Thursday, April 28, 2016

Foods that don't have to be refrigerated

Every so often -- a few times a day -- I get suckered into clicking on the headline promising an intriguing payoff. Earlier today I did click on to see the "bizarre reason" the JetBlue pilot gave for his alcohol reading. (He claimed it was the gum he was chewing which makes no sense -- at least to me._)

I just clicked on 6 foods that don't have to be refrigerated... I always wondered about mustard, but that wasn't on the list so maybe it should be refrigerated. Here is the list:

ketchup -- I don't really have it, but I would put it in the fridge
maple syrup - Never occurred to me to refrigerate it
peanut butter --Would make it too hard to spread
jams and jellies-- yes I do refrigerate it once it's opened, but supposedly you don't have to
barbecue sauce -- dont have it, but like ketchup I would put it in once it's opened
butter - the article says this is the one that surprises people. Of course I put butter in the refrigerator but this article says you should keep it in an "opaque butter dish."

Sunday, April 24, 2016

What I'm Reading

I would highly recommend The Residence... it's an easy read -- just 250 pages or so and it was interesting to see a different, more personal side of the First Families. What surprised me most is that from Kennedy to Obama, the president the staff loved the most was George Sr and Barbara. I wouldn't have guessed that. The author speculates that it may be because the Bushes were  used to servants and so they were at ease with the staff.

I found the sections on 9/11 interesting... I didn't know (or didn't remember) that Laura Bush was on her way to Capitol Hill to testify on some family act and she was stuck there for a while. Also, I had heard gossip that during the Clinton scandal that Hillary screamed and threw stuff at Bill and this was confirmed. Nixon's last days were also sad. In any event, it's a good read.

I decided to stay in Washington DC and stay historical with my next read. I almost didn't buy this because Cokie Roberts is too conservative for me at times, but I saw her talk about this book a few times and she is really passionate about the women.

So here it is.... all I've read so far is the prologue, and here's what Amazon says:

In this engrossing and informative companion to her New York Times bestsellers Founding Mothers and Ladies of Liberty, Cokie Roberts marks the sesquicentennial of the Civil War by offering a riveting look at Washington, D.C. and the experiences, influence, and contributions of its women during this momentous period of American history.

With the outbreak of the Civil War, the small, social Southern town of Washington, D.C. found itself caught between warring sides in a four-year battle that would determine the future of the United States.Sifting through newspaper articles, government records, and private letters and diaries—many never before published—Roberts brings the war-torn capital into focus through the lives of its formidable women.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

My Anxiety Dream

I don't think I'm any more full of anxiety yesterday or last night, but I had a whopper of an anxiety dream which now makes me laugh.

I was meeting Mary at 9:30 at a place outside. I was in a hotel room, sharing it with someone who shall remain nameless who I don't particularly like, nothing serious, just not my first (or second, third, or twenty-seventh) choice of a roommate. Clothes are scattered all over the room (my clothes) and I'm trying to put an outfit together. Can't make anything work... either it doesn't "go" or doesn't fit or something and the time is passing and I see it's already 9:30 and Mary will be standing there waiting and I can't contact her. Evidently no cellphones in this dream.

So finally I get an OK outfit and go to leave (and I even kissed my roommate on the cheek goodbye since I'm such a fine fellow) when I realize I don't have shoes on and Mary and I were going to go to a restaurant and I can't go in a restaurant without shoes, so back to this messy room and trying to find a pair of shoes, all these scattered, unmatched shoes, some don't fit and finally get shoes on and it's out the door to my car.

Oh, but the anxiety continues. I realize it's valet parking and I don't have the ticket for the car. Nobody ever gave me one and this place has lots in all different locations (of course it does; it's an ansiety dream~!) I get the attention of the valet man and tell him I don't have the ticket and he asks me to describe the car. The car is a rental, and I can't remember what it looks like. I say to him, "It may be a white Camry.." I don't know where my brain came up with that one.

One interjection here in real life: That actually happened to me one year in Oshkosh where I had landed in Milwaukee, drove straight to the show, parked in public parking and then couldn't remember precisely where I had parked or WHAT MY CAR LOOKED LIKE. I had the keys which had the license plate, but no other description... I did eventually find it.

Back to the dream... I get on this shuttle bus filled with other people and the valet man is driving us around to the differet lots and people are getting off and getting to their cars (Hey, I thought this was supposed to be valet parking! I guess it was semi-valet)... I'm the last one on the bus and never saw my car. In fact, I didn't evem know really what I was looking for. And now, it's 10 minutes to 10 and surely Mary has been waiting and I'm not even close to meeting her. I remember thinking in the dream that Mary would wait for me... but for how long?

I guess all that anxiety got to be a bit much and I woke up. There's the one or two seconds of being awake where you think it's real, and then that surge of relief that I don't have to go hunting for an unknown rental car while Mary taps her foot and looks at her watch.

Thursday, April 21, 2016


I sort of pride myself in my ability to pass possessions on, whether to friends or to the thrift shop, but it can sometimes be difficult. This morning Marilyn and I were changing out winter clothes for summer which is a good time to take a look at things. I ended up with two bags of clothes for the thrift shop, but I have to say it caused some anxiety in me. It doesn't make sense to hang on to clothes I never (or rarely wear) even if there still "good," even if they still fit. My anxiety was such that it bothered me, not enough to stop, and not enough to retrieve things from the thrift shop bag.

At the same time, I felt this palpable energy surge -- out with old energy, old clothes, old memories, old stuff. I can't say I need anything new, but I am glad the old stuff is gone. I know it's the right decision.

So I was telling Brad, my client/friend about this as it's something we talk about. His wife had recently done that Chinese system (not feng shui), but a book by a Chinese author about decluttering and they were both happy with the results. I told Brad I did feel some anxiety... so we're talking about it and I brought up this nightgown... and I told him I know it was stupid, and the fact that I'm even going to tell him about the nightgown is stupid, but I have this summer nightgown which has been washed 100 times and I love it and it's soft, but it has a hole in it... not a tear, but a hole I think caused by the washing machine.

I struggle every time I wash it and fold it and don't throw it away.

I was telling Brad this and he said something profound. He said "don't confuse something that is a favorite for something that should be thrown away." He went on to say that he has a sweatshirt way past its prime that he loves but he wants to keep it. He gave me other examples, and I thought that's right. I like the floral pattern of this nightgown; it fits just right and now I believe I can (somewhat) overlook the hole.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

What I'm Reading

First the old: I didn't like the Victorian murder book as much as I'd hoped. It just got so weighted down in detail that it seemed to never move forward. Also because there really wasn't enough material even for this 225 page book, the author gets into other murder trials going on at the same time as this one which I really didn't care about.

Anyway,. now I'm reading The Residence and here's what Amazon says:

A remarkable history with elements of both In the President’s Secret Service and The Butler, The Residence offers an intimate account of the service staff of the White House, from the Kennedys to the Obamas.

America’s First Families are unknowable in many ways. No one has insight into their true character like the people who serve their meals and make their beds every day. Full of stories and details by turns dramatic, humorous, and heartwarming, The Residence reveals daily life in the White House as it is really lived through the voices of the maids, butlers, cooks, florists, doormen, engineers, and others who tend to the needs of the President and First Family.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Sunday Evening

Finally a spring day in NY and I've had the garden door open all day and the fresh air is so nice. Spent some time putterig and also cleaning out/dealing with a roster of emails and I'm down to three. BTW, I watched the HBO Anita HIll "Confirmation" movie last night and I would recommend it if you have HBO or can get it through Netflix. Mary and I had previously talked about Joe Biden's role as head of the Senate Judiciary Committee and how it wasn't a stellar pro-woman performance on his part. In this film, he's portrayed as someone who easily bends to pressure from the pro-Thomas side, curses a lot (which I believe is accurate in real life)... and at one point, a female  says to him in disgust, "So much power, so little leadership" which is such a great phrase and one that fits in many areas of the corporate world as well.

It was also interesting in that the movie used real news clips from the time and there's a section in the end when the female newspeople such as Barbara Walters and Andrea Mitchelll try to talk about their own experienes in "roundtable" sessions and they are pretty much cut off and interrupted by the males.

Anyway, on a lighter note, here is Mary's great-niece Delaney who is having her brush with greatness meeting Cinderella... location unknown.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Catching Up

Fran sent me some photos earlier this week, and I'm getting caught up... but technology is not cooperating...I can download, but they don't come out as jpg's.... I can do this one, but I can't change it to be horizontal, so to view Valentino sleeping on Fran's hand ("his favorite pillow), you'll have to turn your head.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Milo's Doings

Mary reports:

I was talking to Fran about this and she reminded me there's no point in trying to understand cats.  They love newspaper and will choose to curl up in it over a nice soft couch. So here's Milo reading the funnies. The annoying thing is I hadn't read them yet. The second picture show you what the paper looked like when he finished.



Mary has spring/, me, not so much

Here are tulips from Mary's front yard. Here it's sitll cool, still jacket weather; no open windows.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016


I am enjoying my Victorian England murder mystery although even at its rather short length of about 250 pages, there really isn't enoung material for a full book so he goes off on historical tangents, some of which I don't find that interesting.

What does interest me, and somewhat annoys me, is the difference between British English and American English. In one part, he says, "The sun had its hat on" and at first I thought it was a typo and it was supposed to be 'SON' but then the rest of the sentence said "and all was right with the world" so I took that as a colloquial sayiing. Had never heard of it, though.

Today I was emailing back and forth with a British colleague and mentioned this saying that he was very familiar with. . Hpe the sun has its hat on where you are!

Saturday, April 9, 2016

What I'm Reading

I binge-read Swans of Fifth Avenue, and needless to say, I really enjoyed it. As I mentioned, it's a novel based on fact, and the author has an afterword where she says people are curious as to what is real and what she made up. She says, of course, that she made up the conersations but all the facts and perceptions of the people are true. It made me go and look up the various characters on line, study their bios and photos on Wikipedia, etc. It also sort of made me curious to reread Capote's book In Cold Blood which I read when it was first published in 1966. That's a book that stayed with me, and I remember a few of the details all these years later.

So from Fifth Avenue to Kidbrooke Lane outside of London...

If you can't read the subtitle its' "A true story of Victorian Law and Disorder" and I'll let Amazon describe it more succinctly than I would:

On April 26th, 1871, a police constable walking one of London’s remotest beats stumbled upon a brutalized young woman kneeling on a muddy road―gashes were cloven into her skull; her left cheek was slashed open and smashed-in; her right eye was destroyed; and above it a chunk of the temporal bone had been bashed out. The policeman gaped in horror as the woman held out her hand before collapsing into the mud, muttering “let me die” and slipping into a coma. Five days later, she died, her identity still unknown.

Within hours of her discovery on Kidbrooke Lane scores of the officers of Greenwich Division were involved in the investigation, and Scotland Yard had sent one of its top detectives, John Mulvany, to lead it. After five days of gathering evidence, the police discovered the girl’s identity: Jane Maria Clouson, a maid in the house of the renowned Pook family . . . and she was two months’ pregnant with Edmund Pook’s child when she died.

Murphy carefully reviews the evidence in the light of 21st century forensic science in order to identify Jane’s killer as Edmund Walter Pook. Using a surprisingly abundant collection of primary sources, Murphy aims to recreate the drama of the case as it unfolded, with its many twists and turns, from the discovery of the body to the final crack of the gavel―and beyond. 16 pages of color and B&W illustrations

me again: So far, the woman has been found; she's in the hospital in a coma and loads of people are coming to look at her to try to identify her. She's still alive and the police and Scotaland Yard are gathering evidence.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Real and Pretend Lobster Fest

Fran alerted Mary that it was Red Lobster's Lobsterfest and they made me jealous by going there today. A favorite of mine are the cheesy biscuits, and Mary supplied a photo to make my mouth water.

And here's Mary's meal:

this looks like shrimp and lobster and chivey mashed potatoes and macaroni & cheese....

Mary captioned this "Don't touch that biscuit!"

So I was definitely jealous so I splurged on my own delivered dinner... shrimp stuffed with crabmeat, baked potato and fresh corn. It was good.

No cheesey biscuits, but I did get a good salad that was cool and fresh.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Mary's Lilacs

Despite spring temporarily fleeing, Mary's lilacs are beginning to open.


Another Good Read

If you like following someone having an adventure, here's one. This is an author I've worked with who has taken a sabbatical to ride his bike from South Carolina up the coast and then west to Oregon. It's hard for me to imagine, but it's a fun trip to follow. He also has incredible "everyday" type photos which remind me of some I would take. He also talks about what he eats. He's now on Day 18 and in Virginia.

Here's the link -- no registration or sign in necessary.

What I'm Reading

I finished the Fannie Flagg book, and I liked it. It's one of those books whete the characters I believe will stay with you. It got too complicated at the end -- too many side plots and side characters for my taste. I was thinking that I only have a limited amount of "care" for characters, and there were too many good-guy characters to care aboout.

In any event, now I'm reading Swans of Fifth Avenue, which is a novel based on real events. Google books says:

In 1975, a clique of Manhattan socialites discover that literary lion Truman Capote revealed their dirtiest laundry to the world in a story published to great fanfare in Esquire—a real-life event that inspires this novel. As the women (the metaphorical swans of the novel’s title) face his perfidy, they attempt to untangle an intimacy with Capote that dates back to 1955.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Just Checking In

Lazy weekend of puttering around. I devoted way too much time sitting here, with junk TV, playing a computer game. Did a bit of work-work... watched various crime documentaries -- missing person and murder type things. Spring has gone away. The wind is so strong that I can actually hear it. When I can hear weather through the 100-year old brick walls of my apartment, I know it's something. The week ahead continues this dreary spring... can't wait for the warm weather... and no, I won't complain about the heat!

Oh, I am enjoying the Fannie Flagg book... have about 100 pages or so more to go. I would never have gotten this book had it not been recommended. She's really a good writer -- about a step or two above "beach book" standard.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Sleepy Milo

Mary says:
Milo used to move as soon as I started making the bed.  Now he just snuggles down and relaxes.
Pat says:
I know the feeling!