Friday, June 22, 2007

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


Just so I'm not dwelling on our vacation too much, I did want to comment about our recycling and garbage lately. I know our garbage has to be a fascinating topic for everyone!

Actually, it's just a positive reinforcement. After my post some time ago about recycling (I'd link up to it, but I'm feeling a little too lazy at the moment), I started making a conscious effort to recycle more. There were a lot of things we were just throwing in the garbage, lots of plastic and paper. I'm happy to say that we've immediately noticed the difference. I'd say we're putting out twice as much recycling, and about half as much garbage. We used to burn the boxes, but those are all in recycling now. It typically takes me about five trips now to cart it all out to the road. It's a little more work, but what a great feeling!

As for vacation, three days and counting....


Monday, June 18, 2007


Before I talk about my ingenious find, I want to wish all the dads out there a belated happy Father's Day. I talked to my Pop Saturday afternoon, and I think he knows how much I love and appreciate and admire him. You're the best, Dad! And my husband the Dad is also great. Speaking for myself, Dads and daughters are a special thing.

Last week, I read about these in a travel magazine. Check it out:

These are Muji speakers, and I know you can't really tell much from this picture, but they're the coolest little things--they're collapsible cardboard! They break down and fit into a provided plastic envelope that's no bigger than 8''x11". You just plug your MP3 player into 'em, and you're good to go. Since we're going on vacation, I thought these would be perfect for times when we want to play some music, like when we're cooking dinner at the timeshare. A nice little Father's Day gift for Ken! You can find them at the Museum of Modern Art, in NYC, and online at their website. Such clever little audio devices!

I got my clothes laid out for vacation (4 days and counting!) today, and we've already started packing things. I had kind of a hard time today deciding what was Florida, what was cruise, and what could be both, but I think I got it sorted out. Now it's odds and ends. Yippeee!

I'm going to miss our cat, Sheeba, but I know Cousin Shane will take good care of him. I got a few pictures on my camera so I can see him when I miss him too much. I call this one Sheeba the Sphinx. Ha!

Saturday, June 16, 2007


A week from today--actually to almost the exact time--we should be (knock on wood) in Florida, smelling the salt air, and feeling the ocean breeze.

I can hardly stand the wait. ACK!

Friday, June 15, 2007

A little preoccupied

I can focus on two things lately.

First, our vacation. I've started packing, and I daydream about it constantly. Not just the cruise, but the week prior in Florida at our timeshare. This has traditionally been our week to totally and completely chill, and we pretty much sit on the balcony and read, or lay out on the beach, or play in the ocean. It's the most laidback week we have, and I look forward to it each and every year! Usually we head home, refreshed and revitalized, after a week, but this time we venture off on a cruise for the second week. That's a whole 'nother set of planning and research, and I'm looking forward to that, as well. I've never been on a cruise before, and I think it's going to be a blast!

Second, it's been very hot and humid here lately. In the high 80's or lower 90's. My only goal when I get home is to get done what I need to get done inside and then head out to sit on the deck and read. Not only is it cooler to sit outside, I find that I treasure these summer days more and more, and don't want to be sitting inside when I don't have to. I don't always get done what I need to get done for the next day (the little things like making coffee and lunches) until right before bedtime, but it's worth it to just take a little time and enjoy what our place has to offer this time of year. I might be reading, but I'm also watching and listening to the birds, and I get a chance to watch them at the feeders.

So my posting and my email correspondence has been suffering, but I'm not going to feel overly guilty about it. Some things are priority, and enjoying this weather is one of them.

Quick note: there has been a lot of speculation about the finale of "The Sopranos." I don't care what anyone says or thinks, Tony is NOT DEAD. Do you hear me? Not dead. I refuse to believe that. Fuggedaboudit.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

A perfect day, part deux

Today is a virtual carbon copy of yesterday...but I had less work to do around the house! I still got stuff done, like changing the sheets, etc., but the best part was I got a jump on packing for our big trip, which is coming up sooner than I can believe. I got the garment bag out and started packing the nice clothes for the cruise--dresses, skirts, etc. I think there's just enough room left in there for Ken's suit. :) Of course, I will remove things and fold them if I need to, so that Ken has room for his nicer clothes. And I have to say, I planned well, because I have plenty of nice outfits for dinner. This is gonna be fun!

Today I watched a pair of chipmunks (Names? Chip and Dale, obviously.) chase each other around. I'll get a picture up here before too long. They're the cutest little guys, and the don't just run, they run and LEAP.

Later that day....

Here's a picture of Chip or Dale. Awwww!

Monday, June 11, 2007

A perfect day

Well, as close to perfect as possible! Winning the lottery or a free trip to Vegas might have been the icing on the cake, but for all intents and purposes, I had a lovely day.

The weather doesn't get any better: sunny and about 85°. I weeded the bed in the garden where I planted the corn, and the corn is a couple of inches high, the zucchini are up, and the beans are 4-6" high! The only thing I'm concerned about is that the cucumbers aren't up yet. It's been warm enough that they should be...hmmmm.

The birds were very active today, and I got to spend some deck time watching them. I was a little worried about a young blue jay sitting on the birdbath this morning. He obviously wasn't comfortable with flying, and his attempt to fly up to the roof got him to the deck surface. When I went out there, he flew up to the deck railing, and a little bit later, he managed to fly into the woods. I was so glad he was okay! He was cute, and still had lots of fluffy feathers.

I got 8 perennials on sale yesterday, and got those planted today. The front flower bed is coming along! I'm trying to get all perennials out there, because it is really a pain to plant a bunch of annuals every year. I have no problem with planting annuals in our flower boxes on the deck, but planting a couple of flats of annuals in the front each year is just too dang much work! I hope these new perennials will do as well as the ones I planted last summer.

I talked to my folks this morning, and they're doing quite well. I was sitting out on the deck when I talked to Dad, and Dad said, "I hear birds!" They were singing very loudly, and he got such a kick out of that.

Ahh. Life is good.


Finito...for now


I've got two words for you: Sopranos movie! Oh yeah, babe, there are so many loose ends left hanging, I'm thinking a movie is in the works. Silvio's hanging on but still in a coma, it looks fairly certain that Tony is going to be indicted, things have cooled off between the New York and Jersey families, and I believe a movie will happen.

My favorite moments: Paulie and the cat. An orange cat that was hanging out at the safe house is adopted by Tony and the guys and now hangs out at the BadaBing. The cat creeps Paulie out, because the cat keeps staring at a picture of Christopher. Even when Paulie is sitting outside at Satriale's, the cat plops down on the sidewalk by him. Too funny!

Phil got his comeuppance, in a big way. (I had thought there might be more bloodshed in the final episode, but apparently that was the domain of the previous episode.) Not only did he get shot in the head, his SUV was still in gear and rolled over his head. Gaahhhh. A passerby puked. But that seems to be the end of the feud. Tony and the guys met with Phil's guys, and everyone agreed to back off.

And the real kicker was the final scene in the diner. Someone described it as Hitchcockian, and that's perfect! There was so much seemed that danger and death was right there, even as Tony and Carm and A.J. ate onion rings and Meadow struggled to parallel park. Again, the contrast in this show is one of the things that made it so great, and it's what made that last scene so appropriate, if unsatisfying. Tony is having a bite with his family, and for most people that would be the most normal, mundane thing in the world, but he can't trust anyone, and everything and everyone seems fraught with danger. This is how he lives his life.

When it ended so abruptly, Ken and I looked at each other and went, "Huh? That's it?" Then the credits rolled in silence. What seemed so odd at first seemed oddly right upon reflection. Especially when you think about how a movie would tie up those loose ends so nicely....

Sunday, June 10, 2007

End of the road

<< sigh >>

It's hard to say good-bye. I can't believe it will be over tonight, although I'm still holding onto hope for a movie. I've read a few speculations about the ending, and some think that Tony will die. I'd be very surprised if that happened. He's such a great character, they can't kill him off! David Chase, the creator of the show, said that some people will like the ending and some people won't. Gee, wish he wouldn't be so specific about it! I can't even begin to imagine what will really happen. I hope no one else dies (except maybe for Phil...okay, and I hate to say it, but I wouldn't cry if A.J. died!), but that's probably unrealistic. I think there might be quite a bit of dyin' tonight.

An interesting bit about it on NPR the other day. They were talking to a guy from the FBI who works in the unit that deals with organized crime. He said that the feud between Phil (the New York family head) and Tony (the New Jersey family head) is based on fact: John Gotti of the NY family didn't like the way the Jersey family seemed sort of lackadaisal about the initiations, etc. (If you recall, Phil said the Jersey operation "don't do the finger prick.") and when Gotti took over the whole thing, he made the Jersey guys go through a "proper" initiation. I thought that was fascinating. Another subject to add to my list to learn more about, although I've read some stuff about Mob involvement in early Vegas. Ugly stuff...but still very interesting.

So I'll enjoy tonight, and I'm sure I'll have something to say about it! If not tonight, tomorrow. See ya later, Tony. You creep the heck out of me, but I'll miss you.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Cry me a river, honey

I think this bears another look! I think Dan is a bit of a genius, as well as having a little precognition.

I have a couple of things to say about this whole CF (any military folks out there will know exactly what that means) with Paris Hilton. First of all, I don't think the sheriff had any authority to release her to home confinement--the judge specified that that was NOT to happen. Second, home confinement?! I'd LOVE the chance to be confined to our house for 45 days, and we don't even have a pool! What kind of punishment is that? Come on.

Third, I thought her reaction was that of a spoiled kid who has always gotten her way. When she finally got called on her behavior (if you recall, she was DUI!), she freaked and suddenly she's on the verge of suicide or a nervous breakdown. Well, boo-hoo. Keep her in the mental ward and watch her, but KEEP her there. Isn't it time someone sent a message to these people who think they are above the law, or think that their money will get them out of any mess they get themselves into? (Ken wondered who the check was cut to.) There's a little thing called personal responsibility, and it's about time people start to understand exactly what that means.

Finally, it sickens me that I'm even writing about this crap. I don't give a rat's ass about Paris Hilton, but I DO care about justice and equity. I watched the NBC News last night, and I think Brian Williams' (I really like him!) reaction was exactly right. He seemed to be almost pissed off that he had to report on the story, especially when there was really big stuff going on like Pace being removed as the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. But it was a big story, and as a news program, they had to report on it. You could tell it just stuck in his craw, though. I'm with ya, man.

One more thing. If you're the heiress to a fortune, don't you think you could, oh, I don't know....

HIRE A DRIVER??? (I only wish I had echo effect on here.)



Wednesday, June 6, 2007


I'm not sure if I mentioned this when I talked about putting music on our MP3 player, but I put a bunch of Cake on there. I was listening to music earlier, and "Short Skirt Long Jacket" came on. One of the things I love about this band is their lyrics and their sarcasm--okay, TWO of the things I love about this band is their lyrics, their sarcasm, and that their music is so danceable. Okay, THREE...never mind, you get the idea. (Love you, Monty!)

Anyhoo, I found the lyrics to that song:

I want a girl with a mind like a diamond
I want a girl who knows what's best
I want a girl with shoes that cut
And eyes that burn like cigarettes
I want a girl with the right allocations
who is fast and thorough and sharp as a tack,
She is playing with her jewelry, she is putting up her hair
She is touring the facility
and picking up slack
I want a girl with a short skirt and a
loooooong jacket

I want a girl who gets up early
I want a girl who stays up late
I want a girl with uninterrupted prosperity
Who uses a machete to cut through red tape
With fingernails that shine like justice
And a voice that is dark like tinted glass
She is fast, thorough and sharp as a tack,
She is touring the facility and picking up slack
I want a girl with a short skirt and a looong,
loooooong jacket

I want a girl with smooth liquidation
I want a girl with good dividends
At Citi Bank we will meet accidently
We will start to talk when she borrows my pen
She wants a car with a cup holder armrest
She wants a car that will get her there
She is changing her name from Kitty to Karen
She is trading her MG for a white, Chrysler LeBaron
I want a girl with a short skirt and a
loooooong jacket

The line in there that really gets me, and can bring tears to my eyes because I think it's just a beautiful turn of phrase, is "with fingernails that shine like justice." I'm not sure what it is about that, but I just love it.

I was going to take a picture of something and put it up here, but sanity prevailed. We got Sheeba a new litterbox, because the handle on the old one was cracking. All I could think of when I bought the new one was "Sheeba's got a brand new box!" Sung to the tune of "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag," of course. Then when I was setting up the new one, which seems considerably bigger than his old one, I kept thinking of the "The Jeffersons" song, like "Sheeba's movin' on up, to the East side, he finally got a piece of the pie." What is wrong with me?

Nature cheered me up!

As always, a beautiful day here at Nutwood gets me out of a melancholy mood!

I spent a little time in the garden this morning--no mosquitoes!--and weeded a bit. The corn and cucumbers aren't up yet, but the beans and zucchini are. Yippee! The tomatoes are lookin' good, but the peppers seem to be lagging behind a little. I suspect they don't get quite enough sun where they're at. I planted some marigolds around the beans and cucumbers, because that's what the dagblasted burrowing critters ate last year. I'm hoping that will deter them enough. There's plenty in the yard to eat--go out there! I also weeded the front flower bed, and I'm so pleased that the perennials I planted last year are doing well. I got some on sale and stuck 'em in the ground in the summer, and most of them survived just fine. There's a pretty coreopsis that has about two dozen blooms on it! (They're bright yellow and very cheery.)

After that, I sat out on the deck and wrote in my garden journal and watched the birds for a bit. As I was sitting there, I saw Spot and his mom stroll into the yard. Well, Mom strolled--Spot ran hell-bent for leather! He started doing laps around the yard, dashing down the pathway that goes to the compost bin, by the garden, around the trees, back down the pathway, leaping as he was so cute and so funny! It reminded me exactly of a mom taking her toddler to the playground so he can run around like a little maniac and "get it all out of his system." I was happy to see Spot, because we hadn't seen him for a week or so, and I was getting worried that he didn't make it. I'm happy to report that he's alive and well...and obviously not so gangly anymore. They grow up so fast! <sniff>

When he finally stopped to catch his breath, I got a picture of him. Awwww!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

A little melancholy

I found out last night that a friend of ours has been upset with us for about nine months, and this is the first we've heard of it. This upsets me to no end. First of all, I feel really bad that we hurt his feelings with our opinion, but I also stand by our opinion. Second, why the heck didn't he say something sooner? Dang. We just love this friend, and really value his friendship, but an issue came up and he feels we "lectured" him on ethics. Okay, I suppose we did lecture. We just felt really strongly about the issue, and we gave him our opinion as friends, but he didn't like our opinion. But jeez, he's known us long enough now to realize that we have no qualms about speaking our minds! Aww man, it just makes me feel bad. C'mon buddy, you know we love you. Next time you're here, I'll make a pot roast...c'mon! You can't resist a pot roast....


On to happier topics. I've been busy with loading music onto our MP3 player for our vacation. Lots of good summer music, like dance music, great summer pop songs like "Semi-Charmed Life," that kind of stuff. I recently got some new CD's: a couple of new Cake CD's (love Cake), Smash Mouth's greatest hits, plus a few I hadn't heard before. I'd heard OF them, but was pleasantly surprised to hear the snippets before I bought them (isn't that a cool thing about ordering online?), and I just LOVE the music. The All-American Rejects are great, but I'm really loving Bowling For Soup. I know this is nothing new, but it's new to me, and it's so much fun! I love a sense of humor, whether it's in my man or my music, and Bowling For Soup has it. I love the lyrics for "High School Never Ends":

Four years you think for sure
That’s all you've got to endure
All the total dicks
All the stuck up chicks
So superficial, so immature
Then when you graduate
You take a look around and you say HEY WAIT!
This is the same as where I just came from
I thought it was over
Aw that’s just great

The whole damn world is just as obsessed
With who‘s the best dressed and who‘s having sex
Who‘s got the money, who gets the honeys
Who‘s kinda cute and who‘s just a mess
And you still don’t have the right look
And you don’t have the right friends
Nothing changes but the faces, the names, and the trends
High school neverends

Check out the popular kids
You’ll never guess what Jessica did
How did Mary Kate lose all that weight
And Katie had a baby so I guess Tom’s straight
And the only thing that matters
Is climbing up that social ladder
Still care about your hair and the car you drive
Doesn’t matter if you’re sixteen or thirty-five

Reese Witherspoon,
She’s the prom queen
Bill Gates,
Captain of the chess team
Jack Black, the clown
Brad Pitt, the quarterback
Seen it all before
I want my money back!!

Ha! I think that's so clever and funny. And the lesson we should all take from this is? That's right...don't ignore the captain of the chess team. That nerdy guy or gal sitting behind you might just end up being one of the richest people in the world (and a philanthropist, to boot).

Since I'm feeling a little blue, I'll put up a picture that makes me happy. Hmm, let's see what we can find...oh, this is perfect. I don't think I've posted it on here before, but it's one of my (and my pal Greg's) favorites.

stuff on my cat always makes me smile. I sent this to the kids, and they actually thought it was our cat, Sheeba, and that we'd dressed him up like Darth Vader! Like we'd ever dress up our cat! Sheesh.

Hey, he did that on his own. We did NOT put our cat in a plastic bag.

Wow, now that I see those pictures together, they DO look a lot alike. It's Sheeba's Evil Twin!

A calmer me

Pardon my outburst on Sunday, but I was just beside myself! I couldn't believe all the stuff that went down in that episode, and a lot of it was BAD stuff. First they took out Bobby, then it was Silvio! Silvio isn't dead, but they don't expect him to regain consciousness. Tony tried to take out Phil first, but they got the wrong guy. Now they're going to ground, Carm, Meadow, and A.J. off to a hotel or something, and Tony, Paulie, and some of the other guys to a safe house. I honestly have no idea what they're going to do next week. The preview didn't even have any dialogue, just snippets of scenes. Oh my goodness.

A couple of things: one of the things that really bothered me was when Dr. Melfi was at the dinner party, and that other shrink gave an obvious hint as to who her gangster patient was: "A female opera singer and gangster." Duh! Of course, the other shrinks guessed Tony Soprano immediately. I started yelling, "Patient confidentiality! Patient confidentiality! He violated patient confidentiality!" (Ken didn't seem as upset about it as I was. He just looked at me like, "Are you done?" Ha!) But honestly, as someone with access to patient information, we take that very seriously. You never, ever go home and say, "Guess who I had work on today?" You just don't do that, and I wish I could file a complaint on that shrink. Err...if he weren't a fictional character, that is.

Speaking of Dr. Melfi, I'm quite disappointed with her. After 7 years, she cuts Tony loose. And she was MEAN to him. Actually, I think she *likes* him, if you know what I mean, nudge nudge wink wink. But it looks like the story line of Dr. Melfi and Tony could very well be finished.

And thank you Tony, for kicking your whiner son's ass a little bit. When Tony tells him his Uncle Bobby is dead, and they all need to get out of town for a while, A.J. looks into space and says, "I find this really depressing. I was having a hard enough time maintaining as it was...." At that point, Tony grabs him and drags him over to his closet and tells him to pack a bag. Thanks, Ton!

One more week to go, then a few days of writing about it, so this will all be over soon. Then we'll have the entire series on DVD to discuss....



Sunday, June 3, 2007

Holy S*&$ Sopranos!

I won't talk about this at length, but holy *u%K$in&  S*i#............

Oh my God...I cannot believe what they're doing and what is happening. One of my predictions came true. Dr. Melfi dropped Tony as a patient. Everything else is all bets off. I have NO IDEA what they're going to do for the last episode, but for this one, I spent a good 10 minutes with my hand over my mouth in astonishment. Holy freakin' moley. AGH! One more to go--oh, I think Phil is a dead man.


Two to go....

A nice weekend here at Nutwood, although I had to work. In fact, I work every weekend until our vacation! Urgh. But I get days off during the week, so it's not like I'm working 7 day weeks. If that were the case, just shoot me now.

Well, it's Sunday, and it's time for another episode of "The Sopranos." In fact, I get to use one of the coolest words ever and say that it is the penultimate episode. After reading a short article in the paper about what might happen (the writer speculated that among other things, Silvio would join up with Bruce Springsteen and rule New Jersey--ha!), Ken and I were speculating. Ken took the happy road and said maybe Tony and Carm will move to Vegas. (Although with Tony's gambling problem, that could be disastrous.) I took the darker road and said maybe Carm will get fed up with Tony (as well as find out that he ordered Adriana killed) and off him. I don't really think that will happen--I doubt that they'll kill Tony. But the show has certainly surprised the heck out of me a few times. I can hardly wait to find out!