Doe, a Deer ……

…… a dead, dead deer.
Ray, the sun which made it smell.
Me, someone, who’s stuck with it.
Far, I searched both high and low.
So, a neighbor helped me out.
Law, there was no precedent.
Tea, I don’t like anyway.
And that brings us back to doe.
Doe, ray, me, far, so, law, tea, doe, buried doe.

You can’t get entertainment like that every day.
You’re welcome.

So, yeah. For those of you who aren’t on Face Book with me, I had a dead doe in my yard. Or at least, close to my yard.
I received a boat load of advice from friends on FB, none of which was any help.
Mostly because people found it hilarious.

I called Animal Control.
Well, I tried to call Animal Control.
It seems that the city of Houston doesn’t think that wild life dies on weekends.
When I finally got ahold of someone Monday morning, she told me to drag it to the curb and let the trash collectors pick it up.

This woman has no idea. I’ve received two “formal notices” in the mail because my family has parked in the street sometimes. The third notice comes with a fine.
Welcome to the neighborhood!!!

So yeah, I can just picture the apoplexy that would occur if I managed to drag a dead deer, with two huge, gaping holes in it, to my curb.
Pitchforks and hot tar would be made ready.

Thankfully, a friend who lives in this community (not on my street) happened to stop by on Sunday and I showed her the dead deer.
The next day she brought her gardener over and he agreed to bury it for me. For a small fee.
I would’ve paid a large fee because by that time, the stench was pretty overwhelming.
He buried it …… with a whole bottle of bleach.
Voila! No deer and no more smell.

Of course, we have all kinds of predators (thus, the gaping holes) who might decide to un-bury her, but I hope not.

On the positive side, I’m leaving in the morning for Oregon, so if she is un-buried, I won’t be here to know.
Score!

On the negative side, I have to get up at five-freakin’-o’clock in morning. We all know that I am not a morning person.
By any stretch of the imagination.

I’m flying in to San Francisco, where I wish I had time to roam, but I think it’s a quick turn around.
Oregon is usually a breath of cool air. But this weekend?
This weekend it’s supposed to be in the 90′s.
Of course it is.

Son #1 is joining me there for the weekend so I’m glad I’ll be able to spend some time with him.
And of course I’m glad to be able to spend some time with my family up there.

And in the latest news …… I’ve pretty much decided to toss my hair (no, it’s not long enough to toss, but work with me) at the state of NY and just not worry about the tax situation any longer. I’d been mulling that over and then a friend sent me an email tonight, telling me that her accountant told her what percentage the tax is, and it’s not all that much (she’s also wanting to live there part time).
It’s been such a pain to have to worry about how many days I’ve spent there, and keeping track of that. It’s kind of taken the fun out of it. Her email confirmed that for me, and helped me make the decision to just go with it. If I want to be in NY, I’m going to be in NY.

And yes, I’m quite aware of how very blessed I am to have these petty things to think about.

In real estate news …… I received an offer on my house last night (though I didn’t know it until today).
Before you all start to cheer …… it was insulting.

A few weeks ago I decided to lower the price of the house, so that the price would reflect any needed updating and/or repairs. It’s at a terrific price for its size.

The offer today was $80,0000 freakin’ less than that.
And get this …… they justified that amount because they want to renovate the master bath (you know, that same master bath I renovated completely a few years ago), plus some other things they want to do.
Now truly, it doesn’t bother me that they don’t like the bathroom. I’m pretty much over that house now. But there’s not a need to renovate it. Just as there’s not a need to sand ALL of the floors (wood floors which were also put in, all over the entire house) a few years ago, so that they all match. I’m not sure how that’s possible since the kitchen has tile that looks like wood.
Another thing that’s not necessary.

I think I’ve lowered the price to beyond fair, and I’m not using my money for them to change things up.
Not $80,0000 worth.

So my friend/realtor asked if I had a number I’d be comfortable with to counter. “Yes”, I said. And I gave her the asking price.
I figure if they really want the house, they’ll come back with a less-insulting offer. If not, I don’t give a damn.

So there you go. The good (trip to Oregon), the bad (my Sound of Music rendition) and the ugly (the offer on the house).

And now I must finish watching “America’s Got Talent” (can you believe that 12 year old girl’s voice??!) and finish packing.
Five o’clock comes pretty early around here.

Happy Tuesday/Wednesday, Peeps.
:)

Spice Cake and Tears ……

…… are on tap for today.

But before I get into that I need to tell you that I’m multi-tasking while writing this.
I’m writing …… and I’m completely NOT dealing with the fact that there’s a good-sized, once-beautiful, now-horrifically-smelling, dead deer in my yard.

It’s back there:
IMG_6243

I’ll spare you the details.
You’re welcome.

Back to the title.

Today is Son #2′s twenty second birthday.
Some days it’s impossible to believe that my children are the age they are. Other days I feel like I must be a million years old.
These past six years their birthdays have brought me smiles, as well as tears.
Tears for the same four words, over and over and over.
Jim.
Should.
Be.
Here.

But the smiles …… the smiles come easier now.
Especially this day.
This day contains hilarious memories.
Oh, they weren’t so hilarious when they were actually being made, at least not to me.

You see, Son #2 was due on July 11th. That would’ve been a cool birthday … 7/11.
But he, as well as 4 of his siblings, decided to take his damn sweet time before being born.

I had a doctor’s appointment on Friday, July 17th. My dr. told me that if I didn’t go into labor over the weekend, he’d start an induction on Monday. I asked if Jim should take off work to be there. He assured me that this induction (the application of a prostaglandin gel) would be slow. I’d go home and “hopefully” go into labor after 24 hours. But I’d most likely have to have this procedure done again a couple of days later. No need for a husband or a packed suitcase.

Now I have to take a moment to remind you that we lived in Houston. And July in Houston is about as close to hell as I ever want to get.
But I got out in the sweltering heat. I rode my bike. I walked. I ate shrimp by the pound (we went to a shrimp boil the month before, and a good friend went into labor right afterwards. She encouraged me to eat shrimp). Poor Jim, he brought home every kind of shrimp he could find for a few nights.
Nothing.

So I went into the office on Monday and he sent me over to the hospital to have the gel applied. The woman in the next room was also having this done. For the third time.
Poor her.

So the dr. came in, applied the gel, told me to stay down for thirty minutes and then go home. And he went back to the office.

Within five minutes I knew that I wasn’t going anywhere.
That damn gel didn’t get the notice that it was supposed to be slow-acting.
One of the nurses came in to check on me and I was Lamaze-style breathing. I asked through gritted teeth, “When can I get an epidural?!”, to which she replied, “Well, we have to make sure you’re in real labor before we can talk about that.”
If I hadn’t been breathing so hard I think I would’ve hauled off and smacked her.
She put a belt on me to measure the contractions and keep track of the heart rate. Then she said that she’d be back in 15-20 minutes to see if anything was happening.
I told her that since this was my fifth child, fourth pregnancy, I think I could pretty much give her an official opinion that this was indeed labor.
She just smiled at me like I was a small child and said, “We’ll see.”

After she left I called Jim’s office. His secretary answered. Bless her heart, every time I called him in that month she’d ask, “Is this it?!”. And it never was.
This time she informed me that he was out of the office. He’d gone to lunch with some clients. She asked, “Should I get a hold of him?” I’m pretty sure it was the panting and heavy breathing that caught her attention. Or the pauses in the conversation when I’d breathe out … “just a sec …”, hold the phone away and either breathe or swear.
I finally told her that, yes, she needed to get ahold of him right away.
So she put me on hold and called his cell. When the call transferred over Jim said, “Hello?” I could tell that he was in a restaurant. I could hear gentle laughter and conversations. I could hear the tinkling sound of silverware on plates and glass ware.
It didn’t make me all that happy.

I said, “Hi, you need to come to the hospital, I’m in labor.” There was a small pause. Then the man actually said …… “But they’re getting ready to serve dessert. And it’s spice cake.”

I’ll let you sit with that for a while.

Done laughing?
I didn’t think you were.

Yes, the man loved spice cake. But REALLY?!! I’d been having contractions on top of contractions for about 30 minutes and could hardly talk. But I did manage to tell him what he could do with the spice cake if he didn’t get there soon.

I then hung up and kept requesting an epidural in spite of all the collective birthing knowledge out at the nurses station. The nurse finally came in to check me and said, “Yep, you’re in labor all right. Looks like it’s going fast.”
If looks could kill there would’ve been one less nurse in Labor and Delivery that day.

The contractions came on so fast and were so hard that I just couldn’t get on top of them. No matter what breathing method I used. Or didn’t use. Evidently I wasn’t being all that quiet.
Jim later told me that as he was walking down the hall toward the room, he could hear yelling and crying. He nervously asked a nurse, “Is that Mrs. E?”, to which she replied, “Yep.”
I think he knew at that point that he was in trouble.

I knew that he was in trouble the moment he walked into the room, as they were giving me the epidural. He was carrying my bag (yes, that was sweet) and he was wearing shorts and a baseball cap.
I, or some demon who had take over my body, roared, “You went home and changed clothes??!!!!!”, to which he replied, “I thought I’d have time. These things are usually slow going.”

Forty five minutes later, Son #2 was born.
Yes, I soon forgave Jim for almost missing the birth of our son.
I’m not sure how long it took him to get over missing that spice cake.

We were in Oregon the next year when Son #2 turned one. I spent two days searching surrounding stores for spice cake.
Alas, I was not successful, but he was ok with it.
He got it for his birthday.
Every year.

God, I miss that man.

Jim, snoozing after a rough day of missing out on dessert.
Parker0001

Son #2 at 5 months:
Parker0002

Son #1 on his first birthday, out in an Oregon forest.
Parker0004

Buds:
Parker0005

Sleeping buds (as Jim was with every baby):
Parker0006

Swimming, at less than one year.
Parker0007

Happy Birthday, P. I love you to the moon and back.
And so does Dad.
<3 <3 <3

San Diego ……

…… in pictures.
Because, you know …… I have them, you want to see them are a captive audience.
Kind of.

So here you go:
(Ummmm ….. you might want to pull up a chair.  Just in case you’re standing up right now while at your computer, or tablet or phone.)

This is my niece (on the right with the goggles) and a friend, licking the beater from the homemade ice cream maker.  We used to make ice cream at Jim’s parents’ farm for every birthday, or sometimes just for fun in the summer.  It’s been a couple of decades since that’s happened.
We all took turns sitting on the bucket, turning the handle.
And the result was well worth the effort.  As you can tell from this pic.

 

IMG_0004

 

This was me, after I discovered a fun app on my phone that I didn’t realize was there.  I think I killed a good half hour playing with it.  :)

IMG_0009

IMG_0012

 

I took this picture about 30 minutes after we got to the beach.  When we sat all of our stuff down the water was about 30 feet away from us.
And then suddenly, it wasn’t.
We had to move our things very quickly at least twice.

IMG_0022

 

I love watching the hot air balloons every time I visit San Diego.  A few years ago Son #1 and I, and my brother in law, rode in one.  It was such a cool experience.  So I enjoy watching them float by.  Except this one seemed to have some sort of problem.  It went down, getting flatter and flatter on one side.
But it was a slow descent so I don’t think anyone was hurt.

IMG_0068

 

This is my back yard.  So cool, huh?
Well, this was my back yard before I took off for California.  I brought the cushions and ottomans in before I left because it was supposed to rain that day.  I think it rained here a lot, so the cushions still aren’t back on the furniture.
And the outdoor rug doesn’t look as nice as it did in this picture.
But really …… what outdoor does, after it’s been outdoors??

IMG_6154

 

And for those of you who’ve seen my collection in my previous home, here it is in the new one.  Finally.

IMG_6155

IMG_6157

IMG_6158

 

I think I liked it better in the other house, against the blue wall.  But I’m not painting this wall any time soon so this will have to do.

 

This is S, my niece, during her horse riding lesson.  English style, as you can see.  She loves it.

IMG_6169

 

And here she is in the pool.  Which she also loves.

IMG_6177

 

Here’s their dog, Lucy, mid-air before she hits the pool, going after a ball that’s been tossed into the pool.  She cracks me up.  And she absolutely loves going after that ball.

IMG_6178

IMG_6181

IMG_6182

 

This is my brother-in-law (Jim’s brother) dancing with S. in the pool.  He’s a great dad.  He’s been retired since before she was born so she’s had the unique experience of growing up with both of her parents at home.  She’s very, very lucky blessed.

IMG_6187

IMG_6191

 

This was downtown by the Marriott.  There were a lot of cool kites every day.

IMG_6194

 

And this is a guy who stacked rocks into tall towers, without using any glue, or cement, or ANYTHING.  It was pretty dang cool.

IMG_6195

 

Here’s a pic that my friend K took.  And no, she didn’t make a donation. <tee hee>
Isn’t that amazing?!  The top big rocks are balancing on such tiny rocks.

10435977_10152199282390814_5642359466034182383_n

 

And this guy.  I have no idea what he was doing, other than riding around the yachts on a board, just using a pole.  In the next pic you can see how tiny he looks next to the freakingly huge boat!  Look closely …… he’s on the right.

IMG_6200

IMG_6201

 

This was Friday night, from the hotel.  The fireworks were fun.

IMG_6216

 

And this is one of my very favorites:  Daughter #3 karaoking Saturday night during the banquet.  I could listen to my daughters sing all day long, every day.  She did a wonderful job and she did an even better job interpreting for the very first time for two of our deaf widows.  I could watch her do that all day long, too.
Except when Kelley did her comedy workshop and went up to D3 while she was interpreting and starting giving her curse words, and REALLY bad words, to interpret!!  I had to stand up in front of God and everyone and insist that she stop doing that because my BABY doesn’t know those words!!!
It was really hilarious.
And I learned some pretty cool signs.
Ha!!

IMG_6222

 

This was my dress for the banquet/dance/karaoke.  My mom hemmed it at the last minute and did a terrific job.

IMG_6224

 

This is the back view.  Whoop!

IMG_6225

 

This was the view from my room:

IMG_6230

IMG_6231

 

This was the view from the elevator landing.  Six tennis courts …… one clay.  Too bad I didn’t bring a racquet!

IMG_6233

 

And this, my Peeps, is the new addition.
Wait!  Not to my home!!  I had you going for a moment there, didn’t I?  Lol!
This is Winston (as in Churchill) and Mom and D just picked him up this morning.  He’s an English Mastiff. <3   They brought him over to meet me and I instantly fell in love.
If I ever decide to stay in one place full time I’ll definitely consider getting another one.

IMG_6235

 

OK, now you’re caught up with me, picture-wise.

Now I have to get some more laundry out of the dryer.  Yes, I’m still doing laundry!! It’s a never-ending job!
Happy Weekend!!

 

Forgive Me, Father ……

…… for I have failed to blog in a timely fashion.
And it’s been several decades since my last confession.
As a matter of fact, I’ve never gone to confession.
Well, not in a Catholic sort of way.

It’s been a busy couple of weeks since my last post.
I went to San Diego and had a nice time just hanging with Jim’s brother and his family. We didn’t do much, just hung out by the pool, played with my niece, watched some TV and made numerous trips to the grocery store.
It was a nice few days.

And then I went to the hotel 2 days before Camp Widow West to help out where needed. There were several campers already ensconced in their lovely rooms, hanging out by the pool and tending bar.
Well, maybe not so much tending, as drinking.

By Thursday afternoon you couldn’t swing a dead cat without hitting a widowed person at the Marriott.
(Where in the heck did that saying come from?? And does anyone else see the irony? :)

Camp started off bright and early Friday and continued to run smoothly through the weekend.
I saw “old” friends. Which was terrific.
I made new friends. Which was great.
I shed tears. Which was ok.
I laughed.
A lot.
Which was so very wonderful.

It’s always an emotional week for me.
Being with Jim’s brother, watching our niece, is nice …… and yet sad.
I always think that he should be there, visiting with them, sharing memories with his brother.
It’s always a happy/sad time.

As is Camp.
It’s wonderful to see returning campers …… and to notice how much they’ve changed over the year.
Their smiles come quicker.
Their laughs are fuller.
Their eyes contain light where there was only dark last year.

It’s hard, but also good, to see brand new campers.
Their smiles are slow to show themselves.
Their tears are quick to fall.
Their pain is spilling out of them.
And while it’s difficult to escape the memories that their presence calls to mind, it’s so very good to be able to hug them and let them know they’re not alone.
And not as crazy as they thought.

It was the best camp yet.

The best part of it was that Daughter #3 came to volunteer her time has an interpreter for the two deaf widows who came this year.
She had never interpreted before, and was pretty nervous about the whole thing, but she did a wonderful job. I loved just standing back and watching her.
She shared not only her passion for the deaf community, but her heart. And her experiences as a daughter whose father died.
I was, and am, so very proud of her.
And I missed her immensely the night I said good bye to her before her flight the next morning.
And still do.

I really don’t enjoy the Sundays of camp.
Ninety nine percent of the campers leave that day.
So we say good bye.
I don’t like good byes.
I never really did, but now I hate them.
Depression always settles in around my shoulders on that Sunday.
I miss all of my friends.
And I miss Jim.
Always.

It takes a couple of days to shrug off that depression.
It’s certainly not as heavy as it used to be, thankfully.
Mostly everyone experiences it after camp.
We call it “Camp Crash”.
It sucks, but there are worse things.

So now I’m back in Texas. It’s good to be around the boys. Son #3 will be going back to school in just a few weeks.
Son #2 is still in school and it appears that may never end.
I jest.
Hopefully.

I’m trying to catch up on things here.
Like unpacking, laundry, signing my newly-updated will (ugh), trading in my too-large car for a smaller one, grocery shopping, paying bills …… you know, all things fun.
Only not so much.

I need to find some friends.
I need to find some way to get involved here.
Ironic, since I’ve lived here for 20+ years and used to have more friends than I could count.
But life moves on.
As do people.

So I’ve got to come up with a plan.
Other than heading to NY. Which I can’t do until the end of September, unless I just throw caution to the wind and tempt the fates NY IRS.
Which I totally might.
:)

So that’s it from this state.
Now I’ve got to get a load of clothes out of the dryer and one into the washer.
Duty calls.

Happy Thursday/Friday.
:)

Like Sands Through the Hour Glass ……

…… so are the FDR photos.
Meaning, in my opinion, just as there are uncountable grains of sand, so are there uncountable photos from this trip.
Or so it seems.
At least to me.

I’m going to try to get them all uploaded tonight.
Even though it’s 11:49 p.m. and my flight leaves in 9 hours.
So are the days of my life.
(Thankfully, my mom asked me the time of my flight, which I told her. But then I double checked …… just to make sure that my 9:00 a.m. flight on Sunday was just that: a 9:00 flight on Sunday.
Imagine my surprise when I saw that it was a 9:00 flight …… on Saturday.
And again I say, welcome to my brain.
Arggggghhhhhhhhh!

OK, back to FDR.
Did you know that when Eleanor found out that he had a mistress, she said that she would divorce him, which is what he wanted (I think they were both around 41 at that time).
But when he told his mother, she informed him, in no uncertain terms, that he would NOT get a divorce.
Or he would NOT get anything else from her. Or her will.
I don’t think many people crossed Anna Roosevelt.
And lived to tell about it.

OK that last line was made up.
I think.
:)

Back to the pictures from the house ……

IMG_6064

Note the big bed:
IMG_6065

And the connecting bedroom with Eleanor’s small bed.
Sheesh.
IMG_6066

IMG_6067

This is the view from the back porch.  It was so beautiful that it almost looked fake.  What a gorgeous view:
IMG_6069

This is one of the tallest pine trees I’ve ever seen.  It’s probably been there for over 100 years. Or so I was told.
IMG_6078

See what’s under there?  Look closely.
IMG_6084

Itty bitty baby raccoons.  They were really cute.  Too bad they turn into trash digging, bird bath-breaking, all out nuisance monsters.
IMG_6085

IMG_6086

IMG_6089

IMG_6090

IMG_6091

IMG_6092

IMG_6093

IMG_6095

IMG_6098

The rose garden, where FDR, Eleanor and their dog’s graves are:
IMG_6099

IMG_6100

IMG_6101

IMG_6103

IMG_6104

The back of the Library:
IMG_6105

IMG_6106

The following pics were taken inside the Library:
IMG_6109

IMG_6110

IMG_6111

IMG_6112

IMG_6113

IMG_6114

IMG_6115

IMG_6116

This is the letter that Eleanor wrote to the president of the D.A.R., resigning from the organization because they barred world-renowned singer, Marian Anderson, who was an African-American, perform at Constitution Hall.  Eleanor totally rocked.
IMG_6117

IMG_6118

IMG_6119

Well, there you have it.
Finally.
Poughkeepsie and Hyde Park.
It was a fun day, as well as an interesting one.
I hope you enjoyed the tour.

I’ll check you later …… from beautiful San Diego.
Whoop!!
:)

A Photo Album ……

…… instead of a blog.
Or so it seems.

Oh, and hey …… if you want to go visit the Hudson Valley Bridge, you might want to hurry up and get there tomorrow.
m
I’m just sayin’.

If you get there early enough you can go see FDR’s house.
Or you can just stay home and enjoy these pics.
I just saved you a ton on plane fare, didn’t I?
You’re welcome.

This is actually a large dumbwaiter.  FDR used it after he contracted polio and was confined to a wheel chair.  It was already there and used by the servants.  So you don’t have an elevator?  No problem!  Use the dumbwaiter.
I’m guessing that a smart one wouldn’t let you use it like that.
Ha!
(Did you groan or smile?)

IMG_6016
This is one of the hallways upstairs with bedrooms up and down it.

IMG_6020

IMG_6021

IMG_6022

IMG_6023
This is a copy of the Declaration of Independence that hangs in the above bedroom (FDR’s boyhood room).

IMG_6024

IMG_6025

IMG_6026

This is a sort of parlor for the guest room, which is through the white door on the back wall.  If you look closely you can see what appears to maybe be a full sized bed (with a white coverlet), but it seemed smaller than that.
BTW, the King and Queen of England (Elizabeth’s parents) stayed there.
I hope she took the bed.
IMG_6027

IMG_6030

IMG_6031

IMG_6032

IMG_6033
NINE freakin’ bathroooms!!  Can you even imagine cleaning all of those toilets?!!

Another hallway:
IMG_6035

IMG_6036

IMG_6038

IMG_6039

IMG_6040

IMG_6041
“Mizz Scarlett, I don’t know nothin’ bout birthin’ babies!”
Sorry, that just pops into my head every time I see that picture!

IMG_6042

IMG_6043

A young FDR:
IMG_6052

I don’t know about you, but I would’ve had a huge problem with my mother in law if she was remotely like Anna.  She did NOT treat Eleanor all that well.  Notice the size of the bed?  Franklin’s was an adjoining room with a large bed.
Sheesh.
On a happy note, Eleanor did end up with her own cottage place, not far from the main house.  So at least she did have her own home there.
Bossy MIL!
IMG_6053

IMG_6054

FDR’s room is through that door:
IMG_6055

IMG_6056

IMG_6057

IMG_6058

IMG_6059

Guess who?!  Yep, that girly-looking  boy is our 32nd president.
Thank God his mother finally let him get his hair cut!
IMG_6061

 

So for what I think is the first time ever, I’m going to have to do a three-parter.
Sorry, but I have about 35 more pics left to post (minus the ones I’ll edit out), and I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of FDR at the moment.

Let me know if you’re interested and if you are, I’ll post the rest.
I have to tell you that I got some pics of some pretty darn cute baby animals that seemed to live under the house.
Is that like a cliff hanger?!
:)

A Sample Day ……

…… of my life in NY.
(An alternate title of this post could be: “A BOATLOAD of Pics!”
You might want to pace yourself.
Over a week or two.)

And only a sample day. They’re not all like this.
But a lot of them are close. :)

The day before I flew back to Texas, my alarm went off at 6:30 a.m.
I was supposed to meet up with my friend, Jeni, to walk a mile or so and meet up with a group of Manhattan Women’s Club members.
I hit the snooze button.
Twice.

And then I just happened to wake up …… at 7:19 a.m.
Seriously.

Jumping out of bed, while experiencing heart palpitations and yelling out a curse word is not the best way to start the day.
Trust me.

But, since I seem to sometimes do my best under pressure, I managed to shower, dress, put make up on and race walk two blocks …… all by 7:36 a.m.
Yes, I’m that good.
Kind of sad, isn’t it?

Then Jeni and I walked to meet the bus. We ended up race walking because we thought the meeting spot was about 6 blocks before it actually was.
I know.
We were only about 7 minutes late, and thankfully we were not the last ones to get there.
Whew.

Jeni was smart …… she went to the long back seat and napped the two hours it took to get to Poughkeepsie (OK, I have to say that I just love saying that word. What a great name to be from. I have no idea if the town is a great place to be from, but I love its name. Say it … it’s fun! Oh, and it’s pronounced Poe-kip-see. :) )

I was jealous.
And very tired.
But I perked up when we got there.
Thank you, Dr. Pepper.

We chartered a bus to the Hudson Valley to walk over the bridge (from the Poughkeepsie side). The bridge is 1.28 miles long and 212 feet tall.
Funny, it seemed longer and higher.

Here are some pics:
IMG_5945
See? I told you it looked longer than that!

It’s also THE longest elevated pedestrian bridge In. The. World.
Impressed?
You should be.
This is the view of the Mid-Hudson Bridge, a.k.a. the “Franklin D. Roosevelt Bridge”.
IMG_5947

IMG_5949

A tug boat!
He was pushing a lot more than he was tugging.
(Or should I say “she”?  Boats are supposed to be shes, but I seem to remember some children’s story about a boy tugboat.  Anywhooo …. I digress.  Terribly.
Sorry.
Welcome to my brain.)
IMG_5958

IMG_5959

The mid-way point.  Does it look like less than 3/4 of a mile?
Me, either.
IMG_5961

This is a view from the other side.  I thought this house was so pretty with its blue door and its flower boxes.
IMG_5965

Next stop:  The Culinary Institute of America.
Or CIA, which, I confess, was a bit confusing on the first email.  I kept thinking we were going to THE CIA, but knew that we’d have to go to Langley, VA for that tour, so that didn’t make sense.
Again, welcome to my brain.

Back to the cooking place.
IMG_5968

IMG_5969

IMG_5970

IMG_5971

IMG_5972

IMG_5973

IMG_5974

Mostly everyone there (who were students) wore the comfy-looking uniform of grey pants (roomy pants, kind of like scrubs) and a white chef’s top.  I think I’d go nuts trying to keep the top white.  For one day.
Too much pressure.
IMG_5975

Inside where our group had lunch.  It was a fixed menu (kale salad with asparagus, grilled sea bass and veggies, and cheesecake).  It was a very tasty meal.
IMG_5976

IMG_5977

IMG_5981

We saw this lovely waterfall on the way out.  I was trying to hurry to get a pic, so they’re not great, but you get the idea.
Hmmmm, I wonder if that statement would work for a picture of half of Niagara Falls?  “It’s not a great picture, but you get the idea.”
Somehow, I doubt it.
IMG_5983

IMG_5984

The C.I.A. (the cooking place) is located in Hyde Park. Interestingly enough, Franklin Roosevelt’s home, museum and presidential library are located there, too.
So we went to see them!

This is the library … and our tour guide.
IMG_5987

There were about 20 of us and then a good-sized group from Texas.
Whoop!  They were an older crowd and were very nice.  They asked us about NY and what they should see and do the next day there.  I felt so New York-ish to be able to answer them.  :)

This was FDR’s birth-home, childhood home, and his home-away-from-White House-home.  The only place he thought of as “home”.  And I can’t blame him.
IMG_5988

IMG_5990

IMG_5991

These were the barns.  Pretty dang nice for a barn, wouldn’t you say?!
IMG_5994

Going in through the front door (as opposed, I guess, to the back door … whatever):
IMG_5996

FDR greets you upon entering.  A young FDR.
IMG_5998

First floor living room:
IMG_5999

This was Anna Roosevelt’s (FDR’s very “in control” mother) “office”.
IMG_6002

IMG_6003

And this is her picture.  She looks like a formidable woman.
And she was.
Very.
IMG_6004

First floor “family room”
IMG_6007

IMG_6008

IMG_6009

IMG_6010

Foyer
IMG_6012

IMG_6014

IMG_6015

OK, I’ve decided to split this post into two posts.
You’re welcome.

Tomorrow I’ll post all of the pictures from the second story of the home, the inside of the Library and the grounds.
That’s going to be another boatload of pictures.
Sorry that there are so many, but I have to say that when I go visit something in NY, I feel like I’m visiting it for all of you, too, so I want to take as many pics as I can (interesting pics, I hope, for the most part).
Many of you have said (more than once) that you’re living vicariously through me, which is a fun role that I don’t take lightly. I want you to feel, as closely as possible, like you were there.
Of course, you’re free to exit right out of this window any time you’d like. I realize that looking at other peoples’ pictures isn’t very exciting for most people, so I don’t take it personally.
Much.

So, Happy Wednesday/Thursday, Peeps.
I’ll post the rest tomorrow …… or at least that’s my plan as of 11:52 p.m. Central Time.
I also have to do laundry and pack for San Diego before early Saturday morning, when I get on yet another plane.

Whoop!… ?
(Yawn!!!)

:)