTV junkie since July. I'm getting over it now thank goodness.
6. I'm having surgery next week and I'm pretty nervous.
7. I still sleep with a small pillow. Left over from childhood stuffed animals I guess. I just can't get comfortable without it. I also like to have a little dog curled up against my stomach. I think it somehow relates to how a pregnant stomach felt.
8. My mother says I'm the most physically uncomfortable person she's ever met. By that she's referring to how she had to deal with a kid who was always "itchy" in some way. I was always complaining and particular about my clothes, which she was endlessly modifying for me. I was always bothered by something. I'm still that way...but now it's The Tramp's problem. :)

I feel I'm too new at this blog game to tag anyone specifically, I suspect most everyone has done this already. So please, go ahead if you haven't yet. And do it again if you have! They're so much fun to read. :)

Sunday, August 19, 2007


Today I visited the Raleigh Municipal Rose Garden. I took the "fancy" camera along and had fun playing with the settings. The garden is next to the Raleigh Little Theater.


Friday, August 17, 2007

Encyclopedia of Me - M

M is for Muppet Show - The Tramp and I recently bought some DVD's of Muppet Shows. What fun it was to watch them. They seem a bit dated now but I remember how my kids and I made sure we didn't miss it each week all those years ago. In fact, it was so much a part of our life I used the show in another way. This kind of creativity is not my forte so I was very proud of myself for coming up with it! We timed the day in Muppet Shows. When my kids were bugging me about when something was going to happen...you know, "how long until dinner?", "when are we going?", "are we there yet?", etc... I would tell them how many Muppet Shows until the event. One Muppet Show until dinner. Two Muppet Shows until we got to Nanny's house. It worked nicely!

Sorry, I couldn't resist!

M is for Moon - For whatever reason I feel that as long as the Moon is in the sky in it's rightful place that all is right with my world.

M is for Margate and Montreal - My Mom is from Margate (Kent, England) and my Dad is from Montreal, Canada. And I'm just a Jersey girl. I'm loving North Carolina, but I doubt anyone will ever take me for a native! :)

M is for MR2 - The Tramp introduced me to first generation (Mark I) Toyota MR2s, a car I was totally unaware of. We currently have two of them. For a while we had three while The Tramp was figuring out which one to keep. When a friend saw them all lined up in front of our house he joked that we must be breeding them! The Tramp's is the Mr. 2 and mine is the Mrs. 2. :)

This is the Mrs. 2, much more matronly than The Tramp's snazzy supercharged version. :)
Right after her new paint job.

M is for Minnie - Minnie is the Sailor Son's dog. He wanted a picture of himself with her to give his wife before he left for boot camp. So Eldest Daughter did a photo shoot in her front yard. The boy-man and his dog. Hard to pick the photo I like the best.

Encyclopedia of Me - L

L is for Light - Florescent that it is. This is the fourth house The Tramp and I have lived in together and once again we've worked on changing all the light bulbs to the most energy efficient. The Tramp would like to live "off the grid" and to that end he spends quite a bit of time reading up on the subject. Last week I heard all about solar panels to power the well pump. :) Fine with me. I'm not used to doing without water when the power goes out!

I'd like to have rain barrels and use grey water for the gardens and lawn. I wish we'd been here sooner and had time to prepare for this awful drought. Everything is yellowing, wilted or crisp. Not a good summer to be a farmer in North Carolina.

Name Game Tag

As suggested by Anita, I thought I'd try Name Game Tag. This means going to Google Images and:

The rules:

1. Go to http://www.google.com/
2. Click on Google images
3. Type in your name and search
4. Repost the picture of the oddest, craziest, strangest, coolest, oldest, etc. person that shares your name.
5. Post multiples if you find a few you like. Then pass it on to at least 5 other people.

I tried both Katie and Katherine. Once I got past the photos of Katie Holmes and Katherine Heigl I found some fun stuff. First of all let me say there are LOTS of dogs named Katie!

Katie from Sesame Park (Canadian Sesame Street).

The charming Katie the pig.

Katie the donkey.
I assume this is self-explanatory.
Not sure what to say about this!

A place I should visit...
St. Katherine
And the lady herself...though it should have been listed under Katharine, not Katherine.
Please feel free to play the game!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Encyclopedia of Me - K

K is for Katherine - My name is Katherine and my parents decided very early on to call me Katie. Katherine is from the Greek and means "pure" and "virginal". I was born when the name Kathy was all the rage. So I was the only Katie I knew in a crowd of Kathys. I spent a lot of time correcting people who read Katherine and assumed I was called Kathy, doctors, teachers, everyone. These days Katie is much more popular but I still have to correct some people. I knew another girl in school named Katherine...just Katherine. She had a hugely hard time getting people to respect her name and not shorten it. I also had a 5th grade teacher who called us all by our last names. Not only that, he shortened them. He claimed he had too many brothers and sisters in class over the years and he couldn't keep the first names straight. I was only 10 years old but I didn't buy it. The other teachers didn't have a problem and I knew it was just plain rude not to address someone by their right name. Not using someone's right name is a common way to show disrespect. I couldn't articulate it then but he was one teacher who certainly didn't earn any respect from me!


Testing MarsEdit.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Encyclopedia of Me - J

J is for Jandals - The Tramp's footware of choice is jandals....all year long. Just about the only time he wears closed in shoes (besides at the office) is when there is snow on the ground, much to the amusement of his new American friends. They are heavy rubber and last him quite a while considering how much he wears them.

Those are jandals on his feet. And yes...that's a wolf!

J is for July 4th - All the time I was growing up we lived in the same town. Every year we went to or participated in the 4th of July parade. As a child, I always thought how cool it would be to live on the parade route. I found it amazing that when I was 33 we moved into a house on that street! How cool! Then we started the Obligatory All Day Long Party on the 4th each year. The Ex has photo albums full of pictures. Almost 20 years worth. Despite some special moments I grew to loath the day. :( It was good to get away with The Tramp and visit friends and festivities in other towns and start to enjoy the holiday again. Sadly, this year, I didn't even go to fireworks, anywhere. Next year!

J is for Justice of the Peace - The Tramp and I were married on the beach by a Justice of the Peace. She was a lovely woman and happy to meet us at the beach. She was very petite and wore a long brown robe. Under the robe she was wearing sandals like the rest of us and when the wind blew we realized she had on bright yellow shorts and a blue striped shirt. Wonderful! :)

Encyclopedia of Me - I

I fear I'm falling behind!

I is for iPod, iTunes, iLife, iMovie, iDVD, iHome, iMac.... - All very cool stuff and all very much a part of our lives.

I is for Itch - There seems to be less mosquitoes than last month. Thank God! I always thought New Jersey was bad, home of the "Jersey Mosquito" but little did I know. And we are suffering a pretty nasty drought here. I can only wonder what it's like if it's nice and wet. We also discovered the reality of fleas in the South. I've sprayed the house and treated the dogs and we seem to be holding our own. I confess at first I wasn't sure I could deal with it long term. Now if I could just figure out where the little tiny ants are coming from that are strolling across my monitor...sigh.

I is for Inspiration - I'm really enjoying reading everyone's weblogs. There are so many creative people out there!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Paint and more paint

Last week I spent six days up on a painting scaffold. Trim still needs to be painted but this week I'm taking a break! My sewing room is completely painted. I'm having fun unpacking the boxes and getting fabrics and all my toys out on the shelves. The walls are "Bobby Socks" white and the ceiling is "Apple Creek" blue. I've ordered white Shari Lace curtains from Penney's for the windows and door. I can't wait for them to come! :)

The Tramp was great keeping me supplied with iced tea and regular meals. And of course the most important energy food was close at hand.....

Encyclopedia of Me - H

H is for Hot Flash - When, when, when will they go away????

H is for Hen - I have a small collection of Hen on a Nest dishes (also roosters, rabbits, turkeys, duck, swan, cat, lion). Unfortunately my favorite one broke during the move...sigh.

H is for Handbells - I love to play the handbells. One of the hardest things to leave behind in New Jersey was the handbell choir. When things are more settled I'll look for one around here.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Encyclopedia of Me - G

G is for Grey - About two years ago I decided to stop coloring my hair and see what would happen. I thought it was great. The Tramp thought it was great. Other people were funny about it. This is what I wrote on the day:

Yesterday was the big day. 5:30 yesterday afternoon the last of the dyed hair was snipped off. We are now Au Naturelle! Proudly grey! Getting ready to turn 50 with pride! It's a slow process of course, the birthday isn't until the end of April, but it takes time to work up to these things don'tcha know.

It's an interesting process this growing out of the youthful color you were trying to preserve. Your hair becomes public domain, kind of like your belly does when you are pregnant. I found that people who would never normally dream of touching me would march right up and rub my belly when I was expecting.....WIERD. So in the same way, the hair has been fodder for public comment.. Everything from "You go girl!" to "How could you?" like I was destroying the American Dream or something. Lots of discussion by others my age (and older) about when and how and if they will ever go grey and interestingly also the fatalistic comment that we are all going to die of cancer anyway so it might as well be from hair dye!

Looking in the mirror is a trip and a half! I'm not used to it yet. Double-take city. This morning's arrival at work was quiet as this is a very small office. Two people didn't say anything. One was nicely complimentary and I got one Fucking Awsome! So I figure it can't be too bad. The Tramp likes it and that's the most important thing. Tomorrow and Sunday I'll be seeing a whole lot of people I haven't seen in a while and it'll be fun if I get some reactions, and if I don't that'll be ok too. What's really important is I just have to make sure I don't start seeing my mother in the mirror.......yet.

G is for Grandson - Not born yet, I have to wait for October for that. Here's the latest photo.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Encyclopedia of Me - F

F is for Fussbudget - Back in the late 50's and early 60's my Dad would buy the new Peanuts books as they came out. I still have many of them put carefully away in a box. Dad started calling me Lucy Fussbudget. I confess it wasn't without good reason. :) My brother picked up on it and for years called me Fuss. I still have notes and cards from him addressed to Fuss. So Lucy is my alter ego. The Tramp will confirm that I fuss with the best of them though I think I'm a whole lot kinder than Lucy, at least the early Lucy, since she softened up over the years. I have a fun collection of Peanuts items, books and t-shirts.

F is for the February child - The Sailor Son is my born-in-February child. He's my youngest. I'm so proud of him. He's overcome all the odds he faced as a child and has matured into a responsible young man, sailor, husband and soon-to-be father. All the worries, fears and tears were worthwhile. What more could a mother want?

Since we are on the subject of nicknames and sons....

When my kids were young I remember taking Eldest Daughter to task for calling her little brother "Butt Head". "But Mom," she said, "if I call him by his name he doesn't answer. If I call him Butt Head he does!" Which she proceeded to demonstrate by trying to get his attention calling him by his given name. No response. So she calls out, "Hey Butt Head!" And he immediately responds, "What?" "See Mom!" she says. Sigh....what's a mother to do?

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Encyclopedia of Me - E

E is for Eagle Rock Reservation- I was born, grew up, and until this recent move to North Carolina, lived in Essex County, New Jersey, 12 miles due west of Manhattan. The primary geologic feature of the area are the ridges that run north and south. The eastern-most ridge is called Watchung Mountain. At the top of the ridge, facing New York City, is Eagle Rock Reservation. From the Reservation there is a spectacular view across the Jersey meadows and you can see the city from the George Washington Bridge south to the Verrazano Bridge.

I suppose Eagle Rock is one of the places I will miss most. It features in my memories back as far as I can remember. Going there for picnics and to enjoy the view as a child, hanging out there as a teen with friends, eating at Highlawn Pavilion, just stopping a short while to soak up the view while driving through to a further destination, lovely walks there with The Tramp, and more recently taking visitors to see the Essex County September 11th Memorial as well as the breathtaking views of the city. I always found the panorama which includes the homes of almost 10 million people could bring me out of my insular little world of the moment and remind me of the larger world. Something going to church does for me as well. It's humbling, as well as a way to reconnect with the larger community.

The September 11th memorial is beautiful. On the fateful morning I was in my office in the center of town when we got a phone call alerting us to the first part of the disaster. We turned on CNN and watched in horror. The whole thing was made even more surreal as we had a clear view of mid-town Manhattan from my office window and from that vantage point it was a normal gorgeous autumn day. The World Trade Center site was out of view behind the trees. It was bizarre to go back and forth from the lovely view at my window to what we were seeing on the television. My boss spent the morning frantically trying to reach her son and DIL who were living and working in the city. One of my daughter's friends was on the 73rd floor of Tower One. Her story is harrowing. A friend of ours was a roommate in the Air Force with the pilot of one of the planes. Everyone knows someone who was directly affected on the day or afterwards during the rescue and clean-up effort.

After the initial rush up the mountain to outlooks like Eagle Rock, all the streets to places with a view were closed by the police for a few days. The reservation was closed for weeks. The local schools stayed open into the night waiting for parents to come home. Some were stuck in the city, trapped by checkpoints or lack of transportation. Some never came home. The event looms hugely in the collective psyche of the area. We grew up with the view of the New York skyline as a constant in our lives and then suddenly and violently it changed.

I know I'll be visiting there again.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Encyclopedia of Me - D

D is for Dolls - I love dolls. I like to buy dolls, I like books about dolls, I like to make dolls, I like to talk about dolls. I went through pre-divorce jag of buying Lee Middleton dolls. I have way too many and should probably sell some to make room for new. But they are so cute!

D is for Daughter-in-law - I'm blessed with a lovely DIL, wife of the Sailor Son. Though very young, she's no shrinking violet and should manage fine as a military wife. The baby (boy) is due in October and she says he's bouncing every minute. Last I heard they are coming to visit this weekend. *happy dance*
Patting the baby. :)

D is for Dragon - The Tramp has about a dozen t-shirts with dragons on the front. My Mom made him a beaded dragon that is absolutely magnificent. I have a wyvern by Melinda Small Paterson half made for him, pink of course! His fave color.