Monday, November 29, 2010

It's was a Great Time - I am Thankful

Day Two - We were up pretty early to make breakfast and get underway to go to the Connecticut Science Museum.  This was a really big day.  We started in the water room and played with the various vortex water vessels and built water dams with Leggo's.

Then off to the top floor where we calculated our carbon footprints, saw the Connecticut river fishes and animals and the rocks from the glaciers that came through at the end of the ice age.  This wasn't on the hit parade for Seamus

The fifth floor offered probably the most fun.  The picture here was from the sports lab where we found he would be great at different sports.  In the pictures of health lab is the ever popular "mind game".  Two opponents strap on a headband that measures the alpha brain waves and the person with the higher waves attracts the ball towards them and subsequently loses the match.  The first time, AP won of course.  The second time (we went back three times), and after some coaching of how it works, he was able to come out victorious against another young boy like himself.

We traveled through space, saws nebulas, the sun and explored Saturn in the comfort of recliner space chairs.  Thank goodness, my feet were about to give up!

Going down - to floor four - gave us some time with race cars, sailing toy boats and balancing a beach ball on a stream of air.  We tried to beat the robot on making a puzzel, didn't win at this one.  The robot had much more experience and actually was quite funny;  imagine that!  We worked in the sight and sound lab and played with movements of how they affected sound. 

Before we could leave, we were back to the water room to play some more with the Leggo's.  I must say it was a great time with my 'favorite eight year old nephew'.  He's a joy to be with.  One evening I had him read to me a whole story - OutLoud - oh my goodness, you'd think I'd asked for some horrendous task to be done.  With some coaxing, he did read an entire story to me before dinner.  He did quite well, I was proud of him.

Bedtime is also special - there is the routine, jamies, teeth brushed - all of them, pick up the room, shoes by the door and then I get him tucked in with Koda and set the lights just so.  Then we talk - or should I say he talks, asks questions all about our day's activities.  Since we just did Thanksgiving dinner, we repeated "let's say thanks" each night and spoke about the who and what we are thankful for.

Dear Seamus - since you are not here tonight, I'll say my thanks and hope you dream of them.  I'm thankful that you come and stay with Aunt Patty; that we get to go and see Santa; that you help me with chores and do a very good job.  I'm thankful for you reading to me; for you trying raisin bread with cinnamon and sugar; for you learning to spell three words.... guitar, science, museum.   By the way, we will visit Hartford's library, the carousel, and go ice skating the next time.  Till then, love you bunches and sweet dreams.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

New Checking Account According to Seamus

I need to have my nephew stay with me more often.  We get into so many "deep" subjects and his questions and comments can be priceless.  Super topics - I should call it "When the innocent talks".

We were talking about money.  Giving a tip at dinner, making money, saving money for college and writting a check.  Rembember he's eight years old.  I was telling him that I save some money and  I put a check for $100 into this college account.  He wanted to know if the check had to be $100 or could it be like $90?  Good question, though I was having a hard time following the train of thought.  I was able to finally have him understand that the check could be any amount, even let's say $38.24.  Oh, ... "that's good" he sighed.

Without missing a breath, he wanted to know where did the money come from to write a check.  Was there just a place where checks are?  Like extra money?  (this must be like a money fairy?)  After some discussion I told him if I wrote a check, the money would come out of my savings account.  The bank would transfer the amount from my account to his savings account.  He thought on it for awhile, then said flatly "okay I get it.  There is no extra money around somewhere."

Topic done - on to the next one!

Perfect Kick off to the Holiday Season

Once again I had the pleasure of having my nephew, Seamus, join me for the weekend after Thanksgiving.  It has been a whorl wind so far. 

We packed up from grandma's house, duffle and Coda, and we drove back, about an hour, to my place.  My nephew didn't stop talking.  He calls himself a 'chatterbox'.  Actually I don't think I know another kid his age (8 years) that could keep up with him.  He has an uncommon way of transforming a conversation and taking it off on tangents and all of a sudden he will say "hey, how did we get here?".  He's done it about three times in the 24 hours since he's arrived.

Thursday night isn't much, get a tour of the house, find all the light switches, reaquainte him to all the nuiances of my home so he will feel comfortable. 

Friday began with baking cinnamon buns.  It was really cute, he read all the directions including setting the clock and timer.  The Dough Boy helped out and Seamus placed the buns on the baking pan.  Mr. Eagle Eye kept watching the clock and the oven and thought it was really cool to see them rise.  Ding went the buzzer and we pulled them out - perfection was only a few dribbles of icing away.  He ate four of them along with a big banana and Aunt Patty's special/secret organge juice. 

Ok - we make the list of items to do, take care of chores and help Bob the Builder with several items he needs to take care of while we are gone.  There was lunch at Steve's; go to the Library for movies and books and get Aunt Patty's library mail; watch the movie at the Library; back home to get ready and then the real treat - go to see Santa turn on the lights!

The Festival of Lights has been my favorite thing to do since I moved to the Hartford area.  It's my way to kick off the holiday season; I get an enormous dose of holiday spirit all in one shot.  This year, the event was moved from Constitution Plaza to Bushnell Park to enable the growth of the event.  In that spirit, citizens gathered at the Plaza and walked through the city streets singing carols and picking up Santa along the way (riding a Zamboni machine) to the park. Traditions evolve, it's how they stay traditions!

So Seamus and I did just that.  We met some of the Wolf Pack hockey team and some of the cast from "A Christmas Carol", in costume, opening that evening at Hartford Stage.  We met Hartford's new mayor.   Mayor Pedro E. Segarra is a lovely man.  He took several moments to answer my questions about the downtown improvement and pointed out some of the upcoming highlights.   I introduced Seamus to the mayor.  He spoke directly to Seamus about the science museum and what a good time he will have.

Before long, the group of us began the march to the park.  Hartford's finest were on motocycles;streets closed off as we walked and sang.  Meeting up with Santa was really cool.  We moved into the park, obtained our complimentary hot cocco, and awaited the turning on of the lights.  There was a skating demo on artifical ice, and more caroling.  Hartford mounted police were there too.  It was a short lived program, a few dignitaries.  In my opinion, we need more pizzaz and I'm sure with the change in venue we will see improvements over the next years.  Since the carousel was open we walked over only to find the line was a couple of hours long.  We peeked through the windows and could see all the horses going round and round.  I promised Seamus we would come back at a time when it wasn't as busy.

We treated ourselves to IHOP for a quick dinner.  We laughed so much and then it was home, jamies and to watch part of the movie before getting ready for bed.  We said our "we are thankful fors"; I had to cut them off at ten as he'd never get to sleep.   All in All - it was a perfect day - sweet dreams.

PS  Before I forget, my eyes are heavy ....  things he wants to do for next time - ride the carousel, go ice skating, skateboarding, bake cookies, cook dinner, work as Santa's assistant, read a book, learn more words, do more math examples; make some crafts in my studio, go to Steve's, go to the art museum, make some art, then...he said .." I, like, maybe can stay at your (my) house for five weeks because KC will like me better",,,  the list goes on but I'm getting the giggles thinking of the great day I had.  Tomorrow will only get better.

PSS  This was a good one - he wanted to know... (you just can't make this up) .." if  grammie Kovack married Aunt Denise's daddy would the Filosa cousins be my cousins?  That would be cool, you can not have enough cousins".   Hey PopPop and JoJo - are you listening?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving Wish

Wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving.

Wishing everyone a moment of time to relax this holiday weekend.

Wishing everyone enjoyment of the small things that make a holiday a special time.

Wishing everyone invention of a new tradition.

Most of all, wishing you and yours health, happiness, joy, and Peace.

Photo courtsey of controltheweb's @flicker

Monday, November 22, 2010

A New Beginning

I'm sure you noticed that last week was a difficult emotional one. So many lives were touch by JoJo and so many lives will need to find a new path in life. Before I go on to chatter much more, here's a place that JoJo and I shared an affinity for. It's a long video, yet it is so peaceful..... Enjoy.......

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Missing You Jo Jo

Dear Jo:  It was a sad day for us when we heard that you have left us.  You will be missed so much.  Thank you for all you gave to eveyone.

Keep well, you'll be keeping an eye on us and we will have you in our hearts, forever.


I remember the first time I met you, then Mrs. F.  It was in the summer at your home for the wedding shower to celebrate my soon to
be sister-in-law.  I had brought a laundry basket of gagdets and wrote a little poem about the life Denise was soon to begin with my brother, Pete.  There were light bulbs, to light the way, elastics to know when to you need to stretch and lots of laughs inbetween!

You loved life itself.  With all the celebrations and rough spots, you were the 'lady'.  Those qualities you taught to your family quite well.  You enjoyed decorating and made a lovely home.  You wore so many hats; as daughter and sister, friend, wife and lover, mother and grandma and excelled at them all.  I do know that your grandchildren adored and enjoyed their time with you.  You even friended me on FB.

While you enjoyed your family and lent support to those around you, grass didn't grow under your feet.  If you weren't at home, the two of you were traveling around the world.  While I was baby(?) sitting for Denise & Pete's 20th anniveresary, the kids and I called Grandma Jo Jo and Grandpa Ray.  The both of you were still adjusting to the time zone as you  had just arrived back from Egypt!

If that wasn't the big adventure, the cruise a year later with your entire family in tow was. It was an amazing time for all involved! I know, the Missouri girls and I were going through picutres for half the night at my house. Ok it was only half of the 9000 or more pictures! We were out to dinner the next night, there were the girls flipping their napkins and guessing (in various accents) what we would have for dessert.  I don't think I was able to stop laughing.

Life is good to all of us; as Ralph Waldo Emerson put it "It is not length of life, but depth of life".  Jo Jo - you did just that, you lit the way wherever you went, you kept us stretching each day and enjoyed lots of laughs.  Keep well Friend.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Work with KasCare

On my creative side, I've been working with/for the organization KasCare. You can read more about them on my Creative Sources blog.  See the special page KasCare and the pledges page too!

Creating community is so rewarding.  Connecting people to work on a cause allows them to make a gift, though my gift is the 'connecting' them. I've only just begun...(sounds like a song).

My first impression with this group was to make some squares myself.  Easy and I could use up some scrap yarn. Then it grew and I thought I could organize and get the word out to others.  I wasn't sure how it would go over - though nothing ventured nothing gained.  I sent out lots of emails about the project and wouldn't you know, people responded.  Then more people responded, the outflowing is just wonderful.  Those folks that are not as 'creative' have made a contribution for the postage.  It's going to be expensive to send them to South Aftrica!

This weekend I should be picking up lots of squares - well over 100!  Watch the Creative Sources for more information on the total to date!

Thank you to all that have contributed and to all of you that will be!  I'll be continuing this work for the foreseeable future!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Let's be Friends

I came across this video and hope you enjoy it. Message - we can all be Friends. An amazing inspiration - when you don't know the difference - all is possible. Time to shake off those differences. Enjoy

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

New Governor is set - Not much will change - Sad for us

It is finally said that Dan Malloy will be the next Governor of Connecticut.  The Democrat will take office in January, the first Dem since 1986 as pointed out in an article in the New York Times on Monday.

This year's governor's race made news when the State's largest city, Bridgeport ran out of ballots for the people to vote.  We didn't have hanging chads - we just didn't have enough ballots!  Go figure?  Somebody didn't.
Of course the State's General Assembly - comprised of the Senate and House - had a few upsets too.  The basic information can be found on that link.

This is the first time in a long time that the General Assemby and the Governor Office will all be from the same party.  In my opinion - we are in for a big spend, spend, spend ride. 

Too soon to tell ----  check back with me in March when we are 2/3's through the 1st 100 days.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Happy Birthday Connecticut

Hi all,
This video was from the beginning of the year. Watch along until our Governor M. Jodi Rell speaks to the children. She speaks to the next 25 years - to our 400th Birthday.

Happy 375th Birthday Connecticut

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Recipe

Back about a half of month ago, I fell to the idea sent by my dear sister-in-law, about sending a recipe chain letter.  I generally delete them and don't respond.  This seemed easy and wouldn't it be great to get some new recipes for the Fall.

This recipe chain was a simple one, send a recipe to the first on the list and take them off the list.  Add you name to the bottom of the list.  Heck the list was only she and I, and send it to a bunch of friends.

I've waited and waited, checked my junk folder, and yet none.  One of the ladies that I sent the request to, instead sent me the recipe.  Since it was the only one, I thought I'd share it with you.  Thanks to Dori!  Looks great and time to try it out.

Bon Appetit! 

1 1/2 TBSP FLOUR