Sunday, January 31, 2010


We had an amazing snow storm yesterday.  The weather forecast had said one to two inches.  It started yesterday morning and didn't end until about midnight.  I think there is a total of eight inches.  We hardly ever get a decent snowfall here in coastal Delaware, so this was amazing, especially since we already had snow once last month.

I do enjoy snow -- not that I am out skiing, skating or snowmobiling -- I just like the white crispness of it and to sit in front of a fire (or not), read a good book, watch the old black and white movies I love, and just "veg out."

I have a new next door neighbor who is about my age (64) I think.  She is a little odd -- I may have written about her here before.  She seems to enjoy trimming my trees without my permission.  Strange.  Anyway, this morning I noticed that by 8 a.m. she had her entire driveway shoveled, right down to the blacktop.  Yes, she did it herself.  Now, why does this bother me?  Is it because I don't have the strength or endurance to do the same thing?  No, because even if I did, I wouldn't be spending my time doing that.  But, it really annoys me.  I guess it is because I basically find her annoying anyway.  She has tons of nervous energy which usually gets on my nerves, because I have NO nervous energy.  If I am nervous, it never reveals itself in energy.  I just get a stomachache and go to bed.

This leads me to my basic premise on snow days.  Snow days hark back to when the schools were closed due to snow and we sat and listened on the radio for the list of closings and when we heard ours, we were overjoyed and spent the day out sledding.  Our real estate office was closed today, churches were even closed.  I truly believe, and if you know nothing about me, know this:  when there is a Snow Day, things should stop.  People should not work, should not go to school, should not go shopping, should not shovel their snow.  They should spend this special day reading, watching television, eating junk, talking on the phone to family and friends.  That is what a Snow Day (notice I am capitalizing it) is for.  A friend commented to me on Facebook, that a Snow Day is like the cosmos gives us permission to do whatever we want.  I like that.

Sunday, January 24, 2010


I can't believe it has been a week since I last posted here.  Where has the week gone?  I can't remember what I did all week.  Today I am cleaning.  I remember that I went to church yesterday.  I remember I went to an office meeting on Wednesday.  I remember that on Thursday I took my homemade tomato soup into the office for a little group lunch we had planned.  I remember that my husband's birthday was on Friday and I baked him cookies and cupcakes and cooked him a special dinner.  Beyond that, nothing.  I am sure there must be a real reason why the days seem to pass so quickly the older we get.

I do know this week should be busy.  Carpet cleaners are being coming on Tuesday (I am using a gift certificate that my husband won at a fundraiser), office meeting on Wednesday, my sister is coming on Thursday (YAY!) for the weekend and Thursday night I am hosting a Girls Night Out Silpada Jewelry Party.  I used to sell Silpada, but no longer do.  I hosted a party last year, too, which was fun.  I will serve my white chicken chili again with cornbread and brownies.

For those of you who remember my issue with my old cat Violette -- she is still with us.  She spends most of her time in a loft storage area I have which helps a lot with all the mess she makes.  I put the cats up there over Christmas so they wouldn't be disturbed when my grandchildren and granddog were here.  After that I opened the door and the other two cats came downstairs, but Violette seems to prefer it up there.  There are lots of windows and she has her own food and water and litter boxes (which she won't use).  She joins the rest of us sometimes.  She has ruined the floors in the loft also. 

So that is the news here on Beech Drive.  I am posting a picture of the mimosa tree in our backyard to remind us that Spring will be here eventually and everything will be green like this again.  Hope you all are enjoying your day and have a great week!

Sunday, January 17, 2010


As I may have mentioned in a previous post, by husband and I gave each other a beautiful candy apple red Kitchenaid mixer for Christmas.  Now, I love to cook.  I do not love to bake.  I actually have never owned a really good stand mixer.  I remember my mother's much-used mixer which, when we cleaned her house out, was probably still running after 40+ years.  My plan for this mixer was that dear husband would learn to bake, especially his dearly loved tollhouse cookies.  The reason I do not like to bake is the fact that measurements must be exact and precision is not one of my strong points.  It is, however, my husband's. 

A few nights ago, Ken was wandering around with something on his mind.  I was obviously through with the kitchen for the evening.  I had cooked dinner and I was finished.  He realized that cookie making was not on my schedule.  He had never baked anything in his life.  He was desperate.  He finally started hauling out ingredients with much sighing and grumbling.  "What are you doing, dear?" said I.  "I am making my own tollhouse cookies since you obviously aren't going to," said he.  I gave him a few brief instructions, but he was impatient so I just let him go on his own.  I giggled to myself, just knowing the end result was going to be, well,  interesting.

Never underestimate a man who is desperate for tollhouse cookies.  One note:  Ken's version of tollhouse cookies is that they have only a few chocolate chips per cookie, have raisins and are flat and chewy.  I know, I know.  I have told him numerous times that these are not tollhouse cookies, but he is adamant about this subject.

Guess what?!  Yes, the cookies were delicious.  He doubled the butter and brown sugar, mixed them BY HAND (sorry Kitchenaid) and baked them under a watchful eye for much less than the usual time.  We did not have raisins, but we did have the chips.  The cookies were flat and chewy, buttery and perfect, with 2.5 chips per cookie. 

I ate more than my share and look forward to my husband's next desperate act in the kitchen.

Sunday, January 10, 2010


Today would have been my mother and father's  66th wedding anniversary.  (Do we still count years after they are gone?)

They were married January 10, 1944 on a bitterly cold day, just like today.  They were married in Philadelphia in the church's rectory.  A friend of my father's was the minister.  He also baptized my sister and me.  During WWII soldiers often did not know when they might be called away and sometimes weddings were held without a lot of preparation and fanfare.

I have my mother's simple wedding dress which was made by my Aunt Esther and also her gold shoes.  I also have the little white prayer book she carried and her wedding ring.   I posted about their wedding once before here.

Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad!

Saturday, January 09, 2010


Today is the day to begin to take down the Christmas decorations.  I have often waited until later in the month, but for all my complaining about people who take them down right after Christmas, somehow today feels right.  Somehow, suddenly, the decorations seem too festive in a sad sort of way.  Like Miss Havisham in her wedding gown in Great Expectations.  I may leave some white lights outside on a little tree because I plan to add some pink ones for Easter.

I am sitting here in my home office.  You would be horrified.  Stacks and boxes of papers and things everywhere.  The office and my laundry room are both my nemesis (nemesi?).  I just can't seem to get them organized.  But on a positive note,  I can sit here and type and look out the window at the world going by in my little community.  I see the mailman just came and stuffed some more papers in my mailbox.  The man across the street out walking his dog.  The dog is a trained seeing eye dog who was used by his blind partner, but the dog is now retired and they have a new dog.  Nothing else moving out there.  Everything frozen.  Isn't January the most awful month? 

I left this post to walk my dog and now I am back.  I have a new next door neighbor who, for some reason, seems to think that she should trim my trees.  When she first moved in, I noticed her with those long handled tree cutting shears trimming the branches on one of my large maple trees.  I chalked it up to "odd,"  but today when I came back from walking Beau, there she was trimming the branches from one of my big holly trees.  I said, "You don't really have to trim MY trees."  I said it in a nice tone of voice, but really felt like yelling it at her.  "Oh, do you mind?" she responded.  She then launched into a fifteen minute dissertation on how she loves yard work and "do you like horticulture?" she asked me.  "No, not really."  And I especially don't like pushy neighbors.