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).