Thursday, August 30, 2007

No Name Meme

I was tagged by Lynne for this nameless meme. Here goes:

ACCENT: Like Lynne, I took a quiz and came up pure Philly.

DRINK: My favorite drink is Diet Pepsi -- I need to start my morning with it. I hate coffee; I like tea, hot and iced. Alcoholic drinks? Sometimes a glass of wine when we eat out. I like a glass of beer sometimes, esp. Rolling Rock. New Years Eve I have to have a glass of champagne.
CHORE I HATE: Any housework, especially unloading and loading the dishwasher. Oh yes, also folding laundry.

PETS: Beau the poodle and three cats: Violette, Pierre and Chloe.

ESSENTIAL ELECTRONICS: Does TV count? Computer, cell phone.

PERFUME: Happy To Be (Clinique), Eau Du Val (L'Occitane - first bought this in Paris and all I have to do is smell it and it takes me right back there), Tova (Tova Borgnine).

GOLD OR SILVER: Both. I love jewelry and I sell a line of sterling silver.

INSOMNIA: Seldom. Sometimes have trouble getting to sleep, but once I am there I am gone.

JOB TITLE: Realtor, wife, sister, grammy and friend. Favorite is Grammy.

MOST ADMIRED TRAIT: Gee, this is a hard one. I am a good cook, but I don't think that is a trait. I am somewhat quiet and reserved, but most people think I am fun to be around. Is that a trait? I am loyal and honest.

KIDS: One daughter, Beth, and my son-in-law Dale. Of course, my two grandchildren, Cooper and Ian. I have two step-children and three step-grandchildren.

UNUSUAL TALENT/SKILL: I don't know if people still use this, but I can still use some of my old shorthand skills. I am sure Lynne can, too.

VEGETABLE: I am not a big vegetable fan. Corn, lima beans, peas, brocolli, lots of salad. My most hated things are mushrooms, beets and asparagus.

WORST HABIT: I am a disorganized clutterer. I also find it difficult to pass a MacDonalds without getting a "double cheeseburger, no onions ($1)."

X-RAYS: Dental every year.

FAVORITE MEAL: Spaghetti and meatballs or chicken parmesan, both with Italian bread and lots of real butter.

PHOBIA: Several: Driving over some bridges, mushrooms, a certain kind of cricket that I have only seen in Delaware, spiders -- especially Daddy Longlegs. Well, actually bugs in general. And yes, mushrooms are more a phobia with me than a dislike.

RELIGION: Catholic (since last year)

SIBLINGS: One younger sister, Linda.

TIME I WAKE UP: If I don't set an alarm and no one wakes me up, I can easily sleep until 11:00. Hey, I need the sleep! It's not easy being me!

This was fun. I tag YOU: kookiejar, kris, lidy, tristi

Saturday, August 25, 2007

This n' That

I went to the local farmers' market this morning with my friend Kim. We opted not to bring our dogs, although there were a lot of dogs there. We noticed a new breed mixture that has been seen around here a lot -- a poodle crossed with a golden retriever. They are crossing other breeds with poodles also to form these hybrid crosses. This "Goldendoodle" is a funny, friendly looking dog, with a beautiful coat and long legs. Since I believe golden retrievers are one of the nicest dogs around, to mix them with a poodle who is very intelligent and non-shedding is a great idea. As Beau says, EVERYONE WANTS TO BE A POODLE!

On another note, here is a picture of a two-headed cat -- ha, ha -- it is my Pierre and Chloe stuffed together in a fairly small basket. Pierre weighs twenty pounds and was in the basket first. Somehow Chloe got herself in there, too. Can you tell where one cat starts and the other ends?

I am totally immersed in books by Janet Evanovich -- the Stephanie Plum series. I just finished Hot Six and am now reading High Five. I think her latest is a number thirteen and I am trying to read them as much in sequence as I can, according to when I can get certain books from the library. They are SO entertaining and so funny.

Okay, as kookiejar says...


Friday, August 24, 2007


I have had a full week -- my daughter (et al) left on Monday morning, my husband's old Air Force buddy arrived that afternoon, my husband's daughter and grandchildren arrived on Wednesday. By yesterday morning, everyone had left, including my husband and his friend to go on their annual roadtrip (they drive towards North Carolina, visit military bases, small boating communities and towns and just hang out). He will fly back here on Monday. Right now I am sitting here enjoying the "alone time."

Wednesday night I went to an auction. Here are a few shots of what I won as the highest bidder.

Russian lacquer boxes -- I really had no interest in these, but got caught up in the moment and was bidding against a dealer and I figured he knew their worth. I will probably sell them on E-Bay.

The teapot has a story. I had one identical to this since 1971. Thirty-five years ago a dear friend (now deceased) and I used to sit and drink jasmine tea from the teapot. I never thought it was particulary attractive as far as teapots go, but I was very sentimental about it. Well, the teapot broke a few months ago. My sister was sweet enough to give me another teapot which was lovely, but of course, was not THE TEAPOT that held the memories. But -- there this was -- at the auction. I had to have it. A winning bid of $5.00 gave it to me (no one else bid on it). Barry, wherever you are, I know you appreciate my sentimentality.

The silver tray -- hotel silver from the Waldorf Astoria in New York. Engraved with WA on the front and the back says Waldorf Astoria 1931. It is very heavy and I think very attractive.

The little green glass jar with a salt shaker top: This is for my daughter. She likes old glass jars. Beth, I hope you like it.

Last night - three friends (Suzanne, Gretchen and Christina) and I got together for Gretchen's birthday. We celebrated over paella at a Spanish restaurant and enjoyed the cake that Suzanne had made. We have been doing this for some years now. All of us are around the same age, give or take a few years, and we celebrate each birthday at a restaurant, with a cake and gifts. We usually force the birthday girl to wear a tiara which is handed down to the next recipient. This year we forgot the tiara. It wasn't missed. It was getting a little tarnished anyway -- like us, maybe.

The remains of the day.

Monday, August 20, 2007


The treasures of my life arrived last Thursday night to pick up their dog Ohbe and to spend some time at "Grammy's." My daughter Beth, my son-in-law Dale, my 11 year old grandson Cooper, and my 7 year old grandson Ian were able to stay four days until they had to leave this morning and drive back to Massachusetts. The boys are used to long road trips and they are very good travelers. We had a busy and happy time together. The beach, the boardwalk (even I went on the bumper cars), the water park -- we did it all. The boys had just been to Disneyworld so they have had a full summer.

Being a parent is a highlight in anyone's life, but being a grandmother has to top even that. We know our lives go on through our children and hopefully, our grandchildren will remember us and treasure their moments with us as we do with them. That is why it is always so important for me to travel to visit them whenever I can, no matter how far.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


This is Burke's newest book to add to his series of fifteen other "Dave Robicheaux" crime drama/mysteries. This author is the greatest and as the book jacket says, he is the rare winner of two Edgar Edwards. I have read all of this series and also all but two of all of his other twelve books.
The book jacket says that "critics are already calling (this) Burke's best work." I would have to agree.
From the jacket:

In the waning days of summer, 2005, a storm with greater impact than the bomb that struck Hiroshima peels the face off southern Louisiana.

This is the gruesome reality Iberia Parish Sheriff's Detective Dave Robicheaux discovers as he is deployed to New Orleans....Hurricane Katrina has left the commercial district and residential neighborhoods awash with looters and predators of every stripe. The power grid of the city has been destroyed...

In a singular style that defies genre, James Lee Burke has created a hauntingly bleak picture of life in New Orleans after Katrina.

The author has a home in New Iberia and all of his Dave Robicheaux books are set there and in and around New Orleans. This book appears to be based on real situations and actual facts. I think that Burke includes his own impressions of the political fiasco and failure (in Dave Robicheaux's voice) that occurred before, during and after Katrina hit. I have never been to New Orleans, but the image I now have of this city is probably nothing like the reality of what the city was. Burke's novels always include unforgettably complex and flawed characters, some likable, but often frightening. In this book I definitely feel the possibility of the author's persona expressed in the character of his protagonist. This series of books is violent and graphic and I do not identify with any of the characters, even his wife and daughter. Despite this, I love this guy's writing style. True poetry among the prose.

James Lee Burke's daughter, Alafair Burke, is also an author and I have just started one of her novels. (Alafair is also the fictional name of Dave Robicheaux's daughter!)

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


Lynne has given me this award which I truly appreciate. She is the nicest.

Here's what the award means: "This award is for those bloggers who are nice people; good blogging friends, and those who inspire good feelings and inspiration. It is also for those who are a positive influence on our blogging world."

I am supposed to pass this along to other bloggers, but since everyone whose blogs I read are such nice people, I will pass this out into the ether-world for all of you truly nice bloggers.

Monday, August 13, 2007


I have been really been taking it easy for the last week. My daughter and son-in-law and grandsons came to visit overnight and to drop off their sweet Lab, Ohbe, for me to babysit while they are traveling for ten days. Ohbe and Beau get along great, even though Ohbe has to defer to Beau many times because he is so dominant. Little poodle with the big mouth and big gentle Lab. Pretty typical of the two breeds I guess. They will be back this Friday to pick her up and spend a few days here.

I have finished a few books, one of which was "No Corners For The Devil" by Olive Etchells. The author is British and has written many books, although this is the first I have read. The locale is Cornwall, England in a small village by the sea. I thought this would be interesting since I once visited a few of these small villages in Cornwall. The author uses a lot of English colloquialisms which I didn't understand, but all in all it was good reading. The gist of the story is that a violent crime that takes place on the sea cliff near their house changes the lives forever of a new family to the area, the Baxters. This was an easy, entertaining read with some descriptions of the local scenery. The characters were not necessarily outstanding in that I did not identify with any of them or find them particularly interesting. But, how often do we actually "identify" with characters in novels? Sometimes, just entertaining is good enough.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Famous Movie Kiss

I was watching one of my very favorite movies tonight -- "Dirty Dancing." I thought Patrick Swayze was especially sexy tonight. And then I read Tristi Pinkston's blog and took this quiz. SPIDERMAN??!! Really.

Your Famous Movie Kiss is from Spiderman

"I have always been standing in your doorway. Isn't it about time somebody saved your life?"

Wednesday, August 01, 2007


Despite my work and traveling schedule, I have managed to finish a few books:
One For The Money by Janet Evanovich (as always - great - the first in the series of Stephanie Plum, bounty hunter.)

A Year In The Merde by Stephen Clarke (comical insights of the cultural differences between French and British).

Out to Pasture: But Not Over The Hill by Effie Leland Wilder (this author wrote her first novel at 80!!!!)

I returned to the library the book I had started about Edith Piaf. The book was very long and I would probably have to renew it several times, so I decided to check it out later when I can do it justice.

I am reading several books right now. One is "Atop An Underwood" which are edited writings from Jack Kerouac.

I had borrowed James Lee Burke's latest ("The Tin Roof Blowdown") from the library, but had only started it and it was due back. Someone had put a hold on it so I couldn't renew it. I just ordered my own copy from Amazon.

I have been so busy during the past week. I am not the best housekeeper and I have been on a cleaning and organizing and tossing spree lately. Ok -- we have company this month - so there is an impetus. Maybe I will turn over a new leaf!