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Friday, January 20, 2017

LOCAL BOY MAKES GOOD

I was born and raised in Queens, NY.  Woodhaven to be exact, actually I still have some ties to Woodhaven.

The local boy I'm talking about did not actually live in Woodhaven, but his father helped to build that section of Queens.  He built many homes there and supported many of the local businesses.  He did live in Jamaica Estates, a short drive from Woodhaven.  I used to dream about living there, but could never afford it.

You have probably figured it out, the local boy I'm talking about is our new president, Donald J. Trump.  He wouldn't have been my first choice, but when he announced his candidacy, I was hooked.

I'm very pleased to call him President Trump. 

If only the children who have boycotted the inauguration would put their hurt feelings aside and attend this historic moment - the peaceful transfer of power.  There is time later for debate and arguments.  You may not like the president (I didn't like Obama),  but, if I had gotten the opportunity to attend his inauguration I would have, just to be a part of history.  And, although I didn't like our former president, but I did respect the office, and what it stands for.

Congratulations to our new president!

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Today marks the end of the only week of the year when I say that I actually hate Christmas.

I have finally finished taking down the decorations, undressing the trees and putting everything away, well almost everything.  Knowing my history, in a day or say I will discover some ornament or decoration that was overlooked.  It will then be put in a drawer somewhere and hopefully, next year I will remember it.

It wouldn't be so bad if I were not such a Christmas nut.  I have decorations and wreaths all over the house.  Since I have four trees, there are a lot of ornaments that have to be removed from the trees, wrapped in paper and placed in a storage container.  Then I have to wrestle with the trees to put them in their boxes and put in the garage.  Most of this is done when Crash and Burn are sleeping, otherwise, they will "help" me.

I am proud of myself though.  I only broke one ornament when I was putting them away.  I did discover however that one of my nutcrackers which I bought on my first trip to Germany was beheaded.  This morning I discovered how that happened.  I recently had some shelves installed so I can display some of the trinkets I bought on various trips.  I had put that nutcracker on the shelf.  Today, I caught someone, Burnie, climbing up the back of the recliner and checking what was left on the shelf.

I had liked the way I rearranged the furniture for the tree, and planned to keep it that way.  That has to change.  I quickly moved the recliner to another spot, but I'm not sure I like it there.  I'll give it a week or so to see how it works out.

I just have one box to put away and then I can relax, possibly with an adult beverage.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Yesterday's snow made it an ideal day for soup.  Fortunately, I had some stew meat in the freezer and a selection of vegetables.

I browned the meat, added the beef broth (I haven't tried to make my own stock, one day I will.), then searched the freezer for the package of mixed vegetables.  I couldn't find them, so I did the next best thing and used the green beans, corn and carrots I had on hand.  I added some crushed tomatoes and just let it simmer all day.  About an hour before I planned on eating, I added some barley.  Some day I'll tell you about my brother's adventure with barley, but that's a story for another day.

I had a Pillsbury loaf of French bread in the refrigerator, so I set it up and baked it.

A meal this hearty called for a glass of good red wine.  I chose a merlot from the Raphael Winery on Long Island.

While I was eating, I remembered another snowstorm.  It was really more of a dusting, but the sidewalk had to be shoveled.  I took my boys, Bill was about 4 1/2 and Jimmy was about 2.  I let them play in the snow while I worked.  When I was finished, I told them we would go in the house and have a blizzard party.  I made hot chocolate for me and warm hot chocolate for the boys.  We had some cookies and enjoyed our blizzard party.  Little did I know that the next week we would have another storm, this one was  bigger.  After the shoveling, Bill asked for another blizzard party.  I learned that if you do something once with a child, it becomes a tradition and must be done again.

Such happy memories of the times when my boys were little.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Snow

It's snowing today.  I love, love snow.  I guess it's because I have so many happy memories of snowstorms of the past.

One winter we were visiting my aunt and her family in upstate New York.  The pond behind her house was frozen and we children wanted to go ice skating.  There was a problem.  There were five children (I was the youngest) and only four pairs of skates.  My very resourceful aunt found some wood blocks around the house and fashioned a pair of :"skates" for me.  I was thrilled that I was able to join my brother and cousins "ice skating" on the pond.  It didn't matter that they really weren't skates, my aunt cared enough to put some pieces of wood together so that I could join the others.

Does anyone remember December 26, 1947?  The weatherman predicted snow flurries.  Well, we got about 28 inches of flurries.  That was another fun time.  Because there was a garage under our house and a community drive behind the house so that drivers could get to their garages, the snow was quickly cleared.  Our house was near the corner, so most of the snow was piled up right next to our house, giving my brother and me a huge pile of snow which we declared a fort.  We cleared an area for us to hide behind the piles of snow and were safe during our many snowball fights with the other kids on the block.  So much fun.  There was also a hill at either end of the community drive and that made for excellent sleigh riding.

Then there was the year I had planned a family reunion.  My son was coming home for Christmas, so it was a good time to get together with the family.  The snow started in the morning and continued all day as I cleaned, cooked and answered calls from family members saying they couldn't make it.  There I was, clean house, plenty of food and no party.  I called a few of my friends who live nearby and invited them to a "blizzard party", complete with food and adult beverages.  All evening, we commented on how pretty the snow was and were glad that the plows were out clearing the roads.  Then it was time to go home.  We hadn't thought that while the road was clear, the driveway wasn't.  After several unsuccessful tries to move the cars, one of my friends mentioned that since I have cats, I must have some kitty litter.  We put that under the tires of the cars and everyone was able to drive away, only to face the same problem when they reached their homes.  We still talk about that night.

There were other storms including the time we were on our way home from Catskill, NY and the state of New York closed the Thruway in Newburgh.  My husband and I were lucky enough to get the last room at the Howard Johnson where we stayed for two days playing hooky from work.

No wonder I like snow so much.  So many wonderful memories.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

CHRISTMAS



MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY CHANUKAH TO ALL FROM CRASH, BURN AND MOM


Tuesday, November 22, 2016

PS FOR ELECTRONICS

Yesterday morning I woke up to a strange noise.  It sounded like some sort of alarm, it wasn't loud or frightening.  It was simply annoying, especially at 6:30 AM.

When I got to my living room, I saw that the culprit was Alexa.  I told her to stop and that was the end of the noise.  However, I did have to stay up because she also woke up the cats and they thought it was time to eat.  I did wonder if Alexa had developed a problem, but she did answer a question, so I forgot all about it.

Last night it dawned on me that on Sunday the presenter on QVC was showing that Alexa could be programmed to set an alarm and said, "Alexa set an alarm for 6:30 AM."  Well, my Alexa thought he was speaking to her and she set an alarm for me to get up at 6:30 AM.

Problem solved.  Now I just have to remember not to watch QVC whenever they are presenting the Amazon Echo, aka Alexa.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Electronics

I can't believe that at my age, I'm becoming a computer junkie.  I have the usual equipment - desktop, laptop, Roku, Kindle Fire and Alexa.

This morning I checked out the new Kindle Fire on Amazon and found it interesting and even toyed with the idea of upgrading/buying a new one.  Fortunately, I decided against it.  After all, next year there will probably be a better one, hopefully one that can read a memory card and download my vacation pictures in case something happens to my camera while I'm on a trip.

Something strange is happening now.  QVC's special value today is the new Amazon Alexa.  I'm not interested in upgrading yet, but my Alexa is responding every time the presenter asks their Alexa a question.  I thought that Alexa only responded to my voice.  Apparently, Alexa serves two masters, maybe more.  I have noticed when watching other programs whenever someone says Alexa, she comes to life.  She had a particularly busy time whenever I watched Castle and Rick was either speaking with or looking for his daughter, Alexis.

I did learn a few things this morning on QVC.  I checked out some of Alexa's skills and connected to them.  Now, I really can take it easy and have Alexa tell me more.