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Oct. 23rd, 2010

(no subject)

I've never been particularly interested in baseball. I generally don't care who plays in or wins the World Series. But many years ago I lived in Arlington Texas, which had recently acquired a Major League ball team. I never went to a game, but I was aware there were players living in my apartment complex & I sorta remember watching fireworks over the stadium through a bedroom window. Anyway, that was enough for me to take notice when I learned they were in the playoffs. And now they're in the Series! Go Texas Rangers!

Jun. 7th, 2010

This is embarrassing

My nephew Russell is getting married this summer. Some family members got invitations some time ago & some of us haven't, but we've heard we'll all be invited.

Today I was deleting clutter from my email inbox--things like ads from companies I had ordered from in the past--& I found an email from him requesting my current mailing address so he could send an invitation. It had been sent at the end of March.

In my defense, I was at my daughter's house then with limited time on their computer & I don't check my email very often anymore because we mostly use blogs & facebook now. I vaguely remember going through my email deleting junk after I got home, but I guess I didn't work my way far enough back. Sigh.

May. 2nd, 2010


My picture wasn't in yesterday's paper, but it was in the on-line version of the paper:


And no, I am not at all happy about the prospect of a 20% cut in work hours & pay, with no reduction in in the work itself.

Jan. 10th, 2010


I finally created a Facebook account. Because I often have to make people angry at me as part of my job, I left off a lot of information--like my current last name. If you know me & I didn't Friend you, try my original last name, or contact me by another means and I'll Friend you.

Nov. 30th, 2009

(no subject)

OK nobody wants to read why I haven't blogged for so long...

I had Thanksgiving dinner at my Ex's house. Yeah, a little weird. The family gathering was there this year, instead of at Gretchen & Chris's. I mostly played with Teresa, who didn't really want to play with anybody else. She sees her other grandparents much more often than me (they live closer) but I felt bad for my sister-in-law Pat, who wanted to join us. I hope her shyness is a temporary phase. After dinner I brought out foam plastic snowflake cutouts from a craft store & glitter glue, etc., & some of us made Christmas/winter decorations.

Nathan came here Friday evening, leaving for Amherst Saturday evening. We didn't do much. I did have him hand boxes of Halloween & Thanksgiving decorations up to me in the attic, then I handed boxes of Christmas decorations down.

We've had such a mild fall, I still have a petunia blooming next to the foundation on the south side of the house. With no hard freeze in the forecast, it may survive into December! I feel like I must have moved much farther south.

My remodeling is coming along. The plumbing is completely replaced in the basement & 1st floor, plus a 2nd outdoor spigot has been added on the back end of the house. The old-style wiring has all been replaced. OK, technically a lot of the old wire is still there, since you can't just pull out knob & tube wires, but everything is connected to modern wires. There are more outlets now--basically every wall has at least 1 now. I have new, energy efficient windows. The downstairs bathroom is finished, including a washer & dryer, except for the ceiling (which will be done after the upstairs plumbing is done), the trim, & the doors (there's a tarp stapled in the doorway for now, & I'm still stripping layers of paint off an old door). The kitchen/family room is done except for the floor (to be installed tomorrow), some of the painting, the trim, the doors, & 1 ceiling light (not yet picked out). The new range & dishwasher are sitting in the living room & the refrigerator is in the dining room--waiting be installed as soon as the floor is done. I hope to start putting stuff in the cabinets this week. I've got lots of cabinet apace--I bought tall ones because I have tall ceilings.

I also bought a new car. A Toyota Rav4. Pacific blue. Because my old one needed expensive work done. And a new computer because my old one completely died. For a while there I felt like money was flowing through my fingers like water.

May. 24th, 2009

(no subject)

The remodeling of my house is proceeding nicely. This week the doorway between the dining room & the kitchen-family room got widened for a eventual French doors, & more sheet rock got put up. For weeks he was mostly replacing old wiring & adding outlets. It was nice to be able to gather up all those extension cords, but it wasn't dramatic changes when you walk in the door.

But the most important change was replacing the rusty main sewage pipe with a plastic one. The plumber said it was a good thing I got that done--the old one wouldn't have lasted much longer. The old pipe ran across the basement low enough you had to duck under it to get to the circuit breaker. I got rust stains on the shoulder of several shirts & a nice jacket because I didn't duck low enough. He was able to hang it high enough I can walk underneath it without ducking at all. The electrical inspector after the flood said normally he wouldn't approve a circuit breaker with something blocking access like that. (The power company required an electrical inspector after the flood whether you hired a licensed electrician or not.)

Also this week my contractor dug up the rusted-through conduit to my garage & buried a new plastic conduit. So my garage has lights & an outlet again. Woo hoo! I spread the strips of sod on a low area of the back yard. Now we need some rain so that grass won't completely die & so I can stomp on the edges of the sod making them more or less level with the surrounding grass. (No, I'm not watering it. It's a long way from the faucet & I don't care that much about the section of lawn behind the garage.) The now-grassless strip beside the sidewalk will become flowerbed.

Yesterday I had mowed much of my lawn when the switch to turn (& keep) the mower on broke. I took the switch apart & found that a vital plastic piece had broken off. I've only had that mower about 2 years. I looked on-line to see if I could order a replacement switch, but couldn't find it. So I guess I'll call the company. There is a service center in Binghamton, with hours not convenient for an employed person (at least the hours weren't when they looked over my 1-year-old flooded lawnmower ~2 years ago & declared it not worth repairing). I just checked--there's a 2nd authorized service center now--about the same distance away but closer to the highway.

Normally I mow the front & side lawns 1st, but yesterday I mowed in a different pattern & started the back before the front was done. Then my lawnmower broke. I borrowed my next door neighbor's almost-new push reel lawnmower just to finish that little section in the front. I can remember being allowed to push a reel mower when I was a little girl. This one cut the grass shorter than I like, & little twigs stopped it & needed pulled out of the reel, so I don't think I'll be buying myself one.

May. 9th, 2009

(no subject)

This morning when I checked my email there was a message from Bill Cooper that my sister's ex-husband Dan Henley had died. This was a shock--he was only 48. Bill wrote that his death was related to his diabetes. I hadn't seen Dan for a number of years--we used to go to an annual camping & Renaissance Faire gathering but those ended when too many people moved out of the area.

I found his obituary on-line:
Daniel "Chip" Henley, 48, died suddenly on May 6, 2009. Funeral Mass is in St. Aloysius Church, Caldwell, on Monday at 11 a.m. Visiting is in Farmer Funeral Home, 45 Roseland Ave. (at Eagle Rock Avenue), Roseland, on Saturday evening from 5 to 8 p.m. Interment is in Prospect Hill Cemetery, Caldwell. Chip was born in Montclair and was a lifelong resident of Caldwell. He received a B.S. degree in biology from Cook College-Rutgers University, New Brunswick, in 1983. Chip was a self-employed jewelry designer and maker. He was the son of Jane Blessing Henley and the late Daniel John Henley; brother of Jane Puleo (husband Nick) and Katherine Henley (husband Dan Martindale), and uncle of Lauren Puleo, and Caroline and Thomas Martindale. In lieu of flowers, donations to West Essex First Aid Squad, P.O. Box 662, West Caldwell, N.J. 07006 or American Heart Assn., 1 Union St., Suite 301, Robbinsville, N.J. 08691 would be appreciated.

May. 2nd, 2009

I'm back

OK, I've decided to try blogging on weekend mornings. Because that's when I used to write in a journal. (But my journal didn't lure me into mindless online games.)

A week ago Thursday there was frost on my windshield in the morning. The next day it got into the 70's, then Saturday & Sunday got into the 80's, & Monday it got into the 90's!. And it was a 3-day weekend for me--Monday was my pass day. I enjoyed it being warm enough to do things outside, but it really got too hot. I opened all the windows & storm windows & turned off the furnace. (I finally turned it back on last Thursday when cloudy skies meant the house didn't warm up enough during the day.) Katy was freaked by a curtain blowing in a window, then enjoyed sitting next to the screens smelling the outdoors. I planted some pansies & did some cleaning including hosing off the front porch & its furniture. Now I have a nice clean place to sit outside much earlier in the season than usual. I'm close enough to the street that it gets quite grungy over the winter.

I guess my biggest news of this week, which will seem weird or TMI to most people, is that while cleaning Katy's litter boxes I saw sausage-shaped poops! I'd had her for some time when she used the litter box in front of me, with really bad diarrhea. And I realized I'd never actually scooped proper sausage shapes out (it's all coated with the litter). I didn't rush her to the vet because she seemed otherwise healthy--instead I experimented with different cat foods. I thought she might have a food allergy.

When we did go to the vet he said it was probably chronic colitis due to giardia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giardia) from drinking out of a puddle (the shelter took her in as a stray), but if he sent a stool sample to Cornell for testing it would probably come back negative. He gave her a shot to reduce the inflammation in her gut, & some syringes of medicine to give her for 10 days. There was improvement that wore off as the shot wore off, but little effect I could see from the oral meds except that she became increasingly wary of me. He also told me that multiple treatments generally don't get rid of chronic giardia, but a high fiber diet manages it--he recommended a brand sold by vets. And she isn't contagious. Just wash my hands after cleaning the litterbox, don't let toddlers play in the litterbox, etc. Giardia apparently prefer specific species, but cross-species infections do occur.

I've been feeding her Iams Digestive Care, with gradual improvement. I had tried it before, but didn't notice immediate improvement so tried others--some definitely made it worse! Sometimes she stepped in diarrhea with a back paw while trying to cover it with her front paws, then tracked it around the house. Ugh! She never understood that when I held a paw under a faucet & washed it I was helping her.

I probably have to assume she'll carry the protozoa for life, which means not getting a 2nd cat (sharing litterboxes). And dogs have been known to treat litterboxes as snack boxes.

In other Katy news, one evening this week she suddenly ran under my chair & was doing something under there. I assumed she was playing with one of her catnip mice. Then she came out carrying a real mouse. A little gray house mouse, not a field mouse like we used to have in Big Flats. She played with until I managed to scoop up it up with a yogurt container & a piece of paper--it was apparently wounded & could no longer run. She watched me scoop it up, but kept looking around for it.

Rodents don't freak me--I handled (& sometimes killed) plenty as a biology & psychology student as well as in my 1st post-college job, but I don't want wild ones in my house. It's an old house (~1885) & not well sealed up, so I wasn't really surprised.
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Feb. 11th, 2009

Lone Grove

All day today I've been hearing on the radio & TV news about tornado deaths & devastation in Lone Grove OK(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lone_Grove,_Oklahoma). Which is saddening me more than usual because I used to live there. I was only a month old when we moved there & 3 when we left so I don't really remember it, but when I was growing up my parents sometimes reminisced about living there--with affection.

Jan. 20th, 2009

We did it!

We survived the Bush-Cheney regime and have entered a new era. I am extremely (& perhaps irrationally) excited & optimistic.

I didn't expect to watch the inauguration live but our computers at work weren't working (as usual) so I joined a small crowd of people watching on a smallish TV in a training room. That room used to have an enormous TV, which recently was replaced by a smaller (but still large) flat screen TV. But it apparently hasn't been connected yet. Anyway, I sat near the front & had a good view. There was applause & laughter when Katy Couric announced that Biden was now President because it was after 12:00 & Obama wasn't sworn in yet (& J___ pointing out Obama automatically became president at 12:00 without the oath), and more applause when he took the oath, & especially vigorous applause after the Address. Most of us left immediately after the Address. I was planning to make up for missed time by working during my lunch hour but the computers weren't fixed yet so I listened on my little radio while eating my lunch then went for a walk (indoors), getting back to my desk minutes after we were allowed to work on the computers again. There was a tiny illicit TV near me, and I occasionally checked it too.

My thoughts about the ceremony itself? The Obama girls were adorable. Warren's invocation was annoying but could have been worse, & I was glad Obama was more inclusive in his Address. Aretha Franklin is definitely past her prime but was still pleasant. The quartet was lovely but awfully quiet for the setting. I was surprised how badly chief Chief Justice Roberts flubbed his lines--that oath isn't that long. The Address was wonderful. I heard only the end of the poem after I got back to my desk. And Lewis's closing prayer was great.

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