Tuesday, July 27, 2010


We got home last night after 12 hours of driving. We made it over the bridges in record time, unlike my poor sister who came to Long Island for a wedding a few weeks ago and was stuck for over 2 hours! (In good traffic, you should be over both the George Washington and whatever the other bridge is in about a half hour.) Driving-wise it was uneventful, thank goodness!

Oh, except for Columbus itself, which had a bunch of detours due to either roadwork or the State Fair.

Okay, I had a nice time at the reunion. It was amazing to see cousins I haven't seen in probably 30 years. It was better, though, seeing my siblings. We have not been together as a family since before my brother Patrick died, which was back in 2000. I'll post a picture soon.

Meantime, speaking of Patricks, here is the blanket and toy (finally finished!) I made little Patrick Warren! Everyone went wild over it. My sister (Patrick's Grandma) and my mother (Great-grandma) will bring it to the baby when they visit this week. They live in Pennsylvania.

I'm not kidding when I say I literally finished it on Friday. It took some finagling to make the applique but I think it looks cute. Mike did the safety eyes for me, as I was not strong enough to force them together. So Great Uncle had a hand in the gift, too!

PS--to give you some perspective, the snail is about 4 inches across the shell, give or take.

As I said before, the blanket is my own design, including the snail, but it was inspired by the snail amigurumi (sp?) designed by Shena Lee Hicks. Here is the link to the blog where you will find the snail pattern, plus the most adorable amigurumi ever!


I am so glad to be home. Life seems easier outside of Long Island, but this is still my home and ya know there's no place like it.

Editing to link to "Spotlight Yourself" over at "It's So Very Cheri":


Friday, July 23, 2010

Hi from Ohio

Visiting my mom in Ohio this week. Mike and I drove here with Nicky (the only kid who was free from work) and it took 11 hours!
Tonight we had dinner with my 2 sisters and brother. I think it has to be more than 10 years since we were last together. We're pretty spread around the map--Georgia, New York, Michigan and Ohio.
Everyone loves the baby blanket--which is finished! I have no means to put a photo on it here because I'm using my mother's desktop. Alas, she does not have wi-fi so my laptop is good only for games. I'll post a photo after I get back to New York.
All-in-all, a nice family trip. Tomorrow is the big Family Reunion with cousins and other relatives. I think my mother (87) and my aunt (89) will be the oldest people there.
Hope everyone has a nice weekend!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Baby Afghan

Here is the afghan I made for my new grand nephew, Patrick. (See previous post.) It's about 95% finished. I just have to tuck in the loose ends, then finish and attach the snail applique. I'm also making a snail amigurumi toy to go with it.

The afghan is my own design, as is the applique. The amigurumi comes from here:


There are some really adorable things on this site, so check it out soon!

I'm waiting for some safety eyes, on the way from an Etsy seller. I'll try to post a photo of both the finished snail and the blanket when it's done. I'm heading off to Ohio next week but plan to bring my laptop with me.

I'm glad to be finishing up this project. It's always nice to check something off your list. Then I can start something else, LOL!

I'm linking over to "Strut Your Stuff Thursday" at Somewhat Simple. Check out all the cute links over there!


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Good News!

My grand nephew, Patrick Warren was born yesterday! 9 lbs. 6 oz!

I have been crocheting a blanket for him. It's yellow with green trim. I finished the blanket part today and started the applique (a snail). I hope to have everything done to bring to Ohio next week. They live in PA, but my mother (Great Grandma!) is visiting them and she can bring it with her. All this heat considered, I doubt the kid will want a heavy blanket just yet anyway, LOL!

I will post a picture tomorrow of the blanket so far.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Baby Bird Story

One evening, a few weeks ago, we heard a racket in the backyard. I ran outside to find one of my cats (Melody is the guilty party) had cornered a little fledgling bluejay. I scooped up the baby while Jamie got Melody and Nutmeg into the house. Shadow was running around but wasn't one iota interested in baby bird.

The mamas and aunties were freaking out and dive-bombing, of course. I waited to see if the baby would fly away but he seemed too scared. It got to be twilight and, unfortunately, the adult birds took off. I couldn't leave baby bird outside all night. So we sat on my deck for a while. I was still hopeful he'd fly off. (Or she?) But it got darker and the bird was so comfortable it actually fell asleep in my hand. I couldn't bring it inside and I didn't want to just abandon it to the night (and raccoons) so I took a basket and one of those reuseable shopping bags and made a kind of 'tent.' I put this under the overhang of my house and put the baby inside.

A few hours later, he was still there. But in the morning, he was gone--no sign of him. I looked everywhere and have to assume that, with the dawn, he found his wings and flew.

Okay, so about a week later we hear racket again. Again with the cats! This time, the baby bird was much bigger and able to get itself up into the trees. I wonder if it was the same one? But the story continues...

As I said yesterday, I have a bird story. I've been hearing "Ma! Ma! Ma!" all day long for about a week now. I finally spotted a young bird (I can tell because of the downy feathers) following an older bird around. He lands on a branch behind her (gotta guess this is mommy) flaps his wings and opens his mouth just like a nestling. She, on the other hand, ignores him. She is like me, a mother of 'adult' kids who's expecting them to fly off one at a time, except she's tougher than I am.

Okay, so young birdie finally decides to descend to the grass for a peanut. I had some out there out of the shell. He must have seen the bigger birds eat peanuts this way: they put the shell under one talon and peck away to get at the good stuff. Except, he started to peck at the peanut itself. Of course, most of it fell to the ground.

I sure hope he got at least a taste, because, in a flash, his sibling flew up to him and snatched it away!

I wonder if it has been the same baby all along? Who knows, but I'm sure he'll be back for more peanuts as he grows!

(If you've actually read this far...thanks!)

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Early Morning...

...in my backyard: pleasant enough to have my coffee and English muffin out there. But we're going to have another scorcher today. We're not expecting rain until at least Friday.

Whine, whine, whine--I keep reminding myself what our heroes overseas are going through in places like Iraq and Afghanistan. I totally sympathize, but...that doesn't mean I have to like our heat!

Anyway, back to the backyard. My favorite squirrel is back! She is the sweetest thing. She does a 'trick' where I will put a peanut in the crook of a tree branch while she waits a little bit up the trunk. Then I'll call to her and she'll come down for it. In fact, if she sees me at the back door, she'll run up the tree and wait for me to feed her! I haven't seen her in a long time. Three very young squirrels have been by but they are still timid. One will stop for a few moments, then run. I think he/she (too young to tell) might become another favorite squirrel. I'm also pretty sure these babies are my Favorite Squirrel's litter.

I also have a cute baby bluejay story but that's for another day.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

It's Too Darn Hot

A little while ago, the atomic clock read 100.4 degrees on the deck--in the shade! Now it's down to 99.5 (think I'll get out my sweater!) but all I know is...I hate heat almost as much as I hate ice and cold! Well, at least you don't have to shovel it.

That's today on Long Island, and we haven't had rain in roughly a week, either. You could light a fire on my lawn, it's so dry and brown. (I heard that just means it's sleeping.)

We need rain!!!!

How's it going in other parts of the country?

Monday, July 05, 2010

Lunch with the kids

I had a nice lunch today with my two oldest. They wanted me to try a favorite sushi place. Unfortunately, it was closed. So we went to an all-you-can-eat sushi bar. I was happy we found a restaurant open on Monday, since so many of them are closed this day. The food is very fresh and they even have little notes in front of each dish telling you what time it was put out. There is also a hot food line with some Chinese and American treats, as well as another with all kinds of salads and vegetables. One of my favorite things to put on my plate is salad with ginger dressing. I loooove ginger dressing, LOL!

Afterwards, Michael went back home and Katherine and I hit the local farm stand. I sure wish we could get fresh produce like that all year 'round. The peaches and plums are straight from heaven. The tomatoes aren't local just yet (the girl told me they will be in about a week) but they are from the family's farm in New Jersey. So long as they don't come from a factory, I'm happy.

Speaking of all-you-can eat places, Mike and I walked in and walked out of a Chinese buffet on Friday night because they were asking $26 a person. Now, I love Chinese food, but I can't eat $26 worth of the stuff. I didn't get past the lobby (vestibule?) so I don't know exactly what they had out that was worth such a high price. We just went back to an old favorite, where they only charge $14.95 and the food is very good. Even though I'm pretty flush as far as money these days (having fewer kids in the house and a good stockpile of food) I don't want to get into wasteful habits again. And paying $10 extra per person for just about the same food is my idea of wasteful!

I hope everyone has a great week and had a wonderful 4th of July!

Friday, July 02, 2010

Do you ever yell at the TV?

I do! It used to drive my oldest son nuts. (Mom, who are you talking to?!)

I did it this morning. I was watching one of those Good Morning, America type shows. Actually, I was playing secretary and waiting for an important call for my husband. (He was outside doing some kind of garage cleaning.)

Okay, so they have one of those 'how to cook cheap meat so it is tender' features. Nice idea. We've all done it--all of us frugal domesticas, anyway.

He starts with a rump roast (my favorite roast, btw) and compares it to, I don't know, a filet mignon? So what was I yelling about? The price comparison was 9.99 for the rumper and 25.99 for the filet! I can get the filet's price, but...

...what idiot pays 9.99 a pound for rump roast? Even at full price? And especially when it goes on sale for about 2.99 a pound often enough!

And even worse? How about 12.99 for London Broil? Duh! Is it just New York City prices? They don't have sales?

I used to be lucky enough to get London Broil (aka Top Round around these parts) for 1.99. Now I'm happy if it's under $3 a pound. But I wouldn't pay those other prices for anything, not even lobster!

Okay, enough yelling. I just get befuddled at stuff like this. Hope you all have a safe and happy Four of July weekend!

BTW, just for the record? Filet Mignon may be the most tender meat you can buy, but it also has probably the least flavor. That's why they always wrap bacon around it in restaurants! I would never pay for it, even for a special occasion. Our meat of choice? Boneless sirloin. I bought some for just 2.99 a pound this week and it is goooooood.