Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Patty-cake cats

Adam from work sent me this video....  Give it a shot - so funny!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

After the Blizzard

The sunrise hit Manhattan this morning like it was the golden land.

Out on the street and into the subway, it was treacherous.

Bryant Park.

I was surprised to see how bad things still were in mid-town Manhattan.  They usually have the area cleared immediately, but from all reports, it was bad all over.  See the last photo for this same corner 9 hours later.

The skylights in the office. 

My new cat hat!

Things were no better, in fact a little worse, going home.  

Monday, December 27, 2010


Ah-hah!  Lola didn't see the iPhone leaning over the edge of the couch.  (just a 6 second video)

Not that she denies anything.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Day After Christmas

I always love the day after Christmas.  So peaceful, great leftovers, and time to relax after all the craziness leading up to the big day.  And now I have many hours to spend getting to know my new camera - the wonderfully powerful yet small Canon Powershot S95 - thanks Santa!  

We got a small tree this year.  With our busy schedule, we stayed in Brooklyn and did not host Christmas for Ronnie's family this year.  We did have his parents over for a lovely Christmas Eve dinner - it would have been a shame to decorate and not show it off a bit!

The same guys from Vermont always set up a tree stand across the street.  They are always beautifully shaped, but very tight.  I can only fit my smallest ornaments on it.   My favorites are the old ones and those my mother made.  

A chickadee - my mother made a whole flock of them when I was young.  These are very light and are perfect for the top of a branch.  Styrofoam ball, feather, paint, pipe cleaners, bead for the eye and a seed for the beak.  

Mom is a master at needlepoint.

Santa Claus made from old wooden spools.  She also made "toy soldiers" out of the same materials but they are too big for the tree this year.  Dad helped with the necessary wood-work.  

Mom and her sister Ruth collected these wonderful delicate ornaments.  

Another of Mom's little wonders.  This display piece is about 3 inches tall.  

Mom & Dad still send Advent Calendars every year.  I love this tradition, and this year's was one of the best ever - many cute little animals revealed including our favorite, the red squirrel!

A photo from last year in New Hampshire.  This ornament (from a generation or two back in my father's family) was hung wherever on the tree until the year we saw one exactly like it on the cover of Antiques magazine.  As you see, it now receives special treatment.   Not the prettiest face, but very delicate and detailed.  

We are finally in the middle of a snow storm much like I've been reading about out West and in Europe.  I'll enjoy it more once Ronnie gets home from work safe and sound.  

Friday, December 17, 2010

I got punked... my own cat.

We finished decorating the tree yesterday, and after going to bed, I kept hearing plink plink plink. I had to get up 3-4 times to "tell" Lola to stop playing with the low lying tree ornaments.

This morning, I got up, laid my clothes out, took a shower, got dressed (in the dark so as not to wake Ronnie) and went off to the subway. While waiting for the 2nd train (thus having gone quite far with this), I notice something scratching me - felt like a stiff tag - in the back of my pants. After some subtle searching, I felt something odd and pulled one of the wards' favorite toys out of my pants. Yes, the "mouse" was hanging outside my pants below my coat - like a wire tail with a rodent at the end of it. Two ladies who saw this looked horrified until I stopped laughing long enough to hold it up and say "vindictive cat".

My "tail".

I know it was Lola and not Mr. Beans - he is not the prankster - that somehow worked it into my pants while I was taking a shower. The wire had come off the stick, and had a perfect circle to somehow hook onto an extra button near the inside waistband.

This is her - "uh huh, that was me, and there is more to come if you keep talking to me like you did" look.

Beansie, the innocent bystander, but no snitch.  He'd never rat out his sister.

I have to say, this laugh was an excellent way to start the day.

(all pics taken with iPhone - cropping these does them no good)

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Sunday, December 5, 2010

Household Oddities

Brrr - cold and windy today.   I was out and about without the camera yesterday, and today I'm enjoying a warm cup of tea, some delicious sweet rosemary shortbreads from our grateful neighbor and waiting for the sun to come around to our side of the building.

Here are some other dwellers in our apartment that are looking forward to direct sunlight.  Plumbago - we had a lighter variety from my aunt that is very popular along the coast in Spain, but we took its winter dormancy period too literally and killed it.  We got this variety which produces fewer flowers in the flower heads, but is more at home in this area - we've seen in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Early this year, after letting it get too leggy (we have a lot to learn), we cut way back and thought we would get no blooms until next summer. But the odd single flowers are showing up now.

I bought this coffee plant in a supermarket about 4-5 years ago when it was about 5 inches tall.  Now it is over 4 feet and very full.  This is the first year we got beans!  1. I'm wondering how it got pollinated - not many coffee plants in Brooklyn.  2. If I plant a bean, will another grow?  Too few for even the smallest doll-size cup of espresso.

Oxalis Triangularis are supposed to go dormant for a few months every year, but ours never do.  They grow toward the sun and close up at night.  They would look better in a window, but our wards munch on them.  We keep these shelves full to discourage more snacking.

The piece on the wall to the right is one of a pair. We took it to the Antiques Roadshow in Connecticut a few years ago.   I don't think the expert really knew what they are, but he guessed they probably came from a Mediterranean Church during WW2.  My aunt found them in an antiques store years and years ago, and they were on a porch for a long time.  Our typically over-heated Brooklyn apartment is drying them out and the paint is chipping, but I still love them.

A note about AR - when you see the show, everyone is so happy and having a great time (like we did), but I was surprised at the amount of people who were annoyed or outright angry that their treasures were not worth what they expected.  PBS should do one show, or segment, of people storming out telling everyone who will listen that these "so-called experts don't know $%@&."  And don't ever bring a painting to AR - those lines were the longest!

The true odd Bean, Mr. Beans, catching those first rays of sunshine as they hit the apartment around 12:20pm at this time of year.  From left, a coffee tree branch, the infamous pot of grass and the ficus tree that wants to take over our whole apartment.  It has given me 5 sons and daughters from cuttings, but really, who needs that many ficus trees?!

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