Sunday, February 22, 2009


I have lived in the Northeast my entire life. I love the fall here. Bright orange and red trees, cinnamon, apple picking. Love the fall. Then spring - the smell of new earth, returning robins, days getting longer, newness of life. Love the spring. Summer boating and picnics, pools and light cotton blouses. Love the summer. Winter, the trees. The snow and ice look so beautiful on the trees. I took these pictures last March of my back yard.

A close up of the same part of the yard:

This picture is after an ice storm and the sun setting. I loved the way the color danced on the trees.

Soft fleece, fires in the fireplace, a sip of brandy, a good book and appreciating the sun when it does poke through the snow and clouds. I do love winter.


About this time of year, pictures of tropical islands look mighty inviting. I need some of that warm sand between the toes feeling. The forecast for Friday in our area was a couple of inches - a dusting one might say. This was what I had to "dust" of my car Saturday morning.

OK...that is not so impressive. When my daughter and I reached the parking lot down the street to do some shopping, this is what we encountered. These mountains don't last long because they are carted away in dump trucks within a day in preparation for the next storm.

In an effort to chase away the winter blues we decided to have a tropical day dinner in Pulaski, NY February 21st. Pulaski is in the news quite a bit in the winter. This little town averages 250 inches of snow per year. The menu was jamaican jerk chicken, mango salsa, mojitos, red stripe beer, sweet potato fries, key lime pie and pineapple upside down cake and jamaican coffee. Grass skirts optional, but no wool or fleece allowed. We were trying to blind our eyes and cover our ears to the snow and wind action outside.

February 21st is also Bama's birthday. Her 88th this year. Here Bama is enjoying a mojito:

Even though Grace was born in late December, it was 61 degrees that day. It has not been that warm since. I don't think this little cub will wake until this cold weather passes.

Notice the hula dancers on her outfit :-)

I love the seasons of life.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Night Out With the Siblings

Last year Mom gave us all gift certificates to Outback for Christmas. My brother Bob and his wife Lisa; my sister Sharon and her husband Dean; Terry and me.

We decided to make it an annual event on Saturday, February 14th. We expected we would have to wait, but Outback does offer Call Ahead, they do not take reservations. Lisa called 2 hours ahead and were told it would be at least 4 hours before we could be seated! For at least 2 of us that means eating dinner at our bedtime. So Bob and I sucked it up and figured we could sleep in on Sunday (ha - church obligations). We all have such a good time when we're together. Six hours feels like 1. At the end of the night our sides hurt from laughing and if we could it would last longer. But with families and different sleep schedules it isn't easy to have all 6 of us together.

Dinner took about 45 minutes AFTER we were seated. The only thing my brother looks forward to is the sauteed mushrooms/onions. Yeah, they ran out on the order before his.

We declined dessert and went back to Bob's for a taste of dessert wine I brought. Chocolate Wine from the Cooper Winery in Va. How can you go wrong with that? It sure made up for the missing mushroom/onion order. Thank you Sherry and Hugh for sharing this treat with us. It has been well received. My brother savored each sip.

Hopefully one of these get togethers will include my sister Brenda and her husband Jerry(R.I.) and my sister Jen (Calif.) Until then, this will have to do:

Sunday, February 1, 2009


Stuff. I'm tired of it. Everywhere I look there is stuff. I try so hard to minimize. I am a tosser. The rest of my family is not.

Never know when you might need "this". "This" goes to something..... "Just put it over there for now".

My mother-in-law. The matriarch of saving stuff. In the 3 times we have moved Bama in the last 9 years we have thrown away, donated and sorted more STUFF than anyone can imagine. Four carloads of costume jewlery. More books than some libraries (at least 7 truckloads). Yarn, craft materials, office supplies, nail clippers/files, paper, clothes, shoes, purses, blankets......

We had the difficult task of moving Bama to a nursing home at the end of January. Difficult for us because deep down we know this is her last home. Difficult because the physical work it takes. Difficult because moving equals stress for everyone. Difficult because we were tasked with sorting out once again what to keep, what to toss. Difficult because Bama's first words when she saw her room was "This is where I'm staying for the rest of my life?!" At first she was sharing a room. Thankfully Uncle Sandy (chaplain at the nursing home), arranged for a private room. :-)

A lifetime of possessions had been reduced to a very small closet, 3 dresser drawers, a tv and a chair, a bed and memories, real and imagined. Is this what life boils down to?

Last night Terry and I visited Bama, decorated the shadow box outside her room. Bama LOVED it. As we were leaving, Bama said "I like it here. It is easier to manage."

What does withstand time is family. I can live with that.

*Dress made by Aunt Laurie