Posts Tagged ‘Connecticut’

This Tasty Tidbits Tuesday is really the simplest of meals and no recipe needed.  I was looking for a really quick and economical supper for this night.  In the Spring and Fall, many of the avenues in New York City are closed to traffic and hundreds of booths line the streets selling everything from socks to sheets, hats to hot dogs, fresh squeezed lemonade to ladies’ dresses, shawls, scarves and sweaters, jewelry to junk and best of all Sausage and Pepper Subs. I don’t call them subs as in submarine sandwiches because I come from Connecticut and we know these sandwiches are grinders!  Well whatever you call them, they’re delicious and we always feel decadent eating them and why not since they are loaded with fat.  

Tonight I made a healthier version and clearly it was an economical meal.  We had Sausage with Peppers and Onions on a roll and steamed asparagus.  I used hot poultry sausage.  I don’t normally calculate the cost of the meals I make or the recipes I post, however, this meal was really, well, cheap!

English: Red bell peppers. Suomi: Punaisia pap...

 Red bell peppers (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The sausage (6) cost  – $5.36  

Mixed sweet bell peppers (6) – $5.99  I only used 5 

2 fresh-baked rolls – $1.40

1 lg Spanish onion – $0.74

Asparagus – $4.79 – purchased at COSTCO (2 lb) This is the second side dish, and still have a third.

Total cost: $17.54

There is pepper and onion mix and 1 1/2 sausages left over for a lunch. 

The key to making this meal delicious is sautéing the peppers and onion really slowly.  The onion caramelizes and sweetens the mixture.  I only use red, yellow and orange peppers – that’s why there is one left over; It’s green! 

English: onion

 Onion (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Enhanced by Zemanta

Read Full Post »

English: Syracuse Logo

 Syracuse Logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today begins the official, unofficial beginning of March Madness.  Well,  actually it is official, what used to be called Play-In Games are now known as First Four which is certainly not to be confused with the Final Four!  Having spent most of life in Connecticut, I have always been a Huskies fan and there was a point in my life (read in between marriages) when I would spend several evenings and Saturdays  in my town’s local bar and pizzeria, drinking and cheering along with recent and not so recent alumni of UCONN and fellow fans.

That was then, and that was a long time ago!  I casually name-dropped  Sweet Sixteen, Elite Eight and the Final Four but the First Four? Oh well, today is the day that the Madness begins and unless I’ve misunderstood this term (and that is SO POSSIBLE) I think in the next two days, 8 teams are going to play off or Play-In and then there will be 4 and they will be the First Four.  Okay, so who cares?  The real question is will the Orangemen defeat Dayton in the second round?  Many of the brackets I’ve looked at have predicted Syracuse will lose!  Oooohhh is it really all about momentum? They had a phenomenal early season and maybe if we all pray hard enough, wish hard enough, send enough positive thoughts their way and light a few candles AND wear orange (of course), maybe we will see them in the Regional Semi Finals.  And from there, well Dallas here we come!

So what is a UCONN Huskies fan doing promoting the Orangemen? Well you just gotta listen to BRACKETOLOGY as interpreted and sung by TWO ABSURD.  Dick and Bob Chancia are identical twins who grew up in Utica, New York, both attended Syracuse University and both had careers in Advertising and Art Direction (each on separate coasts)!  AND NOW, these two extraordinarily talented guys have turned to writing and performing some really crazy, or let’s just say absurd songs!  Now how or why two Italian guys from upstate New York are writing and singing RAP songs is….well absurd!

Syracuse fans are ageless and seasonless; so although they wrote this unbelievably-rhymed RAP called BRACKETOLGY in 2012, it is still spot-on in 2014!  I hope you’ll enjoy it, the link is below.


If you enjoyed this little ditty, you should check out their web site: http://www.twoabsurd.com


Enhanced by Zemanta

Read Full Post »

NYC Subway 6 Train

NYC Subway 6 Train Otherwise Known As The Green Line.


Oy has it been a crazy past couple of days.  I left the shore on Sunday (a glorious sunny day I might add) to return to New York City by train so I could conduct an open house at one of my listings.  I gave myself just enough time with a very narrow margin for error but that wasn’t because I like to live on the edge, rather, I was dependent on the NJ Transit system to get home.


I made it to the train on time in New Jersey and as I sped away from the station, I reached into my handbag for my cell phone and uh oh it was still at the shore.  I decided not to panic, well there was nothing to be done anyway.  My concerns were not phone calls as much as possible emails and texts from brokers trying to register customers or worse from my seller who would not know why I was incommunicado at this time.


Things were moving along nicely;  the connecting train at Long Branch was there and so we took off on time.  I had my Kindle with me and not much else since the plan was that Peter and our grandson return sometime on Monday.  In the meantime, Cash’s mom arrived in NJ to spend some beach time with her father and son.  They got the sun and the sand and I got the Open House   😦Just outside of Secaucus the train stopped and I started to fidget.  THIS is exactly what I was afraid of!  What if? I don’t even have a cell phone to contact either the seller or a colleague to pinch hit for me. And since we are all now SO DEPENDENT on our electronic devices, I don’t even know what time it is because I don’t have a watch on!


The train eventually got moving and we slid into the tunnel of Penn Station and I prayed I would be able to find a rest room quickly and get on the subway to head uptown.  Oh but I forgot to tell you, I didn’t have my Metro card;  No, that was still in my apartment!  After a quick trip to the ladies’ room and boy did I ever luck out!  The line coming in as I was leaving would have given me the figurative heart attack.


I headed for the red line – Peter hates it when I refer to the subway lines by their color dots;  he sometimes refers to the IRT, whatever that is lol lol.  Really, I’m from Connecticut, to me the colors make sense.  Anyway, in order to get on the subway I had to buy a Metro card because I left mine in my apartment (like I somehow forgot I planned on taking the train back on Sunday). The line to the ticket booth was about 20 deep.  There were two lines to the two machines and each was LONG and filled with tourists.  I figure they were tourists because three quarters of the line did NOT know how to use the machine.  I tried to practice some form of total Zen zoning and not tap my foot too much.  When finally it was my turn at the screen don’t you know the cursed hunk of no good metal and electronics would not let me purchase a Single Ride.  Ever mindful of the crowd behind me I just said, “what the f__?” and bought a $10.00 card.  I have a senior citizen discount Metro card and am totally annoyed that I had to buy this card so I could get home and work.


I thought I should take a cab across town on 86th St but since everything else was going  askew and downhill, of cou


English: An Old sign for the IRT at the Wall S...

 An Old sign for the IRT at the Wall Street 2/3 stop. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


rse there were no cabs.  I wondered if they were on strike.  A bus came along and I hopped on and at least had the gratification and satisfaction of getting a transfer for my $10.00 splurge.  The bus made pretty good time or so I thought because as you know, I had no watch or phone.  I dashed across the street and flew into my building only to come face to face with the seller who was as surprised to see me as I was her.   “Did I get her text?”  Uh no, and I have to explain how I left my phone in NJ.  And by the way, please excuse me I have to run upstairs, change my clothes, brush my hair and teeth and get to your apartment if you please.


Peter on the other hand and in the other state had his daughter and grandson to entertain.  He’s not really used to being a solo host.  Well, at least they had great weather and spent two days at the beach.  They were supposed to come home on Monday which turned into Monday night and then he called to ask what did I think about them spending another night at the cottage and he would return during the day on Tuesday.  I had appointments to show my listing on Tuesday but our cat, Nicky also had an appointment at the Vet’s on Tuesday.  It was going to be grueling round trip to bring guests back to NYC, take the cat to the veterinarian and when I finished doing the laundry he brought back, we would return to NJ.  In between appointments and his return I even managed to go to Starbucks and get a pedicure.  He looked like he had been doing battle for two days.


Back and forth, up and down and around and around we go.



Read Full Post »

I’m not thrilled with change in some areas while others like experimenting with new recipes and foods excites me.  BUT I’m not real happy about the change I have observed in the life and travels of the American Robin.  Known to me growing up as Robin Redbreast, I, like thousands of other New Englanders anxiously and eagerly awaited the first sighting of a Robin in the waning months of Winter and those of an early Spring. In fact, as I’ve written in this blog previously, spotting a Robin was certainly the sign that Spring was here!

Sometimes you might spot one standing between small patches of leftover snow in the yard while it pecked into the semi-frozen ground.  It’s really hared to describe the euphoric feeling one felt when seeing that large bird with the plump reddish breast in your yard or along the side of the road.  Some winters in New England could be very long and very gray.

“All my life’s a circle” sang Harry Chapin and of course, he wasn’t wrong.  All of life is part circle and part cycle.  When you live in area where the seasons are clearly defined, the impending signs of those seasons take on a special meaning. Like noticing all of sudden that the sun is lower in the sky and some of your neighbors have put corn stalks and gourds around their lamp posts – Fall is here and Halloween on its way.  And all the fruit and vegetable stands and grocery stores have large displays of gourds and the local supermarket ads are advertising the price per pound of turkey.  You come to rely upon those signs, you are used to them, they are part of the cycles of your year, your life.

Of course if you live in an urban area as I do now, there are also signs of the season to come. Department stores and shops display fall clothing before Labor Day, Christmas ornaments the day after Halloween and winter clothing by Columbus Day and Spring clothes while the temperature is still below freezing.  The problem with these harbingers  is that they are always so early, you begin to wonder if you’re living on a different planet than the stores that are displaying them.  It’s unnatural and a product of man-made capitalism.

That’s why I am unsettled by the appearance of  Robins in January and February.  I believe their presence is more a result of man rather than nature.  I know from articles I’ve read, that people have stated they see Robins all year long;  I just never have until the last couple of years. Is it climate change? Or is it because I now live in a Mid-Atlantic state and it’s warmer all year long than in New England?  The climate clearly has changed since I was a kid growing up in Connecticut;  Winters were full of snow and days of sledding and snow ball fights. Spring arrived with warm, not hot weather and windy days afforded lots of kite flying.  Summer was sultry but not so humid that you never wanted to leave an air-conditioned house and by the way, who had an air-conditioned house in the 50’s?

Robins are beautiful birds so I guess I should’t complain or question why they are here now.  Murray has taken quite a few photos of these lovely feathered creatures and I want to share them with you.

Robin on Winter Branches

Robin on Winter Branches

Robin Red Breast

Robin Red Breast

Read Full Post »

English: A gold charm bracelet worn on the arm...

English: A gold charm bracelet worn on the arm. Visible charms are a heart-shaped locket, seahorse, crystal, telephone, bear, spaceship, and grand piano.

Well I just celebrated the BIG ONE and I mean BIG!  I may have even slipped past being a woman of a certain age…well let’s not go that far!

My husband gave me several pieces of jewelry and while putting them away, I came across a red velvet bag.  Of course I knew what was in the bag and was glad to put my hands on it again.  In it lie bits and pieces of my life – Charming chapters as it were – Let the memory live again.

I untied the red satin ribbon and reached in to pull out a very heavy, very clangy charm bracelet.  I don’t know how popular charm bracelets are these days…I think not.  But, in the 1960’s, well just about all my girlfriends had one.  My first charm bracelet was a narrow chain link and had several charms, many of them given to me by my friends as a birthday or Christmas present. 

I don’t think I wore my charm bracelet in college, however, some years later and married, I realized I had acquired some more charms and discovered meaningful trinkets in my possession that would make appropriate charms.  This was going to require a heavy duty charm bracelet!  I purchased a sterling silver triple link bracelet and set about adding pieces and parts of my life.

Maybe my determination to create my life’s story in trinkets was a foreshadowing of my life to come:  That is one of collecting way too many things and displaying them for all  to see and the writing of a blog which is yet another way of exposing yourself to the world.

These are the charmed chapters of my life: (not in chronological  order or of  importance).

Crossed Tennis Racquets     Tennis was a large part of my life when I was married to my first husband.  Much of our social life at the country club included mixed doubles as well as tournament play.

Cape Cod: I went to Cape Cod with my then fiancé (first husband).  I remember feeling liberated and wild until the fire horn went off in the middle of the night. It was on the wall of the motel (hence the cheap price I guess) and I thought we were in the middle of an air raid! Oh the shame – caught in an illicit act!

Pelican: My son Joel attended Loomis Chaffee , a private high school in Connecticut.  The school’s mascot was a Pelican.

Democratic Donkey:  I was in my very early twenties when I got interested in local politics.  I worked for the Democratic Town Committee in our small predominantly Republican town.  I actually ran for office, alas defeated.  Still, invited to and attended Ella Grasso‘s Inauguration Ball.

Cowboy Boot:  There was a period in my life as a newly single woman when I would frequent a Western bar, and dance the night away. I was a pretty good Texas Two-Stepper!

State of ConnecticutNot my birthplace but where I grew up and lived until I was 51.  Life in Connecticut was great and I’m glad my children were brought up there.  However, once divorced and single, my little town was no longer for me.

Baby Cup:  (engraved Baby Bob) Those wild years between marriages – Baby Bob was someone I dated for about a year.  He was QUITE a bit younger than me and I and my friends affectionately  referred to him as Baby Bob.

JCL medal:  I belonged to the Junior Classical League in high school.  I swear I can’t remember what the club did or was all about.

Cross with a Diamond ChipAs part of his strategy to surprise me with an engagement ring, my first husband gave me a sterling silver cross with a teeny tiny diamond chip in the middle for my 19th birthday!

Five Card Flush: I’ve always loved to play cards, I grew up in a card-playing family.  In High School, it was Hearts and Set Back, in College it was Set Back and Poker.  In Avon, it was Bridge and Gin Rummy.

Devil in Cocktail Shaker: This is one of my favorite charms.  I think I got it when I was out of college and working.  Just thought it was cute at the time.

Riverboat & State of Louisiana:  I’ve been to New Orleans several times and  Orleans and enjoyed my stay in The Big Easy every time. Loving me some po’boys, oysters and Hurricanes.

Martini Glass:  This one even has an olive on a toothpick in it.  And it’s presence is probably self-explanatory!

Graduation Cap:  This one is a survivor of the first charm bracelet as is the JCL medal.  1965 Graduation from Woodrow Wilson High School.

1940’s Earring:  This one bears explanation.  I always remember that my mother had a pendant necklace which was a silhouette drawing of a tropical beach with a crescent moon. It was drawn on a butterfly’s wing. I found an earring with a tiny circle drop pendant with the same scene and adapted it to hang on the charm bracelet.  This one represents my mother who died when I was 9 years old.

No Parking  Sign: This is a remnant of the first bracelet and is about to be removed because the base of the sign is gone.  No Parking was a definite High School charm which needs no further explanation.

Class Ring:  The ring is a tiny replica of my High School class ring.

Varsity Banner:  I actually had earrings which were small banners inscribed Woodrow Wilson and painted maroon and gray, our school colors.  This didn’t get added until much later when I was scouting around for representative pieces.

Cigarette Lighter:  Soon to be eliminated to make room for another and certainly no longer relevant, this tiny lighter actually worked.  You had to add lighter fluid and a flint and it would light.  But it has to go…

1964 World’s Fair Medal: The 1964 World’s Fair was held in New York City and I believe my father went and brought this charm back for me.

The Empire State Building:  When I moved to New York City in 1998, I bought this charm.  Moving here was the beginning of what I call the second half of my life!  Loving life in The Big Apple.

Wishbone:  I’m not sure if this charm is a leftover from the first bracelet when someone gave it to me for Good Luck or one that I bought because my Dad and myself always broke the wishbone from the Thanksgiving Day turkey.

Flamingo:  NOT for the state of Florida!  I have a fairly good-sized Flamingo collection so of course I had to put one on the charm bracelet.

Happy Birthday Hanging Sign:  Clearly this needs no explanation but to say it is a survivor from my High School charm bracelet.

Anchor:  As a remembrance of my Dad, a Navy man to the end, I bought an anchor charm to keep his memory on my wrist.

U.S. Capitol:  My first honeymoon was in Washington D.C. and I bought this charm to commemorate the occasion – that was a lifetime ago.

Three Keys:  My first husband was a great salesman and he won awards.  I have 3 small keys engraved with his initials and dates for his successes.  I think it was known as the Key Club.

Locomotive Engine CarI managed a restaurant for a short period in the mid 90″s.  It was known as The Depot and part of the restaurant was in an actual train car. 

I still have to acquire a couple more;  I want to memorialize my second honeymoon in Buenos Aires, my trips to South Africa and my cottage on the Jersey Shore.  And who knows…surely there are other chapters to be charmed.

Read Full Post »

One is Silver and the other is Gold.”

Two nights ago the Empire State Building was lit totally in green to celebrate the 100th year anniversary of the Girl Scouts of America!  Some things you just never forget and I always remember that Girl Scout saying about silver and gold friends.

Tonight I had dinner with a Gold friend, Janet.  We worked together when we both lived in Connecticut and we played together when we were both divorced moms with young pre-teen girls!  Tonight was a night of reliving fond memories, catching up on spouses, kids and grandkids.  There’s song that New Found Glory recorded; Right Where We Left Off and dinner tonight with my old friend was just like that!

This blog is a virtual hug for you, Janet and also a big Thank You to Murray, Pbenjay’s staff photographer.  Now what does one have to do with other?  Tonight Janet asked me, “Who is Murray?” After I explained our relationship grown out of a life-long friendship between Murray and my husband, Janet exclaimed and extolled the merits of Murray’s photos!  Well you don’t have to convince me, that’s for sure.  She mentioned that through his beautiful, artistic, striking and personal photos of New York City, she feels like she lives here (which is about 3,000 miles away from where she resides).

So this one’s for you Janet through the lens of Murray’s camera.

Girl Scouts, 100th anniversary, Manhattan, NYC

Celebrating Girl Scouts of America 100th Anniversary

Central Park, March 2012

Pink Blossoms-Manhattan in March

Central Park, New York city, volley ball
Central Park, stone bridge, two ducks, mallard, New York City

Strolling Ducks in the Park

Red tractor trailer truck,

This is Manhattan in March

Red tail hawk

Yes, A Hawk in Manhattan

AAll photos courtesy of Murray Head

Read Full Post »

I really am some kind of Christmas junkie.  For me the addiction is in decorating the house.  Over the years I have varied the look from time to time and when I had a large Victorian-style home in Connecticut, we had Christmas trees that were 9′ to 10′ tall and full of ribbons, flowers, bows, lace and confection.

Then there was the year of The Toy Story Christmas; My daughter and I were living in a bungalow-style small house and there really wasn’t room for a real tree.  I spent hours making a good size Candy Tree.  That was a treat (no pun intended), so colorful and sticky too.  Presents were piled on and around an old golden oak hall seat, stuffed animals sat here and there, Woody himself  was near the tree.

One year I went full-out Martha Stewart! I made the cookie ornaments featured in the magazine and a small flock of penguins hand-painted in blue and black frosting set in snow (salt), strung cranberries and popcorn and wrapped all the presents in brown paper tied with raffia.

When I married Peter (who’s Jewish), Christmas was still very much present, however, now I was living in a New York City apartment and soooooo;  the living room which has an Art Deco look became a silver and crystal wonderland.  Reindeer inhabited every room, shelf and nook – they’re so ecumenical, don’t you think?

Fast forward to the present and this year Christmas will be in our little cottage at the shore.  La Vie en Rose is a true confection of a cottage, at least I like to think so.  A small cottage can only handle so much decoration so again there’s no tree and by the way, that’s okay because over the years I have given all of the ornaments of their youth to my two now grown up kids.  The cottage is Victorian on the outside and eclectic on the inside.   Color is the key and this is what it looks like today.


La Vie en Rose, Christmas tree, Ocean Grove

A Pink Christmas is Perfect

The tree really isn’t supposed to have any ornaments and comes pre-wired with tiny lights but I guess I couldn’t resist hanging a couple and now that I see the photo, I think I’ll remove them.


flamingo, penguin, ornaments, bowl of ornaments

Flamingo and Penguin Co-exist at Christmas time

I love the reflections.


ocean grove,nutcrackers,wooden soldiers

My Army of Nutcrackers

Joel and Chiara Berti, pink ribboned tree

Pink Ribboned Tree

I have been looking at photos from other Christmases in the cottage and I see that this tree has been promoted to the first floor!


Christmas light bulbs, C-9 bulbs, canning jars, Ball jars, zinc lids, santa sleigh, pine cones

The First of the Ball Jar Bulb collection

There’s a few more jars and bulbs and a jingle bell wreath on the door.  I need to take a few more photos to do this all justice.

Merry Christmas to All!

Read Full Post »