Friday, October 31, 2008

Friday Photos

Would you believe that I had never carved a pumpkin before last night? Yup - it's true. Mom & Dad just weren't into it when I was a kid. So, last night was my first. Truth is, A did a lot of the work, but I helped. I don't know if I'll ever do it again because it is a lot of work. I can understand why Mom & Dad didn't do it! Anyway - enough chatter - here are some pictures of my first pumpkin!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Happiness is....

....getting brownie points with just a phone call. Huh? I don't get it you say? Here's the deal. I called Aunt B and invited her and Uncle B to Thanksgiving Dinner at my house. They can not join us as they had already accepted another invitation (which I kind of expected), but I scored major brownie points with Aunt B just for inviting them. And, since, if they had come, they would have pushed us to the limit space-wise, it's a win-win. I get the brownie points, but I don't have to worry about a crowded table. It should be noted that when Aunt B was the new wife (Uncle B is Mom's brother) she didn't do enough inviting of The Aunts to her house and they didn't like her for it. When I refer to "The Aunts" I mean my mother's bunch of aunts - and they were a bunch. My grandmother was the oldest of 8, 6 girls 2 boys. They were quite the group. A large boisterous Irish family was maybe a bit difficult for Aunt B - she was an only child from a much quieter family. I can see how inviting The Aunts would be a bit - um - scary? I mean - these are people who had a fight over who was the youngest. And it was a water fight. They were in their 40s & 50s - well except for Mary, who was the youngest, she was 39. One more thing to say about The Aunts - and The Uncles. One of my mother's cousins once said to her mother "Your mother raised two sane children, and you weren't one of them." Truer things are rarely said.

Monday, October 27, 2008


Why do middle aged men - or worse post middle aged men - buy cars like the Porsche Carrera and then drive slow? There is just something wrong with that.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Sunday Thoughts

*College football is fun. I really enjoy going to UCONN games from the tailgating to the game itself. I do wish that they didn't sell alcohol at the games (they can because it's off-campus) because I find that it can lead to stupidity on the part of some fans.
*I planted a bunch of flowers today - 12 in fact. There are only 11 left to make it to summer. I just took the dog out to do his business and some rodent has already taken one of the daisies I planted. I was so pissed. I suppose I should be glad it was just one.
*I made pumpkin biscotti for the tailgate yesterday. It turned out well. I'll have to do that one again.
*Tailgating in the cold is not good when you are nursing a cold or sinus thing or whatever the heck this thing is.
*We are into something like week 4 of our little "keep the house clean" project. We've got different chores to do each night except Friday. I'm finding it's not so hard to keep up with the cleaning by breaking it up like that. It doesn't take long each night to do the assigned chore and the result is well worth it.
*We had our first freeze and that spelled the end of the dahlias. The garden along our back fence looks so bare now. I also took a crack at pruning my roses.
*I just saw a commercial with Kobe Bryant, A-Rod, Michael Phelps and some guy I don't know - they were doing the Tom Cruise bit singing "Old Time Rock 'n Roll" in their undies and button down shirts. Commercial is for guitar hero. I bet it was fun to make for those guys.
*I think that pro football refs look stupid in the long pants uniform.
*I want to dress up for Halloween for work, but I have no idea what to wear.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Friday Photos

I'm taking a photography course. So I thought I would post some of my homework! We were to take portraits with the cameras on aperture priority mode and the aperture wide open. So - here are my boys.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Happiness is....

...a resignation from the Board I staff. YAYAYAY I've been waiting for this one. I knew it had to come sooner or later. It happened last night at about 10:30 pm. I was not expecting it. I thought he would wait until he had sold his house and had to resign because he was leaving town. But - he's going a little early. I wanted to call my boss and tell her - but it was kind of late. As I was leaving, I saw the light on in another office, went in and found one of my colleagues, so I did my happy dance and told him the news. There will be happy employees throughout Town Hall today. This is a mean man. This is an angry man. It was actually kind of amusing sometimes to watch him get angry at a meeting and turn purple - seriously his whole head would turn this kind of reddish purple. So, off into the sunset he goes. Now - the interesting thing in all this is who might they put in his place. Given the makeup of the current board, I think they will choose someone intelligent, reasonable and not given to the nastiness that we sometimes saw from our former member.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Just can't wrap my head around it

My friend Patrick died yesterday morning. I've known for a week or so that it was coming. I'm still having trouble wrapping my head around it. Patrick had a bigger than life personality. He was just so much fun - so lively, funny, carefree and also intelligent and caring. It's hard to imagine that much life just going away. I've only known Patrick for a couple of years - but that was sure long enough for him to make an impression and for me to feel a strong sense that I have lost something. And he died from a golfing accident. Who goes golfing thinking that they are going to have a fatal accident. He did something stupid. He was leaning out of his golf cart to catch his golf ball, which was being thrown to him by another person in his foursome. The golf cart was moving and Patrick fell out and landed on his head on the cart path. A fatal golf accident - it's just so hard to wrap my head around. Seriously - a freaking fatal golf accident. So much life - gone in a fatal golf accident. Who goes out to play golf thinking they might never come back?

Friday, October 17, 2008

Friday Photos

Note: the pumpkins are my neighbors. They grew them in their backyard. A couple of days after I took this shot, some jerks smashed the four smaller pumpkins in the street. The flowers are all mine. I'm especially pleased with the mums. They were originally in a planter last fall. I planted them in the back garden, just hoping for the best - and look what I got!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Their Stupidity is Amazing

I'm talking about some of my fellow Americans here. I'm talking about the ones who believe the incredible lies people tell about politicians. I have to say - I haven't seen any horror stories about John McCain (and I looked at to see if they had any) - but the things that people are posting about Barack Obama are amazing. How about this one - the writer claims his college roommates were Pakistani and that after his second year in college, he made an around the world trip, visiting his mother in Indonesia, his roommate's family in Pakistan and his father's family in Africa. He also went to Columbia - an expensive school and then to Harvard Law School. The writer questions "how could he afford this" and suggests that the sources are from "the Middle East". Hey - must be true - his roommates are Pakistani. OMG I understand believing that his stance on issues is wrong and disagreeing with his proposed policies - but the hate mongering is just staggering. And to think that people believe this? It's mind boggling. Are they that stupid or that paranoid?
And then there are the people who think that Sarah Palin is highly qualified to be Vice President. Some of it, I'm sure, is party faithful posturing because they have to. But seriously - McCain could have done so much better. Women should not be proud of this pick. I think it has set us back in terms of women on the national stage. I'll give her the whopping 2 years of her governorship - but other than that? Seriously people? If you leave off those 2 years, I have far more experience in government than she does, administering larger budgets, dealing with labor unions, trying to reduce taxes while maintaining or increasing services. As a woman, I think he did us a disservice. He could have chosen Gov. Jodi Rell of CT, Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison or Senator Elizabeth Dole or plenty of other Republican women with far more experience and greater credibility. I'm just puzzled by the people who think she is such a good choice, so qualified. Maybe they were mesmerized by her wink.
I'm just amazed.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Happiness is...

sometimes elusive. This has been a tough week. The economy has caused us to put some projects on hold at work. I've been working the numbers, trying to figure out how we can have a mill rate increase of less than 4%, possibly as low as 2%. There's really no way to get there without layoffs. Then there's the situation with my brother. And the possibility that my friend is going to pass away. Add in my employee who wanted to take from Thanksgiving to New Year's Day off. Then to top it all off, I've got some kind sinus thing going on, so I physically feel on the shitty side.
But I know happiness is out there. It's in my father-in-law moving our recycling bins to the backyard when he stopped by the house. It's in A stopping to get me dinner on his way home because I didn't feel like cooking. And in him cleaning the bathroom last night without me nagging. It's in Boomer snuggling up to me and giving me kisses. It's in the flowers sitting in a vase in my kitchen, cut from the garden that I planted and tended. It's in a friend sending me an article that made her think of me. Happiness is always around, sometimes it's just not shouting at you, rather silently reassuring you that there is goodness.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

When not even chocolate helps

What do you do when you don't even think chocolate will help?

There's kind of good news on my brother. My older sister spoke with him this morning. Yes, he has a gambling problem. No, it's not as bad as his wife is making out. He says the worst part about it was that he was hiding things. He is getting help. He recognizes that he has some issues - he has an OCD personality - and is working on it. My sister said he sounded really good - not fake good. It sounds like a very real possibility that they will get divorced and he's okay with that. He apparently has considered divorce in the past, so I think that is going to happen sooner rather than later. I feel better about his situation now.

Then there's my friend Patrick. He was in a weird accident about 4 weeks ago. He suffered a brain injury and has been in a coma since. It's not looking good. His girlfriend indicated today that he may die today or tomorrow - which I guess really means pulling the plug. This is a guy that is larger than life. He has such a big personality. He's the kind of guy that can wear a seersucker suit or madras plaid shorts and look great doing it. Just a fun person to be with, also an intelligent man. He got such a big laugh about the time I got mad at A for telling me he would be home shortly, then not coming home for 45 minutes. To me, shortly was 10-15 minutes. I think Patrick thought shortly meant by the weekend. :) Anyway, he liked to tease me about it. I did a cancer walk last year and he donated under the name "I'll be home shortly". Got to love it. I'm very sad that the world may lose this guy. I'm very sad that I'm going to lose a friend. I'm even more sad for his girlfriend, who is my friend, and for his kids. Chocolate is just not going to make it feel better today.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

I expected to be happy about this.

My brother's wife has told at least one relative that she is leaving my brother. I expected to be happy about it. I guess I am, but the rest of the story leaves me sad. She claims my brother has a gambling problem. With her - who knows if it's true. Her tales have sometimes had a bit of truth in them, so it's possible. I do know he used to play the daily lottery all the time. Whether this is or developed into a problem, I don't know. I don't have much contact with my brother anymore, because of the way his wife treats me, my sisters and my mother and because my brother has not only allowed it, he's tacitly endorsed it. So - I don't know if he really has a problem and if he does, how severe it is. I am sad about that. Could I have changed anything? Would I have done anything differently? I don't know. What I do know is that I am not in a position to say that I've witnessed his behavior, the conditions in their home, etc and to be able to make my own judgment. A very big part of me thinks that she may be exaggerating things. That is one of her MOs. She would, because if they are indeed splitting, she needs for it to be totally his fault. She will not accept responsibility. She needs other people to be bad for her to feel that she looks good. And the fact that she has gone to my cousin and told him this tale is also typical behavior for her. She's also trying to get in touch with my sister - the one who took the longest time to get on her list. My sister is avoiding her calls, she wants to talk to my brother first and get him to call our mother. I don't know how long it will be before his wife calls my mother to tell her how "awful" my brother is and give her tale of woe.
I'm worried about my brother. What if it's true? He needs to get help if it is. Will she be trying to drive a wedge between him and the kids - if she hasn't been working on that already? We've always worried that her last move, after successfully separating him from his family, would be to move to separate him from his kids. She may have gotten there.
So, I expected to be happy when I got word they were divorcing, not to have this lump in the pit of my stomach. I hope my brother comes out of this okay. That's the most important thing.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Friday Photos on Saturday

Yesterday was a little rushed. I had an early meeting at work to discuss how we are going to deal with the current economy and its impact on our taxpayers and potentially our budget. So - here are some photos a day late. All of my two favorite boys.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Happiness is....

...singing along with your favorite songs at full volume while driving. I don't know what it is - but singing in the car just makes me happy. :)

Friday, October 03, 2008

Friday Photos

I was playing in Photoshop Elements to see what it could do, so I thought that for today's photos, I would post some of the results. These are all off the same original picture. The top one is the original .

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Happiness is...

...a new toy - Wally the Warthog for Boomer, a new car for me. Sorry - no pics of the car.