Sunday, January 31, 2010


I was poking through this website of rare photos of famous people when I found this picture. Although it's not identified, I feel confident that I know the setting. The Beatles were in their room at the Edgewater Hotel in Seattle, fishing from the window. Ted had a friend who managed the Edgewater for a while, and he told us that story years ago. I'd never heard the story before then, and didn't see a picture at the time. This morning, the last piece came into the picture.

That's my distraction this morning. I'm afraid now I have to go face reality.

Saturday, January 30, 2010


I thought I was getting better. But the same symptom that "blossomed" on Monday night - the one that looked so much better by this morning -- blossomed again tonight. I am sad. And a bit scared. And that's all I'm going to say for now.

Friday, January 29, 2010

carried away

I nearly forgot to blog tonight, so busy was I reading a book and searching online for a lamp replacement for our projection TV. OK, so I hadn't planned on reading a book. I really wanted to hunker down on this brutally cold evening with an afghan and a few cats to watch a movie or two. But the burnt out bulb in the TV ended that pipe dream (although I did still have afghan and cats while reading).

We ignored the "replace lamp" warning for a couple weeks. The picture started getting a little darker and a little less clear. When it exploded last night, we could ignore it no longer. Ted searched around town today, and was stunned to find out that this bulb, uh, I mean lamp assembly costs about the same as a Toshiba 26" flat panel LCD TV with a built-it DVD player. But a mere couple feet can't replace the 10' behemoth that we call television. So, I shopped around online, found a more reasonably priced lamp assembly, and it will arrive early next week. Until then, we go without. Or we finally get around to setting up the little TV in the bedroom. I vote for [A] because I really like having a television-free bedroom.

Time for bed. Need to see if I can get the blast furnace to actually shut off for a little while. It's so windy and cold that it's been running all evening. Gmail's got it wrong again, by the way. It may be clear, but at 11:30pm at night, it's just not sunny.

Thursday, January 28, 2010


I went looking for a picture to use in tonight's otherwise brief blog entry. Instead of simply plucking the one I liked best and inserting it here, I found myself fascinated by the site from whence it came. I direct your attention to Words Are Art. Lovely and fascinating. The one I found at first was a beautiful, stark tree blown by the wind. But wander and see if the houses, moons, or bunnies strike your fancy.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


The settings on my Gmail account are configured to display a background reflecting current weather conditions in my area. I've always thought this was cute, if not wholly necessary, and it makes the interface a little less drab. Lately, though, it's been wrong a lot. Despite two nearly solid days of sunshine, blue skies, and precipitation-free weather, the Gmail page has shown driving rain, wind, and now, snow. I just looked out my window. No snow. I checked No forecast of snow for at least 24 hours. Is it showing snow to indicate that the temperature has dropped? Is it referencing another zip code for some mysterious reason? Who knows.

Nothing else to talk about. Good night.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

a reason

I went to the doctor last week because I was sick. This may not sound like a big deal: people go to doctors all the time. But generally speaking, I have to experience a significant amount of distress before deciding to seek medical attention. It was a good thing I went because it turns out I have both a bacterial sinus infection and a viral upper respiratory infection. The antibiotics have done a fine job of getting the sinus issue under control. I can both breathe and swallow now, which is pretty damned exciting when you think about it.

Today, after the sudden and dramatic worsening of a symptom, I went back to the doctor. After a long time in an exam room (literally hours) and a series of blood tests, it's apparent that the viral infection is much worse than originally thought. Unfortunately, there is no nifty treatment like antibiotics for viruses. So, it becomes a matter of attempting to suppress it long enough for my body to recover from the damage it's caused.

So, I've been sick. And I've been tired. And I'm trying to catch up at work after missing about five full days of it. And sometimes there's not enough energy or motivation or sheer will that allows me to be as productive as I want to (or should) be. So forgive me for past "peep"-type entries, and any in the future that may appear. I'm working on a new balancing act.

Monday, January 25, 2010


can't be done.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

word of the day

frangible \FRAN-juh-buhl\, adjective; Capable of being broken; brittle; fragile; easily broken.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

'night 'night

In the last seven days, I have gone to work on one day and worked a total of a bit over four hours. I'm so sick that I'll need to have a doctor's note to prove that it's OK for me to return to the office. Ted, too, has been sick this whole time. Not quite as dramatically so, but with a couple miserable days and still -- right now in his sleep -- coughing.

In that same seven days, Ted has gone to work on seven days and worked a total of around 93 hours. And tomorrow, he does his usual open-to-close shift. That's 15 hours in one day. He'll finish around 9:00pm, come home, do a quick nighttime routine, go to bed, and be up again at 3:00am to start Monday with a weekday-standard 12-14 hour day.

Despite his own illness and ridiculous work schedule, he came home today with a box of tea for me. He thought it might help me sleep (something that's been a problem this week) without adding to the pile of medications. He brings me hot compresses, bottles of water, new boxes of tissues (Puffs with lotion, which he went out and got mid-week), hot cups of water with honey that's impossible to squeeze out of a stupid bear bottle, and anything else I need while I sit swaddled in pajamas, afghans, cats, and the couch. Anytime he moves from one place to another, he asks if he can do anything for me.

Ever wonder why the line "in sickness and in health" exists in the marriage vows? I am so lucky.

Friday, January 22, 2010


I missed a day. In my defense, it was the day I went to the doctor and was diagnosed with a viral infection, a bacterial infection, and a fever. In all, I worked about 4 hours this week -- and I'm still not well. At least I have an understanding of what's going on and medication to treat it.

I've whined a lot this week. These dual infections have kicked my butt. But, as my friend, Chris, pointed out yesterday, things could be worse. She writes, "Amidst all the political commentary, I read today that amputations are being carried out in Haiti using only Motrin in place of anesthesia. Certainly puts my life into perspective." Motrin is one of the drugs I'm taking -- for respiratory and sinus infections. Perspective, indeed.

I started watching the "Hope for Haiti Now" benefit tonight. Let's just say that crying doesn't help when your head is full of infected mucus. Time to do something for someone else.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

sleeping on the sofa

To prevent drowning. Thought I was going to die in bed last night. Tomorrow it's either work or the doctor.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

day 2

Miserable. Nothing to post. No energy to even go find a stupid picture. Afraid to go to bed without a plastic drop-cloth for my faucet-nose. Wah.

Monday, January 18, 2010

out sick

No revelations in the world of sanguinary blue blogging today. I have a cold that's made me fairly miserable all day. And my old emachine finally bit it today. The only reason I can post this pathetic entry is that I'm using our store computer.

By the way, both Ted (who also has a cold) and I are using up the Kleenex tissues like they're going out of style. Unfortunately, our noses are both now in need of Puffs. And despite a current inventory of 27 boxes of tissues in the house, none of them are Puffs. Drat.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

not even a choir

Not many people see this blog. Precious few, really. So, why have I made such a concerted effort to write here every day? I suppose it has less to do with finding an audience and more to do with getting back in the groove of writing. So, why write here? If I wrote every day in my journals, I wouldn't be faced with the limitations that potential readership brings. Perhaps the pressure to write something that's actually interesting is greater because of the potential readership.

Well, whatever the case, I'm too distracted to explore it more thoroughly today. My "to do" list is lengthy, and the morning is half over. Contemplation will have to continue some other day.

Saturday, January 16, 2010


Ted wanted to go somewhere today. There was no clear concept as to where, or to do what. Just somewhere other than home, on his one afternoon off in the week. The weather was beautiful. As we ran a few errands around town, we saw a noteworthy number of people wearing shorts and shirtsleeves. I don't know that I would have gone that far. Mid-40s is nice for ditching the scarf and mittens, but that's about it. Anyway, eventually we decided to do some camera shopping and head out to Rochester.

We did some reconnaissance at Best Buy and Walmart, made some decisions about the necessary and unnecessary features, discovered that the memory card from my old camera is obsolete, and ultimately decided to let Costco be the deciding factor. With that, we headed West on Routes 4 and 16 to, as it's called at my office, RochVegas.

Naturally, we started at the Warehouse Store, where we found a few irresistible bargains and our first Christmas gift for 2010! Ted was flipping through one of Jim and Jonathan's books, and found some great recipes ideas. He asked if I had the book. Funny thing is, I do (I have almost all of them). Great! "New" meals to try!

We purchased our goodies and headed out. Instead of getting back onto the highway, Ted suggested we go explore Sanford, Maine. Why not? Before we knew it, we were wandering through Lebanon, Sanford, South Sanford, North Berwick, South Berwick, Rollinsford NH, and Dover NH. We didn't look at any map, and we don't have GPS. We just wandered. By the time we got to Dover, we started to recognize the roads again. Right about then, the sun started to sink into the fantastically colorful horizon. We headed home.

Friday, January 15, 2010


The day started with a very cold Warehouse apartment, which prompted three cats to snuggle deeply with me (the fourth has a burrow in a box of pillows and blankets). Schmoo laid impossibly on top of my feet. Woodle nestled alongside my arm. Milo was solidly pressed against my head: really, he was on my head -- but we were very warm and comfortable. After my morning routine (during which, Milo didn't move a muscle), I found myself unable to make the bed. My husband would say that wasn't strictly true. Had I asserted my position as Master/Mommy/Alpha, I could have simply moved Milo from his deeply embedded and tremendously schmumfy entrenchment in my pillows. But I just couldn't. Guess we know who the real alpha is in the house.

The day ends, and I just found on Facebook a momentous event in the love story of two of my former co-workers. On Chris's page, a Wednesday wall post from Cliff reads, "I love you Chris. Marry me tomorrow." And today, on both Chris and Cliff's pages, new photo albums of a mountaintop wedding in Colorado. I haven't talked with any involved parties, so I don't know if it was actually as spontaneous as it appears on Facebook. No matter. It's terribly romantic, either way.

Can't wait to see what tomorrow holds.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


It could be called 'feast or famine.' I went a full year with only two blips on the blogosphere radar. Then almost like a switch was flipped, daily posts have magically appeared. Almost like a resolution. (By the way, I don't make resolutions.) But now, there's more. As of today, I'm also writing for my company's blog.

Interestingly, writing blog entries for work feels much less like a chore than writing blog entries for sanguinary blue. Perhaps because it's so easy to find things to talk about when it comes to the wonderful company where I work. It's much more complex to write about my own life in a public forum: there is a lot of internal editing that stops the presses before they even run. Meanwhile, ask me about my favorite chutney or the beautiful gardens or the amazing chef who taught class last night, and off I go to the races!

* Photo by Katie Ring, Stonewall Kitchen photographer

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

tonight's menu

* Roasted Root Vegetable Bisque with Apple Cider and Warm Spices
* Braised American Kobe Beef Cheeks
* Parsley Potato Rossiti
* Blood Orange, Kumquat and Marscapone Parfait

Lest you think I'm actually that ambitious, let me say that all this scrumptiousness was from the genius of Chef Ben Hasty by way of the Stonewall Kitchen Cooking School. And oh. my. heavens. was it delicious. We've had his food before, having brought a visiting friend to The Dunaway Restaurant a couple summers ago. Now that he's at Epoch, we'll definitely be planning a trip to Exeter sometime in the near future.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

the santa pocket

At left is the adorable key chain I bought at a certain fantastic retail location before Christmas. With the push of a tiny button on the back, his lantern lights up and he gives a hearty "Ho! Ho! Ho!" How could I resist such Santa-ness? Unfortunately, one of the links couldn't hold up against my robot clock key chain (at right), which has had much more practice at weathering the battleground that is my keys (mine is the same model as the picture here, though it's pink). So, to keep Santa safe, I tucked him into the outside pocket of my purse. Some other day, I'll go into detail of the screenplay I will someday pen about Santa battling an army of pink robots with clocks on their tummies.

Years ago, my Mom crocheted a lapel decoration for everyone in the family -- a fabulous, yarn brooch of dear old St. Nick, which adorned my overcoat for the holidays. Right around New Year's Day, I removed him from said lapel and, well, tucked him into the outside pocket of my purse.

Today, while looking for something all together unrelated, I stumbled across my Santa stash. And I realized that the same side pocket of my purse also contained an open package of hearing aid batteries. They belonged to my Dad. I'd gone to pick them up to bring them to him at the hospital the day before he died. I know I should donate them to an organization that will give them to someone who really needs them. But I can't bring myself to let them go.

I love my Dad. I miss my Dad. I am blessed that thoughts of him bring me happiness, that I was by his side much of the last week of his life, that we didn't leave important things unsaid. The therapists of the world might say that I have closure. Still, the hearing aid batteries aren't leaving the Santa pocket any time soon.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Sunday, January 10, 2010


That's all I can muster today. Goodnight.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

lasagna and the movies

On this chilly January day, the blast furnace whirred almost constantly, keeping The Warehouse toasty (if moreso in some spots than others). Family visited, and we watched movies on the 10' "screen," ate homemade lasagna, chatted, and played with the cats. Now, everyone has headed home, Ted is sleeping, the blast furnace is off (for now), and I still with chilly calves at the desk -- bemoaning the eventual loss of the Christmas tree which we have still not dismantled, and which occupies a fantastic gap in the room. Tomorrow, I go back to chores. I may wait until the last minute (Tuesday night) to pack up ornaments and twinkle lights, though.

Friday, January 08, 2010


Maybe the numbering system should have stayed. Maybe it's what provided inspiration for daily blogging after nearly a year of radio silence. How is that possible? It was simply a way to lazily announce that I might be making a return to blogging. Life couldn't possibly be so twisted as to allow something so nonchalant to have such power. Nah. Just postulating about nothing to fill space. What will Day 9 hold?

Thursday, January 07, 2010

day 7: time to stop counting

It's been a wild and woolly day. The last couple hours were occupied on a very important phone call, which only ended because my cell battery experienced massive failure (sorry Rina!). I have no new picture to share, no real idea of even the fluffiest of topics to discuss, and no time to flesh them out anyway. Just a minor decision. Today will be the last day I number the blog titles. After one week, I'm feeling more confident that they'll be more regular than last year.

And with that, an easy distraction and fare-thee-well.

Good night.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

day 6: just a few clicks more

Perhaps you've heard of The Hunger Site. The premise is simple: click a button on the site and be re-directed to a page where you view sponsors who fund charitable donations to organizations that feed the hungry. You don't ever have to buy anything from the sponsors or the online store. Of course, you might be tempted and someday purchase something, which is why the sponsors pay the money. But if you can resist the urge to shop, you can essentially make a small, daily donation to a worthy cause for free.

Apparently, a fair number of folks do this. The Hunger Site reports that visitor clicks totaled 65.7 million cups of food donated in 2009. Another page with exactly the same format, The Animal Rescue Site, gathered enough clicks to donate 92 million bowls of pet food to shelters.

But there are four other sites all affiliated that don't seem to get the same level of attention. Although it's certainly great that The Breast Cancer Site was able to help nearly 7,000 women to get mammograms (and admittedly, it takes more clicks to get a mammogram than a cup of food), it seems to me that number should be higher. The same is true for the Child Health, Literacy, and Rainforest sites. If everyone who clicked on The Hunger Site and/or The Animal Rescue Site could take a bit longer and click the other sites, as well, I think those numbers could really swell.

And it's not difficult. There is a tab for each of the six sites at the tops of them all.

Just click a few more times. Every little bit helps!

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

day 5: frustration, then relief!

The slow but steady degradation of my heretofore stalwart digital camera my have reached its nadir; a hair's-breadth before its inevitable demise. It's been through a lot. I've not been gentle with it, and so I should be grateful for its six-ish years of mostly reliable service.

I like taking pictures. Occasionally, I'll even take one I think is actually quite good -- though I appreciate that, more than talent, it's usually a combination of fortunate timing, luck, and sheer quantity (take a thousand pictures, and one is bound to be decent). It has been with some disappointment that I realized my camera is dying. An emotion compounded by the fact that I don't really have the money to replace it at this point.

But tonight, while contemplating a blog post topic and a picture I might take for it, it dawned on me! The various gift cards and cash I received at Christmas can be combined so that I can purchase a new camera! To paraphrase Uma Thurman in "The Truth About Cats and Dogs," it won't be a Ferrari, but it should be a Toyota. Now, off to do some research.

Monday, January 04, 2010

day 4: fishes and birthday wishes

Ted and I went to Jumpin' Jay's for my birthday dinner tonight. This is our favorite restaurant in town. Would that we were more affluent that we could partake on occasions other than just special ones.

The food is so scrumptious! Although I missed the Wild Mushroom Risotto that's been off the menu for about a year now (we keep hoping it will come back), the roasted pear and radicchio salad did not disappoint. It never does. And pan-seared yellowfin tuna (rare) in Mandarin sesame glaze with wasabi aioli is divine with garlic mashed potatoes and shredded beets. A glass of amazingly smooth 2008 La Crema Pinot Noir was convincing enough to require a second.

Ted was very happy with both soup and entree of scallops. He wants to know if I'm willing to have multiple birthdays every year.

My broken camera made this shot challenging -- especially in the bitter breeze. But it was a must to get a picture of Jumpin' Jay's fish, complete with scarf and snow.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

day 3: part 2

Milo was feeling a bit chilly. He plopped down directly between me and the keyboard, leaned his whole body up against my chest, and I wrapped a blanket around the both of us. He promptly rested his head on my arm and went to sleep. This was not a convenient position for me to do much of anything. But he was so snuggly, I couldn't help myself. It was not easy taking a picture of us (Ted was asleep). This was the best I could do with my broken camera and my arm wrapped up in blanket.

By the way, as of this entry, I've now officially posted twice as many blog entries in 2010 as I did in all of 2009. Hmm.

day 3: safe a bit longer

I didn't take down the Christmas tree today, for several reasons. When I was a kid, my parents would keep it up through my sister's and my birthdays. Why stop that tradition now? Plus, we can't put it curbside for another couple days. Why have it sitting inside undecorated? Plus, Epiphany's not until the 6th. Why not go with the 12 Days of Christmas vibe? Any more excuses needed? I think not. I like the tree, and dread the dark hole its absence will create. So, I'm clinging. I'm allowed.

My long list of chores and errands was only moderately decreased. Translation: I had a lazy holiday weekend. Ted & I went out to a movie and dinner yesterday. It felt decadent -- even though it was a matinée, and we were out of the Olive Garden before 5:00pm. It's rare we are able to have such a date. We watched another movie when we got home. The constant, if not epic, snow was conducive to such a film marathon.

Today, Ted's putting in an open-to-close shift. A mere 15 hours. He'll switch off the lights in 6 minutes and be home in 7 -- maybe 8, if the cars don't let him cross the street. Hopefully, it won't be too slippery for him. Did I mention he got ski poles for Christmas? To add stability on his commute. They pair nicely with his crampons.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

day 2: don't count on it

Why am I back here? Nothing to report but snowfall and a raging case of the sniffles. Three very snuggly cats and one who refused to join the warmth. A wheat bagel and orange juice for breakfast. The twinkle of Christmas lights, as I refuse to dismantle the tree just yet. Chores and errands to be done, though at the moment, more interest in random online rambling and a 12:50pm showing of "Sherlock Holmes" (we all know how I feel about Robert Downey, Jr.). Until then, I must resist the urge to watch the last two episodes of The Vicar of Dibley, and be minimally productive before brushing off the car and driving to the theater.

Friday, January 01, 2010

day 1

A blog entry for the first day of 2010. Resolutions? Year-end lists? Plans for a new life with new adventures and new momentum? Commitments to write more? Nah. Just a blip. Perhaps to be followed with more blips. A few more sentences, and it will have exceeded everything written here for 2009. But not tonight.

Painting is "Drilling For Honey" by Shelton Walsmith. Isn't it lovely? Happy New Year.