Monday, December 31, 2012


Just when I thought I was safe, one whole year without a major appliance spontaneously igniting on me........

Yesterday we ended up traveling home in the storm, 

which wasn't too bad at this point, only problem was we were still forty miles away from home, that sits on top of a large rolling hill.

Things really got bad when we ended up in a line of traffic on a hill in the city for two hours.  Eventually we made our way to the bottom of the hill, where each car was taking it's turn trying to get a run to make it up and over.    Most ended up sideways in the snowbanks watching the rest take a turn.   The upside was I had plenty of opportunities to take pictures.  My son said this one looks like a Bob Ross painting from the classes on T.V.!

As the wind picked up we were informed by the weather band radio the wind was gusting to forty MPH, temperature was maintaining at 26 degrees and as we inched our way to the bottom of the hill with more than a bit of trepidation, we began to hear angry screaming.
Evidently the wait was too much to bear for a couple in a vehicle behind us, a woman hopped out yelling unspeakable things to the male driver and marched her way back down the road in eight inches of snow past the other waiting vehicles.  
When our turn to give it a go arrived we headed up the hill like nobodies business.  Until we hit the ice under the packed snow.  Not less than five times did we try going up with the front wheel drive in the front.   After sliding sideways halfway back down the hill more times than I care to recall, we resorted to old school.  Turned the truck around and used the front wheel as rear wheel in reverse, and along with the traction control, inched our way up and over the top of the hill. 
This was the view on the way down the other side.....
The flares are to keep vehicles from heading into the no man's land we had just made it through.  On the way past the cop he asked how it   "[was] on the other side."  
We discovered how much snow had fallen on our hill upon arriving home.
More than a foot resting out of the wind on the bird bath. 
 The lilac tree in the back yard wasn't much better but its directly in the wind tunnel that blows over this hill.
I should have known today that I was extremely fortunate to have had the snowy road adventure and not to test my somewhat shaky-at-best luck today.  But noooooooooo.    I decided to bake.
My plans were chocolate chip cookies and whoopee pies.  No big deal.      Or so I thought.
No sooner were the chocolate chip cookies in the oven the son  wanders through the kitchen and mumbles something about  smelling something burning, better check the cookies......    I had just put them in.    Have I failed to mention I still have plugged sinus'.........
Shortly thereafter the smoke alarm started screaming, the son was at the oven door yellin'   "FIRE IN THE HOLE!!!" and I was fighting off the other half racing toward the oven and my first batch of cookies with an ABC fire extinguisher.     Turns out a bit of batter with a HUGE dark chocolate chip had fallen off the side of the cookie pan and landed on the element.  No big deal. I remedied the situation , baked three batches of cookies moving on to the whoopee pies with almond cream cheese filling.
It was all good until the electric mixer started sounding a bit weird.   Then it began to smoke, but I was determined to finish the batter.    Things went down hill fast when flames started shooting out of the front grill of the blender.
Much like the vacuum cleaner many years before it, it was unplugged and flung out into a snowbank where it heaved it's last sizzle.
I managed to finish the filling with a whisk, let me advise against  that.
The upside to the whole disaster is I have the perfect excuse to finally buy a KITCHEN ADE.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

The waters COLD....

Sub heading under Goldstar Bridge
Photo by Seth Bendfeldt
From the Navy Tug

Sunday, December 23, 2012




Saturday, December 15, 2012


To describe the sadness and horror felt...

Monday, December 10, 2012


But CONNECTICUT can it be thundering, lightening and pouring buckets of rain while decorating the Christmas Tree........

Friday, December 7, 2012

Wednesday, November 21, 2012



Sunday, November 18, 2012


And for people like me it's a travesty.    Thus what could be more appropriate than this photo I found on a social networking site with no credit for the ingenious creator.
What could be more apropos than a bunch of mobsters guiding the TWINKIE to it's final resting place when, incredibly enough, it was the union of the HOSTESS company that hosted the inevitable downfall.   Well I hope they are all very happy, and don't complain about not being able to survive on their unemployment - for as long as it lasts - and remember that a few minor concessions would not only have saved their jobs, but Mr. TWINKIE as well.
For those of us who can never get enough of TWINKIE, please see the T.W.I.N.K.I.E Project site.  It is an absolute scream as well as an ode to TWINKIE.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


Although I don't think anyone aside from military personnel is familiar with hospital corners any longer, it continues to be an issue for me.    For you see I am simply unable to rest comfortably in a messy bed.  As with all issues that begin in one's childhood I can easily blame my mother, while she knowingly chuckles from the Great Beyond.   

My mother had a thing about 'tucking us in.'    My sister and I always imagined the Lindbergh baby had a bit more to do with it than our mother was ever at ease with admitting.  She would make our beds with only the precision two flats sheets allow, with not only tight hospital corners, but the remaining sheet and blanket tucked in well under the mattress so that one could easily imagine a quarter bouncing from the top of the made bed, tossed of course by the neighborhood drill sergeant.  She always left a bit of a triangular opening at the head of the bed that we could shimmy into.  Once in, she would tuck the opening shut securing us in whatever position we managed to achieve before she flew in to say good night, don't let the bed bugs bite. Nothing to worry about there, once she made the bed nothing could move under there. My sister used to curl up in a fetal position claiming it was warmer.  I always slept on my back with my arms folded over the top of the covers.  I watched far too many WWII movies and felt it was an easy escape tactic. We never moved and would wake up in the same position.  Still tucked in.  I have ended up appearing to be Morticia Adams while sleeping.  All one needs to do is place a lily in my still hands.

The point behind this is I have a cold. I get in and out of bed a lot to blow my constantly running nose and to drink gallons of soda to sooth my sore throat.  I don't have the energy to check the darn covers every time I exit.  I have been waking up when the too short top flat sheet becomes unhinged from the opposite side of the bed and my subconscious screams a warning that something is really wrong, too much 'play' in the sheets can't be good.

The point behind all this is the fact that I am tired, and not as quick on the uptake as I should be, as well as the poignant observation that we can all simply resort  to blaming our mother's for the foibles we carry.  Or at least some of them.  Thank Freud, he came up with the theory. Hence when I asked my daughter to join a volunteer emergency response group with me I should have expected a few glitches, especially with the onset of the world's worst head cold. Clearly I had totally forgotten as well, that the apples didn't fall far from the tree, so when I became my mother, my daughter became me.  With our gene pool this alone is enough to create a disaster. Only saving grace is our disasters tend to be funny, if not in the moment, always after the fact.

Thus when news of the incoming hurricane was projected to have a negative impact on our region, our class instructor requested volunteers, though we have not yet completed the course.  Large shelters were being opened and the call for all hands on deck was out.  During the run down of the instructors basic plan concerning our efforts at the various shelters he casually mentioned communicable diseases at which point my daughter leered at me, while I glared at her over the top of my tissue.  Later during a break, we both huddled around the group of vet-techs in the class.  They are all older women whose outlook on life resembles our own.   While moseying back to class after the break my daughter casually said, "It's a good thing they teach Universal Precautions.  Tell me you didn't know those things when we came home from school that day, you bundled us up and when we asked where we were going you said, ' Across the street Linda's kids have chicken pox and you two havn't had it yet....'       "Well, you guys got to all have vacation together, even if you did spend it itching."       "Yuh and now if we get the shingles....."     "Yup I know, it's my fault, it's OK to blame your mother you know...."

We both offered time during the emergency at the new local senior center which runs a close second to the Taj Mahal.  My daughter took the afternoon shift which consisted of wandering around keeping the lonely old folks company.  I took the overnight animal detail.  I went in early to scope out the situation and was informed by my daughter to 'watch out for the homeless guy, he gets clingy and smells.'   

The only animal was brought in by an overwrought middle aged couple who had an eleven year old short floofy thing.  The poor dog was more of a wreck than the parents, who chose to sleep on cots in the hallway outside the "Animal Room" in order to be nearby should a medical emergency arise with the dog.

Well shortly after eleven o'clock the ACO arrived, said she was going to sleep, so the other volunteer and I could get lost.  Well, alrighty then. Far be it from me to argue with a uniform.      I ended up sitting with the 74 year old Red Cross intake worker who, incredibly enough, filled me in on his on-line dating adventures.   At one point I saw the dog couple wandering around so went over to see how they were doing.  The woman said, "Oh the guy walking around in his underwear woke us up."   Taking in my horror struck look, possibly even seeing my hair beginning to stand on end I managed to stammer, "Do you know where he is now?"       "Oh he wandered back to bed. Had gotten up to use the mens room."       They laughed about it and went on to say they couldn't sleep knowing thier dog was probably disoriented, so I assured then the ACO would wake up if anything chamged with the dog.  She was a trained professional after all.......  I went by the door to check, peeked through the glass and both ACO and the dog were snoring peacefully. I made sure to roll through the hallways more the rest of the night.......

I went back to sit with the not so old at heart Red Cross guy.  Having run out of dating stories he mentioned what a funny kid my daughter was.    Oh jeese, I suddenly knew that awful feeling in the pit of my stomach my mother used to complain about, the fear that strikes when your kid opens her mouth.  

"So, he said, did ya really drag her down three flights of stairs when she went into labor?"  What could I say.  I definately did.    I had indoor cats that had a tendency to fly out open doors even when they had no idea what to do when they were outside.  Add to that the chaos an ambulance can create, coupled with the fact that my daughter had waited until the last minute to tell anyone she needed to go to the hospital.  She was on the third floor of the apartment so I casually said to the Red Cross Worker, "Three flights plus the porch steps by the time the ambulance got there, but only in between contractions...."     He sort of paled at that.  "Oh it wasn't bad, I continued, once a contraction would let up her brother and I got her down another flight.  Course the neighborhood was in the street by then, she didn't handle the contraction well at all.....she was doing incredibe horror movie screams he brother wanted to get on tape. Good thing he wasn't into his video thing back then."     No way was I having those EMT's tromping through my house leaving doors wide open.  Best part was once we were in the ambulance the sergeant  - who was required to respond to calls at employees homes - poked his head into the ambulance and said at least three times over the kids screams, "Anything  ya need me to tell 'em at work - wink wink ??????"      I finally got the hint and asked he relay I would be off sick from work.   By this time the guy was looking at me like  I had a screw loose so I said, "Oh don't worry, my mother - the nurse - would have done the same thing for me."     I wandered off to blow my nose.

Things will probably get a lot more interesting once we are certified and my daughter has a lot more chances to recall her fondest childhood memories...  chip off the old block that kid is.   Let the adventures begin.....


Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Still too windy to fly.  The scarf sends me into hysterics everytime  see it....



Emergency Services were well prepared.
Got scalped for the last one of THREE packages left of 'D' batteries we found here, after checking four other places.  Grocery store shelves were barren of everything from water to flashlights. Luckily we shopped early.

The Daughter and Grandson came to stay. Later that evening we saw on the news her town was basically an island and out of power.
Winds hit over 60 MPH gusts causing the Weeping Willow to weep some huge widow-makers onto the Daughters car.  After a moments thought she remarked, "Sort of reminds me of the tree in the Wizard of Oz, waiting for it to grab me..."
 She moved the car......
Wind gust tipped over a cast iron bench that was up against the house.
The Daughter takes photos of the tree that creamed her car.
After the power was out for an extended period of time the Great Gatsby decided to catch up on the news on the Son's phone via the WFSB APP....
Sadly, as with all low pressure events, a lost soul showed up at 2:40 AM trying to dig up a mole for breakfast in the yard.  Fed him and put up notices via animal control. Luckily he/she is dry and it is now 65 degrees.
All in all we faired well, though the sad stories are still being reported on the news.


Saturday, October 27, 2012


Now if only he finds a great job.....
And yes, it was the middle of October.
Snow expected for the last part of STORM SANDY.

Friday, October 19, 2012


On this bizarre spider's rear?
Getting ready for winter is in full swing, and while dumping ashes from the fireplace I nearly stepped on this thing waddling across the front stoop.  After dropping the can of ashes in front of the steps while hopping over it and making Three Stooges noises (nuuuggghhhh), I sent a messenger inside to get the son.   We tormented the thing taking pictures while it labored down the side of the steps...

and into the low ground cover.   The body on the thing was as large as a quarter and about as tall as a dime.     Until we find out what it does we will not be dumping poison down the hole larger than a quarter it squeezed into in the dirt just on the edge of the ground cover.

Although I take being freaked by spiders to a whole new level, the designs on the back of the thing were absolutely intriguing, and seeing as how it did not jump or make any defensive moves we allowed him to live for now.
The MOUSE SPIDERS that are sneaking into the basement are quite the different story.
We have found  only one female and by the size of it, it's lookin' like it probably eats its mate , along with unruly young....
and close to twenty males.  We continue to search for the point of entry as they are venomous.  Bites are capable of killing mice and small cats.....EEEEK.
Considering the fact that Precious is always on the look-out - even while trying to nap - we are on a collision course with disaster until we find it.
Onward with " WINTERIZING"   -  ah  YUK?  -  then settling in for hibernation...


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

4 APRIL 1944

This Veteran was piloting a bomber when his plane was hit.  "Took out the number four engine and I took shrapnel to the head and leg....  I was out... my co-pilot had to take over.  Our engineer cut the fuel line to number four, otherwise we wouldn't have had enough fuel to make it, while the plane dove to put out the fire after I had lost consciousness.  They were able to drop the bombs - 12 - and make it to Italy where I woke up in the hospital."      His friend was quick to add, "Yeah, and you didn't get out of that hospital and out of the AIR FORCE until  after the war was over.   Nitwit...."
He is 90 now.  He had flown the planes at the air show I was crawling around in .
Mid-Plane turret
Outside view
Yup,   I LOVE this plane.
Main aisle through the middle of the plane.
I leaned over the sign....
They played Amazing Grace in honor of SEPTEMBER 11th.
Yuh, bet the government wouldn't have told me back then I didn't weigh enough to join up......
 While he told me his story he let me take photos of his ribbons
on the original jacket he flew these planes wearing.
He went on to say that when he got out of the service he went on to be a pilot for EASTERN AIRLINES for thirty years, his face suddenly lit up as he looked past me, then finished his thought with, "...where I met the best stewardess the airline had, so I married her!"
I Thanked him for being a huge part of keeping this country FREE.  His wife started to tear up but he just knowingly smiled and said Thank You in return.