Sunday, December 30, 2007


Today is my sister's birthday. I made her a chocolate cake with chocolate icing using our mother's fudge cake recipe. (I should have taken a picture of it, but forgot). Yesterday I drove to Pennsylvania to meet her for the afternoon and give her the cake and present. We had a great day - lunch, shopping at thrift stores, visiting my nieces, talking, talking, talking.

The older we get, the closer we get. I wish that you, dear bloggers, could have a relationship like this in your lives with one of your siblings. I can remember when I was a very little girl and Linda was born. I stayed with our Nana while Mom was in the hospital. In those days, people didn't have babies and come home in two days. I remember that Mom had to come home without Linda because my new sister had a life-threatening problem. She was born -Rh factor and had to have blood transfusions. I remember clearly Mom sitting on Nana's sofa crying. I was four years old. Dad was frantically looking for blood donors. I don't remember more details, but the new precious baby in our lives pulled through. I remember being allowed to go to the hospital and see her in her little incubator.

Linda was the one who knew everyone in the neighborhood. She organized backyard fairs, had coffee with the older neighbors (she was then about 7) and loved to perform her dance routines for us in front of the television. Where was I? Mom would say, "Tina get your nose out of that book, and go outside and get some fresh air." As you can see, Linda was the outgoing one and I was the introvert. She was also the one who would cry if Mom or Dad yelled at her. I was the one who refused to shed a tear.

Unfortunately, looking back I remember being a brat to my little sister. I think she forgives me. There were adult years when we had disagreements and didn't see each other often, but thank heavens these always resolved themselves. I could go on and on, but I will end with this: Linda is so precious to me now. I cherish all of our memories and time together. Happy Birthday dear little sister!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007


Happy Day After Christmas, dear bloggers. I know I have been very lax in writing anything. This Christmas has been luxuriously different and I have no good reason for being a bum. (Ha, Ha -- this made me think of my Dad. He used the term "bum" in an unusually endearing way. If he sent a card to one of us, sometimes he would sign it, "Love from your old bum.")

Ken and I are staying home for the entire holiday. This is a first since I can remember. On Saturday we drove to Kent Narrows in Maryland to meet his daughter and son-in-law and grandchildren at a restaurant which is halfway for all of us. We had a nice visit. Other than that, we have not had to drive or fly anywhere. It did feel strange to not see Beth and Dale and my grandsons, but I was just there on Halloween and Thanksgiving. They gave us the BEST gift, though. A Webcam! It was pretty easy to install and we were able to visit via this on Christmas Day and also today. I think Beth and I will make good use of this. It is almost as good as a real visit. This was the best present.

Christmas Eve we went to church and Christmas Day I made the turkey and everything for the two of us. We were invited to have dinner with some friends, but opted to stay home - just the two of us -- and also, of course, the three cats and the poodle. It has been a very nice Christmas and I hope yours was just as nice.

Here is a picture of our little tree. I decided to get a real tree this year and saw this little one and since I love little trees, it was just right. She's a little crooked at the top and needed trimming, but she is what she is.

Since New Years Eve is just around the corner, I have added the new music. I hope you enjoy it.

I'll be spending tomorrow catching up on all of you!

Sunday, December 23, 2007


I am probably behind others in reading this author, since many are familiar with her last book, "The Red Tent" (which I look forward to reading soon).

From the book flap:

"This is a story of hardship and resilience - and an extraordinary recreation of an untold chapter of early American life. With a keen ear for language and profound compassion for her characters, (Anita) Diamant has written her most moving and powerful novel."

This book was outstanding. Taking place in the early 1800's in the Cape Ann area of Massachusetts, the author introduces us to the various characters who inhabit this backwater area. They are as a lot remarkable only in the degraded lives they live. Individually they surmount obstacles that seem so foreign to me as to be unbelievable. And yet, it has been about five days since I finished this book and I still ponder the characters and their lives. The fact that this novel is based on a real and distinct area and various real people makes it more true to me. I had just visited this area and, while I was not steeped in its history, I felt the potential for the characters' eccentricities in what was then an isolated village. You can still visit what remains of this village, including the boulder-marked cellars of the houses of its inhabitants.

I definitely recommend that you read this book. It is not warm and fuzzy. It is dark and depressing at times, but there are inspiring deeds performed and heroes made also.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


I have been so out of touch with blogging lately, I must apologize. Busy with the season as we all are, I guess. Last Wednesday I took a realtors' bus trip to New York to see the play "Wicked." This is the story of the two witches up to when Dorothy landed in Oz. I had to get up about 4 a.m. to meet everyone for the bus. I have done these trips before and they are always a lot of fun. There are snacks and prizes going up and then coming home everyone is pooped and dozes off. The play was excellent, however I kept falling asleep. I would look at my friend in the next seat and her eyes were closed and then once she nudged me to tell me I was snoring. Right in the theater. How embarrassing! I think I will read the book, though, and catch up on what I missed in the show.

Saturday night was our office Christmas party. I realized that it has been ten years since I started with this company and I think I only missed one party. It is done very nicely - held at a country club with a buffet, open bar and a live band. It is nice to see everyone dressed up in a different environment. This is a family run real estate company and they were all there, three generations from the oldest to almost the youngest. Did you ever see a family who seems to have it all? Looks, money, good manners, niceness? There must be a flaw somewhere!

(cartoon credit:

Sunday, December 09, 2007


Just a picture to share with you today, dear bloggers. I took this yesterday when the snow was melting. I had put my Halloween pumpkin in the yard to rot, hoping to get pumpkins next year. (Hey, I heard it works!) When I saw this I immediately ran to get my camera. Honest -- I did not place that leaf there. Mother Nature is truly an artist.

Saturday, December 08, 2007


Lynne at Lynne's Corner of the World tagged me for this and I saw it somewhere else, too. Looks like fun!


1. Helping to be there for my mother (long distance) as she dealt with my father's death in 1995 and her gradual onset of dementia. I know, this is so sad, but it is what I was doing this time 10 years ago.

2. Deciding how to deal with Christmas.

3. Starting a new job.

4. Moving.

5. Wondering how I was remaining sane.


1. Go to church. (Done)

2. Go to the office to update my Realtor access key. (Done)

3. Go to an open house at my beauty salon at 6:00. (Probably won't go)

4. Go to Walmart to buy gift boxes. (Done)

5. Look for gift for our giving tree at church. (Realized I have a question about it that can't be answered until Monday.)


1. Maybe I am a millionaire. (ha ha)

2. I would give new houses to my family (( might have to be a multi-millionaire, though).

3. I would travel to France twice a year.

4. I would build a log cabin by a lake in the mountains.


1. Sadly, a bikini.

2. High, high heels.

3. Mini skirts and "hot pants" (remember those)?

4. Maternity clothes.

5. Nail polish.


1. Snow globes.

2. Lincoln logs.

3. Monopoly game.

4. Raggedy Ann dolls.

5. Mr. Potato Head

(Most people have named their gadget toys, but even though I love my cell phone, it isn't really a toy to me.)


Actually, I am going to opt to tag anyone who wants to do this meme. It really is a fun one.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007


It has been snowing lightly off and on all day and evening. We probably don't have more than a few inches, but it is cold enough that it is sticking. It is so beautiful. Here is a picture of my little house in the snow this afternoon. We have more than that tonight. I just went outside and took a picture of the snow on my car and on a bush by the front door. I love snow, especially right as it starts. It is so quiet and there is that heavy, expectant feel to the air. I wouldn't like to live somewhere where I never had any snow. It is nice here along the coast because we get a little bit, but it doesn't overwhelm us.

Beau had his little coat on tonight when I took him for our usual walk. He doesn't usually like to go out in "weather", but he didn't mind it much tonight.

I was going to start my Christmas cards today, but ended up doing everything but. Look at this wonderful "Lodge" brand iron dutch oven. I found it in a thrift shop for $25.00. That sounds high for a thrift shop, but I think they go for triple that usually. Tonight I cooked a pork tenderloin in it and it was perfectly browned outside and so tender inside. I oven roasted some potatoes with brussels sprouts and carrots and even baked a pumpkin pie. No special occasion either! I was just in a good mood -- probably from the snow. I was in an awful mood on Monday when the wind was blowing about 50 mph. I hate wind -- it scrambles my brain!

Sunday, December 02, 2007



Like most of you, I have a stack of books yet to read. These seem to fall into several categories: 1) Currently reading; 2) Next on list to read; 3) May read someday; 4) May never read, but can't get rid of them because there is a slim chance that there will be nothing else to read and the library and all bookstores will be closed.

My Fall Reading Challenge will not be completed this month; however I did read several of the books and planned to reorganize and change my list. Now the holidays are almost here and reading is falling to the wayside somewhat. I did read the two novelettes by Henry James: "Daisy Miller" and "Washington Square." They were published in 1879-1880 and the writing style is, of course, of that period. I enjoyed these classics very much, especially "Washington Square" since I liked the 1948 movie "The Heiress" starring Olivia DeHavilland which is based on this book (there is also the 1998 movie "Washington Square", but I have not seen that one.

I read "A Is For Alibi" by Sue Grafton and plan to read the rest of the series.

I have finished "Three Weeks With My Brother" by Nicholas and Micah Sparks. This was excellent and is the true story of the author ("The Notebook" and others) Nicholas Sparks and the round-the-world trip he took with his brother, reminiscing and bonding all the way. I enjoyed it -- it was part travelogue and part autobiography, with a story of faith and optimism included.

I have now started "Papillon" by Henri Charriere and Jan Karon's latest Father Tim novel, "Home to Holly Springs." Thank you to my dear friend Lynne for this wonderful autographed copy for my birthday. I am also reading "And Ladies Of The Club" which is a gigantic book and I am only reading a little here and there. Lynne recommends this book, but it will take me a year to finish it.

For my birthday my daughter gave me a gift certificate to an Andover book store that I love (the store has easy chairs and a fire burning in the fireplace - very cozy). I chose "The Poets' Corner, The One-And-Only Poetry Book for the Whole Family" compiled by John Lithgow. It includes a CD with some well known people reading poems. I am also enjoying reading this. I usually have a few books of poems next to my chair that I pick up when I need a break from prose.

So that's it. Oh - there is one I just bought, but have not yet started which is "The Last Days of Dogtown" by Anita Diamant (she wrote "The Red Tent").

Christmas is around the corner and I have a little shopping to do yet. I started decorating and this year I may bake some cookies. I say that every year, but this year I REALLY think I will.

Sleep tight, dear bloggers and pleasant dreams. (I am writing this at 11:00 and I am now off to the Land of Nod).

Thursday, November 29, 2007


Morning Glory from Seeds From My Garden posts Alphabet Soup Day every Wednesday and invites us to share. I am just catching up on blogging today, so here goes:

The Letter today is N. When I started thinking of things in my life with the letter N I kept coming up with words and not things. So let's start with the words I thought of:

NAMBY-PAMBY - Wishy-Washy. Actually I looked up the definition and it has a literary history.
NUANCE - I like this word. It has a delicate sound and meaning.

NEVER NEVERLAND - Where we all want to go at some point in our lives. Hopefully, Peter Pan is there.

NICE - Well, it is always nice to be nice, but even better to be IN Nice.

That is my take on the letter N today. Have a good one, dear bloggers.

Thursday, November 22, 2007


Here I am back in Massachusetts with Beth and Dale and my grandsons. I flew up here yesterday. Yes, the airport was packed and the flight was delayed a few hours. But here I am! This morning they all got up early and ran the local "Feaster Five" race. Grammy was allowed to sleep in. They got home with medals and ribbons and giveaway apple pies.

A highlight last night was that the boys are teaching me to play chess. What fun! They are so smart I can't get over it.

Dinner will be ready in about an hour and it smells wonderful. Have a beautiful day, everyone. I will include all of you dear blogging friends in my prayer of thanks.

P.S. Today is my birthday!! I think I am officially old -- ha ha!

Friday, November 16, 2007


Have you ever taken part in a Secret Santa or Secret Pal Gift Exchange? Litblogger Nymeth at Things Mean A Lot is organizing a Blogger Christmas Exchange this holiday season. Be sure and stop by her blog for details! The deadline is November 23rd.

It looks like lots of fun!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


The weather today is unbelievable. It is sunny and about 63 degrees. I went down to the boardwalk and took these pictures for your enjoyment (lol).
Even the frozen custard stand was open.

I just realized it is 41 days until Christmas. I never start shopping early and this year will be no exception. Every year the gift giving dwindles for some reason. Now that my parents are gone and some of the family don't exchange gifts anymore -- well, that's why. However, the spirit is as strong as ever. I always love Christmas Eve the most. I try to get to church for candelight service, have a light dinner and then a larger dinner on Christmas Day. What are your Christmas plans? I know, I know, it isn't even Thanksgiving yet.

Santa's house on the boardwalk. He wasn't home, though.

As you can see, I am rambling on, blah, blah, blah. But I did want to say hi, how are you today.

We will be heading up to Mass. for Thanksgiving. This year we are driving so that we can take Beau along. That should be interesting. Beau is not a very good passenger. He wants to sit on my lap, actually stand, while we are driving. God forbid it should rain because he hates windshield wipers and just about goes through the windshield trying to get at them. I think whomever is not driving will have to sit with him in the backseat. I will celebrate my birthday on Thanksgiving also. Yes, I was actually born on Thanksgiving. My father used to say that I was the turkey (Dad's sense of humor)! The day after Thanksgiving is our 15th wedding anniversary. Sometimes I wonder how we made it, but it looks like we are in it for the long haul (smiling).
Take care, everyone.

Monday, November 12, 2007


The little house with green trim was almost as familiar to me as my own house a few blocks away. The girl lived there with her parents. She was an only child and had a bedroom to herself. At that time my sister and I shared a room and I considered this girl's bedroom status as one to be greatly coveted. We met each other in sixth grade although she was in a different classroom and it wasn't until later that we became friends. I admired her because she was just plain COOL -- and this was before cool was used in our eleven year old vocabulary. She wore bobby sox with tiny little colored clothespins clipped to the cuffs. How I wanted some of those little clothespins. She was from Philly before she came to our school. That was why she was cooooool. By junior high we were best friends.

There we would sit after school and weekends in her bedroom playing the 45's -- Jimmy Charles' "A Million To One" was one of our favorites. We talked about boys, boys, boys -- what else? Her Mom used to make us Chef Boyardee Instant Pizza which was just as good as what we got from the pizza shop. The girl was the best dancer around and she labored for hours trying to teach me the "mashed potatoes" and "the pony." I know we both can still do them. We went to summer community dances, dances at a nearby rollerskating rink, school dances. Everything back then was about music and boys.

Through crushes, boyfriends, girlfriends and the interruptions of high school, we still maintained our friendship. After high school we attended the same school to be medical secretaries and then we slowly drifted in different directions until finally we lost each other.

Enter, stage left, many years later. I checked out my graduating class and saw her name on their list and if I wanted to get in touch, I could pay $25 to join. There was no question. The girl lives in Georgia and I am in Delaware and we are once again, best friends. We are both married and are grandmothers now, but we will always treasure our history during those wonderful years.

Who is this girl? Scroll down to see my Monday's Favorite - my Best Friend,






Our fellow blogger - Lynne at Lynne's Little Corner Of The World.!!!!!!!!!!

Me on the left, Lynne on the right. 40th High School Reunion.

I hope you enjoyed my post today. Remember, if you ever get the chance to meet up with your best friend from years and years ago, you may get lucky like I did.

Thursday, November 08, 2007


Hi, everyone. I have been catching up on your blogs and WOW, it strikes me that Thanksgiving is upon us. There is some nice decorating going on out there from what I see in your photos. I was looking around my house for some decorations, but can't find anything that looks like Thanksgiving or fall harvest, other than the Halloween things. This really surprises me because I seem to collect so much stuff. I have a wonderful rustic French country farmhouse table which I still have not used except to spread out business things, scrapbook things, etc, etc. Get the picture? We acquired this not that long ago, but we don't seem to entertain much -- mostly because my husband has been building an addition on our house for the past five years and I never want anyone to see the upheaval. While I was away, he did finish quite a lot which has made me very happy. If any of you are married to a builder -- you understand. Remember the shoemaker's kids? Same thing.

This Sunday there is a local auction which I love to attend. I may not always buy anything, but I love to sit there, eat hot dogs and watch the show. I like to stay to the very end when they sell what is left over in lots for very little money. You can get some really good deals at auctions, but you really have to be careful. Don't get caught up in the moment (like me) and end up with a collection of Russian lacquer boxes and a collection of Native American dolls and not know what to do with them. I guess they will go to E-Bay heaven. However, I did have an experience today that proves I am not always so irresponsible. I had bought an oriental rug at the auction a few years ago for a few hundred dollars. I sent it out for cleaning last week and they brought it back today and asked me if I knew what it was worth. I said "no"and the fellow said it was worth about $3000!!!! I told my husband and he said "SELL IT"!!! Men!

Have a good weekend everyone. I'll let you know what I bought (or didn't) at the auction.

Monday, November 05, 2007


Once again I am shocked that another Monday is here.

Today I am going to include a book as one of my favorite things, because I just finished reading this and enjoyed it so much I have to share it with you. This debut novel by William Lychack is "The Wasp Eater" and the author and his wife are friends of my daughter and her husband. They teach at the same school. I heard Bill read a portion of this at a "reading" at the Andover Bookstore earlier this year. The novel essentially expresses the emotions (happy and tragic) of a ten year old boy when his parents separate and his desperate attempt to repair his family. The writing is so poetic and sensitive that you could actually take portions, set it up in a poetic form and there it would be -- a poem in its own right.

From the book jacket:

"..........Graceful and magnetic, this impressive first novel insightfully
charts the raw emotional unercurrents of a broken family through characters whose human foibles are artfully drawn."

I hope you will add this book to your list and give it a try. I know you will enjoy it.
That's it for tonight, folks. Take care of yourselves.

Saturday, November 03, 2007


Nor'easter Noel has arrived in the Boston area today so it has been a pretty miserable day, weatherwise. A good day to spend at the movies which is what we did -- us and a few hundred other kids (of ALL ages).

Bee Movie was excellent, funny for everyone. The animation was good, fast moving and creative. Jerry Seinfeld's voice identified him as the hero of the story. There has been a lot of marketing hype out there to promote this movie, including MacDonalds kids meal giveaways, but it certainly holds true that the movie is fun for everyone. The last movie I saw with my grandsons was "The Ant Bully" and I have been careful ever since about stepping on ants. Now the bees. I have been into honey lately anyway and have been using honey products in handcream.

See this movie with kids or see it alone -- I'll bet you'll enjoy it.

I fly out of Manchester, NH to Philly tomorrow. I hate to leave here, but I'll be back for Thanksgiving.

Take care everyone.

Friday, November 02, 2007


I am still enjoying my stay here in Andover with Beth and Dale and my grandsons. The weather is beautiful - leaves are lovely. The boys had a good Halloween and got a nice haul of candy. I am including this photo that 11 year old grandson Cooper took of their dog Ohbee retrieving a ball in a lake where they hiked a few weeks ago. Isn't this the best picture? He is taking a photography class in school and is into it now. Do I see a future National Geographic professional photographer?

I am trying to get used to their Apple computer and haven't been online much since I have been here. I will catch up with all of you when I get home. Tomorrow we have soccer games and we are going to see "Bee Movie". I'll give you my review afterwards.

Have a lovely weekend !

Monday, October 29, 2007


I have been so busy lately and tomorrow I fly to Andover, Mass. to visit Beth and my grandsons. I wanted to get the house "in order" and here it is almost 5:00 and I have accomplished nothing. My vacuum cleaner is still at the repairman and he called to say it still isn't finished. So much for cleaning the floors. Ken will stay home to care for the animals, but I worry that they will miss "Mom" as I know they will. Especially poodle Beau.

I have been meaning to mention this for awhile and so I am naming it as my "Monday Favorite." Some of you may have been avid readers of "Victoria Magazine", as I was for years. I saved all the issues until it just got to be too much and I finally discarded them. They discontinued publishing a few years ago and now they are back. I am overjoyed. I think all of you will love this magazine Go to to check it out. It is just as beautiful as ever -- wonderful photography, recipes, lifestyle, books, women and their businesses. You will love it. I received my first issue the other day and I am again hooked. The photo is one from the magazine so credit goes to them.

I am also including a picture I took in Paris on my last visit since that is one of my very, very favorite things . I will be checking on you from Andover and will try to post from there.

Sunday, October 28, 2007


"Japan's Kaneko Sangyo Co., which manufactures plastic toys, has come up with a small toilet you can put together as needed. If you're stuck in traffic and can't wait, simply assemble the cardboard toilet bowl and fit a water-absorbent sheet inside. The toilet comes with a curtain large enough to conceal users and a plastic bag to collect waste, and can fit inside a suitcase. Just politely pull the curtain closed and you're ready to go! Sounds like something I'd take on a long bus or train ride through India rather than in my car. You'll have to hold it until November 15, when the company will begin selling the new product online. [via Reuters]"

Can you imagine? Although I do remember carrying a little potty in our old VW Camper when my daughter was being potty trained. (Sorry, Beth!)

Thursday, October 25, 2007


Lynne gave me this totally sweet award. Isn't he cute? Does anyone besides me bite off the white end of the candy corn before eating the rest of it? (I don't especially like candy corn, but sometimes I can't help myself.)

Let's see, I nominate for this award.............some new people I met from my drawing:
Midlifecycler, T*mmy, Mary, Brenda..................and all of you other sweet bloggers.


The time has finally arrived. It is now midnight and I am about to draw the winners of my 105th Post Giveaway. Woooooooo!!!

I have had so much fun with this, I may have to do another one sometime. I have met so many wonderful people that I may not have met otherwise. It has totally reaffirmed my feeling that if you want a spark in your life, you want to meet new people and experiment with your creative juices, either fall in love or start a blog. Of course, then you will fall in love with blogging, which is what I have done.

Thank you everyone for entering this Giveaway.


I am excited that you are two new friends to visit me and I will be adding you to my favorite links. I will contact you on your blog and you can e-mail me your address so that I can send your gift.


To satisfy everyone's curiosity, the gifts are:

A small china box from Austria with handpainted violets (of course)on the lid from Violetlady's shabby chic violet collection.


This book by Mitch Albom, "For One More Day." I loved this book and if you have already read it once, it is the kind of book that can be enjoyed again.

Who gets what? The recipient will find out and inform everyone on her blog!
Well, it is now past midnight and I am tired and heading off to the land of nod.
Good night from Violetlady!