Monday, June 30, 2008

Ruby Tuesday

I decided to shed my boring ways and join Ruby Tuesday, which The Teach hosts each week. Click here for further info.

My first entry is a photo I took in Paris in February 2004. I was there on a school trip with my darling daughter.

The sky's the limit

This post is dedicated to three friends who recently have shared many photos of clouds on their blogs. Now when I see interesting cloud formations I'm reminded of Linda, Mimi, and Bee.

Here are some I took during our son Cameron's graduation:

The formation below reminds me of the opening scene from The Simpsons:

And here are two I took at our friend Bill's graduation last week from The Sound School on Long Island Sound:

And a photo I snapped in October '05. Too bad about the telephone lines..

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Creative photograph

Peek-a-boo kitty.

This is my entry for Week #3 of the Creative Photography competition Roger from Idaho Daily Photo hosts.
Thanks, Roger for doing the contest. It's fun, even though I never expect to win!
I love this photo, but I love all the photos I snap of our two cats.
= ^. .^ =

Social engagements : fun but exhausting

We've been busy around here, but it's all good stuff.
On Tuesday Kid One and I attended a graduation for a friend of hers at The Sound School in New Haven, a magnet school located on Long Island Sound. Bill was the last of four student speakers and received a diploma with honors. He is going to major in aquaculture in college. Go Bill! We love ya!
Here is part of the school's gorgeous setting. I had never been there before and was most impressed.
On Friday we attended a lovely wedding. We were glad my mother was able to be with us there. She almost didn't think she would be up to it. But she came and had a good time.
The bride is my cousin's daughter. Does that make her my second cousin? Or first cousin once removed? It was almost an exact replay of her sister's wedding last June: same church, same priest, same inn overlooking New Haven Harbor and Long Island Sound.
I had fun taking a few scenic photos.

I love taking sunset photos.

Got home late and more than a bit partied out. Recuperated for part of Saturday...had to, because Saturday night I attended a surprise Bachelorette Party.

It was a fantastic and emotional gathering of the bride's family and friends, hosted by her sister and four daughters. So many smiles, so many hugs and kisses, so many happy tears. The bride was surprised and quite overwhelmed.

It's the second time around for the bride and groom, who are 69 and 77 respectively. They are a truly wonderful couple. The groom, a widower, just became a great-grandfather for the first time.

Today we have our son's piano recital to look forward to and then, hopefully, a quiet few days until Friday! What's Friday you ask? The Fourth of July and the day our daughter's boyfriend arrives for the weekend.
I'm glad I just got those super vitamins for old people. I'm going to take my first one today with breakfast. I'm going to need something to keep me going..

Friday, June 27, 2008

Watch out world, I'm getting into YouTube

I've never heard of this band, but I like this song.
It reminds me of music from the early 80s...

Have a look and a listen at these three videos. They're fun. ;-P

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The deed is done

I finally broke down and bought Centrum Silver. It's for people over f-f-f-fifty.


I hope it helps.

And now a silly quiz, just to prove I'm not old.

What Flavor Gum Are You?

You Are Bubblegum Flavored Gum

You are friendly, outgoing, and energetic.

You love life, and you can always find some reason to smile.

You are a bit hyper, and you're always looking for your next challenge.

You love getting things done - and you are usually on the go.

Your confidence and positive attitude makes you a very attractive person.

You can be a little flaky at times, but people are able to overlook that - because you're so fun!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Creative photograph

This is my entry for Week 2 of Roger's creative photography contest.
Our daughter snapped it w
hen we were in Paris on a school trip in February 2004.
What I like is she was able to get the shot through the bus window. If it doesn't look sharp and clear, that's why. But I love it.

Oui, oui!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Yup, he be a graduit now

Our son, Cameron, graduated from high school a week ago.
I didn't post about it all week. Didn't know what to say, I guess. I was happy for him, but sad for me.
He received a diploma of distinction, got to wear a National Honor Society sash over the graduation gown, received two scholarships totalling $2,500, and more.
We're certainly proud of all he has accomplished.

<--- Here he is as Superman on Halloween a few years back. So adorable, in my humble opinion!

And here he is in June 2008. ----->

He wants to major in computer science, or maybe electrical engineering, or maybe both. Time will tell...

Below is a picture of him and a good friend, someone he has known since they were toddlers.

Thumbs up, guys! Great job!

Best of luck in college, you two!!!

Please don't forget your loving parents when you are both rich and famous, you hear?

Sunday, June 22, 2008

More about stuff from a long time ago

I've been living in the past lately going through some stuff from many moons ago.
Here is a check I found that my father wrote out for an electric bill on Dec. 7, 1951...
It may be hard to read so I'll translate. The bill was $1.13.

This is spooky. When I looked at the post time, it was 1:13 ...

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Creative photograph

I've never participated in any of the daily specials in the blogosphere. Not that I don't enjoy other peoples' offerings for Manic Monday, Wordless Wednesday, Thursday Thirteen and the like, because I do. I just never took the plunge.

Here is my entry in Roger's creative photography competition he just launched.
The photo is from June 2006. I posted it once before.
I snapped it just after our daughter's high school graduation ceremony had ended.
That's good luck, right?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Home is where the heart is ...

... and the lovely perennials...and lots of gnomes (below is just one of a bunch)

and hamburgers on the grill - just perfect for a casual Father's Day meal (hey, at least I grilled for him).
Ralph is the cook in this family.

Ta-Da! --->

... and of course, the neighbor's

Libby, this friendly, fluffy feline, lives across the street and likes to saunter over and visit.

I think she smells the feline scent emanating from our house,
don't you? She wants our kitties to come out and play. But our guys stay inside.

She has truly beautiful green eyes. And apparently loves to be skritched.
I guess all kitty cats crave attention!

So there you have it. Everyday life at our house. Fancy? Not at all.
Homey? I think so.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


I'm happy this old, very old photo of moi survived the fire at my mother's house better than our wedding photo did. (See that story here.)

Ah, memories...although I really don't remember posing for this particular shot.

I found this blast from my past amongst the rubble in my mother's fire-damaged house. Today is the closing on that house. Finally. The new owner will build another house on the foundation.

Soon my mother will be moving into a condo that is just a half-mile from our house. Ralph and I will be able to "roll" and walk over to see her. He won't have to fire up the van, at least not in the nice weather. That will save some gas.

Unfortunately we still have lots more "stuff" to sift through. There are many sentimental value items to be salvaged.
Where am I going to put all that stuff?
I do not have a clue. Or a basement, for that matter!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Motivational poster?

Michael C put the link to a motivational poster generator on his blog the other day. I had fun with it.
Try it out here.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day ...

to my very own Airhead 55!

Ralph, today I shall attempt to cook dinner for you...I'm thinking burgers on the grill.
You can even have cheddar cheese on your burger. And I'll get some lettuce and (salmonella-free) tomatoes with which to garnish it, just to keep things healthy!

P.S. This is not only my blog post today, it's your Father's Day gift this year.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

A sad story to write

As I mentioned in the previous post, yesterday turned out to be a rough day.
I had just finished writing a feature about a well-liked pastor who is retiring when my boss e-mailed me a wire story about a local teen-ager who had drowned.
I had met this talented young man when he was in seventh grade when I wrote a feature about him and his older brother and sister. All three were accomplished jazz musicians at a very young age. They performed professionally at a variety of venues.

They are a delightful family.

He had just completed his freshman year at Cornell. He was attending a summer session there and drowned while swimming in the Ithaca Gorge with friends. He was only 18.

I reached one of his jazz teachers and broke the news to him. He was devastated and I felt terrible being the bearer of bad news. He was a lovely man and gave me some heartfelt comments to add to the story.
The story is on page one of today's paper.

In his high school yearbook this young man used a quote attributed to performer Eddie Griffin. I put it in the story because I thought it would give people a glimpse into this teen-ager's character.

"Brothas, we walk with rhythm. Everything we do is to a heart beat."

I'm sad to have had to write a story about a young person with such talent and promise who is now gone. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Comic relief after a rough day

I couldn't find Linus this afternoon. He wasn't in any of his usual napping spots.

But then I heard purring and saw a lump under the sheets. There he was, a picture of innocence and feline relaxation. I ran for the camera and took a photo...

Pain at the pump - Week 2

Since I haven't had the energy to post about much lately (been rather busy) I'm thinking of making this a regular feature!
Well, maybe not.

I snapped this photo yesterday, June 12, when I filled up at my usual spot, the Mobil station here in southern Connecticut.

The Shell station a quarter-mile away was actually selling gas for two cents less a gallon (usually it's higher there).

Last Thursday the price was 12 cents less a gallon at Mobil, and 6 cents less at Shell.

Bah humbug.

Thanks to Linda, who came up with the Pain at the Pump meme and gave me something easy, albeit painful, to post about today.

How are gas prices in your corner of the world?

Monday, June 9, 2008

Adam turns 1 - quite the milestone


As promised, a few photos from Adam's first birthday bash. As you can see it had a cowboy theme.

The day marked a milestone because Adam is (was) a preemie. He was born three months early last year, at just two pounds, 12 ounces.

Now he is quite the chunk of baby, that's for sure. His godfather calls him Chunkaccino, a name I just love.

Here Adam looks like he might not be as tough as he thinks he is. It doesn't appear he wants his Dad to put him on the pony that arrived for the festivities.

But as you can see below, his doting Aunt Sharon managed to get him on the pony, for a quick photo shoot if nothing else!

His mom put WANTED posters up of her baby boy ...

... and we were just happy to be among his many well-wishers on this special birthday.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

More from the ashes

This is a pen and ink drawing that always hung on the living room wall of my parents' house. It depicts where they were married, The Little Church Around the Corner, on East 29th Street in New York City.

The mat, which looks brownish now, was a pale green color, if I remember correctly. The glass in the frame was shattered during the fire. I hope someone can restore it for us.

A quick check of Wikipedia shows that the church was founded in 1848 and its real name is Church of the Transfiguration. It is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Wikipedia says: "Located at 1 East 29th Street, in the Murray Hill District, the church is set back from the street behind a garden creating a facsimile of the English countryside in midtown Manhattan and has long been an oasis for New Yorkers of all faiths who relax in the garden, pray in the chapel or enjoy free weekday concerts in the main church. It has also been known as the "wedding church" because of the popularity of the church for weddings."

It continues: "Designed in the early English Neo-Gothic style and with its quaint English Garden retains a picturesque quality of a true English parish church, despite being in sight of the Empire State Building. The church also features numerous and eclectically designed side chapels and a 14th Century stained glass window."

My parents met in Manhattan, (she was from New Jersey, he was from New Haven) and spent many happy times at all the hot spots of the day, my mother tells me.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Out of the rubble

It's me and Ralph on May 10, 1986 ~ 'twas a splendid day.
Today I retrieved this photo from the rubble of what once was my mother's living room.
At least you can still see our faces.

I also retrieved some charcoal-broiled figurines. I must say that after a while, sentimental value starts to lose its luster, if you know what I mean.
I guess you could say I'm dreaming of a large Dumpster...

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Pain at the pump gets worse and worse

I took these photos in southern Connecticut yesterday, June 4. I'm a better-late-than-never participant in Linda's Pain at the Pump meme.
I bought gas at the Mobil station I usually patronize (because I get a few cents from it going into our UPromise college savings account) and paid $56 to fill up my economy car (Hyundai Elantra).
A quarter-mile away I snapped this photo at the Shell station. Depressing, isn't it?

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

~ Dona Nobis Pacem ~

My wish is for world peace for my children and for generations to come.

I have been scrolling through the slide shows and galleries that Mimi,Queen of Memes, has provided and have seen some truly beautiful Peace Globes.

My goal is to learn how to better use technology. I guess it is a lot of trial and error...

Update: My thanks to my hubby Ralph who helped me create my third peace globe, featuring Rigby the Cat (below).
~ ~ ~

May all of my fellow peace bloggers have a serenity-filled day today, as we participate in Mimi's brilliant creation, this Revolution of Words.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

A simply ~surreal~ Saturday

So I took my mother to meet with the real estate agent (who fortunately for me is a friend of mine) and she put down an initial deposit to show she intends to purchase the house. It's very close to our house, so I can walk over and save gas.
We haven't settled on a price with the seller yet. We offered $10,000 less than the asking price. The house is in good, move-in condition but we are uncertain about the roof. It looks OK but we have no paperwork as to when it was last repaired/replaced.
This endeavor may become phase 2 of Patti's Learning to Negotiate...

The woman selling the house is waiting to hear about a mortgage. She is a buying a house with her daughter in a different town. I didn't realize she was going to need a mortgage. That could slow up the process. Dang.

We had a fun meeting with my friend, and my mother trusts her now that she has gotten to know her. Phew. We stopped for lunch, then home for a minute.

Next stop was meeting Benny at the fire and smoke-damaged dwelling my mother called home for 52 years. He is going to buy it. He's a contractor who rebuilds houses and sells them.
Benny is a nice guy who was referred to us by the insurance adjuster. We waited a few minutes for him, during which time I took some flagstones from the front yard to use in my own garden.

The surreal part came when the three of us went into my mother's old bedroom. She was looking in the bureau for a key and he and I looked in my father's top dresser drawer, filled with sentimental items, a pocket watch, a wrist watch, stop watches, (my father liked time I guess) cuff links, coins, new packages of shoelaces, handkerchiefs and tons of bow ties.
My father was an old-fashioned guy and sometimes wore bow ties to work. He was from another time and place (born in 1910) and that was him.

I held a super-powered beacon flashlight as Benny looked through my dear father's things from many years ago. Everything was still intact, sitting quietly in a top dresser drawer that always intrigued me when I was little.