Wednesday, October 12, 2016


Retirement is wonderful, and I've been so busy! The summer was really way too hot. In August, Ralph caught bronchitis, and was too sick to go on the Alaskan cruise. My first instinct was to stay home with him, and I should have done that. But he was so insistent that I go, so I did. I had a wonderful time. 

We were on the Explorer of the Seas, a Royal Caribbean ship.

Alaska was amazing. Our group was Steph and Dan, Ben, Manda, Amary and Garrett, me, and Polly and Randy. We did things together, and we did things in smaller groups. 

Skagway was so cool! We took a train ride up 2200 feet! Then we toured the town, most of which is part of a national park, so they have to keep the old west look. 

All to soon the week was over, and we were back to Seattle. I stayed a day at Manda's, and flew home Sunday. Much as I love to travel, it was good to be home!


Sunday, August 7, 2016


It's August! It's been so hot this summer. We had a few nice nights this week when I turned off the AC and opened the windows, but we're back to hot.
Ralph decided we needed to show our appreciation to our local police. So he got a hoagie tray and a case of coke, and we delivered it to the police station. They were very appreciative, and took our picture with the staff that was in the station at the moment, and put the pic on their facebook page. 
I'm so excited to see Manda, Ben, Amary and Garrett in a few weeks. Garrett is taking a few steps! He'll be a year old on the 12th, sharing Ben's birthday. They're both taking swimming lessons. I just saw them in April, but that seems forever ago.

Steph arrives here in a few hours- she's in for meetings at her home office. And we'll see Dan in a few weeks when we meet up for our Alaska cruise. He calls the cruise ship a floating coffin!

I have to have Ralph figure out why all the pix I take on my phone don't show up here. I have others that I want to share. 

I finished up a big cross stitch piece- one of those pix that doesn't show up- and now I'm itchy to start another. I have two that i want to start- one that will stay here, and one that will go on the cruise with me. And I want to start a crochet piece, but have to figure out what pattern- I have the yarn all ready. 

This week I need a haircut and a pedicure for the trip. I need cruise toes! And I need to start my "don't forget" list. 

When I wake up in the morning, instead of wanting to stay in bed, I start thinking about all the things I want to do each day, and I get up and get to them. If it's a recumbinent bike day, that gets done first, or it doesn't get done. Today was a go to the grocery store before it gets crowded day. I love not having to get up and go to work!


Sunday, July 31, 2016


The biggest issue with retirement? Not enough hours in the day. It still feels like summer break, and will til September 1, then it will feel like retirement.
I love how Garrett is rocking the bow tie! He was formal for a wedding they were at in Nebraska. I can't believe he's almost a year old!

I laughed at Tina, who was sitting happily in the Odds and Ends container. I don't know if she's an end, but she's certainly odd.
An oldie of a pic, from June 2010. We were on the way to Manda's wedding ceremony. 

And now we're getting ready for our Alaska cruise!


Friday, June 24, 2016

I am now retired!

I had my last day of work yesterday. After 26 years in the field, I am now retired. Since I worked in schools, and have the summer off (without pay!) every year, it won't feel real til September 1, when I don't have to get up and go sit in boring meetings. And it'll be great when it's snowing or snow is in the the forecast, and I'm waiting for the text. And when it's raining and I just don't want to get out of bed. 

We went to Julianna's recital earlier this month! She was in 3 dances, and did a wonderful job! She's in the air right now with Heather, Ed and Eddie headed to Ft Myers to visit her other grandparents. 

 These guys are getting so big! Garrett wanted that cake so bad- right after the pic was taken he was yelling and reaching for it. He's pulling himself up on everything and standing. Amary is going to be 3 next month! 

I have so much that I want to do! The temperature afghan is now done except for weaving in ends and adding a border. The farm fair afghan is done and given to Barbara. But the project that I'll start tomorrow is cleaning and organizing the kitchen. I know there's a table under there somewhere!

And maybe I can post more often!

Friday, June 10, 2016

I'm still here!

 Here's one of the things keeping me busy. It will be a raffle item for the Burlington County Farm Fair.

 Andy my temperature afghan is still in progress! It'll go til the end of this month. 

I have 9 more work days to go, then I'm retired! Yay! 26 years in this job, and I'm done, done, done. And maybe then I'll have more time to blog! 

I read a really good book from the library. Troublemaker, by Linda Howard. It has a great dog character, a golden retriever named Tricks. It's a romantic suspense novel, and just came out. 

I haven't done any cross stitch or quilting, because the star afghan has a deadline, and I'm getting tired of the temp afghan, so I want to get it done!

And it's June!

Sunday, April 10, 2016


I can't believe it snowed all day yesterday. Big fat fluffy flakes of snow! The ground was too warm for it to lay.

 Garrett is getting to be such a big boy! He's 8 months old already! He loves to eat, and is quite mobile now.
I've found that my projects go along much better when I actually work on them! Leaving them alone to do their thing just does not work, unfortunately. This was last week, I've worked on it almost every night, and it's moving along.

11 weeks til retirement! I got the invitation to the county education association retirement dinner. They haven't done much for me in the last 26 years except take my money, so I'll go and get a "free" dinner.  There is also a county school nurses association dinner, and a district nurses dinner. 

I'm reading a series by Peter James. It's a British police procedural, and is very good. The library has a few, and I've gotten some for the kindle. 

Today's lunch is at Villari's.

Sunday, March 27, 2016


Easter always feels like the official start to spring. And an excuse for a big family meal!
My temperature afghan at the end of January. It's going to be huge by the end of June! 

I've got beans in the oven, mini hot dogs in sweet and sour sauce in a crockpot, salad and cole slaw made, and dessert bought! We'll pick up Mom at noon and head to Mike and Donna's for dinner. 
We're having someone out to give us a price to convert our wood burning fireplace to gas. We think we'd get so much more use out of it if it was gas, and there's already gas ran to the house. 

Happy Easter!


Thursday, March 24, 2016

Spring Break

Today was a trifecta- the last day of the workweek, payday, and Spring Break starts tomorrow. Ten days in a row of not having to get up at 6.30AM!
This picture was taken about a week ago on my way to work. First rainbow I've seen here in a while.
Garret saw the eye doctor- everything is fine, and he didn't object to  the sunglasses.

The NJ Pension Board- sigh. Faxed them our birth certificates. Got a letter that they need birth certificates. Ralph just mailed them certified mail, return request. I don't want anything holding up my retirement pay! 

Today was day 128 of my last 185. The time is going fast! 

I'm almost caught back up with my temperature afghan. Today is so nice out, low 70's and sunny. 

I'm catching up on the Fool's Gold series by Susan Mallery. I was ready for something light.

And dinner is ready!


Thursday, March 17, 2016

One of my favorite pix of Garrett! He was annoyed because his food wasn't coming fast enough! 

I can't believe it's been so long since I posted here! Time just got away from me. 
 This is a cape I just finished crocheting for Julianna, at her request. I have to figure out a closing for it. It's floor length! She needs it for dressup. So I'm a couple of weeks behind on my temp afghan, since I was crocheting on the cape every night.

A definite case of work interfering with life! But not for long! I did it, I filed with the pension board for my pension! Ralph went with me to the county union office, and they went thru all my options, and gave detailed directions for filing, so I did it! As of June 30, after 26 years of service, I will be retired. 

And we have plans! August 19, we're going on an Alaska cruise with Steph and Dan, Manda and Ben, Amary and Garrett, and Ben's parents Polly and Randy. We went thru a AAA travel agent.

Then, the end of September, we're going on the train to New Orleans, for the annual meeting of Ralph's Seabee unit. He even booked a sleeper, since it's a 19 hour ride. We're there 3 or 4 days. 

 We went to the diner for lunch 2 weeks ago. I have the jersey shore salad- greens, grilled chicken, strawberries, mandarin oranges, craisins and bleu cheese with a honey vinegarette. Ralph had greek yogurt and fresh fruit. 

I read the Kate Shugak series by Dana Stabenow. So fabulous, but the ending of the latest one is devasting! The next one won't be out til next year, and the ending of Bad Blood threw me so much that I couldn't start another book for days! 

No fabric used, no quilting mojo around. 

And winter is almost over, thank goodness.


Sunday, January 24, 2016

The blizzard of 2016

 It started snowing Friday evening, and it snowed and snowed and snowed. It totalled out at about 18 inches for us- that's a whole lot of snow! 

I made us eggs and pork roll for breakfast yesterday, and chicken salad sandwiches and cole slaw for lunch. Dinner was leftovers of chicken pot pie. Ralph can't eat any of the commercial pot pies, because they put peas in them, which he's allergic to. So it's a treat for him. I use diced potatoes and carrots, and a can of broccoli cheddar soup, and one of cream of chicken soup, and make a two crust pie. The chicken I precook in the crock pot. 

I had my first project finish of the year, a crocheted hooded scarf for Steph to use when she travels to cold places for work. It's made with chunky yarn, and I'm happy with it. I'm back to work on my temperature afghan now. Next I have to get Julianna's cape started, and a small afghan for the Burlington County Farm Fair raffle. 

Tomorrow is a snow day from work- the city takes a while to get dug out, and it's primarily a walking district. There's something wonderful about a snow day! 

Shelfari and Good Reads are merging. I'm not sure how I'll like that, not that I have a choice. Amazon owns both. 

Friday, January 15, 2016


It's Friday, payday, and the beginning of a three day weekend! Yay!

Monday I worked. Tuesday I had a professional day, and Ralph and I went to an inservice about Gang Awareness. It was interesting to learn about the Crips and the Bloods and all the offshoots of them. It was also a little scary to hear how the gangs have a presence in south jersey.

Tuesday night I started to feel really lousy, and I was up a lot of the night. I called out sick on Wednesday, and slept all day. Thursday I went to work. After work was the memorial service for Vena, the nurse that died last week. It was at the school she worked in, and was very nicely done. The music teacher there sang "Fire and Rain." Some poems were read. 

Ralph has never been able to have chicken pot pie, because it always has peas in it. I made one tonight for dinner, and he made a huge dent in it- a success!

I just finished the new Michael Connelly book about Harry Bosch, titled The Crossing. Fantastic book, as are all of his. 

Still working on the temperature afghan, which is a long term project. 

And it's a three day weekend!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Another weekend going by too fast!

It was a strange week. Work Monday and Tuesday, off Wednesday for Three Kings Day. And Wednesday morning, one of the other nurses in the district that I work in, didn't wake up. I'd describe her as a casual friend, someone who's company I enjoyed, but I only saw her at work functions. But a healthy woman in her mid 50's just not waking up? It's just too weird. Since we're nurses, we've been speculating of whether there will be an autopsy, and possible causes of death. No one suspects foul play, we're just curious. We may never know. But it's changed my definition of a good day- now, a good day is one where we both wake up. 

Here's a picture from two years ago, right before Steph and Dan moved to Oregon. We were at Heather's house for Christmas dinner. 

This was our front yard for Christmas- yes, Ralph is somewhat deranged. He bought two deer kids, and as he puts it, "Voided the warranty on one." Consensus is that it is awesome.

I'm still working on my temperature afghan. I was wrong about the number of people in the facebook group, it's 7000 from all over the world! 

I'm reading a Sherryl Woods book in her Chesapeake Shores series. It's going fast. 

Every week or so, I send Amary a book via Amazon. Of course, she's now decided that all packages that come to the door are for her, and are books from Grammy. It's hard being a long distance Grammy, but Amazon is aiding and abetting me!

Garret is such a doll! He'll be 5 months old this week! He's got such a mohawk going- how adorable is that. 

I've joined some cross stitch groups on facebook. I have the urge to get back into that. And once I retire, and don't have to be away from home about 50 hours a week, I can indulge my hobbies more often! Six months to go!



Wednesday, January 6, 2016


I'm here! I'm not sure what happened at the end of 2015, never managed to get a post written. 

In 2015 I used 18.96 pounds of yarn, and read 138 books. Fabric is a sad story- I used 2 yards or so for Garrett's quilt, and about 2 yards of felt for Amary's and Garrett's Christmas trees for on the wall.
 This is one thing that's been keeping me busy, my temperature afghan. I started it on Sept 1 to chronicle my last school year at work. I have a chart where I made a gradient by 5 degree intervals which correspond to temperatures. Red is the hottest. Gray variegated means rain, and white will mean snow. I use the temp in my town at noon every day. There's a Facebrook group for the Temp Afghan group, with about 1000 people on it. There's some interesting interpretations of the task, some of which make me cringe, but everyone to their own. 

 Amary and Garrett had a fun Christmas! We facetimed with them a few days after Xmas. I can't believe how big he's gotten! And to hear him giggle is such a joy. And to have Amary tell us Merry Christmas is just wonderful. 

We had Christmas Eve dinner at Heather and Ed's. Eddie and Julianna had such a good time opening gifts! Ed's parents came up from Fla for the holiday, so it was good to see them also. 

Christmas morning we had here, with Mom, Mike and Donna, Jake, Mikey and Sam. I made two breakfast casseroles, and they brought the meats and Donna made a wonderful cranberry cake. 

Christmas night we went to Jim and Sharon's for dinner, along with Frank and Charlotte, Charlotte's mom and brother, Kevin, and David and Juliette and Tori came along after dinner. We had such a nice visit with all. It was a busy day, but wonderful. 

And now it's 2016!