Oct 23, 2012

Bess Fyman 2/21/21 - 10/22/12

Yesterday, one of the greatest love stories I know ended with the passing of my grandmother, Bess Fyman.

 February 21, 1942 - Mr & Mrs

She was one of the luckiest women I know because she had the good sense and good fortune to marry my grandfather over 70 years ago. He thought that she was the smartest and most beautiful woman and he treated her as such, always putting her first.  We will all miss her very much.

Oct 22, 2012

Softball Weekends

Another fall weekend dominated by softball. What is there to say about watching my kid play softball that I haven't said before?  They played. We cheered. They lost.  It's a young, new, team and I have hope for the future.


Beyond all that, this weekend was homecoming and DQ had all kinds of plans this year. Really, dinner with this group, then going to the dance with another group, and finally, going to see The Rock Horror Picture Show with still another group. I'm so glad that she can keep it all straight because just thinking about it is exhausting to me.

Of course while I adore being a part of my kids activities, my thoughts were in another place this weekend.  I was thinking of Rhinebeck and yet another year that I didn't go. So sad that the closest I came was stopping at the table for the Culinary Institute of America at a huge college fair last night.  Because going to college fairs is exactly what I want to do on a Sunday night.  Right?  And there on the display were pictures of the lovely plaza at the CIA that I've walked through many times while enjoying the gorgeous view of the Hudson River and the fall foliage.

Oct 19, 2012

ECF - Fuzzy Little Chick Edition

Oh yeah, there were lots of animals at the pumpkin patch last weekend too.  My favorites were the baby chicks. So cute!


Oct 18, 2012

Really, Truly, Amazingly, Back

I've been trying to get back to knitting for the longest time.  I tried picking up WIPs. I tried to start new projects.  I looked at countless patterns.  I bought more yarn. None of it worked.


Then I saw a cute pattern being tested in a group on Ravelry and I signed up.  The pattern is Dyning by YarnMadness and the yarn is some Elann Lara from my stash.  It had a reasonable but tight deadline which forced me to keep at it and before I knew it the cute little top was done and I was moving on to the next thing. And the next.  And the next.


The finished top is very cute.  It isn't fancy but it's just right for my girl. Most importantly,it was a pretty easy knit and it's the first thing that I finished in a long time. The weather really isn't quite right for Miss M to wear it right now but something tells me that she'll like it.


So, is the dry spell really over?  Well, since I finished it on October 1 I've knit another sweater from start to finish and another that was a long term WIP is nearly finished too.  I may cast on yet another thing tomorrow.  A toy maybe.

Oct 16, 2012

Ten on Tuesday - 10 Favorite Mystery Books

Ten favorite mystery books!  Only ten? I read mysteries all the time.  It's my favorite genre... which is ironic since I've been wanting to tell you all about a really good book I just read and it isn't a mystery at all. It isn't even fiction.

It's called "The Destiny of the Republic" by Candice Millard and it's about James Garfield.  Never in a million years would I have thought I'd read a book about him, or enjoy it so much, but there it is. I suspect that I'm like many of you when I say that prior to reading this book all I knew about Garfield is that he was our president and he was assassinated.  What I learned was that there's so much more to know. This was a president who should've left such a lasting mark on our country and yet, all that most of us know is how he died. You should really check this book out.


But back to the subject at hand.  Mysteries! I read many stand alone books but I read a lot of series.  I tend to enjoy the development of characters over time.  I like to see how they change over time.  Each time a new one comes out its like watching Law & Order with a visiting friend.  You catch up a little and enjoy a really good story.

  1. Sue Grafton's Alphabet series - I stopped reading them years ago because I was afraid to finish the series.  I didn't want them to end.  So recently I went back to the start to refresh my memory before continuing through to "V".  So close to the end of the alphabet.  Then what?
  2. Karin Slaughter's Grant County books - they're twisted and she really doesn't seem to like her characters very much but the stories are very absorbing.
  3. JA Jance's JP Beaumont series - These take me to a setting that is foreign to me in a way that is so vivid and that adds something to the experience . I remember when I first started reading them and I felt like if I actually got to visit Seattle I would recognize it.  
  4. Laura Lippman's Tess Monaghan series -  this is one of my favorite authors.  So much so that she makes 2 appearances on my list.  As a plus, these are set mostly in Baltimore which is close and feels very familiar.
  5. Mystic River by Dennis Lehane - I picked up this book at a library convention where they were giving away copies for free.  Signed copies!  How could I resist?  Then it sat, unread, until it started showing up on lists of the best books of the year.  So I had to read it and I'm so glad that I did.  It's just so good.
  6. Sworn to Silence by Linda Castillo - This is the first in a series and these mysteries are set in Amish Country, an unusual setting that fascinates me.  
  7. William Kent Krueger's Cork O'Connor series - this is another series that takes me to an unfamiliar part of the country and offers a little taste of another culture.  In this case the setting is Minnesota 
  8. Michael Connelly's Harry Bosch series - No list would be complete without Harry. Not only have I read the books, but I've had the pleasure of hearing the author speak about them a few times as well.  I even read one of Raymond Chandler's books because he cited them as an inspiration.  I didn't like them though.  I'll stick to Harry.
  9. Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series - these are just fun.  Silly, escapist, fun.
  10. To The Power of Five by Laura Lippman - my oldest daughter and I read this one around the same time and it really stayed with us.  We discussed it a lot.  It's that kind of book.  One that makes you think a little about relationships and peer pressure and family.  It still stays with us.

Oct 15, 2012

Fall is for Families

This weekend we did something we haven't done in ages.  We went to the pumpkin patch. It was quite the accomplishment and required us to coordinate and clear our schedules for the day weeks ago. Crazy, right? Thankfully, the day we chose so long ago turned out to be gorgeous.  It was clear and just cool enough to feel like fall.


We started in the corn maze.  It was super corny and so much fun.


Then Marissa woke up from her nap and we all went on a hayride.  She looks unhappy here but trust me, she wasn't.  She played with hay and went from one lap to the other.  She loved it.


Then we moved on to the slides.  While my older girls went on the really big slide, Miss M went on this one with Bruce and she enjoyed it very much but...


then she found this little one in the kiddie area.  It was just her size and she went on it over and over and over again.  She loved it.


At the end of the day we got pumpkins and ate cider and kettle corn and went to bed happy and thoroughly worn out.  It was a great day!

Oct 12, 2012

ECF - Orchid Edition

This orchid was a gift after we completed the work on the house. I kind of love it.


Oct 11, 2012

Last But Not Least

We've been giving a lot of tours of the house lately and they all end up in the same place, one of my favorites.  The new master bathroom.  It's the one room that feels really decadent to me.  The rest of the house is fresh, updated and exactly what I wanted but the master bathroom is beyond anything I ever imagined.  It's big and relaxing.

So come on in.  There's plenty of space.  On one recent occasion we had about 10 people in there... And room to spare.  The opening on the left is Bruce's office if you get my drift.  It's got a pocket door to close it off and it's own fan.  Thank goodness for the fan.  The handle sticking out beyond that on he left is our shower.  Two words for it - river rocks.  They're on the floor of it and I love them.


Walking into the bathroom you see my office.  I wish that was more of a joke but my girls have a funny habit of coming in to discuss the news of the day (and request funding for activities) when I'm in my office.  I suppose that when I'm in there I am the definition of a captive audience.  I am also very relaxed.  Too bad I can't conduct all my business in the tub.  Then again, that could be scary.


Continuing on yo see our vanity with the double sinks and plenty of room for us both to spread out.  you can also see the television and the mini-fridge.  I told you that the bathroom was a wee bit decadent but really, if you're relaxing in your tub, wouldn't a cold beverage and a good show be lovely?


And finally, here's a shot with my fisheye lens.  Party in the bathroom anyone?  There's plenty of room and the fridge is stocked.


I really hope that you all enjoyed the tour of our renovated house.  It's a project that I have long dreamed of and never imagined possible.  I pinch myself everyday and I am thankful that I can call this my house.  I am happy to share it with you all too.  

Oct 10, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - New Lens Edition

Fisheye 10.5mm


 * Please ignore the dishes in the sink.

Oct 9, 2012

Ten on Tuesday - Ten Things I Did this Weekend

The topic today is stuff we did this weekend.  What a great topic for the end of a weekend that was extra long.  For me, it was extra full too.

  1. Voted - I'll be out of town on Election Day so I cast my absentee ballot since every vote counts in a battleground state.
  2. Said Kaddish for my dad - it's unbelievable that it's been 5 years since my dad's untimely passing.
  3. Watched Stinkerbelle play softball - they lost more games than they won but its a young team and they'll get better.  
  4. Trim my shrubs - long, long, overdue.
  5. Took Stinkette and her friend out to dinner (along with her friend's parents) to celebrate an unexpected win for their softball team.
  6. Shopped - groceries, clothes and a new lens for my camera. Yay!
  7. Went out for an impromptu dinner with good friends - why is it so much easier to do stuff at the last minute?
  8. Went to the dentist - no cavities for me or Stinkette.  Yay! DQ was less fortunate.
  9. Went back to the grocery store to get Pumpkin Pie yogurt -it was sold out when we went the day before.  That stuff is soooooo good.
  10. Knit!
Here is a picture of DQ and Miss M at the government center on Saturday where we ran into our congressman on the way out of the building.


So what were the highlights of your weekend?