Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Dear Bloggers,

I am leaving tomorrow for a trip to visit my daughter and son-in-law and my grandsons. My youngest will have his First Holy Communion on Saturday. The other grandparents are coming in from Tennessee and the godmother is flying in from California. It will be the little guy's big day.

I always get stressed out before any trip. What to pack, will I get to the airport in time, etc., etc. It is now 9:30 at night and I am doing laundry. I always feel like the home front can't function if I am not here to supervise. Are you the same way?

Oh - yes. Let me tell you the squirrel story before I leave. My husband built a big addition onto our house a few years ago. Since he is a builder, of course a lot of little things were never finished. The master bedroom is very large and has a high tray ceiling. Well, for the last week or so I have been hearing scrambling in the ceiling. I thought it was just squirrels or birds on the roof. Yesterday it got very loud and I walked into the bedroom and saw a quick glimpse of a "creature" up on the tray section of the ceiling. I jumped a mile. After awhile I went back in the room and there was a definite SQUIRREL looking at me from nine or ten feet above me. IN THE BEDROOM!!! Of course, I called my husband THE BUILDER who informed me he would look into it. Last night he went to bed without doing a thing about it. I pondered whether to sleep in that room also or sleep in another bedroom. Well, I thought - I haven't seen or heard anything for awhile so I went to bed and had a rather fitful sleep.

Fast forward to this afternoon. There was the squirrel again brazenly watching me from his little perch along the ceiling. I called my husband and then I left. By this time one of the cats has noticed the animal, but the poodle was oblivious. Husband brought one of his workers to the house and said that they would have to work on it tomorrow because apparently an opening was left from the ceiling to the outside and they would have to bring lumber. ALL THIS TIME - THERE WAS AN OPENING. I COULD HAVE HAD 100 SQUIRRELS IN THERE!!

So, guess where I am sleeping tonight? You guessed it. Not in THAT room!

Hopefully, when I return on Monday, I will be squirrel-less.

Take care, everyone.

Monday, April 28, 2008


I like the ceremonies of life. I like weddings. I even like funerals. I like formal church services.

I attended two wedding receptions on the past two weekends. Each reception could not have been more dissimilar.
Unfortunately, we were not invited to the weddings because they were small and private. I would have rather attended the weddings than the receptions.

One wedding and reception took place at a small local winery. The reception was for about 100 invited guests with tables for everyone, beautiful centerpieces, heavy hors d'oeuvres and a DJ. The cake was beautiful. The wedding party was small. It was fairly low key and nicely done.

The other wedding took place at a very small, historic church which held a very limited number of people. I would have loved to have seen the wedding because at the end they released white doves into the sky. The reception, however, had about 250 guests, the wedding party (30+ people) and a huge band. There was a sit-down dinner and the food was cold. They forgot the toast. The cake very plain and small. Actually, I kept walking up to the cake and then informing my table that the cake was cardboard and it must have been there until the real cake arrived. As time passed and no fancy cake appeared I realized that it was not a cardboard cake at all! Silly me. But, of course, the bride was beautiful and happy and that is what was important.

I definitely prefer small, intimate weddings and receptions. Simple is best.

What kind of weddings do you prefer?

(The photo above is courtesy of The Graphics Fairy.)

A Cherry Tree

A cherry tree


with her pink skirt

of fallen blossoms


gaily around her.

(I saw a cherry tree today with a perfect circle of blossoms on the ground around it. Unfortunately, I did not have a camera with me and then it rained and crushed the blossoms. I found this photo online and now I forgot where in order to give the author credit.)

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Where have I been you ask? Well, maybe you haven't, but in case you have wondered -- I am still here.

I drove up to Pennsylvania on Thursday to visit my sister and came back on Friday. Thursday night I was fortunate enough to be included in a belated birthday dinner that her friend gives her every year. Linda's birthday is actually in December, but they never get around to it for months later. I have never attended one before and it is pretty special. Why, you ask? Because the menu is home-cooked Italian ravioli!! Linda's friend's mother makes over 300 ravioli twice a year for Christmas and Easter. She freezes some and that is what we had for dinner with the good Italian tomato sauce (or gravy as the Italians call it) which has pork and sausage in it. Believe me. You would think you had died and gone to heaven - it is that good. I am changing my recipe for sauce and will make it this way instead:

Canned crushed tomatoes
Canned whole tomatoes
Fresh chopped garlic sauteed in olive oil (with browned sausage links and/or pork roast optional)
Fresh basil
Grated locatelli cheese
I will add some red wine and red pepper flakes also because I always put that in my sauce.

The ravioli are made by hand and are stuffed with shredded pork, egg and grated cheese. I don't think I will attempt these, but they are truly delicious.

Linda and I had a great day and a half together. We both love old 5&10's (which are almost non-existent now) and she took me to one that dated back to 1912 and still had a soda fountain. Unfortunately, the store was on its "last legs", but it was fun to eat at the soda fountain and peruse the store goods. We also visited an antiques store and a Mennonite thrift store and had breakfast at a diner (which we both love to do also). I came home loaded with more "stuff." You never know what you will find!

One of my purposes in going to visit my sister was so that we could both go to Mom and Dad's grave to plant some flowers. We never did get there, but I am sure they won't mind - especially if Mom knows we were at an antiques store. We will go to the cemetery when I am up there again next month.

Yesterday I had a wedding to attend (with another one next Saturday). It was held at a local winery. Beautiful bride, handsome groom, elegant and delicious cake -- what more could you want?

Tonight we will attend a Passover seder at a friend's house. I have never been to one so it should be interesting (and delicious!).

Hope you are having a beautiful Sunday dear bloggers!

Sunday, April 13, 2008


Lynne is challenging us to pick three or more books from now until November that have been recommended to us. I figure I have plenty of time to do this challenge. These are my choices:

1. "After Hours At The Almost Home" by Tara Yellin. Reviewed and recommended by Literary Feline.

2. "The Year Of Living Biblically" by A.J. Jacobs. Reviewed and recommended by Fraternity of Dreamers.

3. "The Brief Wondrous Life Of Oscar Wao" by Junot Diaz. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction, this has been recommended by several bloggers.

Saturday, April 12, 2008


I have finished the Tony Randall book that is on my Spring Reading Challenge list. I bought this book for 25 cents - it was published in 1989. I always liked Tony Randall and thought it would be interesting. Actually, for anyone interested in the theater it would be very interesting. Tony shares with the reader a long series of funny stories about New York theater and Hollywood. I think some of it is meant to be understood by show business insiders. The book is entertaining, but since it is an older book, everything takes place prior to the 1980's. Tony Randall passed away fairly recently. I will probably donate this book to the library.

I have started the new Cara Black book which already appears to be of her usual high caliber of writing. If you are unfamiliar with her books, but you like mysteries and you like Paris -- you will love her books. I have waited patiently for this book to appear since she is one of my favorite authors.

James Lee Burke (another favorite) is expected to have a new book (a new Dave Robicheaux mystery) out this summer. Janet Evanovich will have another Stephanie Plum book released on June 17. I can't wait for these to be released.

Saturday, April 05, 2008


The Spring Reading Challenge began on March 20 and I tentatively set up a small list of my books to be read. I have been so negligent in posting to my blog that I have already finished two of the books! I am keeping the list very short so that I am inspired to read, but not overwhelmed by it. The first three books were recommended by Lynne.

1. "Everywhere That Mary Went" by Lisa Scottoline FINISHED

2. "Final Appeal" by Lisa Scottoline FINISHED

3. "Ida Mae Tutweiler and the Traveling Tea Party" by Ginnie Siena Bivona (This book was hard to come by. I found an old copy on Amazon.)

4. "Which Reminds Me" by Tony Randall and Michael Mindlin NOW READING (I bought this book for a quarter at a thrift store.)

5. "Murder In the rue de Paradis" by Cara Black (latest from one of my favorites)

6. " 'C' Is For Corpse" by Sue Grafton

7. "Slow Waltz In Cedar Bend" by Robert James Waller (I also bought this at the thrift store. The author also wrote "Bridges of Madison County.")

I really enjoyed the two books by Lisa Scottoline. The stories occur in Philadelphia so I was very familiar with everything she wrote about. I worked for major law firms and the protagonists in the two books are both lawyers. When she mentioned Rittenhouse Square or 22nd and Spruce Street, I was right there many, many times. I went to school right there. I can't wait to read the next book by this author.