Saturday, July 30, 2011

Rita's Italian Ice

I realize I am about 10 years behind the rest of the country, but I never had Rita's until this year.  I always wanted to try it, but either the lines were too long or there was no parking or some other reason.  So we came out of a movie and I told Bill I wanted to try Rita's. We pass them all the time (they are everywhere, we are always passing them) but we didn't really know where one was.  As we were driving home, we passed one.  Serendipity, right? We stopped and I ordered a cherry Gelati.  Bill ordered a blendini. 

It was a BIG mistake.  Never should have stopped.  Never should have ordered.  NEVER should have eaten it.  So good.  I am now craving it.  They actually ask if there is a flavor you'd like to taste! 

So my second one was mango-peach and today I had watermelon.  Love, love, love watermelon.  So many flavors, so little time.  I'll bet there are gobs of calories.  Can I stick my head in the sand about it or should I actually look? 

Monday, July 25, 2011

Speaking about Fans.....

I remember spending a great deal of time around fans.  Even though we weren't supposed to get near the electric kind.  Air conditioning was not standard in either the home or cars.  I would spend a week with my Aunt Winnie and we went places like their country club.  Their home and all the inside places we went were air conditioned.  One afternoon it was crazy hot and we were in their car.  I have no idea where we were going. They had air conditioning in the car!  I was complaining and moaning that the car was hot and I wanted the windows open, like in our car.  Well I complained so much that Uncle Claude told me to be quiet and he opened the windows in the front.  Hot air poured into the car.  He hollered "Are you happy now?"  I couldn't speak.  I couldn't tell him to put the windows back up - I had been such a demanding little jerk.  So I just said in a very small voice "Yes"

Outside of my rich aunt and uncle, fans were the cooling tool of the day.  There were hand fans in the church pews along with the hymnals that appeared during every summer.  They were fixed fan-shaped cardboard on a wood stick.  Of course, any child immediately picked one up and fanned themselves and anyone in the immediate area.  Some women carried fold-up fans in their handbag.  They were too hard for most kids to handle.  But they freed up the fixed fans for us kids to use.  Probably not their intention.

At home, we had one giant floor fan that when I stood in front of it blew my hair straight back.  And if you talked into it, it vibrated your voice.  I think that fan was kept in the "boy's room".  Of course I wasn't allowed up there. I seem to also remember seeing it on the first floor, in Daddy's office.  I'm not sure. 

My favorite fan was a table fan. It rotated back and forth and the blades were RUBBER!  I remember it on the kitchen table and my brothers taught me how to stick my fingers in it to stop the blades from rotating.  That was fun!  But as luck would have it - boy did I get yelled at!  They had an uncanny way of disappearing and letting me take the blame.  I probably ratted on them. {SMILE}

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Hazy, Hot and Humid

Crazy hot weather we are having.  At 7:00 PM it is 96 degrees in the shade on our deck.  Although I only know this because we have an indoor-outdoor thermometer.  It is too doggone hot to open the doors!  So Bill and I are lolling around in the air conditioned world we created.  Pretty cool, huh? (Pun intended)

I remember those hot summer nights on Jefferson Street when Betsy and I shared a room.  It was so hot that the sweat trickled down the skin to the sheets.  The air was totally still.  We had one window open in our bedroom, one window open in Mom and Daddy's room and all the other windows on the first floor were closed.  The door to the upstairs where my brothers slept was left open because the floor fan (maybe it was a window fan) at the top of the stairs was positioned to push air out the window.  Always, by morning it was cold enough to pull up the sheets. 

We usually stayed outside as long as possible.  It was much cooler there.  Besides we could catch fireflies, eat Popsicles or ice cream and sometimes play tag in the dark.  I hated coming inside.  It was always hotter inside and it usually meant taking a bath.    I hated the bath, even though I felt great after the bath, all dry and powdered up.  I would try and talk my way into watching TV, but that hardly ever worked. 

We are so lucky now to have air conditioning that I sometimes forget to be thankful.  It's that way with many things.  Forgetting to be thankful, I mean.  Thank you God for home, family, health and safety.  And air conditioning.  Amen.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Angry Birds

Now that I've finally finished my Harry Potter book (good ending to the series), I can get back to my real obsession....... Angry Birds.  I have played through all the levels so my new goal is to get 3 stars on all levels.  I'm only missing 11 stars out of 360 possible in AB Rio.  AND, I've found all the fruit, 60 out of 60.

In AB Original, I have a lot of work to do to get three stars on each scene.  Now they've added a feather representing total destruction of all the support structures in the scene.  But you need an eagle to accomplish it.  The eagle is a one time  99 cent purchase.  The eagle streaks across the scene with this huge splat making Nathan and I laugh.  He gets a kick out of the game, too.

Then there is AB Seasons.  Right now is the summer scene.  Every day they release another scene.  I found out about this one rather late.  There is Halloween, Christmas, Valentine's Day and Easter in addition to Summer.  Nathan works on these for me.  He's so funny.  He beats the level and raises both arms with a "Woo Hoo!  I won!"

I probably waste spend 30 minutes to an hour a day on these silly games.  Do you think I can claim they are improving my mental flexibility?  How about dexterity?  Hand-eye coordination?

Oh well, I tried.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Harry Potter

I am watching the first movie "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" or as they say in England - Philosopher's Stone.  I had forgotten how clever and funny the first book / story is.  I think this is my favorite HP book.  I remember reading it and thinking how much imagination went into creating the characters and places.  I mean quiddich - really?  Thinking about reading this as a child, I can only imagine dreaming of discovering you are really not common, but a wizard!  How cool!

Now I am about to admit something I did or rather didn't do.  I never read the last HP book, "HP and the Deathly Hallows".  Well, I read the first 4-5 chapters, then skipped to the end to find out who lived. 

I know - awful.  But I couldn't stand it anymore.  And then, once I knew what I wanted to know - I put the book down and never picked it up again - until last week.  I finally decided to read it all.  Partly because I was reminded about it since the last movie is coming out, partly because I want to read it and partly because Evan said it brought closure to a lot of things left open in the first 6 books.

So, I have been busy catching up on my reading when I'm not watching Nathan, playing on the computer or going to sporting events.  It sure is an exciting book.
So sad, the last HP book and movie. 

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy July 4th!

Activities on the fourth were very exciting when I was a kid.  Daddy would cook an egg for breakfast. (He always did this on Sundays and holidays)  I always peppered my parents with questions like "When is the parade?  Is anyone coming over?  When are we going to the park?"  Then we get dressed.  And wait.  You know how impatient a seven year old is.  So I would "help" Mom cutting up fruit or potatoes for the various salads.

We would go to watch the parade.  Bands, old cars, majorettes, cheerleaders, floats, veterans (although I didn't know they were called that them, I just thought they were old guys in boy scout hats) fire trucks all passed by.  I remember sitting on the curb watching it, but I don't remember where the curb was.  Main Street? In front of where?  I don't know.

I don't exactly remember the picnic, either where it was or who was there.  But I do remember going to the park, Goshenhoppen Park.  We would listen to the Red Hill band play in the bandshell.  There was a pretty baby contest and other contests.  I would play on the swings and slide with whoever was there.  We ran up and down hills and just played all day.  Then we would go home to watch the fireworks.  We couldn't see the ones on the ground, but could see the ones in the sky.

I don't know how many of my memories are that of a seven year old and how many are from assorted random years.  As usual for me, I have snippets of memories.  I do wish they were more complete.

As for us today, we hung our flag and plan to have picnic food, watch fireworks, and generally have a great day.  And we are sure to watch 1776.  The best and most fun reminder of our founding founders struggles and work.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Email Glut

I am doing a really poor job of managing my email.  I looked at my inbox total this morning and it is 531.  Five hundred thirty one emails!  That doesn't include ads from companies that I've already listed as (cleverly enough) "Ads".  Those go into their own folder.

I'm tempted to just erase them all.  Might be a good plan then anyone who really had a question or information for me will have to email me again or call me.  Right?  Bad idea.

Here's the crux of the matter.  I am afraid I will miss something.  Never mind that by the time I get to the information it is probably too late.  At least I will know what I could have done if I had read it in time.  Sick - I know.

I think I not only have to clean up the glut, but I also have to figure out how to end some of the stuff I get.  I get between 80 and 120 a day.  Too much.  Also, I have two computers I use and only one actually downloads the emails. 

If you have any suggestions how you handle this, I'd appreciate advice.  Help!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Follow-up to Bragging Post

Two nights ago, our catcher Katie's team won the ELV American Division Softball Championship! The final round was the best of 3 games.  They lost the first game 9-10.  The next night they planned to play two games if necessary.  They won the first game 7-6 having been down 4-5 in the 5th inning.  And won the second game to claim the championship.  For Katie it is the second softball championship in two years!

Dad Dann sent me this picture with the caption "Out to dinner with the winner!"

The Other Canvas

I told you we had two beautiful canvases from photos Bill took.  I only included Pittsburgh.  This is the second canvas - Seattle.  Clearly it is a photo of the canvas hanging on the wall.  Notice the mountain on the right.  We were lucky and Mt. Rainier was visible.  And no, it isn't Photoshopped in. 


Friday, July 1, 2011

Old Fuddy Duddy

I think I am officially an old fuddy duddy. 

Yesterday late afternoon I left the house to go to the store.  In the first two miles, three cars were over the line on my side of the road.  Each jerked back to their own side and as they passed - all were looking at their not on the steering wheel hand - do you think it was their cell phone?  Yes, it really was three cars.  I would guess that nearly every time a driver is missing a light, driving erratically or backing up without looking there is a cell phone (hereafter called a phone) involved.

Monday I was leaving the grocery store.  I put the groceries in my trunk, stashed the cart and got in the car.  As I turned to back up, I saw it happen.  Two women - both on their respective phones - backed into each other.  Unbelievable.  I scurried out of there not wanting to be a witness.  Actually it was pretty funny - in a goofy sort of way.  I was trying to guess how the argument would go. 

Oh and while I was in the store a woman talking ridiculously loud on her phone, rammed my achilles heel with her cart.  "Sorry, I didn't see you" she said.  And went back to her conversation.  Um - really?  We were standing in the same line at the checkout.  Really?  You didn't see me? 

No I don't think cell phones should be outlawed.  I really like my phone.  It has lots of useful stuff on it like my calendar, phone list, GPS, clock, email, calculator, Facebook, Angry Birds (all 3 versions), Games for Nathan, Words with Friends, Twitter..... I could go on and on.   But only the GPS is useful when I am diving a car!  And that has limited use because it doesn't talk to me - I have to look at it.  So I only use it when Bill is driving or if i am driving - I use it while I am stopped to get my bearings.

Back to my original point.  I am a fuddy duddy.  I think people should be less litigious and more forgiving.  If you break it, you fix it.  When you borrow something, you return it in at least as good a shape as you borrowed it in, if not better.  You help your neighbor.  "Man" up to your mistakes and take responsibility for the outcome. 

Ah, the good old days.  Sigh.  Maybe it is like childbirth.  After a while, you really don't remember the pain.