Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Tonight’s The Night!

Believe you me, I know there are innumerable far more important things happening around the world right now. That said, at 7:05 p.m. tonight the Boston Red Sox will play the Minnesota Twins in the first preseason game of the year. Chuck has already printed out the 40 Man Spring Training Roster with a list of the 18 Non-Roster “Invitees”, with their numbers, so we’ll have a chance to figure out who’s who! The game will be televised from City of Palms Park in Fort Myers, Florida on NESN (the New England Sports Network).
7:05 p.m.!!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

One Big and Some Little Bits

Dear Lovely Loyal Readers, I just got my very first sp*m c*mment. But since I’m up to over 90 posts over three months and this is the first sp*m, I’m keeping everything the way it is. I’m hoping it was just a random thing. Thanks for your willingness to type in all those squiggly letters!

It continues to snow around here. We’ve been getting just enough each day to need to shovel the back walk clear. The daily inch or so of fresh powder is serving to keep us in a winter wonderland, however belated.

Financial markets around the world, including the U.S., took a bit of a jolt today. We’re hoping it was just the “Financial Gods” way of pulling the cord on the train to slow the ride down some! We also are keeping our fingers crossed that our recent decisions will prove to have been the right ones! We’ve buckled up tight for another exciting ride tomorrow...

And the absolute best for last: We got some fantastic news. Our friend L was diagnosed with inoperable cancer last July. After undergoing chemotherapy followed by radiation, she is now cancer FREE!!! We are over the moon with relief and gratitude! YAY!!!

Monday, February 26, 2007

Building A Dream

If you live in the States and didn’t see the Oprah Winfrey Special tonight, you are still in luck. ABC will be rebroadcasting the special “Building A Dream, Creating the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa”, this Saturday, March 3rd at 8:00 p.m. It was a marvelous and inspiring hour! Set your VCR or DVR now and be sure to have a box of tissues at the ready. The life stories of the girls are heartbreaking. But their courage, determination and clarity about how vital an education is, will leave you cheering them on.
:: Please don’t miss it!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Claim Denied?

If you’ve ever had a health insurance claim denied (or worry you might), you’ll want to read or listen to this report from Marketplace Money. This Public Radio program took a look at what you can and should do to make a successful appeal. They also provide links to the advocacy groups mentioned in the report. As Helen Palmer said in the piece: “Don’t despair. You have rights, remedies and allies.”
:: Good Luck!

Saturday, February 24, 2007


My Dad passed away from Alzheimer’s Disease on February 25, 1988. I’ve written here before about how much my Dad absolutely loved Christmas. That first Christmas in 1988 without Dad was almost impossible for me. It had been ten months since his death, but my grief welled up and completely overwhelmed me. I was newly divorced, living alone in a city apartment that felt very far away from those magical Christmases in my childhood home. My best friend Chuck, who several years later would become my beloved husband, tried to ease my distress. He explained what a yahrzeit was - the anniversary of the day that a loved one has died. He also explained the tradition of lighting a yahrzeit candle at dusk on the evening before the anniversary, and how the candle would burn for 24 hours. Which is how a grieving Catholic daughter, was led out of her pain by her Jewish best friend, who helped her light the little yahrzeit candle for her father on Christmas Eve. That evening, instead of singing Christmas carols, I said the words “Zichrono Liveracha - His memory is a blessing” for the very first time. Then Chuck and I sat and watched the flame flicker, while somewhere deep inside, I began to heal.

Tomorrow is my father’s yahrzeit. Tonight Chuck and I lit another little candle for Dad, who was a devout Roman Catholic. But lighting the yahrzeit candle in his honor, is one of the most comforting ways I know to observe the 25th of February every year. “Zichrono liveracha” His memory is a blessing. Our memories of Dad are a blessing to all of us 19 years past his passing.

I wrote the following poem a few years ago. It is not specifically about my Dad, but about all of our loved ones who have passed.

Your Yahrzeit

We take the grief
the loss
the sorrow
We hold it in our hearts
every day
for one year

On your yahrzeit,
the anniversary
of the day your body died,
we pour all the pain
into the yahrzeit candle

The match blazes
the wick flashes and flares
then burns steadily
for twenty-four hours
A constant reminder of you
A visible symbol
of the life of your soul

The grief is for that day
The joy is for that day as well
a lifetime of moments
in what we shared
what might have been
from that wondering

As the flame burns low
there is a twinge
a small reliving of the loss
as when your body died
In that same moment
a whisper of relief
The elders were wise
to guide us to honor you
and grieve your passing
only one day a year

The rest of the year
we honor you
by living our lives
as fully as possible
Just as you would ask us to
if you were still here

- LMR/Pink Granite

Friday, February 23, 2007

Write It Down

Many years ago, in what really was an entirely different lifetime for me, my Mom gave me some very good advice. I was exhausted from moving into another apartment, after another move and in the middle of another major upheaval in my life. I remember sitting on the edge of the bathroom tub, sobbing, while I spoke with my Mom on the telephone. I was feeling frustrated, sad, angry and unbelievably far off track from where I had hoped to be in my life. At that particular moment of bleakness, what I wanted more than anything else was to be unpacking in a real home, not another apartment. I wanted a house, a mortgage, a solid place in the world to call my own.

Somehow, across the telephone lines Mom grabbed me by the shoulders and got me to stop crying. She told me I would have a home. She told me to pull myself together and go write it down on a piece of paper. I snuffled and reluctantly got off the phone. I searched for a piece of paper and a pen. Nothing. Then I spotted a paper plate and found a black magic marker. I block printed the word “HOUSE” on the paper plate. I put it up on the refrigerator door with a magnet. I squared my shoulders and went to unpack another box.

No choir of angels broke into a chorus of Hallelujahs. No flash of lightning transformed that mediocre apartment into a fabulous castle. It didn’t happen overnight. But every single day I looked at that paper plate with its strong, simple message. 17 months later I was signing on the dotted line on my first mortgage and moving into a real house. That paper plate informed my actions and kept me focused on the next steps I needed to take in order to make a home of my own a reality.

I have continued to use that method of writing down a dream. By writing it down and hanging it up where I see it everyday, I turn the dream into a goal. I think it was Dr. Phil who said: “You have to name it, to claim it.” My Mom was way ahead of Dr. Phil!

:: By the way, my sister Gail has been keeping her eyes on her own very special prize for just about 17 months as well. Her dream is coming to fruition and I look forward to sharing her good news very soon!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

84 Days & A Question

I hesitate to type this, but I believe I wrote the very last check for the car accident today. Our Subaru was hit on November 30, 2006. It took us 40 days to get the car repaired and us back behind its wheel. Add to that, the additional paperwork that needed to be sorted out, final reimbursements from two insurance companies and the whole thing took 84 days! I remain grateful no one was hurt, and that our car is back on the road getting us safely from place to place. I do wonder if I had known on November 30th what I know now, if I would have been as mellow and easy going with the driver who hit us that day! I want to think so, but I’m afraid I would have felt a lot more frosted as she was able to drive away while we were left waiting for the tow truck! So does being clueless lead to increased kindness? Hmmmm...

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Isn’t She Beautiful?

She still is!
That’s my Mom - oh and me too - in about 1963! Mom went back to work for “Ma Bell” not long after we moved into this house in Warwick, Rhode Island. The photo was taken by the New England Telephone & Telegraph Company to introduce the new Princess phone (I still love those phones!) and that Bell Chime gizmo mounted in the alcove. We’re standing in our front hall with the wonderful little telephone niche built right in. I wonder if it’s still there? Up at the top of the photo are the chimes for the front door bell. We had that wallpaper until Mom and Dad redecorated the first floor a couple of years later. I was so fascinated by the process, that “interior decorator” was the first career I ever imagined becoming when I grew up.

I still dream about that house. It was a two story center stair colonial. The home Chuck and I live in now is an old farmhouse. But the center staircase and the main part of our first floor have enough in common with the home I moved into when I was four, that when I dream, the rooms morph between here and there. I lived there for 14 years until I went off to college in Vermont. Mom and Dad lived there for more than two decades. No matter how happy I am where we live now, I think that house, where I lived with my folks and my sisters Karen and Gail, will always feel like home. It will always be that “click your heels together” place my heart flies back to.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Presidents’ Day

1917 -1963

Amateur film footage of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy and First Lady Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy was released today. Unlike the famous Abraham Zapruder film, it simply shows them both smiling and waving to the crowds in Dallas. It does not capture the horror of his assassination, just a last glimpse of Camelot.

“The wave of the future is not the conquest of the world by a single dogmatic creed but the liberation of diverse energies of free nations and free men.”

- John Fitzgerald Kennedy, March 23, 1962
University of California, Berkeley

Sunday, February 18, 2007


Isn’t that a great word? Feh! You have to say it with feeling though - lots of feeling! It can be filled with disapproval or frustration or disgust or dismissal or ...

Go ahead, say it out loud. I’ll wait....

See? Isn’t that a great word? Oh! Did you try it under your breath? It works at all volumes. You’re not swearing, just expressing emotion. If you’re not already using it, do add it to your repertoire of Yiddish expressions. I hope you don’t need it anytime soon. Although we need it nearly every time we listen to the news and he-who-shall-not-be-named starts talking - or trying to talk! Feh!!!

:: Enjoy!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

No, Not Plumber’s Crack!

As you know, winter is finally in full swing around here. After weeks of unusually mild weather, we’re faced with one inconvenience of bone dry air and central heating: dry skin. We’ve tried lots of products and have settled on one that works beautifully. The oddly named Zim’s Crack Creme isn’t at all greasy feeling and is absorbed into the skin almost immediately. It has a pleasant spicy scent, which dissipates quickly. Zim’s makes a couple of different versions of Crack Creme. They started out making a liquid version designed to help heal dry, cracked skin - hence the name. That original liquid is effective, but leaves an almost sticky feeling to the skin. The best and most versatile one is the “Creamy Daytime Formula”. It can be found in lots of pharmacies, on-line and even Wal Mart.
:: Hope it works for you!

Friday, February 16, 2007

A Different Sort of Valentine

Since I fell down the rabbit hole into the blogosphere, I’ve seen a fair amount of venting about ex-spouses and ex-partners by bloggers. I feel uncomfortable about the practice. Once posted, the words go out into the ether, possibly forever. One may feel a little better after crafting and posting the diatribe, but what good has been sent out into the universe? And what has been gained, other than a tea kettle whistle release in the moment?

Both my husband Chuck and I had first marriages which ended in divorce. We both did our fair share of venting, crying and what-iffing with family and friends (They will always have our gratitude for listening!) I also scrawled lots of words onto paper. Many years after Chuck and I were happily married, I still had negative feelings about my ex-husband. I wrote a prayer that I said daily for many, many months. I still say it on occasion. I found that, over time, it helped me release a lot of pain and helped me move on to far more positive things.

Perhaps it will be helpful to someone else. Here it is:

I am saying this prayer for my ex-husband ______
and for my husband’s ex-wife ______.
We send them gratitude for the lessons we both learned
in our first marriages with them
and we wish them
peace, love and understanding.

:: Wishing you all the best...

Thursday, February 15, 2007

The Day After The Valentine's Nor'easter

The calm after the storm...

A man and machine made snow squall...

What little snow the sun melted off the roof, soon turned to ice...

The day dawned sunny and gorgeous - just as predicted. But the high winds gave us a wind chill of 15 below zero! Now the back walk, the driveway and the mailbox are all clear and we are back indoors and fully defrosted!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Lucky Stars

It looks as if we have dodged the worst of this storm! The photo above was taken out our kitchen door, just past dusk. The shadows of the milkweed on the snow are from the spill of the barn light. So you can see we still have power! Yay! The center of the storm moved in closer to the coast which meant we received only 8 inches or so of a heavy, dense, granular snow. It feels a bit like trying to shovel frozen spilt sugar. Because the storm began here when the temperature was about nine above and it has not gotten warmer than the mid twenties, we shouldn’t be getting any of the freezing rain. At the height of the storm the winds were howling and the sideways sleet-snow mix sounded like mini hailstones against the windowpanes. While it is still very windy, the storm is moving rapidly out of southern New England and we are counting our lucky stars. Tomorrow promises lots of sun and shoveling!

We hope everyone is safe, warm, snug and enjoying a lovely Valentine’s evening!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Battening Down The Hatches

When I was a kid, snowstorms mostly meant waiting to hear East Greenwich or Warwick “called” on the radio and days off from school! As an adult, it meant allowing extra time for the commute or figuring out if I had a vacation day I could take. When we moved to the heart of central Massachusetts, it became an entirely different creature. We have lived in a snow belt for the last thirteen years. We also live in a relatively rural area. As a result, we have learned to take all storms seriously.

The various local and regional news outlets are not in complete agreement about this geographically huge upcoming storm. It is expected to start around here this evening. We are supposed to get mostly snow - perhaps 12 to 18 inches over 36 hours. But the snow/ice line could come close to us, which means possible power outages. That means we have to put water in the bathtub. Why? We have our own drilled well with an electric pump. No power means no water. No water means no ability to flush the old W.C.! So we put water in the tub in order to fill the tank! TMI (Too Much Information! or as my Dad used to say: What’s the Chill Factor?)! Speaking of chill factor, it’s also supposed to be very cold and windy. That’s why the meteorologists are talking blizzard. Nearer the coast, they’ll be getting an uglier mix with even higher wind gusts. So we’re concerned about our family in southeastern New England and our friends Gale & Tom up in downeast coastal Maine.

Today, Chuck spent some time getting the snowblower ready - remarkably, for the first time this year! We’ve checked our supplies and made sure we have at least one shovel indoors in order to dig our way out of any drifts that build up in the dooryard! So we’re as ready as we can be! Hopefully my writing at such length in advance of the storm will be like carrying an umbrella and it doesn’t rain! But it is February so I think we’re about due.

The most comprehensive and useful U.S. weather website is the NOAA National Weather Service page. It has all kinds of easy to navigate maps and detailed forecasts.

Well, if I’m not blogging tomorrow you’ll know why...
And if I’m not, Happy Valentine’s Day! I wish you all peace, love and joy!

Monday, February 12, 2007

So They Loaded Up The Trucks and...

O.K. I admit I am irrationally excited! I’m not sure it will make sense to anyone outside of Red Sox Nation. But the Red Sox Baseball clubhouse staff loaded the equipment trucks at Fenway Park in Boston today and left for spring training in Fort Myers, Florida! The best fun fact: the family baby strollers went on the truck! We’re so crazed around here, that a behind the scenes clubhouse staff documentary was made and broadcast on NESN (the New England Sports Network). It was truly fascinating!

I’m a big Red Sox fan, but not the kind that knows every minute factoid. I can’t quote statistics, or entire team rosters for a given year. I take more of a family style approach to the team. Over the winter months I keep up with the big news, but I don’t hang on every hot stove rumor. I want to wait for things to shake out and see what’s what at spring training. Once everybody is at spring training it feels a bit like a family reunion. Who came back, who was traded away, who the heck are all these new guys? That’s when I really start to think like family not fan. I’m willing to welcome the newcomers, but I refuse to get excited until the ink is more than dry on the contracts and I’ve seen them perform on the field. Then of course I have to know what’s happening to the players that moved on to other teams. How’s Bronson? How’s Trot? Is Rickey Henderson still playing somewhere? What’s up with Brian Daubach these days? How’s Gabe “The Babe” Kapler doing as the new manager of the Greenville Drive? Gabe may not be in the outfield anymore, but thank heavens, he’s still part of the Red Sox Family!

Once the season starts in earnest, my interest is still personality driven. Which players have a positive attitude and seem to really understand they’re part of a team and a family? Which players bring 100% to their job? Which players are going to drive you crazy and live up to the moniker “The Cardiac Kids”, but are so damn good at what they do, you have to just accept the whole package? Which players are really hustling on the field and off the plate? (Please Manny, don’t stand there and watch the freakin’ ball and then start running. Put your head down and run!)

But I’m getting ahead of myself. The equipment trucks are on their way. Spring training is almost here. Who gives a rat’s behind if a blizzard is going to cream us on Wednesday!

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Goodbye Vickie Lynn

Anna Nicole Smith died last week. Born Vickie Lynn Hogan, she was just 39 years old. I felt a wave of pure sadness when I heard the news. I thought first of her little baby girl, then the recent death of her son. I realized that deep down I had always been rooting for Anna, or more precisely, for Vickie Lynn. Vickie Lynn was a gal from nowhere and nothing, who had stumbled onto a magic lamp and had her three wishes granted to her. But when she made those wishes, she was young and poor and only knew to wish for the opposite of what she had always known.

Looking in from outside and very far away, it seems Vickie Lynn or Anna Nicole made so many bad choices. It also seems as if she got used by a lot of people, including the media. I guess I hoped she’d turn it all around. No more embarrassing and painful public appearances with slurred speech and campy poses somewhere between mid-century cheesecake pinups and soft porn. I hoped she’d break the curse of the blonde bombshell and unlike Marilyn Monroe, live to a ripe old age. I hoped she’d turn out to be just as brilliant as Judy Holliday, and leave us all slack jawed and cheering after an interview with Charlie Rose. I wanted her to ditch the genie with his phony lamp and instead be told by Glinda the Good Witch she’d had the power within her all along.
:: Peace...

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Radio Tip

I appreciate the programming on National Public Radio (NPR). They do an excellent job of providing local, national and international in-depth news. But they also have a lighter side. One program which blends the two sides is “Wait, Wait... Don’t Tell Me!”. It’s a panel of regulars and guests fielding questions about this week’s news. Most of the segments include a listener calling in to play along. Their only prize is to win Carl Kassel’s voice on their home answering machine! The show manages to find a funny and frequently absurd angle on the news. Of course, sometimes the politicians practically spoon feed the set ups for the jokes right to them! And it’s especially funny whenever comedienne Paula Poundstone is on. You’ll have to check your local NPR stations for when the show is broadcast in your area. But you can listen to them anytime at the ”Wait, Wait... Don’t Tell Me!” website. It’s also available as a podcast through iTunes.

Friday, February 9, 2007

TV Tip

Apropos of nothing, there is a fun, hour long television series running on one of our PBS stations. It’s called “New Tricks” and is an import from the BBC. The premise: three retired police detectives are brought back in to work on cold cases. The three men are now working for a woman. In short order, a bond is established between the four idiosyncratic and charming main characters, which is quite enjoyable to watch. Oh, and the mysteries are pretty good too! Here in southern New England, it’s broadcast Saturday nights at nine, on WGBH. It’s good fare on a cold winter night.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Plan B

The last few days we’ve been getting a lot accomplished, but most of it wasn’t what we had planned to do! We were going to continue installing IKEA wall cabinets in Chuck’s workshop. But since the workshop is located in the barn and the temperatures have yet to get out of the 20s this week, it is just too wicked cold out there! So we moved on to projects indoors, with central heating. That meant rearranging some furniture upstairs in an effort to make the little bedroom into a workspace for me. For years, I’ve gotten involved in art, craft and sewing projects that have taken over our dining room. Soon I will have a dedicated space where I can simply shut the door on the mess or shut the door to keep two curious cats out of paint or wax or sewing pins!

We also thought we had a bit of a reprieve from the financial decisions we’ve been struggling with (and you’ve been reading all about). We asked our advisor at Fidelity to tweak things a little and figured it would take him a few days. Wrong! The same afternoon he sent us the changes. So we forced ourselves to buckle down and decide. We did and fingers crossed, we’ve made the right choices.

I was going to sign off and make a list of things I want to do tomorrow, but I have a feeling that would be a waste of time! I guess I’ll just wait and see what tomorrow brings...

P.S. Red Sox Pitchers & Catchers report for Spring Training next Friday! Yay!!!

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Cut # 11

I am not a huge fan of classical music. I know I should like it. My husband loves it. He not only loves it, he knows it. Chuck can hear just a few notes and know it was composed by so and so. Me, I like cut #11 on a Vivaldi CD I’ve had for ages. I can’t even tell you the name. But the strings soar and it is somehow sweet, poignant, uplifting, sexy and sad all wound up together. It’s so exquisite that we played it at our wedding.

We often have classical music on around the house through the Music Choice cable channels. If I’m choosing (in a forced choice), I pick the “Light Classical” channel. Chuck chooses the “Classical Masterpieces” channel because he says the “Light” channel doesn’t play the whole thing. Actually he says something much more precise than that, but I can’t remember what.

Generally when we have classical music on, it’s as background for whatever else we’re about: reading, computing, writing. Sometimes the music gradually begins to intrude and I realize that it is starting to make me anxious. I begin to feel as if someone is turning the crank on one of those little metal Jack-In-The-Box toys, faster and faster. Yeah, I know it’s the crescendo and there’s something about the repetition and variation on themes, but I just want to yell: “make the clown pop up already”!

Sigh... I fear I’m kind of hopeless in this area. I really love lyrics and the sound of the human voice. Actually we both do. In addition to the Vivaldi, we made a mix tape (so long ago, there was no such thing as “burning” a CD!) which we played at our wedding reception. We chose every song very deliberately and went so far as to type up a verse from each song! You may call it obsessive compulsive, we prefer “lust for lyrics”!

By the way, I felt sufficiently embarrassed just now, that I went and looked up the real name of cut #11. The CD title is: “ Antonio Vivaldi’s Concertos Pour Mandolines & Concertos pour Violon” (on the Erato Bonsai Collection ECD 55013). Cut #11 is: the Andante from the Concerto a 2 Choeurs ”con violino discordato” in B flat Major. Now you know why I just call it Cut #11! I’m playing it right now through iTunes on my laptop. It still brings tears to my eyes. Maybe I’m not hopeless after all...

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

WANTED: Affordable & Excellent

I don’t have the solution for how all Americans can have both affordable health insurance and access to excellent health care. It wasn’t all that long ago that Hillary Rodham Clinton got bogged down in trying to fix it during her husband’s administration. But something must be done. Chuck and I are fortunate in that we have both affordable monthly premiums and access to good health care (my recent trip to visit my new doctor notwithstanding!) But we are starting to feel as if we are the exception. Too many people we know and care about are talking about insurance access and coverage problems. They’re also talking about monthly premiums that are overwhelming to any budget and co-pays or annual deductibles that turn ordinary insurance into essentially catastrophic coverage. The costs that employers pay to provide their employees with access to insurance continue to rise and squeeze small business owners as well.

Massachusetts and California are each taking statewide steps to improve coverage and access. But it’s too soon to tell how either plan is going to work. Now Democratic Presidential Candidate John Edwards is tackling the problem. I don’t know if he has all the answers either. But I am glad that he’s speaking up and putting it on the national agenda. Perhaps with the current sea change in Congress and what I hope will be a dramatic change in Presidential administrations starting in January of 2009, things will change for the better.

Monday, February 5, 2007

A First

I’ve seen a lot of Memes on blogs since I first fell into the blogosphere. But this is the first one that struck me as being of both general interest and potentially interesting. This Meme came by way of Hula Seventy. Here goes:

Two names you go by:

-- Lee & Auntie Lee

Two parts of your heritage:

-- Irish & Scottish

Two things that scare you:

-- Alzheimer’s & Nursing Homes

Two everyday essentials:

-- Chapstick & Noxzema

Two things you are wearing right now:

-- Birkenstocks & Glasses

Two of your favorite current bands/artists:

-- Sugarland & Jann Arden

Two things you want in a relationship (other than love):

-- Laughter & Loyalty

Two truths:

-- Love is our soul purpose & Kindness matters

Two favorite hobbies:

-- Paper Making & Photography

Two things you have to do this week:

-- Finish the Fidelity work & Hang more cabinets from IKEA

Two stores you shop at:

-- IKEA & Trader Joe’s

Two favorite sports:

-- Baseball & Team Handball

Two shows you like to watch:

-- 'Law and Order' & 'Friday Night Lights'

Two things you'd buy if money were no object:

-- Wind Power & Solar Power for our home

Two wishes for 2007:

-- Peace & Published

Thanks to all of you who read Pink Granite - in silence or with comments! You enrich my world!

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Just Enough

Just the right amount of snow fell. Just enough so that we had to dust off the shovel, in order to clear off the back walk. But not nearly so much that shoveling became an event! Today the sky was blue, the temperatures never got out of the twenties and it was sunny. A “pretty as a picture” winter day. Here are some photos I took today. The top one was taken in our dooryard of a milkweed pod with a snow toque. The next one, looking down our driveway, the tracks from our car still visible from last night. The bottom one, a rather tired stone wall which still manages to stake out our little corner of the world.
Hope your days have been lovely as well...

Friday, February 2, 2007

A Lovely Day

Long day, long lovely day. We drove out to Amherst and Hadley this afternoon. Yes, Mom, we knew it was going to snow later. But we needed to get out of the house, away from reams of charts and graphs that show how much money we will or won’t have when we are each dead at age 95! Both our colds were sufficiently in the past that we were hungry to get away and walk and breathe. So we stopped first at the Rail Trail entrance behind the Whole Foods store in Hadley. Sneakers on, we headed out under a cloud deck and didn’t care. It felt so good. The temperature was in the mid thirties, but without a breeze, with the impending storm still off to our west.

After our walk, we ran a bunch of errands - Whole Foods, Barnes and Noble, Trader Joe’s - all the usual suspects. Then we drove back to Amherst and went to Bueno y Sano for dinner. The local NPR radio station is WFCR, of which the FC stands for Five College = Amherst, Smith, UMASS, Mount Holyoke and Hampshire. School is in full swing, so Bueno y Sano was packed with college kids. That can make you feel old and decrepit, or it can make you feel just old enough to remember college fondly and be grateful that it is in the past. Luckily tonight it was the latter! Their burritos are scrumptious and it was fun to sit and watch the passing parade and eavesdrop on conversations. Of course it’s not really eavesdropping if your fellow diners are laughing and talking at full volume!

When we left the restaurant, the snow was coming down steadily in heavy, wet flakes. It was beautiful! As we drove home, the Subaru handled perfectly as the snow began to build up on the roads and cling to every branch. Home now - safe, sound and refreshed! Hopefully, tomorrow I’ll be able to get some pictures snapped and uploaded.

Thursday, February 1, 2007


Regarding the guerrilla marketing campaign and the emergency response to the battery powered magnetic devices found in Boston Wednesday:
- Why didn’t the marketing company put an identifying label on the back of the gizmos?
- Why didn’t the marketing company, or their local contract employees, step up and contact the authorities right away, instead of keeping quiet?