Sunday, September 28, 2008


Living in western New York and Buffalo being just an hour to the west, you can't escape the Buffalo Bills. Especially when they're winning. Which they haven't been the last several seasons. Until this one. As of today the Bills are 4 - 0. That's right, undefeated so far. I shan't say more lest I jinx them.
Maybe you remember 15 or so years ago when Buffalo went to four Superbowl's in a row and lost every time? It was a fun time. Things were at a fever pitch but the disappointment was crushing. Marv Levy did his best but each time the team was skunked. Many lackluster seasons followed until now.
The family are all Bills fans except for my sister. She's a die hard Redskins fan and does not like Buffalo. Son number 1, Kevin is the biggest fan and has gone to a few games. The ironic thing is that they're having a great start and he can't watch the games. Living in New York City he only gets the Giants and Jets games. :(
It just so happened that on January 24, 1992 those two teams met in the Superbowl. The party was at our house and she brought her Redskins flag.

This is my second youngest sister with Cameron who was 2 years old at the time. Ok dear sister, I'll say it, "Hail to the Redskins!" They beat the Bills.
They also won today too.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Paul Newman

Paul Newman was an actor second and a person first. I have always admired him and his wife Joanne Woodward. While once being one of Hollywood's A list couples they always seemed down to Earth. Not pretentious. They supported causes and gave tremendously.
Newman was from a different era of Hollywood. The way he carried himself, presented himself and felt about others less fortunate than himself was evidenced by his many philanthropic endeavors.

The first movie I ever saw him in was Cool Hand Luke which became a favorite. I loved his determination in it. Is there anyone who didn't like him??

Of course this man looked good at any age and those beautiful blue eyes...
And while he will remembered for those handsome physical features, he will also be remembered for the person he was, a gentleman and a class act.

Master Debaters

I'm not big into politics but do follow the presidential race. We were going to go to the movies and see Ghost Town but them McCain decided to man up and go through with the debate. We decided the movie can wait. Did you watch the debate last night?
Do I consider myself a Republican or a Democrat? Not really, I just vote for whom I think will do the best job once in office. If I had to say, I lean toward Democrat most of the time. I do not understand how people can vote the party line. Why in the world would a person vote for someone that may not be the best choice because he (and someday, she) is their political party's choice. I don't get it.
I have never been supporter of the Bush family. Not the father and especially not the son. In my opinion he has been and still is an embarrassment of a president. Without a speech written by someone else and a teleprompter he is an awful speaker. I cringe every time he opens his mouth. I cannot believe this man went to Yale. Through his actions and decisions he has personally turned much of the world against us. Of course we will always have those who hate the United States for whatever reason but the next president has the difficult job of undoing our reputation. Actually I'm pretty sure he's a puppet for others behind the scenes. He does what they tell him to. I'm also pretty sure W will go down in history as one of the worst presidents ever.
Back to the debate. My thoughts on McCain; I thought he came off as condescending to Obama. I wanted to slap the smirk off of his face. We heard a lot about where he's traveled in the past and what he's done in the past but not a whole lot about the future. I didn't like how he kept saying that Obama "doesn't understand". He came across as a know it all. Has there ever been a president that knew everything about every topic? That's what advisers and cabinet members are for. We all know he has more experience than his opponent. He's got 25 years on him. Does globetrotting make him a better president? I was impressed when he brought up the Teddy Roosevelt letters. I liked that he brought up Obama's earmarks.
My thoughts on Obama; I thought he did a good job. He looked at McCain much more than McCain looked at him. I thought he was a better speaker. I like how he agreed with McCain on some issues. I don't think it made him look weak. Could he stand to have more political experience? Yes, I think so and hope he surrounds himself with very knowledgeable people if he's elected. I thought he sounded a little naive at times or maybe idealistic. But overall I thought he had better ideas and I felt he cares passionately about the little people. The people that make less than 250,000 per year and boy do I fit into that category. I sounds like he's got his eye on the middle class and lower class and his goal is to help them get on their feet again, not make the rich richer.
It's thanks to our forefathers and the framers of the constitution who made it possible for me to express my opinions without fear of persecution and retribution.
One last word, I will say that I think the George did a great job handling himself and the country after Sept. 11 He unified the nation and did his best to calm a rattled public. While I shed tears the day we entered into the war on terror, I supported his invasion of Afghanistan to hunt for Bin Ladin. It needed to be done. When he fulfilled his father's dream to bring down Saddam and invaded Iraq for the second time, well those good feelings about him dissolved. If you want to be really shocked and awed and sickened, watch Frontline; Bush's War on PBS.
Another one last word, I am eagerly looking forward to the vice presidential debate next Thursday. I'll give up Survivor and Kitchen Nightmares for that one.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Here Comes the Sun

Score one for the little ones. I'm home from school today with pink eye. Ugh.
Near our house is a field of sunflowers and late yesterday afternoon the conditions were perfect to snap some pictures. I know what you're thinking, "oh no, not more flower pictures" and you'd be right. I absolutely adore flowers and always wanted to be a florist. Why didn't I pursue that? I ask myself that all the time. Maybe it's not too late for a third career change. Click on the photos to enlarge them.
I liked this bud opening. It reminds me of a lotus flower.
This one looks like it just opened that day. The field was just buzzing with bees. I didn't get too close since this summer I had an encounter, ok, an altercation with a big hairy bumblebee and it didn't end well for me. Thank goodness for a can of beer we had in the cooler. It took some of the swelling and pain away and kept the poison for coursing through my bloodstream. I held the cold can on the sting sight, maybe I should have poured it over it. Or chugged it. While I'm not so allergic that I need an epi pen, my body does react to bee stings with pain, swelling and that particular time I could feel the venom moving up my arm. I hope I never get bitten by a snake. I don't ever plan on being in close proximity to one.
No wonder they're called sunflowers, they look like a sunburst. Actually because they turn and follow the sun throughout the day. They were all facing south in the field.
Even from behind they look pretty.

There is a little stand at the field that sells the flowers for 3.00 a bunch. You have to shake the bees off of them before you get in the car. It's the biggest bang for your buck as they last a long time and are beautiful in their simplicity. Hubby has gotten me two bunches of them. Here they are in their new home, my living room. They look good against my red/orange wall.


How do you like your nuts?
Smooth? Or maybe old and wrinkly?
Perhaps covered with prickles?
Anyone have an idea as to what these things are?
They are nuts. Grown on trees.

Here's another view

Give up? These are chestnuts or horse chestnuts or buckeyes. I'm not sure which as they're all closely related and look the same to me. Since I'm a native of Ohio I say they're buckeyes.

The pod has 2 pieces inside. I don't know if they're 2 halves of one nut or 2 separate nuts. When they first open up the nuts are shiny and a beautiful mahogany color with what looks like a grain of some sort. After a bit they lose their luster but still are pretty. I'd put them in a dish but my dog is very interested in them.
The nuts at the top are black walnuts. I didn't open them for you because they stain your fingers something awful. You'll have to wonder what they look like.

Sunday, September 21, 2008


When driving or riding around in the car I like to read people's bumper stickers. I'm seldom offended by them and find most of them humorous. One that I saw that did offend me was on a pickup truck and it said, "God Hates Fags" I posted about it but can't find it to link it.

I find it interesting to see what people put on their vehicles and what it says about them. By looking at the decals I try and figure out what kind of person they are. Take my car below...

I would think they chose the color red because it's a deep rich color you notice, not like silver that seems to fade into the background. It has a Binghamton University and College at Brockport sticker on it and that tells me they have two kids in college so they must be older. They have a dog as evidenced by the sticker. Also on the back window is one of those oval stickers that many people have that state where they're from or where they've visited. I'd say that they have a sense of humor. The dog sticker say Mutt rather than some pedigreed dog and the location sticker says Earth. They'd be right about everything except we only have one kid in college now.

Bumper stickers can make a political statement, brag about something, show off what you care about or make a joke. I have a small notepad in my glove box and when I see an interesting sticker I write it down. Here's a few I've seen.

Equilateral Equiangular Parallelograms
are for squares
If you can read this,
Thank a teacher
Down with pants
Up with kilts
Believe what you want
and shut the hell up
Think outside the sticker
Run Hillary Run
Democrats place on back bumper,
Republicans place on front
I have not yet begun
to procrastinate
My child was Inmate of the month
at Broward County Jail
Financially I'm set for life
provided I die next week
Be sure brain is engaged
before pressing SEND key
U.S. Energy Policy
Create crisis, Raise prices
I saw this car a few months ago and luckily happened to have my camera. I'm not sure what kind of statement they're trying to make.

I also like to check out licence plates and try and make words out of the letters or figure out what their vanity plate means. I saw this one today. I want it. I never remember where I park when I go somewhere and have to park in the same area every time or I will wonder around looking for my car. I ultimately mutter, "where is my f-ing car?"

What does your car say about you?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

What's in the News These Days?

Every Saturday the mailman delivers two magazines to our house. One is Time and the other is the gossip mag The Star. I confess, the subscription to The Star is mine. My son gets Time and I read it too, really, I do. The Star is my cheap entertainment that I've been reading for over 20 years. Over the past few years I don't seem to know a lot of the celebrities they write about but I can't stop getting it because I love the weekly crossword puzzle. I know that sounds a lot like the old story of, "I read Playboy for the articles" but I am hooked on the crossword puzzle.
That being said I don't watch those TV gossip shows like Entertainment Tonight but tonight I wanted to get away from the election campaign coverage and especially Sarah Palin. She is everywhere these days and I'm sick of her being the media darling of the moment. If people in this country vote for McCain just because of her I'll...well I don't know what I'll do but I know I wouldn't be happy. Back to ET, I'm watching a story about Hollywood's skinniest stars when they switch to a story about the dress sizes of the ladies of politics. I kid you not, we were going to hear what size dress Cindy McCain, Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama and of course Sarah Palin wear. Does someone really care about that?? I guess I'll have to watch ESPN or Food Network or the latest O.J. Simpson trial to get away from S.P. I will say the Saturday Night Live skit featuring Tina Fey as Palin was priceless and I enjoyed it. Speaking of SNL, I'm going to New York City 2 weeks from tomorrow!!!!
By the way, if you're really interested;
Cindy wears a size 4
Hillary a size 10
Michelle size 8
Sara size 6

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

It was a beautiful day today, sunny and mild. Too bad I was stuck in school.
My neighbor's sunflower.
This is the new view from my king size bed. I finally talked hubby into hanging our TV on the wall. I love it, it looks like it's just floating there. Come winter you'll find me snug in bed with my laptop, book and crossword puzzle by 7:30.
Not only did hubby hand the television, he polished my toenails too. If that was left up to me my toes would be naked all the time. I'm lazy like that.
Did you ever see such a sack sack? Cody is missing the boys and come to think of it, mom is too. We did get out to see Cameron at college on Friday night. After his recent physical we found out he's anemic. The doctor says he needs to take an iron supplement and eat more red meat. We took him out to dinner to a delicious prime rib restaurant. He had no choice but to eat red meat. :)

Monday, September 15, 2008

My Pet Peeve of the Moment

In August we redecorated our family room. Unfortunately we have a beautiful oak roll top desk that no longer fits in. Hubby has said for years that it takes up too much room and nineteen years later I finally agree with him. We decided to sell it and listed it on Craigslist; someone hit on it and came to look at it. A few days later he sent us an email telling us he had found something. Thank you kind sir. A week later back on Craigslist. (Who is Craig anyway?) We had another guy come and look at it on a Wednesday evening. He told us he really liked it, wanted his wife to see it and he'd be over the next evening (Thursday) with the little woman and a trailer. The next night comes, no guy, no phone call, no email. The next day hubby calls to check in with him. Oh yes, I'm still interested, I will call you tomorrow (Saturday) morning to make plans to come over. Again, a no show, no phone call or email. We've written him off. But here's the thing. When you're selling something it is so frustrating when people tell you they will come over to check the item out and then don't come. Even worse they tell you they're still interested and don't show! They have wasted my time. It's not even like I was going to do something else and stayed home to wait, it's just if you tell a seller you're coming then do it. Or at least call and let us know you can't make it. If you don't want to buy it, tell us. I promise I won't hunt you down and make your life miserable. But I will if you play this game with me. I really want my car back in the garage and it won't fit with that damn desk in there.
Oh and I did some research and Craigslist was founded by Craig Newmark in 1995.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

22 Years

Happy Birthday Kevin!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

I've been a bad blogger.

I haven't paid much attention to my blog lately and haven't left many comments around town but will be better.

It's definitely changing to fall around here. The nights are much cooler, the squirrels are going crazy in the trees looking for acorns and the days are getting shorter. I actually don't mind it getting darker earlier in the evening which is surprising for someone who craves sunshine. I don't mind darkness, I just hate gloomy, grayness. In the winter time when it's dark by 5:00 I get in my jammies early. Sometimes when I get home from work I change out of my school clothes right into my nightclothes as my grandmother called them. The only bad part of getting dark early is if you have to go out to run errands, then it seems so late.

So, school...
This years kindergartners are kicking my ass. We've only been in school for 8 days but it seems like 80. Summer vacation is but a distant memory in the recess of my mind. We've got kids that socialize too much, kids that have never been away from mommy in 5 years and don't know how to socialize, sassy kids that think they're talking to their mother I guess, defiant kids, for example when I ask a student to come out from under the table and join the others for a story her response, "make me" then "I'm warning you, I'm not coming out!" Okay, now I have a soft spot for children but when they act like that out comes the mean mother voice. You know that voice I'm sure. It gets a little deeper and has a certain tone. "And I'm warning you, Get. Out. From. Underneath. The. Table. NOW."
This is my second career. I worked in the corporate world for 18 years before leaving for this second one. At this rate I may be moving on to my third career which I was saving for my next life. I've always wanted to be a florist and as much as I LOVE flowers, they make me sneeze.
Not all of the little ones are like that thank God. There are a few that truly want to be there. They listen to every word you say, their faces and smiles show the pure delight they feel to be in school. So far each afternoon when hubby comes home from work he finds me like this. He decided to take a picture since our camera is now back from New York City. (another long story)
I have to have a nap. Notice what's clutched in my hand. My allergies have been murder. No stinkin' kleenex for me. I go for the heavy duty artillery; paper towel.

Monday, September 08, 2008

My Weekend

Sneezed...about a thousand times


Kleenex....about a thousand used

dinner...burgers on the grill

grill...out of gas

Eyes...itchy and puffy

Zyrtec...not working sucked

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

What I Did on my Summer Vacation

Or a better title would be Where the Hell Did the Summer Go? Now I know that autumn is a few weeks away but I always equate the end of summer and beginning of fall to the school year. I return to school today although the students return tomorrow and my kindergartners come on Thursday. The summer just seemed to fly by and I think because it was super busy.
It actually started in May when Kevin graduated from college, a week later we had a party. Next we had a big graduation party for Cameron out in the back yard. The following weekend he graduated from high school. I celebrated my 50th birthday with a 4 day extravaganza. Next we moved Kevin to New York City where he started his new job. We went to the 1000 Islands for a few days and relaxed on the St. Lawrence River.

The following week we took Cameron to college for the first time. In between all that we redid our family room, I enjoyed my garden, adopted some toads, walked the dog and took care of my niece and nephew 2 times per week while my sister worked.

My nephew William and I had a summer long gin rummy tournament and the loser of said tournament had to provide a prize to the winner. Will is a good card player and I didn’t go easy on him.

Well until the end. The score went back and forth all summer but towards the end I eased off, let him get a few hundred points in the lead and never caught up. The final score was close; William 8,270 Me 8,175 I bought him a new deck of pirate cards and a big fossilized shark tooth. He loved them both. He gave me my prize anyway, a bottle of nail polish from the drugstore. I love this child.

I hope that your summer was as busy or relaxing as you wanted.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Hurricane vs Blizzard

Living in a part of the country that gets no hurricanes, tornadoes or earthquakes is great. We do get ice storms, snow storms and blizzards. Sometimes we will get remnants of hurricanes with wind and rain but it's not even a tropical storm at that point. Two years ago while camping up at the 1000 Islands we experienced what I called a torcano. People's tents were ripped up, our screen house levitated but didn't blow away. The wind and rain was frightening. Being in a tent camper didn't help.
While chatting with a friend who lives in Louisiana I said I could never live in an area with wind storms. I'll admit it, I'm afraid of wind. He replied he could never live any place where it had cold weather. I guess it comes down to what you're familiar with.
Now for some differences between hurricanes and blizzards.
Hurricanes: sustained winds of 74 miles and above. Can cover an area of 600 miles.
Blizzard: sustained winds of 35 mph for 3 hours with visibility of less than 1/4 of a mile. I don't know how big a blizzard can get but it may cover a 600 mile area.
Hurricanes: Rain, lots of it. Flooding, lots of it.
Blizzard: Can have snow falling with it but also no snow. Sometimes it just blows the snow around that's already on the ground. The streets can be clogged with snow as well as your driveway. Can have 10 foot and higher snow drifts.
Hurricane: storm surges.
Blizzard: no such thing.
Hurricane: Dirty water is ugly.
Blizzard: Snow can be beautiful.
Hurricane: People can be swept away and drown. Your house can be blown away. I will say this, during a hurricane it's usually warm.
Blizzard: You can't drown in snow and most of the time it won't sweep your house away. Maybe part of your roof. It's really cold and people can get frostbite or die from hypothermia. The wind chill can be -50 degrees.

Hurricane: after it's over you can sail a boat down your street but that's it or maybe this but I wouldn't recommend it.
Blizzard: After a blizzard you can go sledding, downhill and cross country skiing, snowshoeing make snow forts and have a snowball fight.

Hurricanes: are named and up until 1979 were women's names then it was decided men wanted a little of that action so now female/male names are alternated. There are 6 rotating lists of names. Some of them are really stupid names. Take Hurricane Hanna. Hanna doesn't sound threatening. Now Hurricane Helga, that sounds like that would be a bad one. Ike doesn't sound so nice either.

Blizzards: They don't get names but sometimes get called the Blizzard of what ever year it happens to be.

Hurricanes: Silly people fly into hurricanes. Stupid people try and surf.

Blizzards: We stay out of the sky and inside til it's over.

There are similarities such as in both you can lose your electricity but in a blizzard you'll be pretty cold without heat. Both damage trees and property. We get snow days, are there hurricane days? There must be.While I don't want to be in either a hurricane or a blizzard, if I had a choice, I'm going with the blizzard.