Category Archives: MY LIFE AND WELCOME TO IT

Happy Holidays!

Back in November I ordered my Holiday Postage Stamps from the US Postal Service. Since they never arrived, I made several trips to the local post office in hopes of purchasing some holiday stamps there. Each time, they were all sold out. Yesterday, I mailed all of my holiday greetings using  plain old run of the mill everyday stamps

And wouldn’t you know it …CristStamps.jpg

Charlie Brown and the holiday snowflakes arrived in the mail today! So I guess I’m ahead of the game for next year.

“As restless as a willow in a wind storm …” or THE SECOND DAY OF SPRING




Today was lunch day with the guys from the High School Class of ’57. We get together every other month at the original Pasta House in University City and compare aches, pains, naps, golf games, vacations and the weather. Yes, you’re right, it’s the old farts lunch day. Thankfully, we went to an all boys high school that unfortunately closed down ten years after we graduated. The last time we heard the building was being used to house fallen felons. Our graduating class consisted of 120 guys, and 13 guys showed up for today’s lunch. Hey, that’s more than 10%! Naturally, a lot of guys have moved out of the city.  And unfortunately, way too many have passed on.

Hey, we have a good time. Today, we all decided that we would like to go back to 1957 … but only if we could go back knowing what we know today.



And on the subject of spring birds … I saw a huge crow on my way home after lunch.CROW

Oh, yeah, spring might end tomorrow. We’re heading back to the frigid zone tomorrow with snow by Sunday. Crows are ill omens you know.



Also, I’m tired of dressing up like Ralphie’s little brother Randy everytime I want to go outside.


Also, I walked through Forest Park this Saturday Afternoon and all I saw was ice floes on all the streams!ICE FLOES IN THE PARK

It’s time to send all the groundhogs back to Canada with all the Biebers!



For the past week or so, I really haven’t been in the mood for cooking. Blame it on seasonal malaise, winter doldrums or even a somewhat boring Olympics. Anyway, for the most part I’ve been dining on canned soups, leftovers stored in the freezer, sandwiches (egg, tuna and ham salad) and on two occasions when I was out and passed a Subway Shop, a made to order sub sandwich. But today, I was in the mood for really food that would stick to my ribs. OK, so that Polar Vortex is heading back our way and I wanted something that would leave me with some leftovers to get me through any potential freeze-ins!

Meatloaf is always good for that, and I decided to be really energetic and create entirely new meatloaf recipe.DSC09155

I call it my RUSTIC CHEESEBURGER MEATLOAF … it is a specially spiced meatloaf that is topped with grated cheese and a special tomato sauce. After tonight’s dinner, which was served with Parmesan Crusted Pasta Shells and a Garden Veggie Mix, I’ll have enough leftovers for five or six more dinners.DSC09156

My dessert was Mardi Gras inspired, too.DSC09150

And after dinner I actually went back and watched the closing ceremonies of the Winter Olympics.  And I take back what I said earlier about boring. I have no idea how they animated those giant stuffed animals at the end.2014-winter-olympic-games-closing-20140223-181818-978And when the when the bear blew out the Olympic flame

and a tear rolled out of his eye …Bearand down his cheek …

Ok, I’ll admit it! My eyes were a little dewy, too!


This is the thermometer that has been sitting on my kitchen table for over 25 years. It was given to my mother by one of her grandchildren, and by the grace of many angels it has never been knocked off the table and shattered on the kitchen floor.DSC09072

And if you’ll remember, this was a photo I posted yesterday.

DSC09133Unlike the thermometer, the icicle has continued grown and today it is twice as long as it was in this photo.  That’s between four and five feet. Please don’t walk under my icicles.




While Mlle. Renee and I slept in this morning, someone had to go and wake the poor groundhog from his winter slumbers so he could see his shadow. Though I don’t know how he could see his shadow on a sunless day like today. So now we can expect our current weather patterns to stick around for all of February and half of March. But then, that’s what the weather wizards had been predicting anyway. Did you know that the groundhog is really a woodchuck? And if a woodchuck could a woodchuck would have preferred to  sleep-in chucking wood like Mlle. Renee and I did this morning. Anyway, we’ll be sleeping in a lot this week with two more winter storms moving in on us … first Tuesday and then Friday and Saturday.  Brrrr humbug, I say, very brrrr!


Since we did have a dusting of snow over night, I decided to use my SNOWFLAKE MUG this morning. Though it was almost afternoon before Renee and I got out of bed.  And the mug was filled with Van Houtte Chocolat Belge Café or Belgischer Schokoladenkaffe (since they speak both French and German in Belgium) and just a touch of light cream. (Actually very light since it was 2% milk.) It was a very hearty brunch beverage though I should have eaten Belgian Waffles withe strawberry syrup instead of whole wheat toast and strawberry jam.

TODAY’S ORIGAMI PROJECT: Well, I was going to try to fold an origami groundhog, but the closest I could come was his close rodent cousin the flying squirrel. GHDUnfortunately, the final product  looks like a groundhog that walked in front of a speeding semi on Route 66 or an extra in a Road Runner cartoon. Enough already, Mlle. Renee says it’s time for her nap.  So Happy Groundhog Day to all … Despite his dire prediction.


There’s Something Spooky Going On Around Here!

DSC07707At the family birthday celebration last month, I was given a HAPPY BIRTHDAY balloon which I brought home and positioned to hover above my desk and computer.   And for the last month or so it has just been hanging in there and slowly wasting away to deflation.

EXCEPT FOR THIS MORNING! When I sat down at my desk, I looked up and noticed that it was gone. 

Then from the corner of my eye I noticed movement in the corner of the room.DSC08101

The balloon had moved over next to the window.

A little while later, I heard a noise behind me and I turned just in time to see the balloon slowly move out of the room.DSC08102

It’s next stop was in front of the bay windows in the dining room .DSC08103

A little bit later, it moved into the far corner of the room.DSC08100

Sometime later, I noticed that it had moved to the front corner of the living room.DSC08104

An hour later it had moved to the other corner of the room.DSC08110

That was about two hours ago.  Right now, I’m afraid to go see where it is now.

I just looked! It moved behind the love seat where I normally sit in the evening to watch TV or read.

I don’t think I’ll be sitting there this evening!

PLEASE NOTE: The occurences detailed in this post can be scientifically explained by atmospheric variations, air flow, human and animal movements through the house, temperature changes and the fact that the resident of the house ate a fully stuffed Chicago style hot dog with three kinds of hot peppers for lunch. He also drank a bottle of Belgian style hard cider while eating it. We’re quite sure that the fact that today is Halloween played no part in the illusions that the resident of the house claims to have witnessed.

Quoth the balloon, “Nevermore!”DSC08112




MY CALENDAR FOR SUNDAY/DAY 209– July 28, 2013: Mlle. Renee got me up much too early this morning. At 6:10 to be exact, and she wanted to play outside. Unfortunately, it was about 53F outside and I was just wearing my sleeping shorts. (Oh, fuzz, I just revealed one of those personal does he or doesn’t he questions.) Anyway, Renee is a very smart dog , and she can always tell when I’m going to be going away from the house for the afternoon. I don’t know why, but she does.  So, I managed to coax her back into the house with  treats of doggie trail mix. Then she nibbled up her trail mix as I jumped back in bed … followed by her jumping in and using my legs as her pillow. She immediately dozed off, while I kept staring at the clock while mentally computing that if I fell asleep in the next three minutes, I’d be able to catch at least an hour and 35 minutes sleep before the alarm went off.  An hour and 30 minutes … an hour and 20 minutes … and hour … 40 minutes … and then the alarm went off!  BLAST IT ALL!

As I mentioned yesterday, no origami for this weekend, and I posted all available puzzles yesterday.  Besides, today was my niece’s birthday and I was going to a party with sunny skies, cool summer breezes and fun and games.



For my trips to the local stupidmarkets, my shopping list is usually bland and uneventful … just the larder-filling basics. But Saturday I ran into several in-store sales I just could not resist.

DSCF0389Single serve sizes of pistachios and several varieties of roasted peanuts … Fitz’s Diet Cream Soda and Root Beer! I think I have enough to get  me through treat nights for the rest of the summer!


Alas, as me good friend Robbie Burns once said,

The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men
Gang aft agley,
An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain,
For promis’d joy!

Or maybe it was said by another famous author Rob Byrnes in some New York drinking establishment. Either way, my 30 Days Of Creativity project was nearly ripped to shreds this afternoon by turbulent breezes blowing from the south. The theme for today was LANTERN, and I had folded a string of multi-colored origami paper lanterns to hang along the mighty cedar trees in my yard. I got them strung among the trees, but while I was getting my camera from the house something or someone ripped them from the trees.

I blame the wind, but it could also have been Herkle and Jerkle a pair of vile and vicious grackles who are making my backyard a living hell for Mlle. Renee and myself for the second year in a row.

 Herkle & Jerkle Grackle Apparently, they don’t understand the basic concept of nest construction. For two years in a row they have built their somewhat flimsy nest at the top of 20-foot tall red cedar tree. Cedar trees do not have thick sturdy branches, and last year and this year their nest and flightless hatchling has been blown out of the tree to the ground below during spring storms.  Storms!!! They were tornadoes over most of the area.

 MEAN MOMMA Now, Herkle Grackle is One Mean Momma and she and her wimpy husband were determined to keep me and Renee out of the yard by dive bombing us whenever we set foot in the yard. I eventually wait until after the sun set one evening and I went into the yard with a flashlight and a shovel and located the half eaten fledgling. Once the corpse was gone, they left the area.

Anyway, I managed to save four of the little lanterns which I photographed indoors. And I’m quite sure Mr. and Mrs. Grackle once starred in an avian film by Alfred Hitchcock.


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