Monthly Archives: February 2011

And Stanley is His Name-O

He’s back and he’s chewing away in the crawl space. I don’t get it. For 3 days there was no sound of a squirrel and now he’s all over the place again. Could he be getting in and out? I don’t think so. Shouldn’t he be dead already — no water, no food? I think so! Every time I look out in the yard I see a squirrel sitting on the deck staring at my house. I don’t like this one bit. I keep stomping and banging on the floor, hoping he’ll run off and find himself in a trap eating White Rose creamy peanut butter. It’s not working. He just quiets down for a few minutes and then starts chewing away again. Stanley, please, I don’t want you to die! I want you set free. Picking up another trap today.

Just received a notice that Verizon is raising its rates soon. Called about the rates — totally confused. And my valued customer discount of 20 dollars a month is expiring in April. Guess paying your bill on time for 2 years doesn’t make you a valued customer. She told me to call back in April when it expires to see if I can get another discount but regardless of that my bill will be going up ten dollars. She was very nice and wanted to keep my business. (Did I mention the Cablevision word?) Called back a few minutes later for another reason and was given different information about the rates but this woman wasn’t interested in keeping my business, even when I did mention the C word. We didn’t click. Think it’s time to call Cablevision and hear them out.

Ordered Drew a coat online today and if it fits we will be twins. How cute. Oh, right, Drew’s new coat — well, it has already been returned. Drew was just falling in love with it when the zipper snapped and, poof, no more love. There’s nothing in the stores so I called Land’s End and found last year’s style. Why last year’s? Because when I read a review someone mentioned that the zipper was no longer 2 way. Not acceptable and apparently I am not the only one who thinks that. People have been complaining and they are changing back. Anyway, found the coat I wanted and managed to get free shipping. If it doesn’t fit I can return it to Sear’s. Nothing to lose.

Dinner tonight more leftovers and okra.

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Filed under Long Island Living, Squirrel Trouble

Happy Smiley Family Face

Picked up the girls at LGA last night. They spent three days eating three meals a day and lounging by the pool with Grandma and Grandpa in Florida. They looked relaxed, tan, and a bit pudgy. For some reason Grandma Jenny thinks that if you aren’t eating meat (my hannah, the vegetarian) then you should eat an extra serving of pasta! I don’t think the girls are used to eating three full meals a day plus fruit, cookies, and whatever additional snacks offered.

We drove them to the city. It was a good time to have a chat. “You and Grandpa have the same smile when family is together,” says my ever observant hannah to her smiley dad. “What? What do you mean? Do  you know what she’s talking about?” he says to me. “Yup, exactly. It’s that happy smiley face you have on when everyone is together,” I respond. Giggles from the back seat.

Three very happy smiley family faces!!!

We took Hannah home first. She was going to Jessica’s on the UWS and we were going to take her there. “I’ll be quick, just a half hour,” she says when we drop her off. We went to Rachel’s apartment and waited for Hannah’s phone call. An hour and a half later I call Hannah, “What’s happening? Are you ready?”Oh, no rush, I’m getting ready. Take your time with whatever you’re doing,” she responds. Take our time? Oh, she means, take our time waiting for Hannah to get ready.

Upon Josh’s arrival (he has a key!) we decided it was time to leave. After all, they haven’t seen each other in 2 weeks. They don’t need us sitting on the couch waiting. But it wasn’t until Rachel turned to Josh and squealed, “You look like a pumpkin and you smell,” that we actually stood up to leave. If you ask me Rachel was practicing Annoying Love (see Feb. 9th post) on Josh. Hey, it works for us!

I notice that when Drew is on a diet, I lose weight. When he goes off his diet, I gain weight. What I won’t tell you is all the piggy things we’ve been eating these past few weeks. I am a pudge and I dare not step on a scale this week! So this morning I said to Drew, “What do you want for breakfast?” The usual choices are eggs or cottage cheese and veggies. But before he could answer I said, “How ’bout pancakes?” I really didn’t mean it. I was joking but when I saw the loving look on his face I knew it was trouble. “Pancakes? Okay,” he answered immediately. Damn, trouble ahead. Do I even have pancake mix? I didn’t have blueberries but I did have bananas. “Check the cupboard, maybe there is some Bisquick I can use,” I tell him. He jumped out of his chair, made a mad dash to the kitchen cupboard, grabbed the expired Bisquick, put it on the counter and hugged me while giggling madly.” I love you so much.”  Wow, the power of pancakes.

Okay, so I make the pancakes and serve them with real maple syrup. Let’s see, that’s 2 cups Bisquick, 1 cup milk, and 2 eggs — and thinly sliced bananas. I know this recipe quite well, and here’s why: Drew and I were plowing thru the stack and, at some point, I started thinking these pancakes were awful dense. I got up, checked the recipe on the Bisquick box and I was right — they were way too dense because I forgot to add the eggs. Had to make a second pot of coffee to wash them down. I can’t believe I wasted a piggy breakfast splurge and screwed up.  Already I’m thinking that I have to be prepared for the next time . . . I’ll need to start stocking organic blueberries and pancake mix.

Tomorrow: Shopping with Drew and what happened to his new winter coat. (Keep your audience wanting more.)

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Filed under Family, Real life

This Old House

The leak over the front door is getting worse. I just yesterday realized why my screen door wasn’t closing properly. Thought it was a shoddy door but, no, it’s from the leak. The frame is expanding in parts and pushing the door open. Pulled down some of the trim and water came pouring down. Don’t think that’s a good sign. There is a breeze coming in from my over-the-stove fan. I think the vent is stuck half open. That too is not a good sign but probably easy to solve. The attic is a mess and needs to be cleaned up and the insulation needs to be repaired, replaced, or added — depends.

And, of course, there is the squirrel. Been quiet today, maybe that’s because the sun isn’t out. It’s probably a resting day. Did I name him yet? I don’t remember but I should. And I will — tomorrow. Three traps and he doesn’t appear to be interested in any of them. Do you think he found the water leak and is happily sipping drips of water every day?

Today was a day of going through Rachel’s drawers. Lots of My Little Ponies, Yellow Submarine figures, pictures, so much stuff. And I get to decide what goes and what stays. I could really use help here. Somebody, Anybody . . . .heeelp! I’m in her room going through all her stuff — might find a diary or two — while she is in Florida basking in the sun with Grandma Jenny and Grandpa Eli. Hannah is there too but she did not know the ways of the Florida sun so she is hiding in the shade.

And now that I’m not getting any Border’s coupons I’m back at Starbucks buying my pound of coffee. I get a free tall coffee with every pound because I’m a gold card holder. Their coffee just doesn’t do it for me anymore. I used to look forward to a nice strong steamy cappuccino. Not anymore. Alway disappointed. A while back I bought a cappuccino in the city and it was so tasteless I threw it out. Would have returned it but we were in a rush to see a play. I think the quality is going down. Maybe I’m just too used to strong coffee because when I drink a cappuccino it seems weak, even when I order it dry. Is it the quality of the coffee? Are they skimping on the measurements for a shot? I’ll order tea next time I go in for a pound of coffee. I mean, really, what could they possibly do to a cup of tea?????

Dinner: Leftovers probably.

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Filed under Everyday Woman, Home Improvement, Long Island Living, Squirrel Trouble

My Kitchen Sink

view from the front entrance

Still love my sink after all these years. I know I’ve given myself a 300 word limit a day but I really really don’t feel like writing right now. Tired.

Finished cutting, chopping, and mincing. Cooked up a couple of Indian dishes for dinner and now I get to sit by the front door and wait for my drew. It gets lonely at the door but tonight I get an added treat. Pam is coming in for the night. She’ll probably get here before drew — all the way from Mexico. I feel pretty lucky — I’m guaranteed a visit when they (one or both — Pam and Jan) come into town because the Jetta that once belonged to Rachel now belongs to them and it is sitting in front of my  house. I know it’s sad but at least I know I get to see them even if it is a quickie.

Tomorrow we get to eat an early breakfast and then go off in different directions. My guess is I won’t see Pam again til it is time for her to head back home to Mexico. I’m okay with it . .  I take what I can get. Probably should have checked to see if there is gas in the car. Already dug up the EZ Pass and put it by the keys.

My squirrel was very noisy today. I have 3 traps all over the place. I don’t know why he isn’t finding any of them. Maybe I really do have to cook for him. Anybody know of a good squirrel cookbook? Going to wash and soak my basmati rice and sit in the back room and read a book — The Glass Cell by Patricia Highsmith.

Dinner is ground turkey curry and peas, palak paneer, and basmati rice. Saving the okra for another day.

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Filed under Everyday Woman, Family, Food, Home Improvement, Long Island Living, Squirrel Trouble

What does my KitchenAid refrigerator and my mystery squirrel have in common?

I would like to rid both of them from my house! Yes, it’s true. I’ve had this refrigerator for probably around 4 years. Some of you have listened to me complain over the years and some of you haven’t — all together now:

I love my kitchen. I love my nice white farm sink. I love the way it looks when I walk in my house — especially when the counters are clear. I love everything about it EXCEPT my KitchenAid refrigerator. I thought I did my research. I went to P.C. Richard & Son and looked at all the refrigerators. (P.C. Richard — now don’t get me started!) I looked online.I l glanced through magazines. I can’t remember if Artie recommended KitchenAid but I made sure he knows to never (and I really don’t like to say never) recommend KitchenAid again. The model I bought was the KBLS22ETSS. Looks nice from the outside but open it up and it is a chilling box of horrors!

Since this isn’t about P.C. Richard & Son I won’t bother mentioning the dent they made when delivering. I probably should have returned it and walked away but instead I let them take some money off of the purchase. I really didn’t want them coming back in my house again. Oops, mentioned it!

What I noticed almost immediately is the poor design. Let’s discuss —

Wasted space — the control panel and the water filter take up so much space that I have to drop the shelves in order to fit anything tall. Do I really need this control panel in my face every time I open the fridge. Well, I guess so. This way I can see that I have to set the temp higher than the what’s recommended. (Right now it’s set to 42 degrees.)When I set it to 38 degrees I end up with frozen cucumbers, lettuce, and whatever else I store in my veggie bin. I shouldn’t complain because the bin is so small I really don’t lose much. I put most of my produce in the bin of my small older fridge that’s in my garage — small on the outside but more room on the inside. And that drawer on the bottom — who thought of that — even less room now for the shelves. (And who here likes frozen cheese?) Everything is squished, not just the fruits and veggies.

Did I mention that for the first year, while it was under warranty, the water dispenser kept freezing. They must have sent a repair person every month. They put ugly black insulation tape all over the shelves. Nothing worked and it was a total mess. One repair company gave up and KitchenAid had to send a different one. Near the end of the year they tried to sell me an extended warranty so I can continue this nightmare! I finally spoke to someone in customer service who said enough is enough, you’ve (me) been patient and it’s time to replace the refrigerator but since we have already scheduled a repair let’s wait til it’s done. So what do you think happened? I called back the day after the repairman left, the water was once again frozen, and the person answering the phone said, “We’ll have to schedule an .……” “AHHHHHHH, no way,” I screamed. Luckily I wrote down the name of the person who said she would have the fridge replaced. They found her and it was (replaced.) So the water doesn’t freeze but the veggies do.

And why am i ranting now — because I went to make my darling hub drew his fresh salad for lunch and everything was frozen. UNACCEPTABLE!

Somebody please explain the following statements made on the KitchenAid website: FreshChill™ Temperature Management System regulates temperatures to keep ingredients in optimum storage conditions and FreshSeal™ humidity-controlled crispers help retain humidity for optimum storage of fresh fruits and vegetables. Is optimum storage code for frozen?

KitchenAid Refrigerators –Look But Don’t Buy

I’m actually looking into donating the fridge to charity and buying something that has a fridge that doesn’t freeze my veggies.

I’m done for now. Oh, and the squirrel — quiet today!

Dinner leftovers and bok choy.


Filed under Home Improvement, Long Island Living, Squirrel Trouble

One Fine Day

Quiet day today. Rachel’s here but not. Picked up Hannah from the LIRR station. She’s catching up on some episodes of House. It’s been hard on her since she had to give up the dvr at her apartment. Hannah and her roomies were getting a deal on the box but that’s done with and now so is the box. There’s a good chance that Hannah is napping on the couch right now. I’ll be able to tell when a commercial is on. If she’s awake she’ll fast forward . . . oops, what timing — fast forward and wide awake.

The girlies are off to Florida tomorrow to visit Grandma Jenny and Grandpa Eli. A real treat for all of them! I think they’ll all have fun.

Took a ride with Mady to Zimmerman’s in Lindenhurst and found a great dining room table. I wasn’t looking but Mady was. She wants a couch — a comfortable couch, maybe some chairs to go with the couch. I was pretty surprised that she/we found 2 couches that were both comfortable and stylish. Of course there’s the picking of material, the arms and pillows, and then there’s David. Very stressful, but it’s all just in the beginning stages. I happen to glance over my shoulder at one point and caught sight of this great distressed pine dining room table. My table is 44 inches wide. I think it’s too wide. .., the sales girl recommended 36 inches but I think I might go for 38 or 40. Such decisions. I want that table.

And on top of all this stress, I’ve been calling Ronnie to paint the outside of my house and his answering machine is full and I can’t leave a message. I need to talk to him and get on that list. He must have a list of customers lining up to get their houses painted. Besides, I also need him to help me pick a color. I’ve suddenly changed my mine from whatever it was I chose the other day. Now I’m going for Benjamin Moore new london burgundy (HC-61). It’s a bit dark so maybe I can go a shade lighter.

Dinner tonight sushi with the girls and daddy drew.

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Filed under Family, Home Improvement, Long Island Living

My stud-hub, the fashionista!

As promised:

From running through the house with his cute plastic blue shovel to munching on sweet organic blueberries in the kitchen, Drew is super stylish, happy, and snuggly in his crispy new winter coat. It’s so warm he doesn’t even have to zip it up. Let it snow. Let it snow. Let it snow!

A real drew treat!

I think he made a good choice. Don’t you?

Rachel’s flight is delayed. I’m not surprised — if she doesn’t make it home for dinner tonight, there will be leftovers. Not even sure if she is planning on coming home for food but a mommy has to cover all bases. (There’s something about Delta that screams DELAY.)

I’m a little distracted right now. I’ve been tracking Rachel’s flight and I get different information from each site (Delta, flightview, JFK.) I’m going to go with 16 minutes til landing on flightview. I’m guessing that she is on this flight. It seems the logical choice. Plenty of time to drive to the airport but, yet, not too late to arrive home even with delays.

Just stuck my finger in the acorn squash I baked up for dinner and it is definitely lacking in flavor. I miss my farm shares but I didn’t renew this season. Too much waste. Too many potatoes one week, not enough greens another. Need to find a good local greenmarket when the spring rolls around. Don’t know why we can’t get all those delicious fruits and veggie that you can buy at every farm stand out east. Love those strawberries — red and juicy all the way through. Not like the ones we get around here — white and dry in the middle.

Baking up some acorn squash with apples & cinnamon and roasting up a batch of broccoli with garlic and olive oil. Plan on serving it with sautéed tilapia fillets with lime.

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Filed under Empty nesting, Food, Long Island Living, Travel

Underwear Supply Running Low

Guess I’ll spend President’s Day catching up on laundry. Drew will be home so he can be on squirrel patrol and follow me into the laundry room with a bat or a few peanuts — his choice.

We did our super president’s weekend sale shopping today. Went to Macy’s with a 15% coupon looking for a winter coat for Drew. No luck. Next stop Sears. That was my choice because they sell Land’s End coats. Unfortunately, at this late date there is not much on the rack. But we did have success at Burlington Coat Factory. Keeping the tags on for now. Snow in forecast tomorrow. Maybe a picture of Drew in his new coat in tomorrow’s post.

Went to the library, took out a few movies. Watched The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest. Has anyone seen the movies and not read the books? I think it would be so hard to follow.

Also took out WordPress for Dummies. Still trying to figure out what to do with this site. Should I actually be writing something other people would want to read? And how do I get them to find me? Is it the goal of the blogger to attract millions of readers? I am getting closer to that goal — from zero to twelve (well, that might be pushing it.) At least I am writing, if only for myself.

I like to compare it to taking pictures. If I take 100 pictures of an event and I get one great one, it is all worthwhile. So, maybe if I write every day, after a few years I will look back and find a few great posts. Seems a bit pointless. Eh, me just blabbing.

Went to Tiny Thai in Farmingdale for dinner tonight. It’s the second time I went there and was not impressed. Anyone know of a good Thai restaurant?

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Filed under Empty nesting, Long Island Living

Wake me up at 10:03, please

You mean 10:02, don’t you?” I say to my dear rachel. “No, I go by the last number,” she replies. “That’s wrong, just plain wrong. You’re suppose to take the sum of all the numbers,” I say, hoping she sees the light.

I found out a while ago — her obsession with the number 3. I was surprised but I guess it’s a family thing. You see, Rachel is a 3 and I am a 9. When I open my eyes in the morning and want to jump out of bed, I make sure to wait til the numbers add up to 9. (i.e. 7:02, 8:55.) Our house address is 1836. My birth date adds up to 9. If there is an important decision to be made and it can be translated into numbers in any way, it will be, and the outcome will hinge on the sum of all numbers. I’d like to say that our wedding date added up to 9 but it doesn’t. We left that to my dad. We told him to check out the numbers and pick a good date and he did. It worked just fine.

Rachel works around the number 3. Not sure how, looks to me like it is only the last number that’s important. Wonder if she realizes that her street address and apartment number add up to 3? And 3 is just a part or me, isn’t it?

Hey, isn’t there a movie that just opened called I Am Number Four? Let’s see, that’s 2 people x 2 movies ticket @ 11 dollars a piece = 22=4. Go figure!

The other day I bought a thick mattress topper for our hard-as-cement mattress. Finally a good night’s sleep. The first thing I did when this mattress was delivered — many many years ago — was sit on it. Almost cracked my tush in two! Well, maybe that’s not the best way to describe it. Anyway, I couldn’t believe how hard it was. It was actually an exchange. First we purchased a foam mattress from Sleepy’s after Drew’s thorough research of what is good for his back. Sleeping on foam for me is like wearing a polyester suit. I was sweating buckets. And I didn’t like the way it molded to my body. Couldn’t move.

Sleepy’s will exchange your mattress under their 60 Night Comfort Exchange Guarantee.   *Conditions Apply

We exchanged it “for a small fee.” The bed I wanted was a bit cheaper than the one we returned but that wasn’t allowed. I guess that was one of the conditions — pay more. I don’t know what happened but we ended up with this mound of cement in our bedroom. Ouch! We put a memory foam under a mattress topper. The mattress topper didn’t hold up well and I ended up returning it to Bed, Bath, and Beyond. So we started sleeping on the memory foam and I’ve been sweating every night. This new topper is thicker and more money than the last one. Hope it lasts. If not, I’ve saved the receipt. I’ve been meaning to do this for a while. Finally had the time the day my computer was in the shop.

I have laundry piling up now. I guess I should have made a few washes before I picked up my computer. Problem is it’s taken me a few days to actually go back into the laundry room where the squirrel was spotted running the rafters. No problem, I have plenty of clean underwear.

Totally squirmy over this squirrel! I feel like at any moment it will come tumbling throught the ceiling and fall on my head. Very noisy today. Hope there are no large crevices in Rachel’s room for it to get through. I’ve been banging on the dining room ceiling with my swiffer trying to get the squirrel to run back to the other side of the house where the peanut butter and Ritz crackers are gently placed in the Have A Heart traps.

Dinner Masala Wok with friends.

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Filed under Long Island Living, Squirrel Trouble

I’m Back

Picked up my computer today. Went to Apple with a list and they returned it a few days later saying that they could not duplicate any of my problems. Still have the list. They did give me a new and improved power cord and just in the nick of time because the power went out in the Apple store just as he handed me the cord. No lights, no internet, no service. I left behind a crowd of bewildered Apple users.

But some good did come out of all this. Let’s see — Tuesday I dropped my computer off and went straight to the gym. I’ve been to the gym twice this week. I’m getting things done. Priced shed and bought one. Seriously looking to paint the outside of my house, looking at colors, and called Ronnie to paint. Met Carol for dinner, read a few books, and even vacuumed. I know, your thinking — all this she couldn’t do with a functioning laptop? Sad, but true.

The squirrel is still around. Quiet today, noisy yesterday. Spent a bit of yesterday with my ear to the dining room wall listening to the squirrel. At one point I heard him scurrying in the dining room ceiling. A bit nervous, I ran up to Rachel’s room to see if he was in there but, no, he’s still in the bones of the house. Picked up a third trap from Angelika. She also recommended crackers — Ritz crackers. Maybe Trader Joe crackers aren’t tasty enough. Anyway, when I picked up the trap, she gave me a baggy of Ritz crackers. The traps are set!

Let’s all join hands and send some positive energy to the squirrel. Let’s direct him to the peanut butter. Eyes closed , breathe deep, Ommmm, let him know this is the way out. This is the only way out. It’s a good thing . . . into the trap, pleeeeeaase!!!!!!

Happy Valentine's Day from the girls

Dinner tonight: Sushi and if all goes as planned, Rachel will be joining us.

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Filed under Empty nesting, Long Island Living, Real life