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Tchotchkes

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Location: Connecticut, United States

marybb1@gmail.com

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Lairs and Liars

Finbar hides all day and is awake all night. I have closed off every single lair he has found, except my closet. I can't keep that shut all the time, and when it's open he sneaks in and hides way in the back and sleeps the day away. It's almost like not having a cat at all. Except for cat food cans collecting in my recycle bin, there's little sight of cat ownership, using that word loosely. But, come midnight one very active cat flies around the bedroom, rustling blinds, knocking off perfume bottles from the dresser, stepping on the remote control and turning the tv on etc. Fun.

What is up with the Democrats? I was extremely disappointed in the caving they did on pull out dates. Another CT guy bit the dust and the death toll keeps rising and the problems in Iraq stay the same or get worse.

Those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it and we never seem to learn.

Buns and Burgers

Memorial Day was a busy and long one. We had overnight company, we helped get a family member's new grill set up on Sunday and were back early Monday morning to walk, what seemed like miles, to the parade. Then I over indulged on delicious picnic food and wonderful margaritas. I missed flying a kite like we did a few years ago. There is something about flying a kite that appeals to me on numerous levels. Love the colors and shape of the kite, the nervous expectation of getting it up and then the unloosing of the twine until it is a mere dot in the sky.

Then the perfect denouement of reeling it back in until it is fluttering on your hand like a multi-colored eagle summoned from the sky. Kites and kaleidoscopes always make me happy.


Friday, May 25, 2007

I took my little convertible out for a spin today, first time with the top down this year, and oh what fun it is. I would like to drive across the country with my top down...I mean my car's top down, you know what I meant. Anyhow, it's hot in CT, 90 degrees and I had to put on the AC because I felt like I was melting.

All animals are stretched out cool and happy --usually in front of the vents so that they hog the heat in the winter or the cool in the summer.

Last week I had the heat on; this week the AC, how crazy is that?

Picnic plans are shaping up; weather is gorgeous; life is good. Hope everyone has a peaceful and fun long weekend. TTFN

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Did you ever wake up feeling like you have a hangover when you had absolutely nothing to drink the night before? This happens to me from time to time, like this morning, when I double-checked my day yesterday just to make sure I didn't drink a pitcher of martinis that I've totally forgotten about.

Nope, not a drop to drink, so I guess this hangover is from allergies or some other unknown reason.

As anyone who reads my blog knows, I often have food cravings. When I don't I worry about myself. How do people know what to eat if they don't have cravings? Or maybe people gain weight if they don't have cravings. I crave, covet and pine for something, and then I eat it because nothing else will do. If I'm craving avocados, a chocolate milkshake won't do nor will a cheeseburger nor a hunk of fudge.

When I wake up with a no-reason-for hangover and without a craving I feel asea, focusless and odd. On days like today I could eat anything or nothing, depending upon my boredom level, access to goodies and what I'm doing that day.

I always feel more alert, more optimistic and more motivated when I have some kind of craving. So I'm going to think about food now and see if I can come up with a true craving for some something, then I'll call husband and with a sweet voice make my request.

How about you, craving any particular food or drink right now? Maybe I can catch your craving and call it my own.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007




I know I know, it's all about Finbar all the time, but I do have another cat and he is a great cat even though he is amazingly camera shy, I had to post some of his pictures for Jeni who is a lover of gray cats, among other things.

Friday, May 18, 2007





Getting High

There is no place high enough for Finbar now. If he could walk on the ceiling he would. He's attempted it a few times. Now when I'm looking for him, I don't look on the beds, or the once favorite and often photographed "green chair" -- all I have to do is look up!


Thursday, May 17, 2007

Chimney finished; cellar waterproofing finished and I give Viglione Construction from Monroe, CT a two thumbs up for professional, meticulous care, superb workmanship and attitude; reliability and site clean-up!!

I like having my house back to myself though...;-)

Yesterday I went to see Singing in the Rain at the Goodspeed Opera House.

What a super-great job the cast and crew did to create this outstanding performance. They even made it "rain" on the stage for the Singing in the Rain dance. How'd they do that? I also missed the huge storm that hit parts of Connecticut AND there was no rain in my basement when I got home. Not a drop. Yesterday was a super great day.

Today we are expecting more rain - I say let it rain let it rain let it rain!!

Finbar has taken to hiding under the spare room's armoire during the day as the construction noises have put him on edge, then yesterday we had a thunderstorm and I wasn't here to calm the pets down so I assume he's going to sleep all day under the armoire until he can't fit anymore. Then he's up all night. Not good. Plus I miss seeing him during the day and I also wonder if he's getting enough nutrition because he doesn't seem to eat much anymore. Between recalled pet food and his own idiosyncratic palate, it is getting to be a chore to find some food he likes. We are down to deli roast beef right now...what a finicky, picyune kitty.

Right now I'm longing for sweet potato fries and avocado slices, not necessarily together but that's what's on my longing for list. I had sweet potato fries on Tuesday night at our local rib joint, and instead of squashing my food yens, it made them worse. Yesterday I had a chicken arugula, bacon and avocado sandwich wiht lime mayo, that did the same, just hyped up my taste buds for more. By the way, try a Pinkus Organic Pilsner beer if you haven't tried one yet...just delicious!

I guess I will have to research making the damn fries to ensure I can get enough of them to keep me from pining for them. Buying an avocado shouldn't be too difficult so I must do that very soon. I wonder if my liquor store carries Pinkus beers?

Another beverage I must have is 44 degrees north from Rocky Mountain Vodka. Sylow mentions it on his blog and now I have to have some!! Sylow, you should be writing ad copy for the Rocky Mountain Vodka people.

Speaking of unusual and delicious beverages, a friend gave me a bottle of homemade Dandelion wine from an old recipe used by his grandfather in Italy. It is a real treat and I love the bright sunny color and the botanical taste with a hint of citrus. Can't buy that in a package store!
(Obviously I am both hungry and thirsty right now or I wouldn't be focusing so much on food and drink.)

Sipping a glass of homemade dandelion wine with a dry basement is the ultimate in luxury!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Face recognition software does not always work.

How I know this is husband went to a AAA office last week to renew his license. Much less crowded than the main office in the city, and much quicker too.

Except the motor vehicle department and its satelites are now using face recognition software and refused to give husband his driver's license because the software told them he wasn't the same person on his current license.

Huh?

The guy at AAA says I know it's you, you know you're you, but the computer says you are not you so I can't issue a license, you have to go to our main office.

Three hours later, husband had his license but it took traveling to two different places, lots of pictures, lots of looking at him, lots of lines and waiting and frustration.

The paranoia about terrrorism is reaching crippling levels of insanity.

-----

The work men are still here, now I've signed a contract for them to point, waterproof and fiddle with the chimney. The boss man says that the water coming into the cellar from the chimney will continue if we don't do the new work. Another 1675 dollars and I should have a dry basement, oh that is until the next snafu.

-------

Yesterday I visited a house one of my family members just bought. It was built in 1746, before the Revolutionary war...just amazing to see the workmanship, the super wide floor boards, the walk-in fireplace in the kitchen, the woodwork...just the feel of a house so old. Even the yard has old old trees and perennials. If that house could talk, I wonder what it would say?

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An aside: Apparently lots of people are making deviled eggs with too much mustard. I wrote about it in an earlier blog, never realizing how many hits I'd get from people searching for "deviled eggs with too much mustard". So a warning to all, don't put a lot of mustard in your deviled eggs for godssake!

Friday, May 11, 2007

I laughed at this:

THE CREATION STORY AS TOLD BY THE CAT

On the first day of creation, God created the cat.
On the second day, God created man (humanity) to serve the cat.
On the third, God created all the animals of the earth
to serve as potential food for the cat.
On the fourth day, God created honest toil so that man (humanity)
could labor for the good of the cat.
On the fifth day, God created the sparkle ball so that
the cat might or might not play with it.
On the sixth day, God created veterinary science to
keep the cat healthy and the man(human) broke.
On the seventh day, God tried to rest, but he had to scoop the
litterbox.
--author unknown

Here's another chuckle: Killer Tortoise Stalks Cat

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Cellar update

They’re into thud-like sounds now. Some shovel scraping sounds, lots of trucks moving around…at one point I had six monster trucks on my dead end street. (I know it’s cooler to say cul-de-sac, but I like being one of the Dead End Kids as a deceased neighbor once called us.

I try to do something but the constant in and out of my front door, the sounds, smells, dust and talking voices keep me from focusing on anything.

Right now we are trying to put together a Mother’s Day picnic at a relative’s house, all done by email. We have about two dozen emails floating around to 20 people and I’m not sure we’ve gotten too far yet except husband’s making the potato salad.

If I knew where Finbar was, I’d try to crawl in next to him to get away.

Now there’s a sawing sound…something new is happening there…I hear zeezaaw zewezee thud thud bang, ting, kerplunk, thud, zeezaaw, zeezaaw, thud bang.

Almost musical at times.

I’d take pictures but I’m hiding from the men the sounds and the mess.

I’m sure I’ll write before Mother’s Day, but if I don’t, I wish all the Mothers in the world (including the fathers that act like mothers) a very happy Mother’s Day.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

What do you think?

Can a cat move from floor to floor in a house through the walls or air ducts or some other bizarre way?

Case in point: The noise level is just atrocious in my house (and I'm soon leaving here to give my ears a rest,) and yesterday Finbar was gone all day long...no Finbar even after the men left and the house became quiet. We called and searched and still no Finbar.

Then 3 o'clock in the morning I heard scratching and a meow. I opened the cellar door and there he was covered in concrete dust.

We can't figure out how he got down there. Husband did go down to the beer fridge (which is impossible to get at as they put the door side up against a wall with crap in front of it) but, would Finbar follow him down? Wouldn't he want some food and water before going in the scary basement? And if he did follow him down at 6 PM why would he stay down there quietly until 3 AM?

I think he can get into the attic, which is why I wonder if from the attic he's found a way to travel around the walls of the house.

Or maybe I'm just going out of my mind from noise pollution.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Bam bam bam bam bam bam bam bam bam bam bam bam bam bam bam bam bam bam over and over again. My ears are ringing my head is throbbing, and my cellar is so thick with concrete dust I can't see down there. This is the down side of having one's cellar waterproofed with trenches and drains and pumps and lots and lots of bam bam bam.

Then comes the jack hammer. Sounds like a 5000 pound woodpecker. Another reason to have a headache.

But I certainly hope after paying $7500 to this construction company I won't have the headache of water in the basement ever again.

I certainly could find something more enjoyable to spend my money on, but push has come to shove and the rock and the hard place became one. It had to be done, if we attempt to sell or if we stay here till our teeth fall out. Bam bam bam

Thursday, May 03, 2007

For the people who believe that they can stop same-sex marriage, I hate to tell you this, but you can't.


Same-sex marriage has existed since the beginning of time. It is not legislated and will not go away no matter who's against it.

Religionists can perch upon a million bibles and amendments and it won't stop same-sex marriage. Just look around you and you'll see numerous examples of long term marriages between two people of the same sex.

Consider the two little old ladies who live down the street. They're not sisters; they're a long time married couple. They'd been together for over 45 years. They sleep in the same bed and care for each other when they are sick. They plant flowers together and feed their pets. They attend family gatherings arm in arm. They even pray together.

Those two cute guys who live in the antique farm house with the geranium plants hanging from the porch? They're not a couple of single guys living together to share expenses. No way. They are deeply in love; making a home for themselves and hopefully for the children they want to adopt in the future. But one's a doctor and the other is a guidance counselor, yes true. Gay people are in every profession there is .

A non-hypothetical marriage that spanned over 50 years was my Aunt Terry's.

Aunt Terry had a very wonderful "best friend" named Ella and they spent all their spare time together. Sometimes Ella would even stay at Terry's house because it would be late for her to drive home. They went to weddings, showers, funerals together. They went to Europe and Asia and Mexico together. They wore matching charm bracelets and worked on home projects together.

After numerous years of quasi-separate living, they bought a vacation house together where they decorated their bedroom in whites and blues, entertained the neighbors with gourmet meals and helped out everyone they ever met.

They were as different in appearance as night and day. Aunt Terry was petite with sandy gray hair she wore clipped on the top of her head. Her long fingers and fine features made you think she came from royalty. Her soft voice and sharp mind somehow seemed incongruous.

Her business acumen allowed her to choose stocks that would assure her a very comfortable retirement in her home by the ocean. She always drove convertibles and worried about Ella's health.

Ella was tall and sturdy, stubby fingered and strong. She had a temper that would flare and Terry would often say: Ella, don't get upset. It's not such a big deal. We can handle it. Don't let it get to you. Terry was a soother, a listener and a lover of all living creatures.

Ella fought injustices all the time. A beloved high school teacher, she was devoted to her students; and when she died many of them attended her funeral saying she was one teacher they would never forget. She had changed their lives; she had made them think or feel loved or helped them get into the college of their choice. She remembered their birthdays.

As I aged, the term "best friends" morphed into the more appropriate term: married couple. I got it eventually without anyone saying a word about being gay.

I admired this married couple, enjoyed their beach house and their hospitality, their stories, anecdotes and intellectual conversations. I met their friends who were wildly different; gay couples, lesbian couples, married couples, singles, widows, widowers, but who all shared one characteristic: they were good, kind, moral people.

When Ella died, Terry was distraught. Her life partner had left her alone in this world and Terry's heart was broken.

In less than a year Terry had joined her, side by side, in the same plots they bought 30 years before assuring them that in death they would not be separated.

They were as married as you can get.

So same sex marriage is not about you or me or anybody allowing two people to love each other and to live a married life, it is just about being treated equally under the law.

Terry and Ella needed no one's permission to live out a full, happy and rich married life together. They only missed out on the paperwork and yes, their full civil rights as any American citizen under the constitution is supposed to be entitled.

They never missed out on the emotional and romantic part of marriage and were and still are a wonderful example for any two people in love to follow. No one can stop one person from loving another person, it’s impossible. No one stopped them from being a married couple. They had less rights but more love than many, many heterosexual marriages.

I hope we don’t have to wait a day longer for the Terrys and Ellas of the world to have what they most certainly deserve -- equality under the law: the right to be legally married.

(Good luck Doc and Dj on Monday's court date. )


Wednesday, May 02, 2007

I hate trying on clothes.

Hate it!

I need to come up with an outfit for tomorrow evening's outing and I don't know what to wear. The weather makes the problem worse. It could be warm or cold, I could wear open-toed shoes or boots. I could need a coat or just a sweater. Do I paint my toenails just in case?

I have a new favorite outfit, but it entails wearing dark skinny jeans under an adorable red and white polka dot dress. Is denim too informal for an awards dinner? I'm not getting an award. Can I wear it or not? I think not, so I re-try on a less favorite, older outfit but more suitable. Then I change my mind again.

Step in, zip up, check me out in the mirror; unzip, step out. Repeat.

Very soon my tomato mixture should be ready for the bruschetta I am dying to have. Other than trying on clothes and chopping tomatoes, garlic, onions and basil, I've done very little today.

I am avoiding the television so I don't have to see the moron's face on the news as he goes neener neener neener with his veto pen. Hope the DC madame comes up with his name or Rove's name. Maybe that would be enough to get the prez out of office and Rove removed.

These are my thoughts so far today. What have you been thinking about?

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

There's still time to catch The Full Monty playing at the Thomaston Opera House in Thomaston, CT.

We were there Friday night and what a performance we saw! I don't think I've seen better anywhere, and this is regional theater!

I could go on for paragraph after paragraph telling you just how good this evening turned out to be. The old theater was absolutely gorgeous in its vintage design and decor; accoustics were wonderful; music direction superb; costume and set design amazingly creative.

Three stand out performers were Greg McMahan who played Malcolm MacGregor, Foster Evans Reese who played Horse and Juliette Garrison who played Vicki Nichols. But these mentioned performers were surrounded by a very marvelous and talented cast including Juliette's son Luke who played Nathan Lukowski.

We laughed; we cried-- you get the gist here: a play that will touch you in many ways.

We also dined at a nearby restaurant called The Black Rock Tavern. Wonderful food and drink, great prices, but even better a charming, helpful, friendly and competent crew who did a bang up job on dinner. I loved the bartender Brynn who sports blonde dreadlocks;she was adorable.

Yes, in the Full Monty the men take off all their clothes! But no, you couldn't see a thing. ;-)