Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Baby it's cold outside...

Autumn. My favorite season.
When I was a kid, one hot ass summer in Spokaloo, I ended up with a heat rash. I called it being allergic to the sun. If I was in direct sunlight for more than about 5 minutes, my skin (arms mostly) would break out in a rash of small red bumps that itched horribly. Mom would coat me with caladryl lotion.
To this day I have an aversion to being in direct sunlight too long, having cloying slimy lotions on my skin.
I burn very well in limited sun exposures and there is history of malignant melenoma in my family so I really am not the summer kid.
I love spring, but it heralds summer so it is pretty and a time of renewal and rebirth, but not my favorite.
I tried to think back on why Autumn is my favorite.
I have great memories of kicking through DRY leaves walking to and from school. Not the wet sodden slug laden leaves in Hamsterville, nor the tick laden leaves in New York.
I would walk alot when I was a teen, taking my best friend, Kelli the springer spaniel for long walks down a tree lined boulevard in Spokaloo. The cold bite in the air foretold of coming snow, holidays, freedom from school for a few weeks. I could hear the swish of small whale courderoy pants and the hiss of my arms swinging in my nylon jacket as I carried my book bag and clarinet to school. The cold still morning in my home town were inviting, promising adventure and safetyin a weaker winter sun.
Long pine needles woudl fall from the pine trees in our back yard, hiding the pine cones that, in the spring, would crash in the cacaphony of the lawn mower, shotting the core out at an angle hitting windows, brothers and the dog.
It is the bite in the air, more than anything. You get up in the morning and step out to go to school or work and there is so little moisture in the air. Hamsters up in Hamsterville don't get this often, it is just to damp there. The skin on the backs of your hands tighten a bit and you feel a burn of cold on your cheeks.
Now, in the Northeast, it is the colors of the leaves.
Puppette gamboling in the leaves.
Bugsy snorting and scenting squirrels while rustling, in his own diminutive way, through the leaves.

Enjoy your Autumn. Enjoy the calm before the storm of the Holy-daze season.


Monday, November 26, 2007

Getting on with getting on...

So I did say that I would compare West and East lifestyles.
It is a bit difficult when I am not interacting with all that many Easterners.
I have commented on the pushed down and stand offishness I have noted. I have told about the amazingly helpful video store clerk.
But I am often asked by the people we meet, and happen to tell we are from the West;
"What do you think?"
They mean, or at least I take it to mean, what do I think of New York so far.
I think, and I believe I have said this as well, the roads are too narrow for as fast as these people drive. Speed limits are mere suggestions and I have never seen more rolling stops than here. Everyone says that they are "20 minutes" away from anything else. K's brother made a drive that takes K and I 45 minutes, in about 20. It is scary to be on a winding road, lots of blind corners, and have HUGE fuel trucks, delivery trucks, Ford Excess, Chevy mother farking Gigantors screaming at you, over the DOUBLE YELLOW lines.
What do I think?
Things here are so fast in some ways, slow in others. People are brusque and what passes for manners in the service fields make me shudder.
The food is interesting, as I have noted. But to go into a diner (Hamsterville needs a Diner, really) and each sandwich or burger comes with "cole slaw and a pickle" 'Deluxe' would have the standard fixings of lettuce, onion, fries and costs up to 2.50 more. The slaw is sweet white with cabbage and carrots, the pickles are what are called "new" or a pickle that is not brined for over long, and has a nice crisp and mild taste.
Chinese food? There are over 150 Chinese restaurants on Long Island alone, I read that somewhere. We have tried several.
They have a thing here called Duck Sauce. K says she never saw it in Washington. I have not tried it yet.
We have tried 3 Chinese places so far and have not been overwhelmed. I order cashew chicken and get a chow mien type dish, not the West coast deep fried chicken parts with artery clogging sauce. I miss that a bit. Might need to learn to make it myself.
I can't find hazel nuts much here. One store had an open bin of bulk nuts so that was nice. They have no Fritos Chili Cheese chips for K's chili. Our Lambic beer for beer butt chicken is not to be found.
It is a Yodel, not a Ho Ho, and Ring Dings instead of Ding Dongs. If it ain't Boar's Head deli meat, it ain't worth the bother. It is Hellman's, not Best Foods mayonaise. I have never seen 14 different types of mustard. The Pasta isle at any given supermarket is almost an entire aisle, not the first third like in Hamsterville.
It is an adventure, to say the least.
So K and I head out to go to Trader Joe's with K's parents. I have never been to one. The one in Hamsterville opened just when we left.
If it seems I am whining a bit, I am. I find myself a bit homesick some times. My first Holiday season so far from "home" and missing some things.
From the East, I am waving to the West and getting on with getting on.

Be well.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Does it ever end?

10 hours. Roughly 2 hours for each month it took to pack it, the PODS container is empty, our new storage container now holds our worldly goods.
We finally recovered our winter clothes and boots. Just in time as the temperatures this week end were highs of 40 degrees. But I am not complaining. Clear skies meant that none of the stuff in the new container went in wet. K and I embraced NSAIDs (non steroidal anti-inflammatories) whole heartedly.
C has more art supplies, C has his cutting boards, best knives and all his pots and pans.

The story in pictures:
K at the dump. we took 10 loads in that borrowed pick up truck. (Thank you thank you thank you Richard and Sherrie) Some where around a ton of stuff. We recycled as much as we could, believe us.

The PODS container just before it was closed and taken away. There was literally 1/2 inch between the door and the end of the desk.

K moves yet ANOTHER box.

The POD tries to ensnare K in its nets, but she got that box out. Oh yes, she did.

The new container at about half.

The new container just before we left and locked it up. It holds all the contents of the POD with room to mover around.
So that chapter is almost closed, maybe ended with a comma, until we move into our next house. That will happen one day, we both have faith that we will find that house.

This is a picture of Poni in the sun in Florida. She loves to drag her tummy on the grass or the carpet. Her face says it all, bliss.
This is a coke and a slice. That is how you order it. Plain is a "regula" slice, mine is a pepperoni. This is our favorite fast meal and it is indescribably delicious. Do not tell our former doctors.

Be well. Eat well.


Thursday, November 22, 2007


It has been a while.
K got a job, no one wants C yet.
Thanks Giving suddenly came out of nowhere and impressed upon us the steady forward rolling of time.

Some pictures for you:

K fell asleep and C played in the kitchen preparing turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy (from scratch with NO lumps), dressing with extra fresh sage, and brussel sprouts with bacon. K insisted we have a vegetable. Bugsy had pterodactyl.

Poppy went cannibal and had some turkey too. He is shown above after a spritz of water. It was not a bad feather day, it was "I just washed my feathers and can't do a thing with them."

The autumn colors have exploded and are so eye catching. There is a house just up the hill that has a lacey maple that is a peachy orange that I have never seen on a tree before. We rake leaves and the wind just blows them back around the yard. It is a game my old fickle mistress the wind plays.

A little maple next to a wonderful stone wall. It is a neighbor's yard but the colors know know master or bounds, do they?

Puppette loves the middle of the street. I do not know why. I am just very grateful that we live on a street with very little traffic.

We finally found a storage place that would let us put the POD on its property. But... the POD is about 45 feet from our container so we just load up the pick up truck and drive the stuff over.
We spent 2 hours today and moved less than the first quarter out. It is slower, we think, because that last quarter of the POD was also full of last minute items. Over the next few days we will get the POD empty and it will get picked up on Monday.

It is interesting to have gone with out so many of our belongings and then to get them back. Live with out the bulk of your "stuff" for a while. It gives me the mind to go through my belongings and pare down even more.
I could see the box with the cutting boards in it, but could not reach them. So I continue to cook with less than my full compliment of gear. It creates flexibility. I have said it before, but a complete T-day dinner with the cast iron, 2 sauce pans and a new casserole dish. Iron Chef meets deprivation island!

Bugsy is begging you all to come by again, sign the guest book.

Every one was so close in the mileage we will send each a NY treat.
The total mileage was 4864. Almost 5000 miles.

Be well.

C & K

Sunday, November 4, 2007

We are homeless


As of Friday, November 2nd, we are homeless.
Our house closed!!!!!!!!
So we now have the great pleasure of looking for a new house to buy.
This rental is cute and all, but it would not be our choice of a house to live in long term.

Thank you all so much for the prayers and support while the house fiasco unraveled and re-knit itself.

We were house bound yesterday, Saturday, as a tropical storm, Nole, passed by Long Island and lashed us nicely. Wet and windy the likes we get in Hamsterville, only a bit more intense.

K has had 2 interviews, I have one next week and a possible second coming.
Things are good.
Sorry for the lack of postings. We just are trying to set a routine and get more safely settled here.
The new dilemma is: our PODS container is here, near by. It is much money to rent it and have them store it, we have no room here to put it and we can't put it at K's parent's or brother's houses. We need to unload it and take all our stuff to a storage facility.
It took us 5 months to pack it. Many of you saw how full it is. We really did not want to have to unpack it and then re-pack for the move to a new home. Now it is unpack, load a storage place, re-pack and move it again.
But, then again, if that is one of the greatest of our worries, it is no worry at all.

The winner of the contest will be notified soon.

Be well, people.