Friday, November 28, 2008


A lot of prep goes into making a masterpiece like this, you know! Kathleen and Madeline worked hard with the Pampered Chef Apple Peeler Corer Slicer at my sister's house yesterday morning. :)
I didn't take any pictures of my table, but Madeline did, so here is one from her perspective. I kinda' like it! We all fit in there with elbow room and everything. It worked out well.
My sister insisted that the girls pose with their pies...
...and of course without.
They also put on a performance of duets which was quite good! Talk about childhood flashbacks! We even sang a little bit wih my sister playing the guitar. Just like old times! The only difference is, we were harmonizing with our KIDS instead of our other sisters. Dang, life is crazy.
I hope you all had a wonderful day!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Preparations and Memories

I'm enjoying the  cranking of the Ipod tunes, the cleaning, baking, and setting the table while listening to Dar Williams and whoever else decides to croon from the JBL dock in the living room.  I just brought Kathleen and Madeline back over to Madeline's house, and I'm missing their cute little laughing selves....but at the same time, enjoying the roll-baking, cranberry-bread-making, and discovering where my linens ended up after the move.

The pumpkin bread is next!  It smells darn good in here.  I actually made my own chicken stock last night for my stuffing tomorrow.  OMG.  I think I'm turning into a hausfrau!  Hee!   I'm looking forward to celebrating our first holiday in the new house, and just thought I'd pop in and blog about it.  I know.  I'm lame.  

But wait! Here's something to pull at your heartstrings, so you don't go away bored.  Yesterday, while emptying more boxes of books and whatnot, I came across a box from my mother's house.  It had all of her books about birth order, astrology, and self-hypnosis (see?  I come by it naturally!) and lo and behold I came across this manilla envelope labeled "hair."  That's it--just "hair."  So I look inside, and there is my little sister's soft blond braid.  Oy vey.  (She was killed in a car crash in 1987--she was 20.)  I think it was from her last haircut from when she was in Bolivia her senior year in high school.  At any rate, I had to have a little crying break, and think about my mother, and what an unbelievable grief she must have felt at the loss of her youngest child.  I believe I can't even begin to imagine it.  It got me thinking about just how fleeting life is, and that we just can't take anything or anyone for granted.  

I was actually reminded again of my sister this morning when Kathleen and Madeline were playing duets on their flute and clarinet.  Margaret and I used to play on my flute, her on her clarinet.  And I realize once again that life goes on.  It doesn't wait for us.  It's just one big never-ending story that sometimes comes full circle, isn't it?  It's good.  Life is hard.  But it's good, too.  

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you.  Thanks for stopping by my little corner of the world, and sharing your time with me.  I'll never take you for granted!  :)

Monday, November 24, 2008

Window Shopping

Lily and Loo, Hudson, NY
Yesterday was my friend Kelly's birthday, and our plan was to head to Coxsackie to our friend Donna's little shop (The Tin Angel) in the back room of Heartland Realty (open every Sunday for the rest of Nov. and Dec.), and then head south to Kingston to check out Home Goods and some other fun shopping spots. Instead, because Kelly wasn't feeling well, we hit Donna's shop, but then headed home to work on a craft project (which I'll tell you about later).

So....when I got home, I did a little internet window shopping at one of my favorite stores in Hudson, NY, called Lili and Loo. This store is chock full of unique accessories and home furnishings, jewelry, and glassware. You never know what you're going to find there. The woman who designed the shop did a wonderful job, and really has an eye for display. I especially like the fact that most all of the pictures of her items on the website were taken in situ, instead of just blandly on a white background. I encourage you to go check it out. I'm especially taken withe the porcupine quills, and as soon as I figure out what I'd do with them, they're coming home with me! :) Aren't they cool?
Ok, the craft project was pretty hilarious. I wish I had taken pictures of what we accomplished, but you'd probably bust a gut laughing, just like I did. They ended up looking like a third grade craft project gone wrong. Terribly wrong. lol. The idea was to make rock candy topiaries with styrofoam cones, royal icing, and rock candy crystals. went ok....I mean, I slathered my royal icing on my cone, and then proceeded to press small rock candy crystals onto the icing. It looked pretty good--until I put it down, and gravity started to take over. The icing wasn't hardening up quickly enough, and everything sort of started to slump toward the bottom. Then when I was trying to put the larger crystals in and about the cone (because they were sparkly!), they kept falling off because of their size. Hey, it was a good idea gone awry, is all I'm sayin'. They came out OK, and if my friend Jennifer uses them on her mantel this year (heaven forbid), I'll take a pic, and y'all can have your laugh.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Dream State

Have you ever had a dream about someone in your life who has died? You know--where they sort of show up and interact with you? I have, and most times, my conscious mind will butt in and think to itself "Hey, you're supposed to be dead! What are you doing here?" I wake up from those dreams and view them as "visits" from my family and friends who have passed. (Go ahead--roll your eyes.)

The other night, though, I had a dream about someone who was once in my life who is still alive! It wasn't just a regular dream, either. It felt like one of those dead-person-visit dreams, in that I haven't seen this person for years, and we haven't communicated with each other in a very long time. His appearance had changed somewhat, but the demeanor was there, and the way he used to make me feel when he looked at me was still there. (NO, it wasn't a dirty dream!) I've had dreams about this person before, but never one that felt almost like a psychic outreach--like this person was reaching into my brain and talking to me. OMG I sound like a psycho, don't I?

I'm sure this dream could be analyzed in any number of ways, and I'm sure you'll all tell me that I have unresolved issues. And yeah, I get that. I'm just wondering if any of you have had this sort of dream as well? It was peaceful...sort of a silent visit between old friends.

On another note entirely, have y'all ever dyed your own hair? I'm a convert to ION from Sally's Beauty Supply. This stuff is AWESOME. It's plastered all over my head at this moment, in fact. It doesn't stink, it doesn't sting, and it leaves my hair silky and shiny. The best part is that you buy it in bulk, sort of. I bought a tube of the color, and a bottle of the activator, and I think I got four or five colorings out of it. I'm now working on my second tube of coloring, with the same bottle of activator. I used to spend about $11/month on L'Oreal hair color, and now I think it averages out to about $4/month, with a much more natural looking result. (And let me tell ya'...I am GRAY beyond my years, people!)

Sorry about the random weirdness of this post. Sometimes my brain just has a cramp, and I have to uncramp it. Forgive me!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Naked House

This picture was taken in June of this year, I think. See the tree right at the edge of my front step? It was actually SCREWED into the steps, and if it had gotten any bigger, was going to be a problem. Also, there was a tree right behind that one, on the corner of the house, which was hitting the corner of the roof, and smushing the flashing, etc.
So...I called my good friend Dwight, who is a master of the chainsaw, and had him cut down those two trees, as well as two in the rock wall garden (at the corner of the garage), and two more brushy-looking-uglies in the front yard. What a day! Below is the back of his truck before we had filled it up. We filled up his, AND BF's truck with wood, and brought it to my friend Pat's house (Dwight's in-laws) for firewood.
Dwight said, "Hey, this is a win-win! They get firewood, and you get your trees chopped down!" --to which I replied: "Yeah, and you're the only one NOT winning, Dwight! All I can offer for payment is sexual favors!" Hee! Poor Dwight...he's known me for years...he can handle it. I'm so bad. I did tell him I could think of worse ways to spend a Sunday morning than watching a handsome stud chop down my trees with a chainsaw. Hellloooo!

Naked house. *sigh* It looks weird now! I can see some serious gardening in my future now, though, since there aren't any trees filling things in out front. Oh, and the garage will DEFINITELY need to be painted in the spring now. Without the trees hiding it, it's U.G.L.Y.

So when we went to Pat's, we had to check out her neighboring cows and llamas...

...and of course Kathleen had to talk to Gus and the donkeys. Those donkeys are SO sociable!

So since last I wrote, I read "The Amateur Marriage" by Ann Tyler (I LOVE her writing), I saw my niece Madeline in her Princess and the Pea school play, which was really quite delightful, I turned down a job for a guy who wanted to pay me $1500 less than what I had estimated the job to cost (helloo...I don't work for free), welcomed BF home after a week in Tennessee, visited my best friend's mother in the hospital, where she has just been weaned from a ventilator after almost three weeks post-op (scary), and was relieved at the news that my father came through HIS carotid artery surgery with flying colors. It's been a stressful couple of weeks, and today I top it off with what would have been my mother's 69th birthday. Happy Birthday, Mom, wherever you may be!

Monday, November 10, 2008

All County Junior Band

There's Kathleen...smack dab in the middle of this the peach top, playing her clarinet.  

I want to know who said pride is a dealdly sin?  Because I don't see what's so deadly about thinking your kid is awesome and that when she works hard and practices diligently, that she then gets rewarded for her reward being, of course, her mother's pride in her accomplishments.   Tell me what's wrong with that, will ya'?  :)

They really sounded great!  This was eight and ninth graders from I think seven school districts.  Kathleen was one of three eighth graders chosen to go from her school.  Yay!

Oh well...I just spent a half hour trying to upload a little video so you could hear them, but it wasn't successful.  *sigh*  I have stuff to do!  I'll try again later.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Laura Marling

I discovered Laura Marling right after I discovered Amazon's new way to shop.  It's , and it's a fun way to check out Amazon's bestsellers in a new format.  Check it out!  You never know what you may find!  I'm really liking this Laura Marling--she reminds me a little bit of Regina Spektor...and I LURRVE her!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

I've Been Remiss

As I'm reading through the blogs of my bloggy friends, I'm realizing that many of you are at least mentioning the election.  I tend to get all caught up in my own head and forget to put that "stuff" out there for y'all to read.  I like to keep it fairly light here at Serendipity.  Hell, I like to keep things fairly light in my "real" life, too, although often that is easier said than done.

 I hate to get political, because I respect the fact that many of us have differing opinions.  In fact, that realization practically slapped me in the face when I was talking to my ex husband the other night on the phone--talk about polar opposites politically!  (I had to cut that conversation short before I started  I'm also aware that some of my regular readers have very different views from my own.  And I'm OK with that!  (((I love you guys!)))

All I'd like to say here today is that for the first time in many years, I walked out of that voting booth (with Kathleen at my side) with a smile on my face, knowing that change was afoot--no matter WHICH way the cookie crumbled.  I was proud to be an American--free to vote for my choice of leader.

Congratulations, Barack Obama.  I hope you can lead this country the way we are all praying you can.  (And heck, I'm not even the prayin' kind! LOL!)  It's a new era, people.  Let's embrace it--together!

Yard Man

This is an early morning sun-on-the-trees over the frosty field picture.   Again, you'll need to click it to get the full effect.  Have I mentioned lately that I love it here? *sigh* 
Oops...I'm sorry...did you click through my title thinking you were going to see my "yard man" BF  doing yard work?  Ha!  No such luck!  But he DID buy us this awesome riding mower for the yard!  See all those leaves?  They're all over my yard, too!  And I've already ridden all over the yard and mowed 'em up!  I am SO pleased!  Mowing the lawn took about half the time, and was TWICE as much fun with my Yard Man!  :)  Kathleen wants to do it--but I may have to hoard this thing all for myself.  After all, it was ME who spent two hours clearing a spot for it in the garage the other day.  I deserve the reward, right?  :)

Sunday, November 02, 2008


Yeah, she's mine.  I admit it.  I gave birth to that wacko.  Hey, at least I didn't have to sew some stupid dress this year!  Her father sent her his high school football jersey, and she pieced together the rest.  She and her friends all wanted to go as boys.  Funny.

I think the poses are the most hilarious part!
My friend Sandra had us over for dinner...look at that festive table!  (I should be so motivated!)  Emily even made us all little pumpkin place cards with our names on 'em!

That's Emily's brother with the pigtails.  I laughed out loud.  He makes a cute little girl!
And then there was Madeline...still innocent and good...went as a bag of leaves.   She was originally going to go as a pile of leaves, and had an epiphany about the bag.  It's a real leaf bag and everything!  It even said so on the front.  Cute!
Trick or Treat!
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