Monthly Archives: February 2014

An Historical Visit ……

…… well, not really. More like a visit to an historical place.
I just couldn’t come up with a really good title.
So sue me.

Before I tell you about my visit to a really cool historical site, I’ll show you a picture of what I saw yesterday:

This was a hilarious show. It’s been around for 30 years and it lampoons shows and actors/actresses on Broadway. Current and past.
So it really behooves you to see a ton of Broadway shows before you see this. So you can, you know, get it.
Fortunately for me, I have, at one time or another, seen every single show they skewered.
And it was hysterical.
Only four people …… two men, two women …… and they were great. They had terrific voices and they could really imitate a lot of the actors.
It was a riot.

So that was yesterday.
After I died a dozen deaths at barre class.
And dripped at least 16 ounces of sweat.
And then froze in the 25 degrees snowy weather.

The me from two years ago would never have believed that I would’ve typed those last three sentences.
And she would’ve whined if she had to go out in less than 50 degrees.
Boy, has she gotten old.
And lost a lot of estrogen.

Anywhoooo …… today I went on a tour of the New York Federal Reserve with the Manhattan Women’s Club.
Or “The Fed” as we locals (and the guy who led the tour) calls it.
On the way I snapped a few pics so you could see the progress of Freedom Tower:



You can’t really tell how amazingly tall this building is, but it is.
As I was looking at it, it occurred to me that there are at least two jobs that I would never want.
I’m talking EVER!

Here’s one:
Look closely. See that little rectangle up there? That’s an elevator-like thing that was moving UP the side of the building.
With people in it.

Here’s the other job I would never want:
You have to look at this picture even more closely.
Sorry about that. But this is as close as my iPhone could get.
See it? No? Yes?
In case you don’t …… way up there, high in the clouds, is one of those platforms hanging from ropes on each end. With guys cleaning the windows or doing whatever it is that they do up there.
I would be crying and throwing up.
Probably all at the same time.

Here’s what you should know about this side of NY …… it’s at the very most southern tip of the island. And in the winter you can not believe how incredibly, horrifically windy it is there.
I’m talking hurricane-like winds.
All. Of. The. Time.
As I was walking down there today I literally had to push my way through the wind. I think it’s the windiest place I’ve ever walked in.
And you can trust me on that. I went to Oklahoma State University, where the wind tunnel between Kerr-Drummond and Willham (two large dorms) was incredible.
So there.

Where was I?
Oh yes …… The Fed.
So we got to go 5 stories underground …… to the gold vault.
Where the largest storage of gold bars exists. True. Larger than Fort Knox. Or anywhere else in the world.
And where, ironically (or so I think) 98% of that gold belongs to other countries.
And where there’s no fee for storing your gold.
Just in case you have a large amount that you’d like to store.
Here’s the catch: you have to pay to have it moved. Any of it.
Pretty smart, huh?

So we went down to this air tight, water proof vault. Where this many-tons circular door locks the gold in safely.
So very safely that, when the vault is closed there are only 72 hours worth of air in it.
Now, I’ve never been one who suffers from claustrophobia.
Until today.
When …… while our tour guide was talking and not paying too much attention …… that many-tonned door started to close.
The most interesting part? There were over 20 of us down in that vault and the tour guide was talking to maybe 5 of us. And no one, not nary a person, said a word.
No, not even me.
I watched that door. And inside I was thinking, “Ummmmm, is that supposed to be closing? And oh, my word, are we going to be stuck down here with only 72 hours of air??!! And how long will it really be if over 20 women (and one man) are sucking up all that air???!!!!!!”
But just as I started to hyperventilate, the door reversed itself and started to open.
And I was very glad that I kept my manic thoughts to myself.

As we exited the vault we saw the man who was turning the huge wheel-turning-thingee (because I don’t know what else it’s called) …… and he had kind of a smirk on his face.
I thought about slapping him.
But I didn’t.

After we escaped left The Fed, we went to lunch at a place called Fraunces Tavern.
Here’s what it looks like from the outside:

This is where the historical part comes in (although The Fed is totally historical …… it was built in 1924).
The tavern was built in 1719 (I know!) to be a home for the Delancey family (don’t worry if you don’t know them …… they’re not that important, as you will now see). By the time it was finished, that area of town was no longer “fashionable” to live in. Talk about peer pressure!!!!!
So they never lived in it.

It was sold to Samuel Fraunces in 1762.
Yep, 42 years of paying for an empty house.
Go figure.

So this Fraunces guy was a pretty decent cook and he evidently found in niche in early New York. In fact, he was the first person to start “take out”. No kidding.
Anyway, this tavern was very, we’re talking VERY, popular. Of course, during this period in NY the average adult drank 18 gallons of alcohol a year (that’s a quote …… I did NOT make it up), so most taverns were popular.
But this tavern saw a lot of action. In fact, when the Revolutionary War was over, General George Washington gave his “farewell” to his officers there on December 4th, 1783 (check Wikopedia if you’d like). There were over 150 people at this event. And George cried as he said goodbye. As did every other man in the room.
Make of that what you will.

Here are some pictures of the rooms where they, and the New York Tea Party (WHO knew that there was a NY Tea Party that dumped tea in the river, too??!) and the Sons of The Revolution met. You know, guys like Jefferson, Franklin, Adams, etc.
Pretty dang cool, if you’re in to that sort of thing.
And I am.





So there you go.
A simple blog post.
That maybe taught you a little bit of history.
You’re welcome.

Oh, and here’s a pic of where I caught the subway:
What movie does this bring to mind?
If you thought “Working Girl”, kudos to you.
If you didn’t. you need to go rent/download/or whatever that movie.
So fun.

So that’s it for today.
Oh, except for this.
As I waited for the subway/train to go back uptown, a guy asked me if this was the uptown train.
I told him that it was.
And then I added, “You’re about as downtown as it gets.” Because we really were. There was no train coming from the opposite direction. There was just a wall.
I felt so New York-ish.
I love it when people ask me for directions.
And I can give them a correct answer.

A Cooking Surprise ……

…… well, kind of.
Not really a cooking surprise so much as a cooking class surprise.

I found this class via one of my NY emails. I receive emails from a few sites that tell me all about all of the exciting things going on in the city. Well, not all of them, but quite a few.
So I saw this cooking class and signed up. The site gave me the address of the location and I added it to my calendar. It wasn’t all that far from my apartment …… less than 2 miles.

So last night I hopped on the subway and headed north. I only had to walk a few blocks until I found the address.
The address of the Jewish Community Center. I didn’t think too much about that, other than it was interesting, and I headed inside.
You have to go through security, like at the airport, to get into the building. Another interesting feature, but not hugely surprising here.
You’ll be happy to know that I breezed through.
Well, I breezed through after one of the guards had to unwind my scarf from around my neck and underneath my hood. A bit embarrassing, but what are you going to do? It was stuck.

I headed downstairs and, after searching for at least 5 minutes, finally found the cooking class. It was in a large room with more than a full-sized kitchen. There were several women there, all around a large island, chatting. I signed in, found a seat, and an apron, and sat down with them. I was the last to arrive (of course).
Everyone introduced themselves and then the instructor asked a very interesting question:
“Does anyone here keep kosher?”
I then looked at each of the 5 other women and it was suddenly very evident that, out of the six women in that room, there was only one who was not Jewish.
And guess who that was?

As one of the women raised her hand to indicate that she did indeed keep kosher, my right hand slowly raised to my neck. And I started to oh-so-slowly-yet-hopefully-VERY-inconspicuously button the top two buttons of my blouse.
I tried to appear as if I was intent on what was being said, instead of buttoning my buttons. I have no idea if I succeeded, but after what seemed an eternity, I finally got them done.

You see, I really didn’t give this much thought upon entering the building, but once she asked that question and I realized that I was the only non-Jewish person in the room, I suddenly became very award of my silver and diamond cross necklace.
And no, I didn’t button up my blouse for the reason Daughter #3 exclaimed when I told her this story: “Jesus knows that you were ashamed of him!!”
It wasn’t that at all. I was suddenly aware of my necklace and didn’t want to offend anyone. Not one bit. And I felt that my very sparkly silver cross might do just that.
As I was trying to nonchalantly button my buttons I was also trying to remember the web site that had sent me the email. It seemed like the instructor assumed that we all were Jewish, so I wondered if had made some kind of mistake. Had I received an email in Hebrew? No, last time I checked I couldn’t read Hebrew so that wasn’t it.
Had I received an email from the JCC by mistake? No, I certainly would have noticed if that had happened, wouldn’t I?
I’m still not sure where that email came from, but I’m glad it did.

I had a great time. Those women were hilarious and sometimes very Jewish-sounding. For instance, one woman asked the instructor what all of the stuff left behind in a can of beans was (?!) and she replied, “Schmaltz”. They used a few more Yiddish words/terms during the evening and every time they did, I smiled. I loved it. The only thing that would’ve made it better was if one of them exclaimed, “Oy vey!”
Sadly, they did not.

I really didn’t learn anything new, other than a fabulously easy and fast way to make applesauce, but I had a great time.
And I took home a large catalogue containing all of the winter/spring classes they’re offering at the JCC.
I still don’t know for certain if they’re open to the non-Jewish persuasion, but I’m just going with it.
Maybe I’ll meet a nice Jewish doctor!


Movies and Cooking ……

…… seem to be occupying my time lately.
Well, not really cooking. But I’m going to a cooking class tonight. Before you get too excited, it’s not anything cool like a Sushi class, or how to cook Thai.
Nope. It’s called, “Easy Meals Straight From Your Pantry”.
It sounds pretty dull, but I thought it beat sitting at home with no Olympics to watch.
The funny thing is, I think this will be a huge challenge for me. Not the class itself, but coming home and using whatever I learn.
That’s because my pantry is …… well, it’s just plain pathetic.
And pathetically plain.

You see, Daughter #1 is getting ready to move this week so her items in the pantry are dwindling.
And Daughter #3, well, Daughter #3 is eating …… “clean”.
HUGE ugh.

So, as long as this class tells me what to do with bananas, quinoa, pumpkin seeds, barley and a can of tomato soup …… I’m golden.

We also have a little tequila and vodka.
Maybe I’ll just stay home and have a banana margarita screwdriver.

On the movie front …… I saw three of them last week.
On Friday, to be exact.
Oh, don’t even! You know that if you had a foggy, yucky day to do nothing but go to three movies, you’d totally do it.

And just because I’m a nice person …… I’ll share my thoughts/reviews of these films.
You’re welcome.

So, in no particular order (other than the order I saw them), here are the movies:


This movie/documentary was terrific.
I want to be her when I grow up. Elaine Stritch is one of the most “real” celebrities I’ve ever seen. I think she always has been, which is why she’s had a rather, shall we say ‘less than positive’ reputation. She cuts to the chase and accepts no B.S. And she doesn’t take it, either.
Yes, she has a mouth like a sailor sometimes, but she’s had an amazing career and she’s still here …… at 87.
This movie follows her as she plans a new show to do here in NY and on the road. It shows the positive things in her life and the oh, so scary things that come with getting older (not “old” …. she hates that term, but “oldER”).
She’s one of a kind and the world will a less colorful place when she’s no longer in it.


This movie will not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I liked it. You have to be able to completely surrender any thought of reality to watch it …… if you’re going to like it. You have to just let it be what it is, without trying to scientifically explain anything that happens.
It has a great love story and it goes beyond that to become a love of humanity story. Collin Farrell is nice o look at, Russell Crowe is fun to hate and Will Smith makes an interesting, if rather hokey, surprise appearance.


Now I happen to like Kevin Costner. I’m not sure what he’s been doing over the past few years, but it’s been a while since I’ve seen a movie of his.
I’m guessing that maybe he was home, spending time with the kids, who are all now either in, or ready for, college.
That’s because the only reason I can come up with for him making this movie, is the need for money. College-costing money.
Because oh … my … word the pain of sitting through this movie.

I knew from the point the theme music started that this movie had an up hill battle. That’s because the music sounded like something out of a 70’s movie. Seriously.
And that’s not good.

The story was lame, the lines were sometimes horribly hokey and the film editing was awful. There were quite a few scenes where one of the actors was talking, but the words you heard didn’t match his/her moving lips.
No kidding.

I’d like to have my $14 (yes, that’s how much a movie in NY is, can you believe that?!) back, as well as that 90 or so minutes of my life.
See it at your own risk.
Or avoid it all costs.

So there you go. I’m not a professional movie critic, but I love movies. I think that’s the only qualification you need to offer a review.
This doesn’t mean that everyone’s going to agree with me. So if you go see one, two or all three of these movies and end up totally disagreeing with me …… I’m sorry.
I’m sorry that you don’t have more taste.

I was invited to another movie screening last night, so of course I went. It, as usual, was a movie that hasn’t been released yet. They screen it before audiences to get their reactions. You have to fill out a long survey afterwards and sometimes you get invited to meet with the film makers afterward, as a focus group, to discuss your thoughts with them.
I was invited to do that last night.
Until after the movie ended.
And I gave it a “poor” on my survey, rather than a “good” or “excellent”.
My invitation was revoked.
I thought about changing it to “good” so that I could still go, but in the end I decided to take the high ground and not cave in to rate it better than it deserved.
A lot of good that got me.

I wish I could tell you which movie it is, but they make you take a blood oath that you won’t discuss/write/blog about it until …… or IF …… it comes out.
For your sake, I hope it doesn’t come out.
I will try to warn you as soon as I know it’s premiered.

Until then, go find this movie, which was the first screening I attended, and see it. I think it’s Oscar-worthy, in more than one category.
Maybe that’s just me, but I’m ok with that.

This is a very, very good movie. It’s visually beautiful and Colin Firth is always a good bet. He does a fabulous job here. The actor who plays his character at a younger age, Jeremy Irvine, is amazingly good.
Nicole Kidman gives a good performance, although I didn’t truly understand her character, or the relationship. But I could let go of that to go with the rest of it.
It’s difficult to watch sometimes, but that goes along with the topic (being in a prisoner of war camp run by the Japanese during WW2).
But it’s also a beautiful, beautiful story.

OK, that’s all.
It’s time for me to bundle up and head out into the freezing cold/bitter wind to go learn what dishes I can make with bulgar wheat and fresh spinach.
Oh, and either almond milk or soy.
Wish me luck!

One of Those Dreams ……


…… that I love and hate.

I love the dream while I’m sleeping. If given a choice, I’d never wake up from it. Because once I do, I hate the dream.
The dream goes from somewhere I’d love to spend the rest of my life …… to something that’s cruel and leaves me feeling cold, hollow …… and sucker punched.

Jim came back. Yep, after six years. My dream was set in the present. As it is every single time I dream it.
I can’t remember what his explanation was, but as usual, it didn’t matter. I was so overcome by seeing him, that the one detail you would think would be important …… wasn’t.

The most vivid part of my dream, the scene that I remember clearly, was Daughters #2 and #3, and Son #1 driving up in one car, and seeing Jim standing on the porch. And then they were all out of the car, running to him and jumping up on him to hug him for dear life (ironic term, isn’t it?).
I cried while watching it, in my dream.
I may have really cried, in my sleep.

One by one, we had all of the other kids come home, too …… without telling them why.
And each one was just as beyond joyful at seeing him.
I remember the joy.

And then I woke up.
This time …… like the time before, and the time before that, etc, etc, etc …… it took me several moments to realize that the dream …… was not my reality.

And that’s the part I hate.
With every fiber of my being.

I went on with the rest of my day. And really, had a good day.
I’m grateful for that. For the ability to know that this dream is not going to suck the life out of me, or knock me down.

It will not set me back. Even though every time it pops into my head during the day, I feel sad.
I know it’s a momentary sadness.
Even if it lasts a day.
Or more.

I imagine that this dream will continue to come to my nights for the rest of my life.
Just as the sadness of missing him will come to my days.

But I know that’s ok.
It’s just …… one of those dreams.

Another Wintery ……

…… week up here in the northeast.

The news is packed with clips of New Yorkers saying how sick (and tired, for all you Bill Cosby fans) they are of the snow. Before this past week I thought they were being a bit silly. I mean, it’s winter in New York, for heaven’s sake. Don’t they expect it to be cold and sometimes snowy?
But I think that’s the key …… the word “sometimes”.
In the past 4 days or so we’ve had 3 snow storms, at least. Right now this winter is ranking up there as one of the “snowiest” ones they’ve had.
So, even though I think they’re leaning towards the dramatic side, I’ll give it to them.

And I’ll just continue to be glad that I don’t have to drive here.

Although, I’ve now discovered that walking isn’t always a piece of cake.
Thursday night, as we were hovering between 2 big snow storms, I decided to walk to a theatre to see this:

If you look closely, beyond the Playbill, you can see the stage. That’s because I was sitting in the first row. Score! I’m on a few email lists that send me discount codes to plays (and all kinds of things here), and this was one. It’s not a very well known show, but it was hysterical.
Which was good, since I didn’t do so well on the walk over. Even though it had snowed all day, the temps had stayed in the mid 30’s so there was water everywhere. When the snow melts here, the streets, specifically the intersections ….. and more specifically the areas around the curbs, become akin to rivers and lakes. No kidding, sometimes you step off of a curb and find yourself calf-high in water. Which is a lovely, invigorating surprise if your shoes/boots don’t go up that high.

Any-whoo, I was wearing a pair of sturdy snow boots, and making my way around the perimeter of Central Park, when about 5 minutes into the walk, I discovered that …… hidden by the water was lots and lots and LOTS of black ice.
Do you know how one discovers that?
One slips and slides.
And tries to avoid falling.

I had just stopped to take this lovely picture ……

…… and had made my way past Columbus Circle, where at least 5 news vans were parked and their various reporters and cameramen were set up and doing the news. I guess that’s a hot spot for weather reporting …
… or maybe for catching people slip-sliding all over the place, because that’s pretty much all that was going on. I had slid several times before reaching that point, and thought, “Gee, it would totally suck to fall right here, and be on the news.”
Especially since Daughter #1 was sitting at home, watching the news, and as I had walked out of the apartment she said, “Be careful. Don’t fall.”
I laughed. You know, the kind of laugh that says, “You are SO silly. Why would I fall?? I’m not 80 you know!”

Well, I did make it past Columbus Circle and all of the news crews.
Just as I was clearly out of their line of vision …… I slipped. I tried to correct myself, but that wasn’t happening. I went down.
And hard.
But as much as it hurt, what hurt more was the blow to my ego. Because there was a woman behind me and a man coming towards me. I got back up as quickly as I could, just as the woman hurried up to me and asked if I was ok.
You know the answer.
“Yep! I’m good, fine thanks. Great. No worries. But thank you.”
I could’ve had a bone sticking out of my leg and would most likely have said the exact same thing. Why is that? It’s like when someone calls when you’re asleep and they ask if they woke you up. “Oh, no. Nah, I was wide awake ….. doing my taxes (or other such nonsense). No worries!”
What is with that?!

I thanked the very nice woman again and let her go in front of me as I stood there for a moment and took inventory. I had fallen on my left side. I was surprised by how hard I went down. I was also surprised that as I was down, ice cold water had run into my left boot. So I could now feel my wet tights,socks, pants and very cold toes.
I could also feel my left hip starting to throb, and my left knee and elbow burning …… like I had scraped them. Of course I knew that was silly because I was layered. I knew they couldn’t be scraped, but wondered why they felt that way.
Once I knew that nothing was apparently broken, I started back on my walk, only much more cautious and a wee bit shaky.
I slid quite a few more times, uttering not-so-nice-words each time, and I wasn’t the only one. Almost every person who came towards me slipped. And slid. Some fell down. But no one seemed to fall badly.

I made it another, oh, I don’t know …… 3 minutes or so …… and then fell again. But this time, thankfully, I fell downward (left leg again) into a huge pile of snow. I didn’t fall flat, or as hard, so I don’t think anything was hurt again.
Aside from my already bruised ego.

At this point I was wondering if I’d be able to make it to the theatre in time for the show.
Or if the show was even going to be worth all of this.
Thankfully, I did. And it was.
(I may or may not have gone to the theatre bar to bolt down a stiff drink to get a wee bit calmer before the show started. And suddenly understood why the gun slingers in western movies always hit the bar for a shot before they went out to shoot someone. Not that I’m comparing going to a Broadway show to being at the OK Corral. Much.)

I ended up walking back home (I know. Don’t ask me why …… I just did.) But I made it in much less time than the walk to the theatre.
And much more uneventfully.

I didn’t really walk, so much as kind of skated. Well, skated without skates, which basically means that I didn’t pick up my feet. At all.
It turns out that “skating” takes totally different muscles than walking.
But I was good with that …… as long as it kept me from falling.
And it did.

This is turning out to be a much longer post than I had anticipated. Sorry.

By the time I got home I knew that I was going to have a whopper of a bruise on my hip. And I did/do.
It was already pretty ugly after only a little over 2 hours. And it has progressed to a whole ‘nother level of ugly.
Yay for cold weather and long pants.

The next morning I was drying my hair, when I suddenly caught sight of my left elbow/arm. And had to turn off the hair dryer because oh. my. word.
Here’s what it looks like today:

Pretty, isn’t it? The bruise has been growing every day, like it has a life of its own. And it’s still swollen. But it doesn’t hurt all that much.
Unless of course I touch it.
Or bump it.
Or look at it.
Thank goodness for cold weather and long sleeved shirts.

My left knee looked fine, although it hurts like the dickens if I kneel on it or bump it.
Today I noticed that a bruise is starting to form there, too.
Thank goodness for …… wait, I already did that one.
Thank goodness for a right side with no bruises.
For now, anyway.

And hopefully, upright.

Friday night Daughter #1 and I went to see Janeane Garofalo at a comedy club. While I was waiting for D1 to arrive, I stood outside and read some emails. I glanced up at one point and was surprised when I saw this:

That’s the Stillwater Bar, the meeting and cheering place of all of the OSU alums and supporters. It’s a great place to hang, if you went to OSU.
And I’ve been there at least 3 times. But didn’t recognize where I was going while I was going there. Until I looked up and there it was.
I’d be a terrific witness to a crime.
For the criminal.

Also on Friday, I picked up 2 packages downstairs.
One was a box of flowers.
Not for me.
The other was a package with a cheapo shoulder bag/slash fanny pack.
For me.
From AARP.
Happy freakin’ Valentine’s Day.

Yesterday it snowed pretty much all day. Again.
I enjoyed staring out the window and watching it swirl all around.
So did Oliver.

I also got this package last week:

It was MUCH better than the fanny pack.
I ordered it here …… and it was free. Go check out the link …… the artist who made it is doing a really nice thing. And anyone can order one.
For free.

Yesterday I also received something else that I spent a lot of time staring at (please ignore the preposition ending that sentence).
My lovely sister-in-law sent me this wonderful, wonderful picture:

Except …… Oh. Wow.
I’m loving it …… and the way it makes me smile every single time I see it.
So I put it on my computer desktop.
As the back ground picture.
I’m smiling a lot.

In between all of that stuff, Daughter #1 and I have been watching the Olympics. At all hours.
(Daughter #3 has flown the coop to spend a week in the warmth of Texas. That’s because up here the schools have a week of for what’s known as “mid-winter break” (in addition to the week they’ll have off for spring break). Pansies.
Down south we get one week of for spring break, and we’re happy to get it!

I will now leave you with this (again, my profound apologies for the length of this novel post).
I walked around quite a bit this afternoon, running several errands. While out I took this picture, which shows why it’s important to NOT park on the wrong side of the street when we have a snow storm:

This is because the snow plows come along and always shove the snow to that side of the road.

Ummmm, hopefully all of those car owners aren’t needing to go anywhere.
In the next month.
If you look closely, beyond those snowy mounds, you can see a car parked by a more intelligent owner.
I’ll help you.


That’s it.
I hope you’re still awake.
Or still reading.
I’m sure I lost several of you about 20 minutes ago.

I hope you all have a great week!

Happy Sunday.

The Storm of the Century ……

…… well, not really, but evidently another snow/ice storm is heading this way.
You can tell because the mayor has already decided to have all government offices closed tomorrow.  Kind of reminds me of the last time they predicted a huge snowstorm ….. and certain airlines decided to shut down 18 hours before one snowflake fell.

“They” say we’re supposed to get anywhere from 6 – 14 inches.  Which probably means we’ll get 2.  Because being a weatherman …… really?!  What other job allows a person to constantly get things wrong, and yet come back to work every day??  Score!

I have to admit that I’m starting to feel a bit guilty.  It seems as if I’m the only person in the city of New York who isn’t upset that we’re getting more snow.  Seriously, every person I’ve come into contact with, friends and strangers, has expressed extreme disgust that we’re getting more snow.  They’ve had enough ….. they’re sick of snow.                                                                  Me?  I’m looking forward to more snow.  I’m ready to do another snow angel.  I’m loving the winter up here.

I know!  I find it just as shocking as you do!  I’m the one who never even liked to go outside if it was below 45 degrees.  Go figure.  I think I’m just really tired of sweating.  And I don’t have to drive here, so that helps.

I’m still doing the Barre class and look to forward to the days when I go.  Or at least I did, until I went to class tonight.  I’m starting to really hate the woman who led the class tonight.  They have several teachers who rotate, and I get her at least once a week.  I got about half way through the class today and didn’t have to stop one time, which was a huge first.  This woman must’ve sensed my delight because she shut it down very quickly.  Now I’m not usually prone to paranoia, but I think she’s out to get me.  Or at least to make me quit.  Tonight it was as if she could tell which set I was having the most difficulty with (trust me, it’s not that hard to sense …. I struggle with balancing on my butt bones, keeping my legs straight and up in the air, keeping my hands behind my head with my elbows out to the side, and doing crunches. Basically balancing in a V shape.  You try it.)

Once she knew that I was really struggling to do that set for 90 seconds, she added on another set of them.  Or so it seemed that’s why she did it.  It was at that point that I may have silently called her a not-so-nice-name and decided that I hated her.  Ten minutes later I was vowing to go straight to the liquor store after class and buying a bottle of skinny margaritas …… just to spite her.  No, she had no way of knowing that’s what I was going to do, nor did I plan on returning to the studio to show her my purchase, so I don’t know how that was going to spite her.  Nor did I care.                                                                                                                       But I have to tell you …… that thought helped push me through the rest of the class.  That, and the thought that tomorrow we’re going to have a ton of snow/ice/rain, but I don’t have to go to class since I did it tonight.  The thought of being able to sleep in, and hoping she couldn’t, also helped push me to the end.                                                                                                               And I vow, as God is my witness, that she will not push me to quit.  Nor any of my kinfolk.         After all, tomorrow is another day.                                                                                                     🙂

Night ya’ll …… and happy Wednesday/Thursday.                                                                             🙂

I Had A First ……

…… this week.

Yes, I know that I seem to always have “firsts”, but this one was pretty meaningful.
And no, I’m not talking about getting stuck in the elevator. That was the week before.

Thursday night I decided to watch The Tonight Show, which was a pretty big decision since I don’t enjoy Jay Leno. I could give you a list of reasons, but let’s just keep this positive, shall we?
(And really, in the scheme of things, it wasn’t all that “big” of a decision. I can sometimes stretch things a bit. Oh, whatever. I’m the writer ….. I can do what I want.)

Back to the positive.
I decided to watch his show that night because, as anyone who hasn’t been living under a rock knows, it was his last show. And I knew that there would be a lot of neat guests. I didn’t know who, other than Billy Crystal, but he was enough for me.

I wasn’t disappointed.
And I was pleasantly surprised when he announced Garth Brooks.
Jim loved Garth.
And not just because he was at Oklahoma State at the same time we were.
For those of you who don’t know, Garth worked as a bouncer in one of the more popular bars.
And no, he never bounced me, thank you very much.
I have never been bounced out of a bar.
As far as I can remember.

ANYWAY, Garth was a favorite of Jim’s. He told me the song, “Full House” was about us. Obviously.
(It really wasn’t …… unless Jim knew something I didn’t. 🙂

Thursday night Garth sang a song that has meant a lot to me since Jim died. I had it embedded on my other blog. I love it, although I haven’t been able to listen to it/watch him sing it without crying for a little over 6 years.
Until last night.

As soon as Garth started strumming his guitar I knew what song he was getting ready to sing.
And I involuntarily let out an audible sigh, along with what I think was an, “Ohhh:.
Daughter #1 left the room.
Now I can’t be sure that she wasn’t just going to do something that needed to be done, but I suspect that she wanted to be no where near me while he sang that song. She’s seen what usually happens.

The song is “The Dance”.
And here’s the clip of him singing it Thursday night.
(Some of you might want to grab a tissue …… or 5).

But the strangest thing happened. As he started to sing, I just kind of tilted my head, and had a small smile on my face. I didn’t sing along with him, but I kind of nodded in time.
And remembered.
So much.

But I didn’t cry.
And that shocked me.
But pleased me, too.
If you’re widowed, I know you get that.

It still felt kind of bittersweet, but more sweet than bitter.
A lot has changed.

Now, if he had started singing “If Tomorrow Never Comes”, I have no doubt that I would’ve sat there sobbing, as usual.
Not everything has changed.

Jim also loved that song.
That’s because, as the lyrics say, he used to sometimes watch me sleep at night and think about how he felt about me.  (He didn’t do this on a regular basis …… that would’ve been creepy!)
One night, years ago, while he sat and watched me sleep, he wrote me a letter and told me how he felt.
I cried when I read it.
He pretty much wrote that song to me …… years before Garth ever sang it …… telling me that he wanted me to always know, without a doubt, how much he loved me.  So that if anything ever happened to him, I’d always be certain.
(Which begs the question ….. did Garth somehow get ahold of Jim’s letter and totally steal that song?! I’ll have to Google that later.)

So yeah, Garth brings me memories of Jim.
Happy memories.
Sweet memories.
Touching memories.
Emotional memories.

Even if he makes me cry, I still love listening to him/watching him.
Because he helps me remember what a great husband I really had …… one that wasn’t afraid to make sure I knew how very much I meant to him …… and always would.  No matter what.
I was blessed.
I am blessed.

So another first.
A good first.
It sure beats getting stuck in an elevator.

But even if there was a chance that I might have gotten teary later …… Garth ended with this song (which I did sing along with and smile hugely at!):
I couldn’t find the clip from Thursday.  In fact, I couldn’t find a good clip at all.  So please just get past the age of this one (Grammy Awards 1991) and try your best to ignore the dude speaking Spanish over the intro.  I promise he stops after that.
(I’m now seriously wondering if this was worth all of the trouble!)

Happy Saturday/Sunday, Peeps.

Oh …. and GO USA!!!!!!!!

Winter Wonderland ……

…… is what it felt like here last night.

So I went out and took several pictures to show all of you.
You’re welcome.

I took this picture around mid-morning, after it had been snowing for several hours. We were told that the snow would start around midnight, but would be very light and less than 1 or 2 inches.
Oh to have a job where you get paid, even though you’re wrong most of the time. 🙂

This was a few hours later …… as it was still snowing …… hard.
The snow didn’t start around midnight. It started somewhere around 6:00 a.m. And snowed and snowed ……

And snowed ……

And snowed ……

And just kept snowing!!! Until around 7:00. P.M.!!!

Then I left to go to a private, preview screening of a new movie. It was a rough cut, still not totally finished with the editing and stuff. But it. Was. Amazing!!!
And that’s all I can tell you about that because we had to sign our life away, swearing that we wouldn’t talk to ANYONE about the movie ….. or BLOG about it. If I do then they will come and take my first born child, and I don’t think she’d be too happy about that. I tried to negotiate with them and offer them one of the younger kids, but they were sticklers for their bossy rules.
So …… just be assured that when it does come out, I will be shouting from the roof tops …… or maybe just Face Book …… for everyone to go see it.
After the movie I dropped my purse off at the apartment, got my phone and started walking around taking pics.
These are the results:

Oh, wait. This is a picture of the offending elevator, which was shut off for 2 days. See that little square next to it on the left upper corner? Well, that’s supposed to have a number lit up in it. Which it doesn’t.
I’m guessing that I was not the last person to be trapped in there.

This is a little park area behind my building:


You can tell what these are.  I thought they looked SO cool!


Another group of bikes:

Newspaper machines.  They look a little forlorn.


I loved the clock peeking through behind these trees.  You can’t really tell it’s a clock, but it’s that round thing that’s lit up.

See the statue?

How ’bout now?

I thought these trees were beautiful …… thus a plethora of pics of them.




The snow covered the north side of the tree trunks.

The ends of the branches had tear drop-shaped icicles.  SO pretty.




Ummmm, no idea.  I walked by there today and the bottom half was still covered in snow.  Not that I care.  But I thought it was hilarious.

A quiet side street:

Look!  I made a snow angel!  OK, I cheated and made it with my hands.  I was by myself and it’s too difficult to do a selfie while making a snow angel.  Trust me.

And last, but certainly not least, my coral-colored boots.  They make me happy.  And they seem to make other people happy, too, because I feel friendlier when I’m wearing them.  I made a lot of people smile today.  With me, NOT at me.

OK, that was the winter wonderland.  We’re supposed to get a lot more snow either tonight or tomorrow …… I can’t remember which.

I can’t believe that I’m enjoying the cold so much.  Those of you who know me well, know that a year or so ago I was a self-admitted wimp when it came to the cold.  But I’m loving it now.  And I sleep with one of my windows open all night, which means that it’s about 55 or so in the morning in my room  LOVE IT!

After doing 6 (SIX!) barre classes in a row last week/weekend, I decided to back off and do it every other day (thank you, Daughter #3 and everyone who gave me their opinion of FB).  So I didn’t go yesterday, which made me look forward to i today.  I KNOW!  This was the first time I’ve really looked forward to getting my butt kicked!  And it did, but I felt great afterwards.  Great, as in, I did it!  I still can’t do every single move without taking tiny 2 second breaks once in a while, but I’m getting there.
I can say with 100% certainty that this is THE hardest workout I’ve ever done in my life.  Hands down.  I’ve done yoga, pilates, running (ugh), sports face-paced workouts, etc.  Nothing compares.  And that makes me proud of myself when I’m done.  And panting.  And knocking back water as fast as I can.  And wobbling out the door.

OK, that’s it for now.  I hope you enjoyed the pics.  I enjoyed taking them.  It sounds like you’ll be seeing more in a day or so.
Stay warm!!!

And Happy Tuesday/Wednesday!