#header-inner img {margin: 0 auto 0 300px;}

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Dodging a bullet

We were lucky last night that the snowstorm that blew through Buffalo missed us. The wind howled during the night, but didn't blow trees down and put out power like to the north of us.
Our latest crisis is several breaks in our main water lines which caused the system to lose many millions of gallons of water which left the reservoirs dry. It will take a few days for them to fill back up. Meanwhile the whole city is conserving water. The schools shut down for two days as well as some of the major industries in town.
Tonight I went to see the movie Attonement. It was well done and a movie that gave you something to talk about afterwards.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Early Valentine's Day card

Click to play Pile of Hearts
Create your own postcard - Powered by Smilebox
Make a postcard - it's easy!

Good morning!

Just appreciating life today. Today is "catch up" day from the weekend..laundry, clean floors, etc. Don has gone fishing and I have the house to myself. I am able to clean better when he isn't around for some reason. I have found over the years that when the cleaning mood strikes I had better be ready because it doesn't come all that often. I am not one of those women who is fanatical and obsessed about cleanliness. I like a clean house that is straightened up, but I don't want to spend all my time working on that. I have too many other things to do. So I have struck a balance and clean when it needs it. It isn't the best system, but it works for me.
Today I made a step in the right direction. I joined Curves. I had gone to curves for several years when I retired and then wanted a change so I joined the Pitt Fitness Center. Well, after a few years of that I thought I needed a change again to shake things up and get a little more cardio workout than I got there. This will give me some new incentive to diet and lose some weight. When the pounds come on, like they have been lately, the burden of my addiction weighs heavy too. But...I don't give up. Wish me luck!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Garden Place

We stayed overnight at Garden PLace a motel associated with Salvatore's. The rooms were gorgeous and very large. We were very pleased when we walked down to breakfast and walked into a large hall which was very decorated. On the right side were house fronts with balconies all decorated in different styles..New Orleans, French, Greek, southwestern...with greenery, flowers, and lights like a fairyland.

A Night on the Town

Me at Salvatore's Gardens.

We had a very special romantic weekend in Buffalo. Here I am standing inside Salvatore's Gardens. The other picture shows the lobby all decorated for Valentine's Day. This was a great restaurant to go to for a special occasion. Everything about it was perfect, the food, the service, the music, the atmosphere. Don ate prime rib, while I had filet mignon. We enjoyed shopping and stopping at the casino on the way home. It was a nice way to get away from the cold and have a special time together.

Thursday, January 24, 2008


Kay, Yrsa and I have been friends forever. I went to elementary school with Yrsa. Kay and I met in high school and became good friends. We have shared a lot over the years. Last night we went out to dinner to celebrate Yrsa's 64th birthday. When I write that I can hardly believe that number. It just doesn't seem like it could be that many years that have passed. I am so lucky to have such great friends.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

A fun game

Here's something fun for you to do. Read the list of questions and my answers and then send me an email with your answers.

1. If you could build a house anywhere, where would it be? A beach cottage on Cape Cod
2.What's your favorite article of clothing? my jeans
3.Favorite physical feature of the opposite sex? Eyes
4.What's the last CD that you bought or were given? Josh Groben
5.Where's your favorite place to be? in Provence
6. Where is your least favorite place to be? at the fitness center at Pitt
7.What's your favorite place to be massaged? my shoulders
8.Strong in mind or strong in body? Mind
9.What time do you wake up in the morning? 7 a.m.
10. What is your favorite kitchen appliance? My cutter/chopper from QVC
11.What makes you really angry? rude people
12.If you could play any instrument, what would it be? Piano
13. Favorite color? green
14.Which do you prefer...sports car or SUV? actually a van
15. Do you believe in an afterlife? yes
16.Favorite children's book? Winne the Pooh
17. What is your favorite season? Fall
18. Your least favorite household chore? vacuuming
19.If you could have one super power, what would it be? mind reading
20.If you have a tattoo, what is it? None of those for me yet
21.Can you juggle? No, but my son can
22. The one person from your past that you wish you could go back and talk to? My maternal grandparents
23. What's your favorite day? Saturday
24. What's in the trunk of your car? a map, some net cargo containers, a magazine
25. Which do you prefer, sushi or hamburger? one of my husband's famous onion burgers

January at Chris' house

Click to play january+
Create your own slideshow - Powered by Smilebox
Make a slideshow - it's easy!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Family, first and foremost

I'm blogging from Chris' house this morning.

This is an image I got from a new site I'm trying out called picnik. It's a graphic photography free program where you can import images and manipulate them into beautiful works. I can't wait to get home and try it on some of my pictures. This has been a great weekend visiting with my family. While Don and Chris spent Saturday going to a Cabin Fever Show that had lots of engines and guy things, Dan, Scott, and I went shopping. We ate lunch at Panera Bread, one of my favorite places, then went to Walmart. Scott and I went to Pier One. He spent his Christmas money buying a reed diffuser and a glass goblet. Scott enjoyed browsing and seeing all the different things that were in that store. He told me thanks for taking him to a nice store. All his dad does is take him to car stores. I think Scott appreciates being with a female sometimes. Today we will watch the Patriots game and probably go home later or tomorrow. I do wish that the boys lived closer, but I am grateful that they are within driving time.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Seven Truths

This is a little game that bloggers play. They "tag" someone and ask them to post 7 truths about themselves. So here goes:
1. I am at my best when I am creating something, but I don't make time for that in my life much. (psychoanalyze that!)
2. Watching a panoramic view in a place I've never been before takes my breath away.
3. My secret indulgence is reading decorating books and magazines.
4. I'd rather have a hamburger in a great location than a $50 meal in a poor one.
5. I love visual treats for the eyes..art, decorations, landscapes.
6. Even if I had all the money in the world I wouldn't change a thing.
7. I worry more than people think.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

A quiet January day

Click to play January+at+home
Create your own postcard - Powered by Smilebox
Make a postcard - it's easy!

Top Gun

Top Gun was just a stray near my sister's house in North Carolina when we first met him. He just showed up one day and began to sneak up on the porch and eat Sheba's food. Then Diane started to feed him but didn't bring him in the house. He won her heart though and visited in the house when he could. Eventually I brought him to live up here in Pennsylvania with Don and I. We didn't even know we missed having a cat until he came into our lives. He is the most loving cat that you can imagine. He is very vocal and greets you every morning with his hello meow. He hops right up in your lap to get his daily dose of loving. In the nice weather he loves nothing better than being outside. Our mouse and chipmunk population has decreased since he has rambled near Chatham Lane. Being a true southern cat he won't step a paw outside in the snow. He is enamored of Don and spends a lot of time perched in his lap. We are so lucky to have a sweet cat like Top Gun in our lives.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

What do you dream about?

I found this picture on the web of a little town in Provence, France. I really liked it and it reminded me of my trip to Provence. That trip seems like a dream. Have you ever woken from a happy dream and still had the memories of that dream linger for a few moments in your mind? When I calm my mind I can still refresh that trip in my mind. Traveling on twisty roads with steep cliffs that overlooked the sun soaked Mediterranean Sea with a harbor full of boats which was a most beautiful sight. Traveling around by car into small villiages watching people carry their baguettes home for lunch. Walking through the fields of purple lavender despite all the bees collecting sweets for their honey. Sitting at a balcony table eating our evening meal, listening to opera and overlooking a panorama of green hillsides and chateaus. Visiting little towns and shopping for provencial fabrics. After I returned to the states I wasn't able to have the television or radio on for a week because my state of mind was so peaceful and blissful that I wanted the memories to last as long as possible before my reality came back.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Good advice


How ya doing on your New Year's resolution? I'm still working on the same one I've been making since 1962...losing weight. I don't know why that particular issue has to be my albatross. I've fought a hard battle for so many years that you'd think I could win the war. I've won a few small battles here and there, but never really conquered that desire to eat above all else. I know we all have our vices, but just this once it would be nice not to have to worry about that one. I'll keep trying and doing and hoping and maybe someday I'll be able to think before I eat instead of feeling guilty afterwards.

Sunday, January 13, 2008


Here is a picture of our house which I diffused using Photoshop Elements. I softened the sharpness to achieve this soft glow. I am still experiementing with different ways to change photos. I wish there was a class around here for me to take in photography and using Photoshop. Universe, provide!

Friday, January 11, 2008

That has made all the difference

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim, Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.Robert Frost

Did you ever wonder how you came to be where you are? The roads that you took that led you down that path. There have been major turning points in my life. My happy childhood that led me to be a more balanced person and gave me values learned from my parents' example. A talk with a teacher during detention that prompted me to seek a college path. An unfortunate head on collision where my family ended up in the hospital and I quit college to care for my mother and sisters. A letter from a family friend that supported me and led me into teaching. Meeting and loving my high school sweetheart who has been there for me for 42 married years and 6 years before that. Having two wonderful sons that gave me such joy in my life who have provided me with their love and support and sisters who listen and provide a kind word. When I look back I think I have been led on the perfect path for me. Please leave a comment and tell me about your crossroads.

Making Progress

I feel I am really learning a lot about blogging by working on this everyday. I read other blogs and get ideas of things to put on my blog. Today I learned how to create a playlist of free songs and post them on my blog so that you can enjoy them when you are reading. IF you don't like the song that is playing you can click on one you like. I've also learned to put smilebox and slideshows on too. My next challenge will be to learn to take better photos and manipulate them into works of art using Photoshop.

Here's an old picture of part of the University of Pittsburgh walking trail that I use in good weather. In inclement weather I walk indoors in the Fitness Center. The first picture is the picture turned into a charcoal drawing.

A Good Day Fishing

What a beautiful brown trout Don caught while fishing yesterday. Don says all fishing days are good, but some are just better than others. He is a super fisherman and almost always comes home with fish. In the winter he goes to the "Cat" Cattaraugus Creek, a steam that leads into Lake Erie to fish steelhead and brown trout. In the summer he takes his boat out on Lake Erie for walleye.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Growing, growing....wow!

My paperwhites are blooming. They have grown so fast from just little sprouts to tall flowers. Thanks, Diane. It has been fun watching them grow and seeing something blooming at this time of year.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Nothing to do?

"Winter is the time of promise because there is so little to do - or because you can now and then permit yourself the luxury of thinking so."
-- Stanley Crawford

I must have run out of steam. Today I did nothing. I mean nothing. I took time to make pork and sauerkraut and just sit around, even napped with the kitty. It was that kind of day. I did learn how to make a slide show on my blog. But I can't put more than one up there because the songs automatically come on and the reader would have to turn them off by clicking on the audio horn in the slide show.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Just one of those days

Did you ever have just one of those days where you just seemed to float from one thing to another and not accomplish much? That was today. I was caught up in the new James Patterson book and wanted to finish it so I'd do a little and then sit down and read for awhile. I am an avid reader and go to the library quite often to keep up on the latest best sellers. Since life is too short to read bad books, I am very selective. Our little town of Bradford has a limited amount of books to be sure and I put my name on a reserve list for the latest arrivals. My dream day would be locked in a huge library with a pillow and a box of chocolates!

Monday, January 07, 2008

Post #100

I can't believe this is my hundredth post. This dresser was refinished by Ryan to match the crib for his new baby. It is so beautiful. It belonged to Jenny's brother when he was little. It's nice to keep things in the family. I am so excited about having a new grandson in March. It will be wonderful to have a baby in the family. It's been a long time. Ryan and Jenny will be terrific parents. They both have patience and kindness and understanding. It won't be long till Sean will be here!


My, my remember the Doris Day years? Did everything seem so simple back then because I was young and idealistic? Or was it a different era where people were kinder to one another and kids wouldn't dare misbehave? Anyway this is a picture I found on the web and tried to manipulate using my new Christmas present from Don...Adobe Photoshop elements. I can't wait to learn how to properly import pictures and turn them into works of art. I love doing that! There are tutorials on the web but like any new thing there is a learning curve. It will take some time and patience but I hope to be able to do it.
It's only one o'clock but already I feel I put in a big day. I walked for 45 minutes, had coffee, did errands, and got my hair cut. I'm a little out of steam since I had one of those nights when I couldn't sleep. I had plans to get all the Christmas wrapping paper and supplies neatly put away but maybe I won't. This is laundry day. I try to only do laundry once a week on Mondays. My friend Linda, does that and it seemed to be a good idea. That way the rest of the week you just don't worry about it. Sitting at the computer right now seems a very good idea.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Isn't it funny....

I found this on another blog and thought it was soooo true!

Isn't it funny how

...your nails never break when they are un-polished?
...the moment you decide to check out at the grocery store is the exact same time everyone else does too
...when you crave a Diet Coke sooooo bad, there is none left in the fridge.
..kids have all the energy in the world but when you ask them to do something they appear totally and utterly exhausted
...cordless phones never seem to stay on the charger
...kids love to tease but hate getting teased
...laundry is not that hard a chore yet seems the most arduous
...one simple glass of wine can lead to so many more ;)
...when you discipline a child usually the first word out of their mouth is 'but'...someone always flushes the toilet when you're in the shower
...the wildest and wackiest dreams you have happen when you sleep on your back
...at a gathering, the dog will always annoy and pester the one person who HATES dogs the most
...your intentions are good but your follow-through is weak
...sitting on the couch at 2:30 p.m. can easily turn you into your grandparents...zzz
...salad always tastes better at someone else's house

Does it go or does it stay?

It's amazing what you can accomplish when you change your mindset. For many years I've thought "more is better". Keep things in abundance and you will always have all you need. Now that I've reached the senior state of life I've change my paradigm about owning so much. I've always taked about simplifying my life, but this year I'm actually putting it into practice. I don't need a lot of "things". I have all I want and need. With that philosophy I tackled the bedroom this morning. It wasn't that bad since I've been at this "getting rid of " stage for awhile now. But now I am ruthless in weeding out. For instance, every time (twice a year) that I go to the cosmetics counter at Estee lauder I buy a certain face cream when they are having their promotion which usually consists of not only the cream, but about 5 other small samples of products along with a really nice cosmetic bag or two. As you can imagine I've accumulated a lot of these bags. yes, I've used some, but today I found a whole bag of them. I kept 4 and threw away the rest. What a proud moment that was. Right in the garbage along with the bags went scuffed shoes, shoes I'll never wear, and old purses. Before you know it my closet was looking very good. I didn't start on throwing away any clothes today. I wasn't ready for that step yet and I already went through the closet once. My cleaning must have rubbed off on Don and he began cleaning his closet too. We both realize that we have kept things which meant something to us at one time, but no longer have a use. Don brought an old green bow tie to me and asked if I remembered it. I did. Once when we were a lot younger and partied a lot, he went to a local man's store and bought seven of these for my dad, his step dad, uncle, etc. and they all wore them out to the bar when we celebrated St. Patrick's Day. That sure brought back memories of fun times. Did we throw it away? No. But I did tell him that I needed to write that story and place it with the tie. When Don writes his memoirs we'll need that.

Saturday, January 05, 2008


This weekend will be a rather quiet one. Today, Saturday, I am taking my friends over to Olean to a movie (P.S. I love you) and lunch (at Applebees) with a little shopping thrown in. (Looking for more of those Fitz and Floyd Christmas dishes.)
Since I received a little money for Christmas I bought a bracelet and earrings in my favorite fall colors at a little store on Union Street in Olean called Designer Threads. It is a nice consignment store with a bead store in the back. The earrings were just a little to long so I left them there to have one long bead taken out. I'll pick them up today.
Right near the shop is a business that converts old video tapes to DVDs. I have a wonderful video of an interview I did with my mother a few years before she passed away. Watching that tape is like spending the afternoon with her again. I want to make copies for my sisters and me, just in case something happens to the tape. Those precious memories can never be replaced.

Women Over Forty

Just in case you missed it this is what Andy Rooney thinks of women over forty.

As I grow in age, I value women over 40 most of all. Here are just a few reasons why: A woman over 40 will never wake you in the middle of the night and ask, 'What are you thinking?' She doesn't care what you think. If a woman over 40 doesn't want to watch the game , she doesn't sit around whining about it. She does something she wants to do, and it's usually more interesting. Women over 40 are dignified. They seldom have a screaming match with you at the opera or in the middle of an expensive restaurant. Of course, if you deserve it, they won't hesitate to shoot you if they think they can get away with it. Older women are generous with praise, often undeserved. They know what it's like to be unappreciated. Women get psychic as they age. You never have to confess your sins to a woman over 40. Once you get past a wrinkle or two, a woman over 40 is far sexier than her younger counterpart. Older women are forthright and honest. They'll tell you right off if you are a jerk if you are acting like one. You don't ever have to wonder where you stand with her. Yes, we praise women over 40 for a multitude of reasons. Unfortunately, it's not reciprocal. For every stunning, smart, well-coiffed, hot woman over 40, there is a bald, paunchy relic in yellow pants making a fool of himself with some 22-year old waitress. Ladies, I apologize. For all those men who say, 'Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?', here's an update for you. Nowadays 80% of women are against marriage. Why? Because women realize it's not worth buying an entire pig just to get a little sausage!

Friday, January 04, 2008

Let's talk a little about January

Doesn't this happen every January to you? Christmas is over, the decorations get put away and suddenly you get this overwhelming urge to organize. What is it about this time of year that drives us crazy and makes us want to dig in the bottom of the closet or under the bed? We know that cleaning is an never ending job but all of a sudden we want to straighten up something. Is it a female thing? Do the sunless days of winter create the cave-women feeling of cleaning out the den? Of course, every year I say that this year I will get organized once and for all, and to my credit I have done pretty well. I do know where most of my stuff is. Sure, there are still those little seen recesses like the attic and basement where clutter builds up because I "throw" things there instead of putting them where they belong. So today I began. Since Diane is in Virginia helping Linda clean out her basement, I feel the urge to do some organizing of my own. It started out simple. I was coloring my hair and had 30 minutes to wait while the color developed. So I thought I would just clean out one drawer. The utensil drawer in the kitchen would be a good start. After taking everything out of the drawer and relining it I couldn't believe how much stuff came out of that one drawer. I was ruthless! Who needs 3 knife sharpeners, 2 bottle openers, 6 wooden spoons, ....all of sudden it dawned on me. I have too much stuff!!! I filled the garbage can with duplicates or items I thought I would never use again (but I did save the shisk-ka-bob sticks...well, I might want them next summer. OK, I probably won't but I couldn't part with them yet) That drawer looked so good when I was finished that I kept on going and did 3 more and a whole cupboard before I stopped for lunch. Now that the momentum is here I hope that I can continue in each room of the house.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

The Coffee Girls

Every morning for the last six years I have been meeting with my girlfriends for coffee. I knew some of the girls already but really got to know them better through our discussions of local affairs, worldy topics, and most of all personal revelations. These girls have been the best friends to me and have been there for me when I've needed a sounding board or a shoulder to cry on. They've shared both my happiness and my sorrow. They are the type of women who do not complain over life, but are steady and dependable and look on the bright side of life. I am lucky to call them friends.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right. ~Oprah Winfrey

This new year...mend a quarrel. Seek out a forgotten friend. Write a love letter. Share some treasure. Give a soft answer. Encourage youth. Keep a promise. Find the time. Forgive an enemy. Listen. Apologize if you were wrong. Think first of someone else. Be kind and gentle. Laugh a little. Laugh a little more. Express your gratitude.Gladden the heart of a child. Take pleasure in the beauty and wonder of the earth. Speak your love. Speak it again. Speak it still once more. anonymous

Brilliant things to come

Keep on learning has always been my motto. At 63 I still have a lot to learn.
This year I want to learn to take better photos, learn to manipulate them in Photoshop, and print them to enjoy.
I want to continue blogging and learn even more about the computer and how to use the programs I have.
I want to take time for my art which has been so neglected over the years because of my pride. When I pick up a pencil I can't make the art that I could when I was younger and get easily discouraged. I need the courage to practice and produce art just for its own sake.
I want to begin to write the story of my life with all its ups and downs.
I once read that you can find your bliss by looking back at what made you happy in every decade of your life. When I was in elementary school I loved art and music. I took piano lessons and admired my pony-tailed art teacher. In high school I took private art lessons and developed my talent. In college I began to study art in the hopes of being an art teacher. I also continued playing the piano after I was married and used my art talent in many crafty endeavors. Art and music have always made my heart sing. I need to find time for those things in my life.

New Year's Resolutions

I found these resolutions on a another blog and they express exactly what I wish I had said.

So many resolutions are being made during these last days of 2007...ones that may have a shelf life of only a few weeks or less. I ought to know. I have shattered more resolutions than one human being should be able to. On that note, may I offer some more ideas, resolutions that may be a bit easier to hold on to during the year to come?
Be kind to yourself. Do not expect perfection. It is almost always impossible to attain. Allow yourself time alone, time to read, to rest, to enjoy the wonderful things you HAVE accomplished. Do not waste one second of valuable life minutes wishing you had the possessions or life style of someone else. Those people could very well be wishing THEY had the life style of someone else...that old proverbial vicious circle. Rejoice in those little things that give you pleasure. Life is made up of those sweet, little moments. ~~~~~~~~~~ Enjoy your special times with family and friends. Savor it. It does not have to be elegant or a big splashy party. Take out Chinese and a rented movie can feel like a world premiere and dinner at Le Cirque when shared with those you adore. ~~~~~~~~~~ Take care of yourself. Diets seldom work. It is the small lifestyle changes that DO work. I will be sharing this mission with some of you. Eat healthier but do not deprive yourself every treat. Get out and walk, ride a bicycle, swim...just move a bit more! Do it for YOU and no one else. ~~~~~~~~~~ Embrace who you are. Not all of us can be thin or rich. We can not all be great scholars or HGTV designers. We can, however, love the person we were born to be. Each of us has talents. Enjoy the ones with which you are blessed. God does not create junk. ~~~~~~~~~~ Smile more (even when you do not feel like it!) & give more to those less fortunate. No matter how bad you think you have it, sadly, there are always those who have it far worse. Give all you can and do so with a happy heart. That heart of yours will thank you and, in turn, help that pretty face of yours to smile more. See how that works? ~~~~~~~~~~ Never stop learning. Never. ~~~~~~~~~~ Hold onto the magic and wonder of your childhood. Giggle more. Act silly when the mood strikes. Sing. Hum. Skip. Believe in the impossible. ~~~~~~~~~~ I wish each of you a 2008 that holds more laughter than tears, peace of heart and mind and warm hugs from the people you love. I wish you joy. God Bless you all. Happy New Year to all of you.