28 October 2013

Thirty-Five Years

Love does not consist of gazing at each other, 
but in looking together in the same direction.
-- Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Thirty-five years ago today, at the age of twenty-two, we got married.  We were fortunate in that our wedding was small, inexpensive, and just the way we wanted it to be.  At the time, a lot of people were offended that only our families and some very special friends were invited.  Most of those people have either faded from our lives, or remained friends anyway.  As it should be.

Growing up, I never really gave getting married much thought one way or the other.  I guess I figured it would probably happen, but never that it must.   And to be honest, that pretty much was always the way I felt about it.  Even as a teenager, it didn't bother me one way or another that I never had a boyfriend.  To be honest, most of my peers seemed incredibly young and immature, so I was just as happy to not have to deal with them most of the time.

The Tim and I met when we were freshmen.  We became best friends before it ever occurred to us to "go on a date."  And we never really talked about getting married, we just kinda decided it was the thing to do rather than be apart when he was going away for graduate school.  Sure, we could have just lived together.  But we figured we would probably get married at some point anyway, so why not just start that way?

During the past thirty-five years, we have had lots of laughs, many disagreements, more than our share of heartbreaks, and the usual ups and downs of any given person's life.  We have both probably grown more patient with others, if less patient with each other.  There are times when I'm certain both of us just wish the other would go away for a while, or shut up, or Just.Stop.  We both realize that at this stage of our lives, that may happen sooner or later anyway, whether or not we want it to, and last forever.  So it's always worth going on.

Once when I was talking to an unmarried friend, she said that she wished she could find someone, of course for the usual reasons, but also because she thinks it must be nice to just have someone there.  I told her that there were plenty of times when we are both at home, but not necessarily talking or even in the same room, but that there was nothing quite as comforting as the feeling of  "companionable silence" (I read those words in a book once, and they stuck with me).  She had never heard the phrase, and agreed that it was what she was - in the end - wishing she could find.

So here we are thirty-five years later, different but the same.  Living our own lives, doing our own things, spending each day as we nearly always have, with some slight variation.  Sometimes great, sometimes awful, but always at least good.  Laughing, crying, arguing, sulking, agreeing, ignoring, mocking, and obsessing.

But always - now and forever - looking in the same direction.

Happy Anniversary to my sweetheart.

22 October 2013

Are You Gonna Eat That?

Hm.  I thought I'd posted since last week, but apparently not.   Oh well, here I am again, and it's another Ten on Tuesday.

This week:

10 Foods You Eat Regularly Now That Were Exotic (or unheard of) 
When You Were a Kid

I don't know about many of you, but my parents were pretty good about exposing us to different kinds of food - we liked ethnic foods, and my parents had a lot of friends who were amazing cooks.  My dad liked to cook, but was not always at home to cook dinner - weekends were his thing.  My mother though?  She loved to eat but she was not interested in cooking.  At all.  Plus, she was of the generation that thought cooking from scratch was "old-fashioned" - something her mother *had* to do.

On top of that, we were poor, so a lot of what we ate was food that was a) cheap, and b) could last a while.  

But I digress.  Here's my list, in no particular order.

1.  Brown rice.  Or even, anything other than Minute Rice (which admittedly, I LOVED as a kid!).  We had rice pretty regularly, and I was an adult before I ever tasted "real" rice, much less brown rice.  

2.  Squash.  Of any kind.  We did not live near a farm, and there were not a lot of farmer's markets around.  I knew what squash was, but seldom - if ever - ate it (other than the thousands of zucchinis that neighbors with gardens would give us during the summer!)

3.  Edamame.  WHAT?????

4.  Any bread not white.  Well, I take it back, we did used to have rye bread pretty frequently.  And not Italian white, or potato bread white.  Nope - cheap, icky, sticky, plain white bread.  In spite of which I still managed to grow up loving bread of any kind!  Go figure.

5.  Pineapple.  OK, we would have it very occasionally (usually at Christmastime), but it was always expensive, and as a result a real treat.  I don't know that I eat it now "regularly" (it's still expensive!), but definitely more than once a year.

6.  Fried pickles.  I never even heard of these until I moved to Philadelphia, and only tried them the first time last summer.  They are GOOD.  We have them sometimes on weekends, with beer.  Y-U-M.

7.  Frozen custard.  Again, never ever heard of it until I was an adult.  I LOVE frozen custard!  We have it in the summer every couple of weeks as a treat.

8.  Homemade macaroni and cheese.  Much like the Minute Rice referenced above, I never had "real" macaroni and cheese until someone gave me a cookbook when I was sixteen years old that had a recipe.  Don't get me wrong, I've still been known to enjoy Kraft Macaroni and Cheese on occasion, but nothing is as good as homemade.  Nothing.

9.  Steamed dumplings.  First of all, I never knew that there was such a thing as a dumpling that was considered Chinese food.  And growing up, we ate quite a bit of Chinese food - real and American-ized.  But when I read Amy Tan's Joy Luck Club, and they were [seemingly always] making dumplings, I knew I had to try them.  Wow.  I can't believe what I'd been missing!

10.  Indian food.  Of any kind.  We must not have ever lived someplace with an Indian restaurant nearby, because I know my parents would have been all over that food!

The good thing about all of this?  It's always fun to try new things, and broaden your horizons, particularly food-wise, as far as I'm concerned.

The bad thing about all of this?  Now I'm *really* hungry ...

15 October 2013

Thinking Positive

Today's Ten on Tuesday topic is:  10 Things I Did Over the Weekend.  Originally, I wasn't going to post for this week, since even though we had a long weekend, due to Columbus Day, I didn't get to spend it exactly like I wanted to.  But the more I thought about it, the more I decided to think of the positive things I did this weekend that were fun or that made me happy, so here you go.

1.  Ate pizza.  The Tim made pizza for dinner on Friday night.  His pizza is the best, and in a lot of ways has ruined "regular" pizza for me.  But it's always a highlight, and was a good way to start this past weekend.

2.  Went to the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen Fine Crafts Fair.  The weather was perfect for walking around, and when this event was here in the spring, I was able to treat myself to a really pretty pair of fused glass earrings for only $10!  The exhibitors really do truly "fine" work, and 99% is out of my price range and my tastes, but they have lovely things, and there are things a regular person can buy.  This time I found a very pretty bracelet that actually stays on my wrist.  (I have a small wrist, so often bracelets just fall right off.)  I am hoping that when it comes around in the spring again, I'll have thought to save some money ahead of time ...

3.  Purged my shoes and put those that are staying in the cleaned-up floor of my closet.  Not that I have a ton of shoes, but I tend to keep even worn out ones or ones that don't fit, and end up throwing them in the bottom of my closet. I had bought a few new pairs on sale over the past couple of months, and decided that rather than throwing them in the pile, I'd clean the floor, sort and actually get rid of those I am no longer wearing, and only then put the keepers away.  It looks so nice!  (Now if I can only get the rest of the closet that nicely organized ...)

4.  Took Dug the Doodle Dog to the puppy park in our neighborhood.  We usually go on Saturday mornings, but between bad weather and me being sick, it had been about a month.  Both of us had a good time, and I'm always in a good mood after being around playing dogs and - for the most part - friendly and happy owners.

5.  Finished one book I was reading and started another.

6.  Took myself out to lunch on Saturday, and had the BEST New England clam chowder I've ever tasted at Luke's Lobster.  I was feeling sorry for myself, since I had to fast and prep for a colonoscopy** this morning for the latter part of the weekend, and Saturday was my last day to eat regularly.  I had heard good things about Luke's Lobster, and when I saw that they had clam chowder, decided it would be just the treat I needed.  I will admit to being picky about clam chowder, and now this is truly my favorite.  I'll definitely go back - for that, and also to try some of the other stuff that everyone is talking about.

7.  Worked my usual Sunday shift at Rosie's, with my friend Andrea.  It's been a few weeks since I've been there, and it was nice to get back, and catch up, sell yarn, and knit!

8.   Talked to my sister Nancy in California.  We usually talk every weekend, but had missed each other the past couple of times.  It was fun to catch up and hear about what she is up to.   She retired last spring, and so far seems to be enjoying it very much, which I'm glad to hear.  I always feel bad for people who retire and are then miserable.

9.  Gave myself a manicure.  I didn't paint my nails, but I got them filed so they stop catching on stuff, and cleaned up my cuticles, which I have a tendency to pick when I'm bored or nervous.  I am always pleased when my hands look nice.

10.  Laughed.  Between The Tim, the animals, my sister, and some stupid stuff we watched that had been recorded over the past week, I had a lot of laughs.  That was definitely a good thing!

**The colonoscopy.   It's just part of what was wrong with the weekend. Ugh.

08 October 2013


I am actually ThisClose to finishing a project that has taken way too long.  Not due to difficulty, or not enough yarn, just because of me!  I don't want to say any more and possibly jinx it, but hopefully sooner rather than later I'll have a blog post and a picture for you.

I have been thinking lately about how I really need to take my measurements and understand what they mean, as far as knitting goes, in particular.  I always hesitate with large projects (aka sweaters), since I never feel confident that I really know what size I should make.  Recently, I bought a copy of Amy Herzog's Knit to Flatter, which talks about not only knowing your own measurements, but how to get accurate ones, and what that means related to what you are trying to knit.

I also see on her website that she is launching something called CustomFit, which looks promising.  For whatever reasons, I feel that she is trustworthy.  I think part of it is that she looks in pictures like a very friendly, approachable person, with a normal kind of body.  (If you know her and she is not, please don't tell me.  I want to enjoy my little fantasy at least a bit longer.)

In other news, my shingles - though much improved - have put yet another damper on something for me.  I was supposed to teach a six-week Beginner Knitting class at Rosie's, starting this past Monday.  I was truly excited about it, because a) I had missed teaching it last winter, due to my interminably long pneumonia-like illness, and b) I love the idea of getting new knitters started!  So even though things were doing OK, my doctor suggested that adding an evening class to my work schedule might not be the best idea.  So now someone else is doing it.  Which dismays me, because I hate pulling out of something like that at all, much less twice in a row, and also because I was hoping to use the money I made for holiday gifts.

Stupid shingles.

But, onward, as they say.  I'll go back to my ThisClose project, and start planning what will be next, or decide if any holiday gifts are coming off the needles this year.  And just hope that I not only get another chance to teach Beginner Knitting, but that I stay healthy enough to actually do it!

See ya.

04 October 2013

Five Favorites for This Friday

You know what?  I enjoyed writing that post last week, and reminding myself of the small but really good things.  And I loved reading everyone's comments, some with their own lists of five!  So you know what, I'm doing it again.

Here are my five for this week. (This time, with some pictures ...)

1.  Getting to see a friend who moved away.  For those of you who have been reading for while, you may remember the dear departed Doughboy, the dog who used to live next door that we called our part-time dog, since we took care of him a lot.  Well, his family moved to Denver about two years ago, and we miss them.  Ben (aka Doughboy's Dad) was in town early this week for a conference, and we got to spend a couple of hours with him one evening between his workshop sessions.  It was so nice to see him, see pictures of the family, and catch up.

2.  Gradually feeling better!  There's still a way to go, but I'll take anything I can get.  :-)

3.  The Pittsburgh Pirates making it to the postseason.  Growing up, the Pirates were my [almost] hometown team, and it was in the years of Willie Stargell and and Roberto Clemente, etc. - aka the glory days.  As I've told people here, I do love my Phillies, but the Pirates will always be my first loves.  The fact that they defeated the Cincinnati Reds to make it to the postseason is just icing on the cake, as far as I'm concerned.

4.  Receiving my half-share yarn CSA from Juniper Moon Farm, and opening the package to such sheepy goodness!

5.  It's October!  The month of our anniversary, and Halloween, and to me at least, the first of my favorite months of the year.
Feel free to let me know in the comments what's been good for you this week!

02 October 2013


I gotta tell you, these stupid shingles are killing me!  I've certainly had my share of painful experiences in my life, but these win the prize.  Geez.  On the plus side, I am getting better.  So - theoretically at least - I should feel even better by this time next week.  Or someone will pay.

I have not knit a stitch this week.  Mostly because I am truly wiped out when I get home from work.  But I have plans.  And yarn.  So it's just a matter of time.

There is a woman I know who is overall fairly nice, and she has a good sense of humor, but she is recently driving me crazy.  First of all, every other word out of her mouth is the f-word, and I'm not a big fan of that word.  However, since it's everywhere, that's not the main problem.  The main problem is that she is one of those parents whose kid is the smartest, prettiest, nicest, whatever-ist, and the people at the kid's [very expensive, private] school (that she manages to mention in every conversation), aren't teaching and doing things the way she  thinks they should be.  This can be a problem.  If it is actually the case.  But her latest thing is that her kid was caught skipping school, and now has detention for three days.  During which, instead of doing her homework, she has to work on an essay explaining why kids shouldn't skip school.  But the kid finds this boring, and the woman is incensed that they don't give her something "better" to do.  On my best days, I don't have a lot of patience for this kind of crap, but I think not feeling great is making me worse.  Clearly I need to avoid talking to, or ready any Facebook posts from this woman, at least for a while.

I have been reading the same book for almost a month now.  It's not that long, and it's very interesting, but I don't seem to make any progress of note.  I have a little more than 100 pages left, so there is light at the end of the tunnel.  But I have no idea why it is going so slowly.  Oh well.

Summer seems to have returned here for the week.  I want to know who said that was OK.  ;-)

One of my nieces is furloughed due to the government shutdown.  So she is using the time to decorate her house for Halloween.  She loves Halloween, and usually goes all out, but I think this year, it's gonna be even more amazing.  She seems to have found a way to make lemonade out of that lemon.

On October 19, Dug and I will be taking part in the Mutt Strut, hoping to raise money for homeless animals.  The sponsoring organization, PAWS, is the only no-kill shelter in the city, and they have a wonderful spay/neuter wellness clinic not far from our house.  If I ever get my act together, I'd like to volunteer there.  In any event, if for some reason you have some cash and can't think of what to do with it, you can certainly help out here.

Does anyone like any of the new shows this year?  To be honest, I haven't seen many of them, but on the other hand, I haven't noticed any that seem like things I MUST watch.  So feel free to offer suggestions.

The Tim is on vacation this week.  I think he is enjoying it especially, since he has the days to himself, since I am back at work.  I can appreciate that, but having used all of my sick leave and a little bit of the tiny amount of vacation that I have last week, I will admit to being jealous.  I think "vacation" is one of the best words, in any language!

And, finally, that's all for now.  I'm sure that if you have bothered to keep reading, you are pretty happy right about now.  That's fine.  I just wanted to get it all off my chest.