2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 3,700 times in 2013. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 3 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Christmas 2013


A Belated Merry Christmas to all of my followers and readers alike. The pic above was taken the night we decorated the tree. I know I should have posted this on Christmas Day but it was a hectic weekend of errands and partying, then it was work for a day and a half then Family, Family, Family.


We spent Christmas Eve night at my eldest Brothers house, it was a simple night just dinner, drinks and family. This was immediately followed by Christmas day which was an all day affair of Food, Drinks, Family, and Presents. Everyone had a great day, including my Mom whom we “broke out” of the Rehab facility for the Day. Although she wasn’t running the show like she used to, she still managed to have a good day surrounded by family.

The Showcase of Christmas Dinner has been the Prime Rib. The Hubby has taken to dry aging it for 30 days, then we drop it in the Char Broil Oil-less Deep Fryer we bought a few years back and let it sit outside for a few hours.

20131228-205815.jpgThe Hubby has really perfected this over the last few years.


Since there are so many of us for dinner my Dad decided it would be Buffet. Here is the table before the heathens were able to start touching it.

 After dinner and presents we packed the car and headed home to watch the Doctor Who Christmas Special, another tradition in our house. Then it was bed and sleepy time as the hubby had to work on Thursday and Friday, I took these days between Christmas and New Years off and did some cleaning to get ready for our Annual New Years Eve Party. Hey vacuuming, mopping, and laundry beats sitting at the office bored.

Saturday we spent the day running our errands, party prep is hard work and the food just won’t appear on it’s own no matter how hard I wish for it.

So to wrap up Christmas I present some of the decorations the hubby and I put out.


This was my Grandmothers ceramic light up Christmas Tree that my mother made for her many years ago. When my Grandmother passed it was the ONLY thing I wanted to have of hers, well that and the birdbath.

IMG_0949This is the ornament I made when we did our Glass Blowing class at the Corning Museum of Glass last month.

20131228-205809.jpgSandy and Duncan even get into the Holiday Spirit with their Christmas Collars. Here they are with the gift our Friend Toppie Sent them along with some wonderful things for The Hubby and I.

And my favorite part of Christmas is when we take out all of the December Diamonds Mermen and hang them on the tree. There were 2 new ones added to the collection this year bringing the total to 8. Eventually I may need to get a 2nd tree just to display them!

Choo-Choo Magoo

Last Friday as I posted earlier the Hubby and I took our nephew out for a Pre Christmas visit to the NY Botanical Garden, lunch on the famed Arthur Ave in the Bronx, and then wandered New York City.

The Botanical Garden, the first stop on our whirlwind day, was showcasing a Holiday Train Exhibit. Laid out in half of the Conservatory area were all varieties of plants and flowers accompanied by Train sets. Nestled in with them were recreations of famous New York Landmarks, from Citi Field and Macy’s to Row Houses and the old TWA Terminal from JFK, all made from natural materials like twigs and berries.


IMG_0765One of the NY Bridges

IMG_0778I don’t recall what this was but it had subway cars underneath

IMG_0808This was part of the exhibit that wasn’t NY Landmarks


DSCF3555These 2 pictures re included for someone in particular. It is the TWA Terminal from JFK complete with Airplane and runway.

After the Train part of the exhibit we wandered outside to take in some more of the Grounds, The Botanical Garden has 50 gardens and more than one million living plants, including 30,000 mature trees, on its 250-acre landscape. We were barely able to get a good look at everything in the time we were there. Most of it was seen from the Tram that travels around the grounds and nearly all of it was covered in snow. The hubby and I definitely plan on going back, even the nephew wants to go with us. March they are doing an Orchid exhibit and when the Azaleas and Roses are in bloom the place will be spectacular.

Here is one of the trains that the Hubby took video of.

This is a video of the Bronx River which flows through the Garden grounds.

Once we finished the tram ride all the way back to the entrance we hopped in the car and headed out to Arthur Avenue for lunch and window shopping. I will spare you all the pics The Hubby took of the Butcher Shops, he took a LOT.


Crabs and Fishes just in bins on the sidewalks.


Dried Sausages hanging from the ceilings.


Olives by the Bucket full.

IMG_0936Cheese and more meat.

Our nephew was actually the one who inspired this trip. We have brought him into Manhattan a few times and he has been asking my brother when we were going to bring him again. This trip worked perfectly as Christmas was all around. The famed Rockefeller Christmas tree, seen below, hails from the city of Shelton, CT where I work. I was glad to have gotten a chance to see it all in place and lit up.



Here we are the 3 of us posing for a selfie with the tree.

IMG_0959Flags in silver and gold.

In the background of the above picture is what was the highlight of the trip, for the 11 year old not us. Although not a very large store the Rockefeller Center Lego store was in high gear with kids, and hot daddies. We walked out of there with one Lego set and 3 Lego people, and another Lego set on order from amazon as a Christmas present. Bringing kids to pick out their own presents is the only way to shop.


This was one of the famed Christmas windows at Saks 5th Avenue. Their theme was the Yeti, the line to walk on the right side of the velvet ropes wrapped around the corner, so we just looked as we walked by on the sidewalk.IMG_1044

From Saks windows we traipsed over to Grand Central Station. By this time it was getting dark so everything was starting to get that glow about it. Especially Times Square which seems to always glow even in day light. I almost forgot it was a week day until we entered the main floor of GCS and saw all of the commuters hustling to an fro.


Not only does Rockefeller Center put up a tree for Christmas but so does Bryant Park. To be honest this one looks just as good. Bryant Park was home to these cute pop up stalls for shopping, one of my favorites was the Max Brenner shop, mmmm chocolate.By this time of the day/night we were all getting hungry so we decided to wander back to Times Square and find some dinner. Again not thinking about the day and time we had a bit of a wait once we settled on going to Juniors Most Fabulous Cheesecakes.

Surprisingly Juniors has a huge menu not just filled with Cheesecakes. The Nephew had Grilled Cheese with Bacon, almost  the size of his head, open face served on thick cut Challah bread. The Hubby ordered the Corned Beef and Pastrami Combo – served on twin Onion Rolls with Sweet Potato Fries. I ordered the Brisket Melt – Brisket of Beef with Sauteed Onions and Peppers and Melted Mozzarella with Fries.

After that meal we walked back to the parking garage and headed home. Everyone had a fabulous time!

Below is the screen shot of my Fitbit for the Day. Yes we all walked that much, ah city life.


Trains, Cars, and Feet

Yesterday was a busy day but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I will do a proper follow up post, but I wanted to get something out there. We spent a fantastic 11 hours with the youngest nephew New York Borough Hopping.

First this happened.

Then this happened.


Followed by this.


Then this.


And then finally this.


TMI Thursday – Call Me

Sean over at Just a Jeep Guy blog posts these questions on Tuesday for those that wish to participate. I have done a few others and usually post my answers on Thursday.

1. Do you still have a land line? Yes, but it’s days are numbered. I’ve had the number since before I met the hubby almost 18 years now.
2. Which cell phone do you use and why? iPhone 5s. We are an Apple family and when we graduated from flip phones it was the logical choice.
3. Which provider do you use? Is there really a difference? Verizon. No I don’t think there is a difference save for how much money you want to get swindled out of every month.
4. If you call someone and they don’t pick up, do you leave a message? Depends on the reason I am calling. Work related almost always, Family sometimes, usually not.
5. When you have a missed call (with no message), do you call the person back? Nope. If they can’t leave a message then they don’t deserve a call back, the only exception to this rule is my Father.
6. Do you txt willingly or reluctantly? How are your skills? Willingly, my finger skills are amazing.
7. Has your cell replaced your camera? No, as a matter of fact we just  bought a new camera to use on trips.
8. Selfies….Yes, I am of the ilk that take them.
9. How many apps do you have? Which is your favorite and why? 77 on my phone, and more not synced. Waze is one of my favorites
10. What would life be like with no cell/smart phone for one month?Boring and quiet. Besides my phone, it is also my on the go Kindle reader, as well as my Fitbit companion and my Walking tracker in the summer.

How much has your cell phone become a part of your sex life? Sexting, hookup apps, selfies, video, GPS, more? I wouldn’t say a part but we have used it in some of those ways.

Under the Influence

IMG_0710The title of the post has everything to do with the above picture. If you don’t recognize the image, RUN don’t walk to your iTunes or Amazon account and download every last song by Straight No Chaser, or just click their name and order from their website.

The Hubby and I left early afternoon to head over to one of the Casinos we have on the other side of the state. We did some browsing, but no shopping, before we popped into an Irish Pub for a drink. We had a bit of time to kill before we had to meet up with friends of ours, who live in that area, for dinner. It was nice to spend the time with our friends, we usually only see them twice a year, New Years Eve and Memorial Day.


The Hubby bought us a new camera after our last vacation and this was the 2nd time we got to put it to some good use. Of course we had to try the display flipped out and take a selfie while we waited for the concert to start.

IMG_0670The opening act, a first in SNC touring history, was Caroline Glaser. She was on The Voice and has a new album coming out very soon. She sang one of my favorite Elton John Songs, Tiny Dancer. I haven’t seen much of The Voice but she had a great one and should go far.

IMG_0682This is what the show is all about, the guys, all 1o of them.

Men Singing No Electronics needed. This was the final song of the evening.


I Won’t Give Up


IMG_0698  IMG_0713

In total the concert was about 2 hours. The first hour and a half was traditional songs from their latest album, Under The Influence, and some of their medleys. Then since it was almost Christmas, they dimmed the stage lights, flipped the switch on the Christmas Tree and did about a half hour of Christmas songs. The Christmas stuff ranged from old classics with the SNC spin to their own version of The 12 Days of Christmas and a song they put together called The Nutcracker. Again RUN don’t walk and get all of their Christmas Albums as well.

I took the day off from work on Monday, just to use up a day I had stockpiled and because I figured we would be home late from the concert. Turns out it was a good idea, first because we had some freezing rain during the day, and second because it worked out that one of my very good friends was going to be in town.

My friend Casey lives in Idaho, we met in 1994-5 when she lived here in Connecticut as a nanny for a wacky lady. There was a group of them, and along with my older brother we spent a lot of time with each other. My brother dated one of the nannies from the group, but Casey and I grew very close. She moved back home in 1996 and I went out to visit her a couple times.

The last time I saw her was in September of 2000, at her wedding (the first time) to her husband Perry. Her father lives in New Jersey and it was his Birthday this past weekend so she surprised him by flying out here. She let me know before hand that she was going to try and make some time to travel up to see me, and to meet Brian. We had a good afternoon Monday hanging at our house waiting for The Hubby to get home, then headed out to dinner. Tuesday she drove around with her friend Carrie who came with her on the trip, while we worked then we went out for another dinner. I miss her so much and home it won’t be another 13 years before I see my Tigger again.


Wound Down, Ramping Up

Well now that the hubbub of Thanksgiving is over, I finally have to time to play catch up.

Thanksgiving day was mostly the same as all other years, with the exception of Mom not calling all the shots. This year with Moms illness Dad played planner. That’s not to say The Hubby and I didn’t do what we always do for Turkey Day. As per the usual The Hubby was in charge of the Deep Fried Pickles, Deep Fried Turkey, the Mac & Cheese, and the drinking of the red wine. I handled the Pearl Onions, Soupy Lemon Pie, the Gravy, and drinking the white wine.

We headed over to my parents to get the fryer set up and to see how things were going with the everything else, just in time to put the National Dog Show on, which is another tradition of the day. The Hubby and I always show up around 11, get things set up for the pickles and the Turkey and then hunker down with the Dog Show while everyone else goes on and on about the football. Once everything was ready the 14 of us gathered round the 2 tables and devoured what took hours to make in a matter of minutes.

I am one of the lucky few that have the Friday after Thanksgiving off as a company holiday. It’s been that way for me since my last job about 13 years now. This brings us to another tradition on black friday of not stepping foot into a store. The only reason I leave the house is to bring The Hubby out to lunch. I decided on a local Middle Eastern place called Kibberia. I had the Chicken Shawarma Salad – A crispy baked pita bowl filled with chicken shawarma seasoned chicken, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, pickles, and parsley, drizzled with tahini sauce, and the Kibbe Soup – Our kibbe pops boiled in a delicious tomato-based broth, flavored with garlic and mint. They were both delicious. The Hubby had the Beef Shawarma Pocket – Pita bread filled with a grilled beef shawarma patty specially seasoned and topped with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, pickles, parsley and tahini sauce. It was international day because we went out for Asian, I had chinese, he had Sushi, for dinner.

The weekend after Thanksgiving wasn’t anything special, to be honest we never left the house that Sunday. The last week has been Krazy with a Captial K. The bright side to the week was that it was my last 5 day work week the year. I have a 4 day, 3, day, then 2 day, then  I am off from the day after Christmas until Jan 2. I managed to survive the week covering the coworker, even with all of the nights of things we had on the schedule. Tuesday was the social night, Wednesday was Drum Corps, Thursday was CPR class. Last night we ended the week on a high note with an impromptu dinner date with a Coworker/Friend. Today we stopped by to see Mom then off we went to get the weekend shopping done. The best night of the weekend will be Sunday when we see friends for dinner, then attend the Straight No Chaser concert at one of the casinos in the state. I LOVE SNC and this year was able to get better tickets than we had last year. I hope to get some good pictures and video tomorrow night of dinner, the casino and the concert.