Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Italian biscotti to take on the plane. Beats peanuts. Posted by Hello

Biscotti to go

I have a tradition. When I go to Oklahoma, I take these biscotti on the plane with me to have as my snack. My friend Lola, who owns the Italian coffee shop, makes them from scratch. They don't have anything like this in Oklahoma! They are filled with pine nuts and dried cranberries and are really delicious. The fragment of one is testament to the fact that I couldn't get home with all three, but had to chip away at one tonight in the car. It took all my willpower to leave that bit, so don't laugh. Other people have their lucky rabbits foot, I have my lucky biscotti. Hopefully these will be lucky enough to see me out of Boston in time to make my connection tomorrow in Chicago. Traveling is so dicey these days. Especially since we have a fresh 5" of snow blowing around Boston today.

This is my last blog until I get to Oklahoma. I'm up with the birdies tomorrow and outta here as the crow flies. I found out today that my lovely niece has a computer at my mom's house, so I may even be able to write my blog from there, which would be wonderful--no more traveling to the local junior college for emails. I have my trunks packed and the kitchen sink fit just fine. I'm sure the curbside valet will be happy to see me.

Have a good day, and I will have a good trip. Promise.

George and I going off to work. Posted by Hello

Snow and traffic

The first time I visited Boston on a business trip 15 years ago, I asked the man who was taking me back to the airport if he would get off the highway and go through some downtown streets so I could see some historial sites and buildings. In a very adamant way, he said, "no, I can't pull off this highway or we would never get back to the airport." I was rather shocked at his reply. What he meant was that once you are in one traffic jam in Boston, you don't want to get out of that one because the one over there is worse.

George has visitors at his office and they asked him yesterday where a certain steak house in Brighton was. We were incredulous this morning as he told me that, that anyone in their right mind would go that far for steak: about 3 miles. It isn't the miles in Boston, it is the headaches involved with trying to go off the beaten path. Traffic snarls are so a part of our daily lives that we do anything to make things easier, and that involves not going to a lot of "off the beaten track" places. I haven't been to Brighton (a very crowded mostly college community) in 10 years!

No one can believe it this morning, but we are going to get another 6" to a foot of snow today. It is coming down right now, very light flakes, but looking like it isn't going to quit snowing ever. I am going to have to get to work anyway, and am planning on just pretending like it isn't snowing, and brush off my car and go. I have a lot of things on my to-do list for today to get ready for my trip tomorrow.

Oh please, Lord, let the airplanes go on time tomorrow. My flight is early, 8:35 a.m. Snow won't hold them down, but blowing snow will; visibility is the key. We will forge ahead today and hope for the best.

Say a little prayer to the snow gods for me ok?

Getting out the dogsled now.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

I'm sure this is a very nice house on the ocean in the summertime. This is Hull, a seaside community just south of Boston. Posted by Hello

Leaving on a jet plane

I guess you could say that I am pretty excited about going to Oklahoma on Thursday. Leaving all this snow behind is certainly going to be a good thing. I have no idea what will happen when we get another 4" which is forecast for tomorrow. People are still digging out their cars.

When I am in Oklahoma I do a lot of cooking for my mom, and since Wal-Mart has pretty much replaced every other store in that part of the country, I make a lot of trips out to the huge Wal-Mart superstore. Everything they buy, from groceries to underwear to lawn furniture, comes from Wal-Mart. It is too bad, but you can't seem to get away from it. Lots of people in that small town work at Wal-Mart too and they have a least two (very pleasant) elder citizens greeting at every door. The benches inside and outside the store are full of people sitting for a spell and happily visiting and catching up on the news. Wal-Mart is America's new main street.

The weather will be mild, in the 50s and 60s. I am still packing and unpacking, trying to not take too much as I change my mind about what I will need. Jeans, cardigans and pj's is about it, but you would think I was going to Europe on the Queen Mary the way I can pack. Too bad I can't take a steamer trunk, I would be in heaven! I would be the lady on the dock in the big hat, with three hat boxes, two steamer trunks and a couple of afghan hounds. It seems such a shame to leave something behind!

I made a nice breakfast for George (and me) this morning: scrambled eggs with cheese, When Pigs Fly whole wheat toast, turkey bacon and grape juice. He has "visitors" at work today which means a long involved day for him. We won't be hungry today!

Have a healthy happy day and enjoy the weather, whatever it may be. Yeehaw.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Heaven is a towel on a radiator. Posted by Hello

High walls of snow

I ventured out this morning. My car is now all shoveled out and snowless. Backing out was a bit tricky because there is only a car width opening in the snow to the street, but all that went fine. I went to the ATM as an excuse to be out, I really didn't need anything. The streets are shoveled flat and the roads are only wide enough for two cars to squeak by each other. The walks and side streets are like tunnels of varying widths. The sun is shining bright and folks are starting to venture forth. I didn't see any snowplows out, so I think the drivers are all back inside sleeping, after working 36 hours.

Frankly, I didn't see anything out there that I needed, so I came back in to knit, read, and surf the net. Maybe I'll join Thunder on the couch for a nap.

Take care.

Notice the windchimes buried in the back yard. Posted by Hello

Pats win!! Woohoo!!

Our front walk Posted by Hello

On our street Posted by Hello

Cambridge Posted by Hello

Boston Posted by Hello

Some snow!

I just looked at these pictures of Boston, Cambridge and Somerville, the city where I work near Boston. I'm home today because work was cancelled, and these pictures show why. I had a meeting scheduled in Cambridge at 4:30 today and it is cancelled because there would be no place to park and the walking would be treacherous. On TV they are showing homes on the coast that are encrusted with ice from the sea splash, and some people have several feet of ocean in their basements. Having a house on the coast is nice in the summer but they are really suffering now. Some people will lose their homes.

Things are almost too calm here. I am going to get my car out and drive it around some today to get the ice knocked off. It seems really strange to have another day off, and I don't remember ever having any boss call me to tell me to stay home tomorrow. That was a first.

In two days I leave for Oklahoma, where the weather is balmy. My suitcase is packed and I'm almost ready to walk out the door early Thursday morning. Packing is something I have to give a lot of thought to because I have a really bad habit of packing too much, and my suitcase gets so heavy I can't lift it. Never again! It is a New Year's resolution to travel light and laugh more. I have a little pin that I bought at a craft fair that says those exact same words. But I can't take it because I'm traveling light.

See you soon.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

One of Thunder's favorite places to sleep is lying against George's arm. Posted by Hello

Work cancelled tomorrow

My boss just called me at home, a rare occurance, and said that the office will be closed tomorrow. The Governor has declared an emergency here, and they have the National Guard out trying to help motorists and handle emergencies. There is a report of a fishing boat in trouble off the Cape. Parking anywhere in Boston and Cambridge is always tricky, and after this huge snowfall, it is going to be impossible. They are hoping that keeping the cars away will enable them to clear some of the streets. From the warmth of our home, it all seems rather surreal.

Right now, it is all about the Patriots. It is too dark to shovel, so George is safely ensconced on the couch waiting for the big game, nachos at the ready.

Go Pats!!!

Knitting inside Posted by Hello

Plows outside Posted by Hello

snow day = cooking

George has just left the house to make his way through waist high drifts to get to the snowblower in the garage. We decided that to try to shovel off the porches and get the snowblower out would be the first step before coming in to rest. Tackled one square yard at a time, we might be able to get out some day soon. The snow drifts are completely covering my car, which has a large aerodynamic-looking drift of snow on the hood like a ski racer's helmet. The snow is the back yard is the same height as the deck, which means over four feet high because of the drifts.

We are both a little stir-crazy already. I made chili for today so we can eat it while watching the football games, and I made this pecan streusal bundt cake. Unfrosted it looks pretty plain, but I will put a brown sugar pecan frosting on it later.

The kids are starting to venture out to sled on the dead end street in front of our house. There is a big mountain of snow for them to sled on and no school for the next two days at least. The temperature is 10 degrees and the wind gusts are over 40 mph.

George is back out there battling the elements right now after a long break for hot chocolate and a nap.

George at the end of the "driveway". Posted by Hello

As yet unfrosted pecan streusal bundt cake. Wish you were here. Posted by Hello

chili with hamburger, Italian sausage and bacon. Posted by Hello

Thunderball Posted by Hello

10 a.m. Posted by Hello

Snowed in

We are hunkered down and snowed in like millions of other people on the East Coast. They were right when they said that this storm packed a wallop. I'm sure we have at least 15" here, and more on the way. It is snowing heavily and they say it is going to continue all day. No point in shoveling. George is making cinnamon rolls and I am enjoying my Senseo coffee. Many churches are closed and if they aren't, they should be. Traveling is really dangerous.

I finished the long pink scarf while watching a favorite movie last night. It looks like a ballerina boa. I would love to wear it, but I'm afraid to, since it doesn't really look my age. Oh I hate that. I should wear whatever I want to wear! I love to think about just pulling out all the stops and let good taste be damned.

While I'm admitting things, I will say what movie we were watching. George and I have seen it several times, and it is our personal "cult" movie. That means we know it is a lousy movie, but we like it anyway. Jurassic Park III. There, the secret is out. The plane crash scene in the first part always gets us. Even though the plane goes into the trees, no one gets hurt, and then it falls hundreds of feet to the ground, and still no one gets hurt. They are chased and caught by dinosaurs and no one gets hurt. That's my kind of movie. No matter what happens, no one gets hurt! Yeah!

We are having a snow day! The paperboy will get a big tip because somehow he managed to get through with the Sunday Globe.

Be safe. Updates to follow.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Here comes the plow!. Posted by Hello

Snow plow behind the snow Posted by Hello

9:45 p.m Snowing like crazy - 5" so far.

Grocery hysterics

George and I just got back from a shopping trip to get a few things so we can make chili. What a horror show. The first store was so crowded, that once I got the cart into the back of the store, I saw they had people and carts lined up and were making one long line that would snake around to filter into the smaller lines. There were about 50 carts in line. The giveaway was that there were no empty shopping carts to be had outside the store---they were all inside filled to the brim!

The manager on the noisy intercom was saying "this is just like Disneyworld...line up in the back or take a number...." or something like that. He was trying to make light of the bad situation, but it was just confusion. I saw that I was not going to get into that long line for about five things...and tried to get out. The store was so crowded I had trouble getting my cart through the aisles. George said later that I freaked out. I don't think that is entirely true, but I did say something about the fact that if someone jokingly shouted "fire" we would have all died back there. It was just a mass grocery hysteria. I'd starve before I'd get into that long line!

We dropped off two cakes at church, made a small pot of coffee, and left a sign saying "cake and coffee for coffee hour". People can help themselves. We have made the decision not to even try to get there tomorrow.

All this and the first snowflake has yet to fall. I'm exhausted from the effort. But now we rest, make some chili, eat some chips, knit, play board games, watch movies and blog about the weather until Monday morning.

I, for one, am not going out there again!

Time to break out the Lopi Sweaters! Posted by Hello


Boston current conditions
Mostly Cloudy
-2° F
At Logan Airport
As of 7:55 AM

Blizzard on the way

Everyone here is talking about two things. The Patriots game on Sunday and a massive snow storm that is expected this afternoon. People are stocking up at the grocery stores and talking about 24" of snow expected. They added to that a forecast for 50 mile an hour wind gusts. Golly. Usually I am rather pesimistic about all these dire warnings, but I'm off to the grocery store right now to buy stuff to make chili. They say that because we are near the ocean, that the snow in the midwest will be increased by the moist air once it gets here. Who knows.

To add to our worries, George and I are coffee hosts at church tomorrow and that is exactly the time when the snow is supposed to have piled up in high drifts. Whether we can get out to church will depend on the snowplows. Our church is at the top of a hill, so that will have to be plowed too, or nobody goes nowhere. Today we are going to take the cake and set up the coffee and have it all ready there in case we don't make it but someone else does. One Sunday a few winters ago, only 8 people made it to a service when we usually have at least 150 people.

The Patriots play the Steelers in the playoffs tomorrow afternoon. The nachos are flying off the shelves. I'm going to watch too, and try to get some knitting done. My friend wants a pink scarf, so...I'm back to scarves one more time.

The weather is freezing cold and never got above 4 degrees yesterday. Hats were a must and I saw a lot of them, unusual for Boston. We had intended to visit a large outdoor outlet mall today but decided we would freeze our patooties off if we went there. Last night we went to dinner and almost froze from the door of the car to the door of the restaurant, and had to keep our coats on through most of dinner because of the cold air coming in through the cracks by the big windows. I decided right then and there that I am too old for this, and if it might be time to look for a vacation condo in Louisiana.

Time to start packing for Oklahoma. I leave on Thursday morning. Mom says it was so warm there yesterday they had the baby out sitting on the grass in the back yard. I know one big baby that would enjoy that too right now.

See you tomorrow with the big snow report. Eeeek.

Friday, January 21, 2005

I think Laura Bush looked wonderful yesterday. She certainly outshines her daughters. Posted by Hello

Blogging all over the place

My blog subjects lately have been all over the place. I am a bit scatter-brained I think right now. I am having a hard time not worrying about my friend Linda, who is in the late stages of cancer, and when I wake up in the night, I am usually musing about that. She is obviously on a lot of painkillers, etc., but still she finds the energy to say nice things, thank people for coming, express her enthusiasm for ice cream and dinners, etc. I feel like I am learning some kind of a lesson, but do not know what the lesson is yet.

This morning I departed from my routine and Dave and I went out for breakfast before work. It is his day off, so I was up and out of the house by 7 (early for me), and we went to a diner near my office and had scrambled eggs and bacon. It was fun and for once I'm not hungry. But, my blogging time is out of kilter. Breaking routine seems like a good thing to do. Keeps me on my toes. I often get into minor difficulties because of my interest in taking chances or doing something new. I will try a new way of knitting something, veer from a proven recipe, take a new street, or try to multi-task something...and sometimes I do not get good results. But...I do it anyway, all the time. I am very aware when I do this--take a chance. Maybe it is my small way of keeping things interesting. Routine isn't something I get very excited about.

I am very happy that you are reading along with me, and I will try to break the routine enough to keep this blog interestng. It is fun for me to figure out what is in my head when I write it. I just hope that you don't see that my head is really made of swiss cheese.

Have a great day everyone, and stay happy.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

I really like Pandas. Posted by Hello

Good News FLASH

BEIJING, China (Reuters) -- Endangered giant pandas have boosted their numbers in the wild by almost half in just a few years thanks to enlarged habitat and improved ecosystems, Xinhua news agency said on Thursday.

Call me starved for good news, or just call me a panda lover, but I was awfully happy to read this snippet today.

Ready to ride. Posted by Hello

Getting ready to get ready

The best news is that Michael had a good trip and that he is on the way home from California today. I rested a little easier last night knowing that he was fine and had enjoyed the whole experence. Not that I was worried at all, just....happy he is fine. The weather there was just about the same as Jamaica, warm and sunny in the high 70s. I don't even know what that feels like.

It has snowed about 3" and I am going to have to go shovel out this morning. Next week at this time I will be leaving to go to Oklahoma to visit my mother. My niece and her two children are now staying with mom for a little while. I'm a little nervous about having such a housefull. It will be an adventure.

I will be Godmother to my grand-niece Alyssa at her Christening while I'm there. I'm looking forward to spending some time with the baby and her brother, my little buddie Devin, a precocious four-year-old who is a very bright and fun-loving little boy. Mom says she wants me to take her shopping at Burlington Coat Factory for a new coat and she wants me to come to the senior center to play cards with her friends. I guess I'm senior enough to do that and it sounds like fun. I will be there for nine days. To blog or check my email, I have to go to the El Reno Jr. College there and use their computers. I will do that every day and will be happy to get out for a little while I think. I have to admit to a little trepidation, but I'm sure things will be fine. Small town Oklahoma is rather interesting actually--certainly a break from the routine. And they have the best hamburgers with fried onions in the world at a tiny place called Johnny's.

Oh well, time to log out. I'm off to the wild white yonder to brush snow and scrape the ice off my car.

Have a warm, sunny day, y'all.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Ebay is wonderful. I just found 7 more of these plates for sale for $50 and grabbed them. I like this pattern so much I feel like I want to buy every piece in the world. Well, I won't, but.... Posted by Hello

Posted by Hello