Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Bridges of New York

I started the day running along the 5 mile path along the straits of Verrazano under the Bridge. A nice path though bumpy in spots. Steve and I ran across the bridge during the NYC marathon in 1985
Later a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. The drizzle didn't seem to scare away the tourists

The deck is above the traffic. Using the Live feature on the iPhone I can take a long exposure turning the cars into a blur. Of course one needs a steady hand

let's see it in black and white

When we did the same walk almost 3 years ago, the bridge was covered with locks. They have since discouraged this

Manhattan Bridge. Other bridges we have run across: Queensboro, Henry Hudson Parkway, George Washington, Willis St bridge, 3rd avenue bridge: all in various races. Also some bridge that goes from Brooklyn to Queens

the husband

As tall as I am, I look small under the tower

me with messy wet hair. Perhaps it is too short

I have run across the Gowanus canal on small bridges. A cesspool that they are trying to clean up. This is from a parking deck of a fancy Whole Foods

Monday, October 30, 2017

Alternate Street Parking

How many times have I run up and down the 2.5 mile boardwalk? Lots

The Parachute jump which has not been operational for at least 60 years. Steve's mom was hoisted via pulleys to the top and then allowed to fall saved at the last second. In the 80s, I was afraid to run west of it as the area was crime infested

view from the pier
mural outside of the aquarium with the top of the cyclone peaking up
Used to have a huge rocket on top of this building full of grungy Coney Island treats
Aquarium mural message: plastics in the sea are deadly to fish
Creepy Steeplechase guy head is all over

Steve lived in Trump Village, the high rises to the right. The Cyclone seemed to be right below his window

So far Blogger is behaving itself today but it still needs to keep up with all of iPhone's many updates. On Tuesday morning, we drove through torrential rain in NJ. Fortunately it stopped by the time we crossed over to NYC. We saw the least amount of traffic ever. Crossing the Verrazano Bridge is free heading east but very pricy going east so we leave going  the free way through Manhattan. We have an EZ pass from Ohio that gives us discounts, especially in Ohio just to come into NY though handy for going to DC too. Not good at all on the West coast.

Parking is at a premium on the city streets. Making things worse is that they street clean twice a week so you have to plan your parking carefully. During the 1.5 hour street cleaning sessions, one can find no parking though double parking seems to be tolerated on the 'good' side. Where else is double parking tolerated? Last year, we found a spot good for most of our stay. Steve refused to leave it which was very annoying. He had his brother drive us everywhere. I convinced him twice to leave our spot which he did with much complaining. On our last day he refused so I had to run in the neighborhood dealing with aggressive drivers on cross streets though the path along Ocean Parkway is smooth and pretty.

We got into the city around noon. I thought I smelled gas as I entered the apartment but who knows, someone could be cooking cruciferous vegetables. My sister-in-law smelled this for 2 months and complained to the landlady who sent a plumber to investigate. No leak he said though he didn't have a detector, just an old man's nose, which turns out to be very unreliable. No one else could smell this gas until I came. She called the gas company who quickly sent someone out with detectors. Yep there is a leak but someone else would need to fix it applying for permits, getting inspections, a lengthy process. At first they shut off the gas to everyone in the building but then decided only to target my in-laws. It is much warmer in NYC than in Michigan so they keep the windows open saving their lives as it turned out. They use the gas for heat, the stove and oven and the hot water heater. And eventually it will get cold there too. Hard to take cold showers though an alternate shower spot was offered. A huge process to get this fixed with lots of red tape. I felt bad.

New York is full of tasty ethnic restaurants, NOT good for my plan on top of exercising less. Lunch at a deli; Middle Eastern for dinner. I picked up a very fancy mushroom pie at a Russian bakery the next morning. Another day, roast pork dumplings at a third of the price they would be any place else. Italian one night with his cousin and wife. Steve's favorite Italian restaurant has closed but we found this to be a suitable substitute. And Italian baked goods. I had a mini baba au rhum. We brought back lobster tails (Italian pastry, not the crustacean) and rainbow cookies. Another night my sister-in-law made a delicious dinner despite having no gas. In the meantime, she bought some electrical devices so they can at least cook something besides microwave. And per usual, too much wine for me especially in the Italian restaurant where I discovered I was the only drinker out of 6 after ordering.

We were lucky with the weather as it much less rainy than predicted. A bit of drizzle one day but it was warm. The first morning we walked along the boardwalk near Steve's old apartment and then in the very heavy Russian Brighton Beach Avenue. How the stores have changed! Cyrillic alphabet has replaced Hebrew. In the afternoon, my sister-in-law took me to Prospect Park to run. Very pretty with a bit of fall colors. Also hillier than I am used to but practically flat compared to my run in Pennsylvania.
More in the next day or two

Saturday, October 28, 2017

A Night in a Winery (Whinery?)

I am having a hard time with Blogger now. First I can't use it anymore on my iPhone and now even its web based application is all messed up. Can't edit anything. Can't add captions. What is going on? I'll try tomorrow. Back from a week of fun which I may be able to share once I figure out what's wrong with this stupid Blogger. Come on Google, fix this.

The grapes beyond one of our many windows. I did have a tasting of their four wines. Only the one made from wild raspberries was very good. I would have bought it if I could find any of the staff the next day

The place was very old modeled on a Tuscan estate. This fountain doubled as a hot tub, which I visited later

At night the place had zillions of rotating fairy lights. Looked like lots of fireflies. Also music, Italian opeara, was piped in all around even into the rooms

Our room had a chandelier, two sofas, a huge TV, a fireplace and a grand piano

Fortunately it was in the 70s at night. That's me and my wine

It is a day later. After shutting down the computer, I was able to make a few edits before I could not make them any more and then had to shut down the computer yet again. We were on our way to NYC to see Steve's family and  decided to stop on the way to see something new. I looked at places and found this though it was south of the area generally known as the Poconos closer to the Delaware Water Gap near a tiny town called Mount Bethel. We did not go the most efficient way but it was pretty winding through the fall colors along the river with its slate steep cliffs. If it were not raining, I would have stopped for photos. I thought we could take them the next day but visibility was zero then. The rain stopped by the time we found the inn perched on top of a hill on a very winding road.

For me the place was perfect  Large, comfy interesting room with lots  interesting rooms to explore full of  eclectic antiques. Flowers, mainly roses, were still in bloom. Paths led into the vineyards. Lots of places to sit outside including a large stone porch with rocking chairs where we ate breakfast the next morning. We went for dinner in the small town 3 miles away. Very tasty. Houses in the town are built with no front yards. One false move and a car could drive through a house. Roads twisted every which way. No grid to follow as in Michigan. Before dinner, I had some of their wines. One was terrible, two OK but I would not buy them and the raspberry wine was very good. I had brought my own wine which I had a glass of as I relaxed in the hot tub. It was warm enough outside for Steve to sit comfortably near me. I thought the night was magical with Edith Piaf in the background and little lights flickering all over like twinkling stars but Steve was grumpy feeling dysphoric from coming off his meds for the shingles and later complained about little things like no toilet paper holder in the bath room and a fly found in the   room. Can't he ever enjoy anything?

Heavy rain was forecasted for the next morning. Could I get a run in? I left in darkness hoping I could see potholes though the road was smooth. I did not pack my lights. Fortunately I could jump out of the way for the little traffic. It was very hilly and windy. As it was not getting any lighter, I was afraid I would get stuck in a storm but the weather held for awhile. Very pretty and it felt good to be moving after a long day in the car. The day before was the first time I had taken a day off in 7 months. I could have run a bit that day but drank wine instead. We had to wait for a break in the torrential rain to pack our car and off in the pouring rain to The City.
Below is the lobby and hopefully a close-up of an interesting chair
fish eye view of the lobby

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Learning to read

Autumn leaves placemats

folk angel way on top of my cupboards. Wooden flowers net to her were purchased years ago at a street fair in the Loire Valley

giant marigolds finally blooming from my cheap seed collection

The blossoms were pale yellow when I bought this hibiscus last spring. Now they are orange. Have to bring in all, the orchids and hibiscus in this weekend as it might freeze while we are gone

Maya is to read every night for at least 15 minutes. She is a first grader though one of the oldest in the class at 7 as she spent two years in kindergarten. She is very behind. Recently her ADHD drug was increased. Apparently the lower dose was enough to stop her excess activity but not enough to have her focus on a task. She does know the alphabet and can identify all the letters. She knows what most sound like. What she can't do is remember from one moment to the next what a given word is even though she had sounded it out (painfully slowly) just the line before. The shape of the words aren't entering her short term memory much less her long term memory. 
I worked with her some the other night. Very frustrating and scary that she may never get it. Finally we went on a bike ride together, which is how I got her to try to read in the first place. We went two miles and would have gone further if it wasn't getting dark.

Indian summer continues with beautiful sunrises and sunsets but next week, it will be rainy. Josh is in Florida at a wedding. Two of his good friends are getting married on the same day but in different places. He would have preferred to go to the Brooklyn wedding but is closer to the friend in Florida. We will be in Brooklyn in a few days ourselves. Hopefully it won't rain the whole time.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Four egg omelet

An assortment of eggs my friend's chickens provided for me. I used 4 of the bantam eggs, tiny, for an omelet

new watercolor for my flower room

my hair dresser's chickens Alas only the big black hen is old enough to produce eggs. My friend's Labrador saved her from a fox who was carrying her away. My friend sewed up her wounds and she is fine now

She hangs in our doorway for now but will go out on the porch. any motion near her sets off a hideous scream

New hand blown glass bowl. Orange and blue.

On a bright sunny day, I drove through fall colors and two alpaca farms out in the country to finally get my hair cut and colored. In the past, I have been provided with fresh eggs from my hair dresser's chickens but fox , eagles and hawk decimated her old flock. She bought another dozen chicks last spring. soon they will be laying eggs though she thinks one might be a rooster.

There was a gap of time between my hair appointment and my cooking class. Do I drive all the way home  and then half way back for the class? nope. I went out to eat by myself, a rarity. I hadn't had sushi in a while. Then on to a few resale shops. I am getting much more selective these days. I toyed with getting a beautiful wool rug covered with orange calla lilies that would look better in my living room than the Art Van special I have. But the other color in the rug was green, not blue. I did get the glass, a folk angel hanging in my kitchen and some jeans marketed by a clothing pyramid scheme for $110 new but in the resale shop, $5.

Since my TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) tested low recently indicating that I was taking too much replacement hormone, which makes sense since I continued taking the same dose after losing more than a third of my body weight, I was asked to skip one dose a week. Maybe now it is too low as my heart beat is only 50bpm and I am feeling cold when normally I would not. My fingers are cold just hanging out in the house. I have to give it a few weeks before I am retested. I don't like this dose readjusting.

Cooking with herbs was the subject of our class. If you provide lots of flavor with herbs, perhaps you won't be tempted to add the dreaded salt I don't worry about salt myself as I assume I lose lots of it with all my exercise. Our instructor is a bit too accommodating to all the modifications demanded by some of my classmates. I understand that some have genuine allergies or that chemo causes their digestive system to be sensitive to spiciness but others are just big, whiny babies. 

I see more and more deer on my runs. And now I come across a turkey flock near my house.

Monday, October 16, 2017

In between the deluges

My handsome 4th grader looking so old

dahlia dahling

mums the word. Have yellow, rust and purple also

heart shaped fairy lights over my Xmas cactus

dinosaur helmet with teeth. Hard to fit over her big wads of hair

Well one chore I haven't done in a while was water things. It rained for 6 days straight, hard to find a window of time to do my running and biking while staying dry and free of lightning strikes. Yesterday I looked at the hourly weather report. It gave me an hour to bike (I like to go at least 30 miles on Sunday morning) before a thunderstorm  and gale force winds happened. I would have to leave in the dark covered with flashers. Fortunately they were wrong about the timing though I felt I couldn't ride much more than 3 miles from home. I got 25 miles in before the winds were getting too strong to fight against.

Today we finally have sun. So pretty with the bright red sunrise and the changing leaves. But I ran into a section of road in which I was suddenly blinded by the sun in the east. Stopped my tracker and carefully walked to where I could  run south. Unfortunately I would run into the big state highway before my 3 mile turning point came up.

I've been seeing lots of sharp shinned hawks, most recently a few minutes ago while I was eating lunch in our nook surrounded by three sides of windows. I hear a huge thud behind me. Hating to look to see what broke its neck, I see the hawk fly off. And while I was biking yesterday, one was perched on a limb over the road.

There have been a few moments of sun and fun. I've been keeping entertained. There was our night at the museum following an afternoon of shopping. Big find: orange lace bra for $5. At a regular store, not resale. Mostly I needed new running shoes. And the next evening spent with a good friend on probably the last warm night. She still had humming birds. I haven't seen them here for 2 weeks. I finally took all the feeders down. If they come, I have plenty of flowers. Next night, a dinner with Josh's family. Hannah still looks at me with much trepidation. I think I will win her over with food. she does like her yums. I think I had been able to hold my other grandbabies much more and 3 of them lived 750 miles away. And last night, a friend came over though it was way too cold to sit outside. We are planning a Costa Rica trip.

Friday, October 13, 2017

A night at the museum

Not sure why they had Ghostbusters there but I am front and center

A Bugati Every car had a price and how long it would take to earn the price at the average income for that year. This would have taken a lifetime.

This is a 1963 Buick Riviera. My friend had this same model in white only it was in 1971. It died while we were at a drive-in. we hauled it home the next day with a VW bus up and down those hills in Bloomfield Hills. I don't think there has been a heavier car than this

A low rider with only a few inches of clearance. Not practical for our bumpy Michigan roads

I remember those signs

And this: Howard Johnsons

The actual Alabama bus that Rosa Park was arrested on for refusing to go back of the bus

Jim Crow exhibit

They also had a decorative glass exhibit which I especially loved. Closed for the night was their Pixar exhibit where you could make your own cartoon

Our financial advisor company invited some of their clients to a free night at The Henry Ford Museum for dinner, drinks, a lecture and time to peruse the museum. Extra bonus: one of the moms came along too with her husband so we had someone to sit with at dinner. The meal was not good for my program as I believe I ate a year's worth of desserts in one sitting along with filet mignon so adjustments will probably have to be made lest I return to obesity. Usually I am good at resisting desserts but not the traveling appetizer trays though at least they were tiny.

The Museum is adjacent to Greenfield Village, target of many school and scout field trips. I took Shanna's troop to spend the night in the museum when they were in 5th grade. Americana of all sorts is the theme with a heavy emphasis on cars. They had a few special exhibits: art glass, Pixar films, civil rights and Abraham Lincoln. One of the highlights of the Greenfield Village trips as a child was to see the chair Lincoln was sitting in at the Ford theater when he was shot with his blood still staining the chair. They have moved that chair into the exhibit now. It is a rocking chair. Factoid learned last night was that rocking chairs were invented in the US.

What I was supposed to be learning was how to invest with the market ever changing and what tools they use to forecast the US market at least. Ugh. I rather look at the history of cars than listen to emerging markets versus developing markets but as this is how we earn money these days, I should pay attention. I drank my wine and nibbled slowly on macaroons. I didn't realize the macaroons were appetizers for a huge dessert table set up after the talk. Maple bread pudding was my downfall.


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