Devine site

A little bit about my day, my family, and my knitting.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Movies and More Movies...

Tonight we went to see Rumor has it...a movie with Kevin Costner, Jennifer Anniston, Shirley McClaine and Mark Ruffalo. Although I had heard via Alison that the movie didn't get good reviews, we like to see for ourselves. We both enjoy seeing movies with these performers and really expected a HAHA time! Sorry to say...we were disappointed. The movie was cute,but only had two or maybe three (or maybe two) funny lines. In all honesty, I wasn't bored, or had a strong desire to walk just....wasn't!!!

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Last night we saw Memoirs of a Geisha. I had read the book 6 years ago...and LOVED IT! I really enjoyed the movie, although (of course) it didn't go into the story in as much depth as the book did. As for Gerry....ummm, he went along for me!

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On a knitting note...I finished the cover for my throw pillow, crocheted using Lion Brand Homespun yarn, color 341 Windsor (a combination of blues, greens and light purple). The cover took almost two skeins using a K crochet hook. It looks so pretty on the couch, as long as it's on the opposite side from the plaid pillow. The most important thing is that it looks better than the tan/green palm tree pillows.

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I made a dee-lic--ious lunch today, and I am passing the recipe on to you. The recipe was given to me by my (ex) sister-in-law Pat, who made it for lunch for us when we were in Ocala in October. She got the recipe from Quick Cooking Magazine:

Sausage-Stuffed Squash

prep/total time: 20 minutes

2 medium acorn squash

1 pound bulk pork sausage (I used Jimmy Dean. You can also use veal or beef)

1/2 cup finely chopped celery (I elimanated celery and used chopped, fresh mushrooms)

1/2 cup finely chopped onion

1/3 cup sour cream

Cut squash in half; remove and discard seeds. Place squash cut side down in a microwave-safe dish. Cover and microwave on high for 10 - 12 minutes or until tender. Meanwhile, crumble sausage into a large skillet; add celery (mushrooms) and onion. cook over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Remove from heat; stir in sour cream. Spoon into squash halves. Cover and microwave for 1 minute or until heated through. Yield: 4 servings. ***This recipe was cooked in a 1,100 watt microwave. Serve with a nice salad.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

More Holiday Treats

My lovely daughter Becca and her wonderful Phil sent a package for the holidays. Gerry received a set of Calvin Klein colognes...I like the Bijon that he wears but this will be a nice change. For me, one of my three favorites from Victoria Secret...RAPTURE!! I LOVE this scent (I also love Heavenly Dream Angels and Breathless). I like a good, clean smell, nothing flowery or sweet. And they even remembered "the boys" with a set of doggie treats. Thanks, Bex and Phil! We missed you for the holiday, but you were SO sweet to send such thoughtful, lovely gifts.

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Last night, as the Rutgers/Arizona State game was raging (oh, my, goodness - what a shock! Rutgers really gave AS a run for it's money...everyone thought that AS would CREAM Rutgers, and, while AS won, it wasn't by a whole lot!!)....I covered two of my throw pillows. The entire project took about 30 minutes. My last couch covers were green cotton, and my pillows were beige/green with a palm tree motif. This time I bought blue denim slip covers and the pillows just didn't go, so I bought blue plaid fleece at JoAnn's Fabrics and.....see for yourself:

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It looks GREAT on the couch. Ok, so I kinda lost that "Jimmy Buffet" look in the room, but it's comfortable, clean looking, and I love it. I am in the process of crocheting a cover for the third pillow, using Homespun yarn. I will post a pix when finished. Gerry, who didn't know me "when," was very impressed with my work. Geez, I told him...this was a piece of cake. Amazing what you can learn from your child! In my past life, I did it all....knit, crochet, needlepoint, crewel work, sewing (with a machine), and more. Now...I stick to knit and crochet, and this wonderful knotting technique (cause it's just so easy and yet so pretty). Plus, my house is SOOO small...I wouldn't have anyplace to work with a sewing machine. Am I sad? Not at I get older, life needs to get less complicated. That's why I love knitting so's fun, compact, portable, wearable, satisfying (most of the time) and share-able!!

Monday, December 26, 2005

Ooops!!! Correction

Thank you, Alison, for pointing out that my goodies came from, NOT Actually, I knew that, but in my excitement I wrote the wrong thing. My apologies to anyone who went to the wrong site (although there is no WRONG site, as all things knitting are good to check out anyway).

A Very Knitty Holiday!

I must have been a VERY good girl, for Santa and Hanukkah Bubbie brought me wonderful gifts (with the help of their elf Alison). Santa (aka Gerry) and Hanukkah Bubbie (my mom) each called Alison OTO (on their own) to enlist her help, and these are the wonderful goodies that I am now the proud knitty owner of:

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  1. The Opinionated Knitter by Elizabeth Zimmermann
  2. Top Down For Toddlers
  3. 6 skeins of 100% Merino yarn - vanilla
  4. 5 skeins of Shine Twist - 60% pima cotton, 40% Modal color Harvest (green, blue and gold)
  5. yarn meter
  6. yarn swift
  7. ball winder

The yarns and most other items were from

Now who could ask for more? The one requirement, however, from Alison, is that I use the yarn to knit the Classic Cable pullover from TDFT, and the Shine Twist to knit another from the same book...for my future grandchild. MY PLEASURE!

The rest of the holiday was so nice. My homemade sauce, manicotti, antipasto and cheesecake brownie for dessert all came out great (thank goodness). There were only 7 of us (a good size crew for my little house), including my cousin Richie who was in from Houston. After everyone left, Mom, Gerry and I attempted once again to go to the movies to see Munich. We had tried Friday and Saturday nights, only to find that it was sold out (and we showed up each night 1 hr before showtime). We were almost disappointed last night as the 7 and 8:15 shows were sold out (by 6:30) but we did get tix for the 9PM show. The movie was long (almost 3 hours) but very good.

Hope your holiday was as much fun and as fruitful as mine was. Have a very knitty day!!

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Why Me?

Today started out as a great day. I got a haircut, met my mother for breakfast, ran into my cousin and his girlfriend at breakfast (they are in from Texas for the weekend), got my brows waxed, nails manicured, mailed a package - no waiting in the PO - and drove to see my dear friend Carla who just moved back from a year in NY. I had a wonderful visit with Carla and her husband Jody (yup - same name as me), their 1 1/2 yr old son Parker, and Carla's dad, his wife and her parents. It was so relaxing, and such a great morning...I should have known that it was the calm before the storm. I made my goodbyes and got into my car. I was just pulling away from the house, pushed the button to put my window down and BOOM!!!! my window (driver's side) EXPLODED!!! Thank goodness I wasn't doing more than 5 mph. I let out a scream and stopped the car. There was shattered glass EVERYWHERE...inside my t-shirt, on my skin, all over the car and around the outside. Of course, Carla et al came running out, thinking I had hit another car. They were great. Jody and his father-in-law cleaned out the front and the window. I wasn't really hurt...just a teeny nick on my nose and arm. I was able to drive home (after picking up Mom) and the car now sits, plastic taped over the window, till I can call a repairman on Monday or Tuesday. I have to pay for it, too, as Florida insurance does not cover side windows. This isn't the first time this has happened, either. About 6 years ago was the first time....I thought a golf ball had hit and shattered the window. 2 - 3 years ago I was in a parking lot, got ready to go and the window exploded. My mechanic said there is a bend in the mechanism that might cause it. I have no idea. Alison and Gerry said I should sell the car but I just can't do the payments for a newby just yet. I was planning on waiting two more years. Plus...I LOVE my car!!! It's a 1998 Pontiac Sunfire, red convertible!

Last night we tried to go to the movies to see Munich...sold out (and we had gotten there 40 minutes prior to the start of the movie). Tonight,with Mom, we got there an hour before and...sold out! This movie is only being shown in one theater chain, of which there are 3 in S. Florida, and you cannot buy tix on line. Gerry wants to go tomorrow, after our holiday guests have left. I would have been happy to see Memoirs of a Geisha (which I heard was great and have every intention of seeing), but he had his mind set on Munich. So....we drove to Kilwin's and consoled ourselves with ice cream. Then we came home and I made homemade manicotti for tomorrow's dinner. I had about 6 or 7 crepes left over but no more ricotti cheese. I drove to Publix (our supermarket) and they were closed. I don't know was only 9:52 PM - they close at 10. So what if it was Xmas eve...don't they know some of us are in need? They are open in the morning, so I guess I'll have to run over (after I open my gifts, of course) and get the cheese. Did you know that the 7/11 stores don't carry ricotta cheese?

Speaking of gifts...I did get to open one present tonight, from my puppies. They got me the DVD of Phantom of the Opera. Aren't they the best little doggies?

Well, better go to sleep so I can get up and open the rest of my gifts, and give Ger his. This Jewish girl just LOVES Xmas morning!!! of the perks of being married to an Irishman!

Friday, December 23, 2005

Phil, It's Finally Finished!!

Today I finished the sweater that I was making for my terrific British son-in-law Phil (Becca's hubby). I started it in early November, knitting through Gerry's dr. visits, the surgery and hospital stay. Phil turned 30 in November so I thought it fitting that his Mum-in-law knit him a sweater in his team colors...he roots for the Liverpool soccer football team (the color is just red, but clothing items have either white or black, too). The pattern is by Lion Brand - Hooded Knit Sweaters. Instead of Homespun yarn, I used Plymouth Encore Chunky, and had to alter the needle size to 10 and 11. The pattern was easy until I came to finishing the hood...the pattern says to "sew rib/roll Front at center neck, overlapping center fronts." I jsut couldn't get the right cross over, so I stitched the two front ends to make a full closure under the chin. Here is Gerry modeling the sweater - that white t-shirt really makes his tummy stand out, doesn't it? Gerry had the sweater on for all of 2 minutes and said it was too hot....Phil will need that warmth, as Ocala gets pretty nippy in the wintertime.

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A Not-so Good Vacation and Happy Holidays to All

It started out to be a relaxing mini-vacation in Key West. Yea! Best laid plans...! I had purchased a "vacation package" way back when. Last March Gerry and I went to the first of our 3 three-night trips. Orlando was good. We sat through the required timeshare problem saying no - we even offered to sell them ours!! But we did enjoy the "free" tickets to Universal. I had reserved our second trip, to Key West, for Veteran's Day weekend, but had to cancel because Gerry's surgery was a few days later and we had things to take care of. Now that he is doing so well, we decided to take Mom along and go to Key West. We left Tuesday. It's a hour drive due south of us. The weather was SO not Florida....cloudy ALL DAY, and cold. Ok, not as cold as NY or Atlanta (right, Alison?) but cold enough to wear long sleeves and two jackets. The only choice for an activity Tuesday night was to go to the movies. We saw King Kong....I really liked it, although it was a bit too long (3 hours of film, too long for even a seasoned movie goer like me to sit through, although it did hold my interest).

Wednesday morning was the required timeshare presentation. Instead of a salesman talking to us as a couple (plus Mom), this one guy, RON, took 4 couples (plus Mom), saying that they were short-handed due to the holiday. Right from the gitgo, I could see that this man didn't really like his job. He was arrogant, rude and just not pleasant to be near. Once we were seated in a little patio room with roll-down plastic walls (and heater), RON proceeded to talk to us. He really didn't seem to have his presentation set, but seemed to be taking his thoughts from anywhere he could pull them from. He was rude to the couple next to me, and very cocky. As he talked, and asked, "Don't you agree?" I could see that the others didn't necessarily agree with what he said, but no one contradicted him. I hate that people sit there, afraid to say a word or express their opinion. Now I am not always one to jump right in either, but I dislike being sermonized by a jerk more than I dislike speaking out. Ron proceeded to tell us that a vacation is NOT a 3 day trip but 7 days or more. I told him that I didn't agree, that anytime I get away from work and home, it's a vacation. He didn't like taht. To be truthful, all I could think about, as this man spoke, was how much I wanted to hit him (yes, he was THAT obnoxious and annoying). But I was a good girl, non-confrontational, and just sat there. However, when he tried to tell us that our lives were 2% vacation and 98% Bulls--t, and asked me if I agreed, I had to be honest and say, "No. My life is more like 40/60." Before I could even offer an explanation, Ron "hit the ceiling." He stepped toward me, handed me papers and YELLED, "GET OUT!" I was stunned, but happy that I no longer had to suffer in his presence. Gerry, Mom and I stood and began to walk out. As we passed him I said, in a level voice, "You are very rude," and Gerry said, "You are rude and arrogant." With that, this jerk YELLED at us, "GET THE F**K OUT!" Have you EVER known a salesperson to be so nasty and rude? Looking back, I guess I should have turned around and confronted him, but I was so shocked and mortified. We walked out, and as we were walking around the outside of this little patio, we three were talking to each other about how awful that was, what a poor salesman he was, and all of a sudden, Jerk-O YELLS through the plastic walls at us (I don't remember what he said but he was still being nasty). Gerry now raised his voice and called back that he wanted to return and punch the guy in the face, to which Jerk-O yelled, "I'm here....come on!" People, let me tell you....the only thing holding Gerry back was the recent surgery on his chest, and oh, how I was wishing he was able to go in there and punch that guy (this is coming from a pacifist!!!). I am sure you can "hear" that I am still incensed. To make matters worse, I spoke with the secretary (who didn't seem surprised at all by this man's behavior). She gave me the supervisor's name and requested that I call him in an hour, as he was not in. Long story short....I called 5 times, all day long...he was out, he was not available, he was gone to the dentist, he had tooth pulled and wasn't in, yada, yada, yada. Then the secretary offered me (as per the supervisor's instructions) a 3 night trip to any one of 60 locations. Now maybe you would take it, but I didn't want it. I want a phone call, a verbal apology, and a written apology, and I want that man FIRED!!!! My husband has been a salesman for over 22 yrs, my dad for over 50, Mom was an RN and I am a teacher....we all deal with the public. NEVER have any of us lost our cool THAT much to be so offensive to a client, parent, etc. Plus....what the heck did I do to warrant THAT? So I started my letter writing all companies involved in this. Of course, we all know that nothing will be done, but hopefully I will get some satisfaction in venting!

That done....Gerry, Mom and I went to Duval Street - the best part of Key West. We walked around a bit, bought some fish and shell decorations for the house (Gerry likes to think of our house as Key West/Jimmy Buffet style - hmmm, not really, but it does have a slight beachy motif in the bedroom, I guess). It was only in the mid 60's so we couldn't stay out all day (too cool by the water).

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Here I am at the monument for the Southermost Point of the US - 90 miles to Cuba.

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Mom's turn by the monument
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Gerry and Mom at the market place on Duval Street, Key West

After a GREAT lunch of seafood soups and appetizers, we returned to the hotel for a rest, and then the movies (it was toocold - mid 50's now - for the catamaran Sunset Cruise that we were given for free as part of the package). This time we saw Cheaperby the Dozen 2, which was very cute. Thursday morning....we were OUTTA THERE!!! even though our package was to go till Friday. We wanted no more of Key West at this point. A long way to go (4 hours each way) for two movies and a tasty lunch! The one plus was that Alison's in-laws (who live in N. Carolina) were vacationing in Weston, Fl (about 20 minutes west of Fort Lauderdale). We met them at a diner in Weston, which was on our way back home. We spent a lovely 2 hours with them. Karen gave me a darling little ceramic menorah for Hanukkah that uses birthday candles. Sorry for not posting a picture of it Karen,but I do love it.

Then it was time to head home....ah, home looked SO good, felt SO nice to be there. And the dogs gave us their version of a standing ovation!

My pictures posted in the wrong order....I took these pictures last weekend. Here is my coffee table, decorated for winter (snowpeople) and Hanukkah (Karen, I put the little menoral to the right of the one pictured here).

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And here is our tree, a little smaller than usual, but I think it came out pretty good. I love that we get a real one each year. In my last life, we always had an artificial tree (oh, but it was so BIG and beautiful). Yes, I am Jewish, but spouse # 1 was raised in a Catholic home and wanted a tree, and since my step-family is Catholic and we did Xmas as well as Hanukkah, I had no problem having a tree. In fact, Xmas became a big holiday in our house. Gerry, raised a Catholic but who now considers himself to be a spiritual person (which means a believer in God and being a good, honest person) of course celebrates Xmas. That works for me. He does the outside decorating....lights, nodding dear, etc., and the inside and tree are my domain! The only thing I didn't like was that I could not get my Southern Living Copper Angel on top this year, so we have a porcelain faced, tacky blue-dressed angel on top - I just couldn't photograph it....I don't like it all that much!!!

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Bored yet? Had enough? Well, I time I hope to post a picture of Phil's sweater that I have almost finished, plus the presents I get. Now I am going to go into the kitchen to make the Neiman Marcus Chocolate Chip Cookies (yes, THE NM cookies) that we were given in a jar, as a gift! Have a wonderful holiday, whichever one you celebrate.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

The Best Thing About this Season

I love this time of year. I really enjoy buying gifts for my family, friends/coworkers. I don't get to buy all that much for family, as most of them prefer checks so they can buy whatever they want. I can't blame them...but I miss buying "something" for them. So I get the chance with my non-family.

Another fun thing about this season....getting gifts. Today I received several at work that were SO nice. I know, I's the thought that counts,but quite often you get things that make you say, "What WERE they thinking?" This year, though, I lucked out. My kindergarten team mate, Shawn (along with everyone else), knows that I love to knit (I pull out my knitting at every staff meeting...think that's a clue?). Today he gave me the Pattern-a-Day Knitting Calendar. That is just so cool! What is funny, though, is that I had to  buy a $10 gift to give as a Secret Santa present. The woman I had to buy for is an avid knitter. She has whatever she needs...all the needles and extras. I didn't want to buy her yarn (anything really good would be too costly anyway). On Tuesday, at my knitting group, someone suggested that I buy the Calendar (below). I had it in my hand, but wasn't sure that the recipient would go for it. Another suggested a book of knitting stories. We pulled a whole group of books (we meet in Borders bookstore) and I picked one that I was sure she would like (it's wrapped and at work - I am embarrassed to admit that I already forgot the title). I liked the Calendar but didn't want to spend the money on myself. Lo and behold....I got it today!

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I also received several really nice gifts from my friends at work. I have a secret pal who spoils me all year long with little items that make me feel appreciated. She gave me: an oven mitt with a package of fudge brownie mix and a recipe card for 3 things to make wth the mix, a candle in a lovely glass holder, and an aromatherapy relaxation kit (the one in front); from my Secret Santa - a sample of romantic body lotions from Victoria's Secret (my favorite store); from coworker/friends - a pair of Asian thong sandals, a spa set (on the right), a picture frame with a snowman on it, a little holiday candle, and a set of Hanukkah floating candles (not in the picture). All really nice,useable gifts.

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Tomorrow (Friday) will have a really fun morning. We will have the second annual Gingerbread House making event. There will be 100 kindergarten children with their teachers, a few parents, and a fifth grade class helping out. We meet in the cafeteria. For those of you NOT in the know, here is how we make the gingerbread houses: using little milk containers saved from last week's lunches...stick the container onto a square of cardboard with frosting to hold it in place; put a dab of frosting on each side of the container. "Glue" on squares of graham crackers (halves on the "roof"). Cover the GCs with more frosting, and decorate with candies and marshmallows. You need to have a shoebox for transporting the finished product. The whole experinece can be a tad bit harrowing, but it's fun seeing how much the children enjoy themselves.

The best thing about tomorrow, however, is that at dismissal time...we start our 2 WEEK VACATION! AAAHHHH!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

I Am Not Above "Borrowing" Fun Ideas

I read my daughter Alison's blog and always enjoy it (you will too if you read it). Today she posted a meme, and at the end wrote "consider yourself chosen" (to personalize it, I guess), is mine (don't expect it to be as good as hers):

Seven things to do before I die (not in order of priority)
1. Travel to Asia...China, Japan, etc.
2. Parasail (hopefully soon. I DO live in Florida where it's possible to do it all year long)
3. SCUBA Dive Palau and Yap
4. Be a GRANDMA (I know you're trying hon...and I'll take whatever comes your way)
5. See my brother remarry and BE HAPPY.
6. Get a GOOD phonecall or visit from my son
7. See all the people I know and/or love be at peace with one another (ok, so THAT's a fantasy)

Seven things I cannot do:
1. Walk into a store and buy pants without trying them on
2. Sing on key (or even IN a key)
3. Play piano and sound good (I stopped those lessons WAY too early).
4. Eat cheesecake and not put on 2 lbs.
5. Knit like Alison
6. Lay on the beach, alone, for more than 10 minutes.
7. Go into a pet store and not want to go home with every puppy for sale

Seven things that attract me to my spouse:
1. He's extremely friendly
2. He's hard working
3. He's cute (tummy and all)
4. He has many friends who love and respect him.
5. He loves his family....and mine (especially my daughters).
6. He enjoys movies, Broadway musicals and the NY Yankees.
7. He is spontaneous.

Seven things I say most often:
1. Yup
2. I love you (to my hubby, kids, mom, good friends)
3. NO BARKING!!!! (no, not to Gerry)
4. Want an ice cream, honey?
5. F*ck (sorry, it's my favorite word)
6. I'll have a bread, please!
7. Decaf with cream, please!

Five books I love:
1. The Notebook
2. The Very Hungry Caterpillar (children's book)
3. Where the Wild Things Are (antoher children's book - hey - I'm a mommy & teacher)
4. Books by Anita Shreve
5. Any other book by Nicholas Sparks

Seven movies I watch over and over again:
1. Independence Day
2. You've Got Mail
3. Dave
4. Pirates of the Carribbean
5. Sleepless in Seatle
6.Sweet Home Alabama
7.An Affair to Remember (with Cary Grant - hey, it's time I watched it again)

Seven people I'm curious about that I'd like to join in:
1. Consider yourself chosen, too!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Weather or Not?

Well, it's a day late but the weather is the same as yesterday's....sunny with a high of around 68 degrees. So here I am, wearing a long sleeved knit shirt, my usual jeans, sneakers instead of sandals, a denim vest and a fleece jacket. Note, however, the palm tree and the flowers in bloom. One of the perks of living in S. and green all year long, in spite of occasional cold days. Ok, ok, I know that 68 isn't cold to most of you, and our evening low of 51 is still a heat wave to New Yorkers right now, but for ME....who LOVES it in the 80''s cold!!! It also doesn't help that my classroom is kept at around 72 degrees (I have no control over that!). So, Alison...forgive me for being a little late in this posting, but I know you understand!

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Monday, December 12, 2005

My Sincere Apologies

I feel SOOOO bad! I jsut read the blog written by Creative Genius and saw that I FORGOT to take a picture of myself dressed for today's weather in South Florida. But I swear I have a really good excuse. I went to school (work) with my camera, preparing to have someone take my picture. It was cold here this morning...58 degrees. I was wearing jeans, sneakers instead of my usual sandals, and a fleece jacket (over a long sleeved shirt). Being Monday morning, it gets a little nuts in a kindergarten class. I thought I would do the deed at lunchtime. Then it all hit the fan....Gerry called from home...Texas called! We were awaiting the call from MD Anderson Medical Center. They set up an appointment for him to see a melanoma oncologist there and find out what treatment they want him to have. SOOOO - while my students worked on a paperbag Santa puppet, I was on the phone (ssshhhh) with Gerry, Texas, Delta Airlines, Gerry and Texas again (all in 20 minutes). I was still on with the airlines when the clock showed that it was time for my class to be at lunch. I couldn't leave the phone (ever try getting back to where you were with who you were on with once you have hung up on an airline person?). I quickly called my coworker on his cell phone, and he ran out of lunch to get my class and bring them to lunch (did I ever tell you that I work with a fabulous team of teachers?). The rest of the day was busy, my room needed updating, putting in order, I tutored till 5:30....yada, yada, yada. Needless to say, the photo was forgotten. And tonight I have been on this computer for 4 hours and finally got cheap flights to Texas and a good price for rental car. Here's the sucky part of this trip....we fly into Houston on a Sunday, the night before Gerry's appointment (Monday). We have NO idea if we will be done on Monday, or any other day that week, so we had to book a stay through the following Saturday. Man, I will be PO'd if the dr. says on Monday...."Go home today and we'll see you in a few weeks!" and I will have missed the entire week of work (using up all my remaining sick days). Oh, well...guess we'll just have to make the best of a bad situation....see Houston!!! I have not been there in 18 years, since I went with Alison. Remember the fun we had, Al?

Tomorrow my class sees Santa. Boy - have times changed! We used to have toys donated by our corporate partners, and each child went home with a great present. Last year each child got a small book and a candy cane....I wonder if we'll get that much this year?

On a really sad note...I learned this morning that one of my former student's, now in third grade, was about to be told after school that her mom passed away this morning. I had not known that her mom has been in a coma for awhile. I felt horrible when I heard. Kimberly's mom was a lovely woman. She didn't speak English but we communicated fairly well, helped along by Kimberly's sister and Kimberly herself. I am heartbroken for this child and her sister, who is married and just had her first baby after numerous misses. So to repeat an often stated line....LIFE IS TOO SHORT!!!! Go out and live your life and make yourself happy!

To end on a HAPPY best friend Rosemarie became a grandma today...first one. Her daugher Deona went to school with Alison from K - 4th grade, but we've always remained close. Baby Sienna Rose arrived by C-section two weeks early, weighed in at 5lb 14 oz and is 20 1/2 inches long. Mommy and Daddy are doing well, too, and Grandma and Grandpa are kvelling (busting their buttons)! Mazel Tov to my dear friends!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

A little bit of Fun

This is a direct copy from Heather...thanks for permission to post it here:
The Holiday Ten (courtesy of Kim)Instructions: Copy and paste the questions to your blog (with your answers, not mine).
One. What is your favorite holiday movie? It's a Wonderful Life, and A Sesame Street Christmas.
Two. What is your favorite holiday song (title and artist)? Alan Sandler's Hanukkah Song - absolutely hysterical
Three. What’s the best holiday gift you were ever given, and why? My diamond engagement ring, three years ago. My guy had planned a fabulous proposal in front of his friends, but because he didn't have any holiday gifts for me (he considered the ring my gift), he felt bad opening 10 from me, so, in front of my mom, in barefeet and shorts, he got down on TWO knees Xmas morning and proposed (nice for my mom who was left out of all that my first time around)
Four. Do you have a special someone to kiss at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s? That same special guy.
Five. Name of your favorite reindeer? Rudolph - of course!
Six. Favorite Holiday food? My homemade manicotti, sausgage and meatballs
Seven. Snow day — cuddle by the fire, or hand me a snowball? Cuddle by the fire with hot chocolate and marshmallows, wearing flannel pj's and wrapped in a warm blanket (I hate being cold)
Eight. What was your New Year’s resolution for this year? Did you stick to it? don't remember, but it was probably to drop a few lbs. Did I? sure...then added them, then dropped them, then added them, and so on!
Nine. Is there really a Santa Claus? Not to bah, humbug, but.....nope. Santa is really just those who love you.
Ten. Present, or stocking stuffer? I'm not fussy - either or both!
Consider yourself tagged!

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

It's Good to be Back

Last night I returned to my (small) knitting group. I had not been there since October 18 - before the hurricane, before all the craziness with Gerry, Ocala and my ouches. We are a teeny group...only 4 of us last night (one regular couldn't make it...missed you, Catherine), but let me tell you...I really missed my Tuesday nights. Susan, who makes wonderful natural, homemade soaps, was finishing off a shell she made, and I showed her how to do a three needle bind off. She was so pleased with how smooth the shoulder seams came out. Heather was working on a funky scarf, an inexpensive gift for a friend, and Alona was making a Monarch Shawl - sorry I don't have a link to the pattern. It looks like it will be beautiful. It is worked in two sections and then sewed together to resemble a monarch butterfly. Instead of orange and black she is knitting it in shades of green, light purple and blue. As for me, I am working on my 5th face cloth, to give to my coworkers with a bar of soap (not as a hint....just a way of giving a little something hand-made by me).
Tonight I came home and found that I could not get onto the, THAT'S a tragedy for me! When I checked it out I found that my router was no longer was dead as a doornail. So, before going to the movies, we went to Office Depot and purchased a new one. Once home, it took awhile and a few phone calls to the company that makes it to get help in setting it up,but I am a happy works, and Gerry's laptop is running off of it smoothly.
We went to see the movie "Yours, Mine and Ours." I had seen the original with Lucille Ball and Henry Fonda, years ago, and heard that this one wasn't good. was adorable. Very predictable, of course, but Gerry needed a light movie and this fit the bill. If you just want a cute, light-hearted flick....go see it. I think it's very enjoyable.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

A Worthwhile Trip, to Be Sure!

Last Sunday I left home for a 3 1/2 day excursion to Orlando, Fl. I flew there for a Kindergarten Teacher's Conference. It was SO fabulous! For once I was at a conference that was totally age-appropriate. Usually when you go to even an early childhood conference, most of it is geared to the higher of the grades, with honorable mention to K. This time, it was ALL about K. The presenters were marvelous...I didn't blow off even one session. I got so many good all I need it the time to implement them. There just aren't enough hours in the day for preparation, but....that's an old story.

Unfortunately, the weather wasn't great and I was alone so I didn't do anything Orlando-ish, but after the past month it was just nice to get away. Gerry was doing really well. Oh, we missed each other, but it was good for him to be doing for himself.

The highlight of my free time (sshhh, don't tell Gerry) was taking myself to see the movie RENT. Now if you are not a RENT addicted person, you might not appreciate the movie. But I LOVED it! I have seen the stage version 4 times, and I am excited that in a few months ( as with all movies these days) it will be available on DVD and I can watch it over and over again. I sat in the theater (all really, ALL ALONE - it was 11:15 in the morning - and sang the songs along with the performers, cried, laughed (just a little) and sang some more. So if you are really into RENT, don't miss it!! (as to my not telling Gerry - he plans to see it with me. I don't want him to feel that he can get out of it because I already saw the film).

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Couldn't believe it....gas in S. Florida when I left was $2.35 for regular....some places in Orlando were about $2.19....look how cheap it was right across International Drive from the Convention Center...

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A Gerry update: we saw the surgeon on Thursday. He happily told us that he got the entire mass out of Gerry's chest, along with the middle lobe of his right lung and a piece of the heart lining. He replaced the lining with bovine (cow) lining. Alison has already given Gerry full grazing rights on her property! What a great daughter she is! The surgeon told us that Gerry now needs treatment to prevent this metastisized melanoma from reoccuring. He feels strongly that we should go to a National Cancer Center that specialized in melanomas, and said that NIH in Bethesda, MD or MD Anderson in Houston, Texas were the two best choices. After some discussion, we opted for Texas (I just don't have boots and am not very partial to cold weather ala Bethesda). The sucky thing is that it would mean at least two weeks hospitalization for Gerry and a very tough treatment. The good thing is that Gerry is young and in excellent physical health, which would help him withstand the treatment's side effects.So - we are now making calls and will soon make the arrangements to go to Texas, hopefully in January. We both agree that we have to do everything, no matter what, to make Gerry a very long term cancer survivor.

A very happy brother Jon, who has been a single parent to my niece Gianna for the past 9 years (she's 14 now) has been trying most of those years to find a woman to share his life and be a good influence in Gianna's life as well. After maybe 100's of dates and a few not-so-good relationships, he met a WONDERFUL woman. He and Karen flew down to S. Florida so we could meet her. From the minute they walked in last night (with my mom) we felt right at home with Karen. She is cute, perky, warm and friendly, and it's plain to see that she and Jon love each other. They are already planning a summer wedding. It seemed a bit quick, but hey...when you know it's right, you go for it. Karen has a 17 yr old daughter (cute, from her pix) and Jon said she is so sweet. Gianna likes her alot....they are going to make a great family unit. I am so happy for my brother, as you can tell.

Hey, Secret Pal 6. I received the Addi Turbos. Thank you SO much! It's my second pair, different size from the first, and I can't wait to use them (the project I am working on right now doesn't call for circs. You are a sweetheart. And don't worry....when you are able to mail out the package you mentioned, then you will. I certainly understand being busy!

Counting the days till Winter break. Although we had to cancel Cancun, it will still be good to be off of work and get some things done around home. I still have several items to finish start:

  1. Phil's sweater
  2. Mom's textured sweater shrug
  3. Sew together my chenille sweater (from last May)
  4. Either finish or frog my gray cardigan
  5. Make two more facecloths (those must be finished before Dec. 15th)
  6. Knit a scarf for co-worker who is PAYING ME to do so
  7. Baby sweater for Carla's baby boy, due in May
  8. Paint the mirror and light fixture in the newly renovated guest room bathroom
  9. Plant flowers in front of the cottage we rent out back

Guess I won't get all that much rest over the vacation, will I? So....what else is new?