30 May 2008

Exhausted


Tara
Originally uploaded by MarciNYC

It's three days now since Mom left, but like Tara in the photo above, I'm exhausted.

It was a wonderful holiday weekend -full of friends, neighbors, and family. We had an impromptu cookout on Saturday evening with the neighbors, friends came down on Sunday (we cooked out and went to the track) and on Monday my cousin and his wife came over from Philly. I ran Mom back to the airport on Tuesday afternoon and by the time I got home I was wiped. I crawled into bed about 9 PM and when the alarm went off at 5 AM the following morning, it was tough getting out of bed and going to work.

The highlight of the weekend for me was going to Weight Watchers and discovering I lost an additional 2.4 lbs. I'm *this close* to reaching my 10% goal, which I'm hoping I will do this week. Although I don't really care for cookout foods, I did munch quite a bit on chips and dip over the weekend. Hopefully I didn't overdo it too much and the fact that I've ate better later in the week will balance things out. Of course, weather permitting, I'll go for a long walk on the Ocean Grove-Asbury Park boardwalks on Saturday.

In regards to Henry -- he seems to be his old self again. Mom thought he looked to be on his last legs when she arrived on Friday, but by Tuesday morning he was much more energetic and raring to go. She spent a lot of time with him while she was here -- taking charge and acting as his primary walker for the weekend. We've started him on a new antibiotic regimen today so we'll see if he continues to improve or at least maintain his liveliness. I'm not so worried about losing him this week as I was last week. That's a huge weight off my shoulders.

There's been some changes at work this week - so I'm going in today and could possibly be adding and extra day to my work schedule temporarily. I got the first paycheck with the new salary - while I expected it to be less, the reality hit me like a bucket of cold water. Due to the holiday, I was short a day's pay (since took a day off), so perhaps the future paycheck's won't be as shocking. Still, I relish working a reduced schedule and look forward to having time to pursue my artistic endeavors -- and go to the beach this summer.

Speaking of artistic endeavors -- had another two sales in my etsy shop this week. (Thanks Mandy!) What a great surprise to come home to. When I have a sale I get so excited that someone likes my work enough to pay for it. That is what inspires me to keep on creating. I've got ideas in my head and just need to find time to sit down and make them happen.

24 May 2008

Finished!


Big Dig - Finished
Originally uploaded by MarciNYC

I left for Brigantine yesterday morning (7:30 AM) with the job nearly completed -- only a few pavers left to lay and then sanding. When Mom and I returned (~1:30 PM) it was finished.

I'm quite thrilled with it - the pavers we choose really complement the house. (So glad we didn't go with the brick red border after all.) The only thing left for us to do is attack the landscaping to the right side - where we had several shrubs and the basketball hoop ripped out. I'd love to put up a low fence along the property line and make it a wild garden area of sorts, but not sure i can convince Mark of that. Stay tuned.

More pics, including a close up of the new stoop, are in my my Flickr album.

Happy Memorial Day weekend everyone!

19 May 2008

Prayers for Handsome Hank


Henry
Originally uploaded by MarciNYC

I took Henry to the V-E-T this morning. I called to see if I could get him in today because he hadn't improved much since I took him off the Previcox last week. They had a 9:15 opening and it was 8:55 -- I told them I could be there in 20 minutes and I was. (My husband will say that's probably the fastest I've covered that stretch of road. Ever.)

Anyhow, the exam was routine until Dr B got to the prostate exam. In the 2 weeks since he was there for his vaccinations, his prostate is much larger. While there are myriad reasons for this, we can't rule out the Big C without additional tests. So I left him to the care of Dr B and his staff and will await results of his bloodwork and X-ray to determine what the next step will be.

It's been a rough couple of weeks with his accidents in the house - I'm getting tired of cleaning the floors and his dog bed daily - but I am not ready to say good-bye to him yet. He's my first dog and very special. But I know in the end I'll do what's best for him.

I truly hope this isn' t the last photo I've taken of my precious pup.

18 May 2008

Big Dig Update


Big Dig - Day 4
Originally uploaded by MarciNYC

Four days later and here's the progress. If the rain holds off, the job *should* be finished by Wednesday. If not, we're talking sometime AFTER Memorial Day as the guy doing the work is fleeing Jersey for the holiday weekend. I do hope it's this week - I'm a bit tired of parking my car on the street.

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On the homefront, I think i've figured out what's wrong with Henry and will be discussing with the vet this week. I did a bit of research on the medication he's on for his arthritis and there's lots of nasty side effects - diarrhea, lethargy, increased water intake - basically, you name it, Henry's had it. He's due for a complete physical this week, but in the meantime, I've taken him off the meds to see if that makes any difference. It's been three days since he had anything besides his Cosequin supplement and he's doing better. He's still not 100% yet, but I see a hint of the dog he used to be.

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My weight loss continues - but it's slowed to a trickle. Only lost 0.8 pounds this week, for a total of 18.2. I suppose it's better than gaining anything, but I'm a bit frustrated that it's not more. Last night at Kohl's I ran into a gal from a nail salon I used to go to - she saw me and said, 'You so skinny!" Well, not really, but it put a smile on my face for the rest of the night.

I've got 3.8 pounds to go until I hit my 10% goal. Although the holiday weekend's coming up, I plan to weigh in next Sunday and with a little luck, I'll make significant progress towards that. I wanted to do it while my mom is here (and going to the meeting with me), but if I don't - no big deal. I'm definitely not going to eat rabbit food all week just to make it happen. Not that I'd eat rabbit food anyhow.

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Anyone recall what happened 28 years ago today?

Mount St Helen's erupted. Now lest you think that this is some trivial fact that's stuck in my cranium (it is, but that's beside the fact), the only reason I really remember the exact date is that it's also the birthday of a guy I used to date.

For a certain friend prepping for Jeopardy - keep this tidbit filed away. Once in a while Mount St Helen's comes up . (Although it is NOT the highest peak in the lower 48 states like some dumbass thought.)

16 May 2008

Spring Flowers


earrings - vintage lucite/crystal
Originally uploaded by MarciNYC

If April showers bring May flowers, what do May showers bring? Lucite flowers - of course! (Now listed in my etsy shop.)

It's a rainy day here in Jersey and Tara and I are holed up together in the studio, listening to WBJB and making jewelry. I've had these lucite flowers in my stash forever and was trying to figure out what to do with them. I played around a bit and came up with these earrings.

I also attempted my first handcrafted earwires in sterling silver. I've been okay making them with copper wire so far, but silver prices are unbelievable ($16.82/oz today, when I bought this wire last June it was $12.63/oz), I've been hesitant to use it lest I mess up. Well, my first attempt was an utter failure, but eventually I came up with a pair earwires I was satisfied with.

On the homefront, the first batch of pavers have been laid -- but the rain today means no work. I am really hoping that the job will be complete by next Thursday as my Mom is coming in from Cincinnati for the weekend. I'd like to be able to use my garage again -- especially on days like today.

I've got several errands to run today - haircut, library, grocery store, and maybe a visit to Bed Bath and Beyond. I'm wanting new dishes - preferably white and square. I saw some on clearance at Sears (of all places!) that I liked, but I want to check and see what B3 has before I set my heart on them. I also need to squeeze in a visit to the Hungry Puppy to pick up some booties for Henry. He really needs to go with me on that trip so we get the proper size but I don't feel like taking him out in the rain today.

While I welcome the rain for my garden (and thus alleviating the need to run my sprinklers and keeping our water bill down), I really hope that this isn't a pattern during my days off this summer. I really want to be outdoors, not cooped up inside. I might as well be at work.

13 May 2008

The Big Dig


Construction - Day 1
Originally uploaded by MarciNYC

We've decided to have our asphalt driveway torn up and replaced with pavers. Originally the work was supposed to have begun yesterday, but due to the rain, it was postponed.

I left work this morning around 7 AM to a double-wide asphalt driveway - this is what I came home to at 4 PM. There's one last bit of concrete by the front door that needs to be removed still, but I was glad it was there today. Made getting in/out the front door that much easier.

Stay tuned for the finished product -- depending on the weather, it could be up to two weeks until it's done. Cross your fingers for dry, sunny weather for us.

12 May 2008

Rainy Days and Mondays


earrings - vintage lucite
Originally uploaded by MarciNYC

No, they don't get me down, but rather allow me to hole up in the studio and create.

After getting up and shuffling the dogs out the door to do their business at the crack of dawn, I decided to use my day off to make some new stuff - this is the result of my efforts from about 6:30 - 9:00 AM today. All vintage lucite with either Czech glass or Swarovski crystal accents.

The copper earwires are hand crafted by yours truly -- with the price of silver these days I've been experimenting with other metals. I like working with the copper and making the earwires. Perhaps I'll use some of sterling wire to make my own earwires as well.

Everything will be listed in my etsy shop in the next couple days. I just need to make the time to sit down and upload the photos and work out all the details. With my new part time schedule, I hope to be listing more stuff for sale - if not daily, at least Mondays and Fridays.

10 May 2008

Surf's Up at the Shore


Surf's Up - Ocean Grove
Originally uploaded by MarciNYC

Mark and I spent the afternoon in Ocean Grove today. We went for the Ocean Grove Music and Arts Festival, organized by David Cohen (who we know from the Pipe & Drum band).

We parked the car along the beachfront and were amazed to see a very heavy surf. In the 7+ years we've lived here, except when there's a hurricane far out to sea, I don't think I've ever seen waves like we did today. Apparently the surfers knew about it as there were plenty of them taking advantage of the waves.

The music fest was quite wonderful,at least the bits we caught. The talent included: Lili Anel, Jo Wymer, Joy Simone, John Rose, Afferent Cue, The Festive Flute, The Shrewsbury Chorale & David Cohen. We arrived mid-afternoon and caught the tail end of John Rose's set. I liked what I heard quite a bit and am off to check out his myspace page. (As much as I hate myspace, there are a few good things about it.)

Joy Simone canceled, so David Cohen filled in and played classical flamenco guitar, the pipa (pee-pa) - a Chinese instrument, and bagpipes. It's been a long time since I've heard flamenco music (like 1985 when I was in Spain), but I really enjoyed listening to him. It's fabulous music, full of passion. I could have listened to him play the guitar for hours on end.

After David played, we left Bishop Jane's Tabernacle and headed over to Nagle's for a bite to eat. While the food is typical diner grub, I love the atmosphere. For those not in the area, it's a former pharmacy/soda fountain that's been turned into a restaurant/ice cream parlor. The decor is old-time pharmacy - old medicine bottles, adverstisements from the local paper. My favorite ad is in the ladies room - a house on the corner of Olin and Ocean, with land for future expansion, for $8,000. Oceanfront property for $8K? Show me where to sign the papers.

After dinner we strolled through the art/craft fair - lots of interesting things and I found one jewelry maker who had some fabulous work. I wanted one of her cuff bracelets, but I was $15 short. I did grab her myspace info, so I think I'll contact her that way and see if we can make arrangements for me to buy it.

Back at Bishop Jane's Tabernacle, we listened to the last bit of Jo Wymer's set - a fabulous female singer/songwriter. David joined her at the close of her set on bagpipes to play Minstrel Boy. (Since taking pipe lessons, I've seen this music with the other students but I couldn't tell you what the tune was until I heard it.)

The last musician of the afternoon was Lili Anel - great voice and I enjoyed the bit of her set that we listened to before dashing out to get home to the dogs.

All in all, a lovely (although cool) day at the shore. I wish it had been just a bit warmer and that more people would have ventured off Main Ave to discover the wonderful music. However, having enjoyed myself thoroughly today, I can't wait for next year's festival.

More photos of the day can be found in my Flickr album.

The Girls


Suki and Tara
Originally uploaded by MarciNYC

Thursday night I mowed the lawn and then let the dogs out to play in the back.

I followed them around with the camera and finally managed to get this shot of the two girls together with smiles on their faces. Shortly after I snapped this photo, Suki decided Tara was invading her personal space and let her know it.

I'm really enjoying the warmer spring weather - it's so much fun to hang out with the dogs in the yard. I know these days will be gone and the heat of summer upon us before we know it, so I'll enjoy it while we can.

06 May 2008

Waiting on a Windy Day


Windchime
Originally uploaded by MarciNYC

Over the weekend, Mark and I were beach hopping along the Jersey Shore. We stopped at a craft show in Manasquan and while the bulk of the vendors were nothing spectacular, there was one woman who had some fantastic windchime made out of old silverware and tea pots, etc.

I wasn't intending to purchase anything, but Mark walked up to me and said, "Do you like it? Do you want to buy it?" and I was sold. I had a hard time choosing between all the wonderful windchimes, but in the end it was this one that came home with me. I't only temporarily hung where it is until I can figure out a better place for it - and where I can hear it when the wind blows.

05 May 2008

Mystery Plant


Mystery Plant
Originally uploaded by MarciNYC

I planted some summer bulbs a few week ago and a few of them are starting to spring up through the ground. This is one of them -- and I have NO idea what it's supposed to be.

Whatever it is, there's three of them growing in my flower bed next to the driveway. Mark says they look like artichokes. That's one thing they definitely are not. I guess I'll have to wait and see what flowers eventually. I honestly can't remember what I planted where.

04 May 2008

Eight Weeks (16+ lbs) Later


Manasquan Beach - May 2008
Originally uploaded by MarciNYC

I've been doing Weight Watchers for 8 weeks now - in that time, I've shed 16.6 pounds. This is how I look now - you can see the before pic here.

There's a lot more weight for me to lose to fit into the 'acceptable' range for someone my height, but every pound is a step closer to that goal.

This week I managed to get into a pair of jeans that have been sitting in my closet - with the tags on - for 2+ years and no camel toe. (I had tried them on in February and it was just too gross.) They'll probably be too big in a matter of weeks, but that's okay with me. I've managed to stop shopping at (as Mark calls it) 'The Forgotten Woman' type shops for my tops, but my hips and bum still necessitate a stop in there for bottoms. *sigh*

I've also been eyeing a windbreaker from Lands' End. While the XL fits me (and I can zip it up over my hips with room to spare), I have put off buying it for the time being. When I can finally zip it up in a L, then I will go ahead and get it. Just a little incentive to keep me working towards that goal.

I'm only a few more pounds away from my 10% goal -- and I'd like to hit it by Memorial Day weekend. I have had my ups and downs the past couple weeks (I really should have said no to the fried calamari on Friday) and didn't get to take the dogs on many walks while Henry was ill. However, I jumped back on that wagon today -- took Henry and Tara around the block once, then came back for Suki and took her around (with Tara - again). It might not be the NYC Marathon, but twice around my block is 1/2 mile, so it's a start.

Tomorrow starts my first week of a reduced schedule - so I'll be doing laundry, hitting the supermarket, and planning meals for the week. I've picked up two Weight Watchers cookbooks and there's more than a few recipes I want to try - although the borscht is not one of them. Now that the weather is warmer, we've got the grilled uncovered and I hope to put that to good use.

Not sure if this will work, but my favorite Weight Watchers recipe so far has been Moroccan Chicken and Chickpeas. I left out the olives because I don't care for them and used brown rice (which I prefer) versus the white rice. A very tasty dish.

03 May 2008

Remembrance of Foods Past

As I was surfing this morning, I came across a forum post discussing foods you loved as a child which you miss/can't get anymore. Oh man - was that a trip down memory lane. Some of the things that sprung up in my mind:
  • Teaberry Gum
  • Beeman's Gum
  • Zotz
  • Wacky Wafers
  • Orange Sherbet Push-ups
  • Fruit Brute cereal
  • Slap Stick Suckers
  • Sugar Mama and Sugar Daddy pops
  • Slo-Poke Pops
  • Turkish Taffy
  • Jell-O Gelatin Pops (and Pudding Pops to a lesser degree)
  • Goo Goo Clusters (still around, but hard to find in Jersey)
  • Made-Rite Cheese Popcorn (still around, but not nearly as good as it was 20+ years ago)
  • Pepperoni Bread - from some place in Pinconning, Michigan
  • Jolly Rancher Stix - Fire or Fruit Punch
  • My grandmother's cinnamon rolls
As for the cinnamon rolls, my grandmother's been dead 20+ years and I stil salivate thinking about them. I'm too lazy to make them myself even though I have the recipe somewhere - or my Mom does. The closest thing I've found to them are the cinnamon rolls from Specialty's in Seattle.

So, what foods/snacks from your childhood do you miss?