Friday, May 29, 2009

Cheaper car insurance, wireless, newer apartment, bliss

So I am sitting in our new apartment, on the floor, basking in all its newness, great location and fantastic wireless connection. We are temporary residents of Bernardsville in Somerset County and we could not be happier. Our car insurance went down $600 a year just by moving here. Take that Essex County! Now, Belleville was not a horrible place, hardly, but Essex is Essex and it was over priced, over taxed (though that applies to most of NJ) and after having a falling out with a few people, it no longer felt like a welcoming place. Then again, falling out or not, I had hated living there about four years ago. Too congested, too noisy, too many things breaking down in our apartment, just too much of everything.
The best was yesterday. As we were sleeping with our windows open, a young girl screams out "F*@k!" a few times at 8:15am while walking to school with her buddies. I'll pass thank you. In NYC it is acceptable, outside my window, not so much.
Hence, this temporary relocation is quite the joy. Right now all I hear are birds. No stupid planes from Teterboro, Newark, JFK and LaGuardia. Yes, this is bliss.
Morristown, Princeton, Chester, Flemington, Lambertville New Hope even NYC are not too far away so I can get my city fill when needed. For now, I am happy to listen to the washer and dryer while I sit under french doors in tons of natural light. You can keep Xanadu, I never wanted it in the first place and now, I no longer have to worry about ever dealing with the traffic. WHOO HOO!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Art of Packing

Our apartment looks like a bomb went off in it. We have been packing like mad and moving stuff to a friends barn for storage. We did not want to bring every single piece of our lives with us to our temporary apartment only to have to move it again, so it is in country storage.
Another good friend has been supplying us with boxes and tape and packing materials.
This is why we are grateful for our friends. They help us out when we need them and offer excellent solutions during a chaotic time.
The hubby and I purged A LOT of stuff prior to this packing adventure and yet, we have so much stuff that is boggles my own mind. Why do we have most of it? I keep making Goodwill trips to alleviate the amount of stuff we take. I also filled some garbage bags up with crap I had no idea we even had at this point. Locating lead crystal candle holders we got when we were married and have yet to use, holiday lights that do not even work, gift bags that were ripped and torn, insane. I know most of you probably have seen The Story of Stuff, but here it is in case you have not. Best part is this documentary was banned by the Missoula County Public Schools, God forbid you teach about sustainability.
I am far from a minimalist but I have become one at present because I do not need all three of my cutting boards or all my mixing bowls. It is refreshing to know I only have 6 glasses to use right now as the rest are packed. It may help us pare down a bit once we have a home.
I actually cannot wait to take current pieces of furniture you have an paint it and give it a new life. I would like to try milk paint so I am going to read up on it more. We will also become adept at searching for furniture on Craig's List and Estate sales. We want our house to have a nice eclectic feel to it. Just having more counter space will make me a happy gal. :)

Peace from the East,

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Farming and ganglion cysts!

Tunkhannock, Pennsylvania in Wyoming County is quite beautiful. I had the pleasure of visiting friends who own a fabulous farm on the outskirts of this pretty town. I have zero skills when it comes to gardening and fortunately my friend Sara was more than happy to educate me in the ways of soil and all other things plant related. She also spoke to me about raising chickens, goats and sheep. The chickens are stunning as are the sheep and lambs. Of course with sheep all I see is yarn, but they were darn cute. So were the spectacular Scottish Highland Cattle. Their bull is quite a handsome boy named Connor. I also had homemade pizzas and yummy grilled veggies,but this delectable creature I had for breakfast. How can anyone not eat a Dutch Baby everyday???

Oh yeah, that "baby" can clog your arteries and taste good doing it! I got to eat homemade ice cream with real cream from the cows up the road. Naturally, my stomach handled it well where if I have Rita's or Applegate's I get an upset tummy. Stupid homogenized milk!
Their son is a cutie pie, and my new boyfriend! How fortunate for a child today to grow up amongst animals and learning how to love and work the land.

My Wrist. My lovely beautiful wrist had a cortisone shot yesterday. This is because it has a ganglion cyst. FYI - those cortisone shots hurt like hell and I am not sure how anyone does them more than once! If the shot does not dissolve the cyst, I may need surgery. Good times. Let us hope the shot does its job and I do not have to add another operation to my long list of priors.

Have a terrific weekend!!


Sunday, May 17, 2009

A cottage, a couple and a vision of love.

So, in the course of house hunting again, we came across a 1920's Colonial Cottage and WHAM!! I had a vision as I walked through it. No one saw this beauty of this place, no one saw that it cries out for personality and perhaps even become and Arts and Crafts style home, no one but no one, sees the potential of this charming house sitting amongst massively renovated Victorians, Cape Cods and Colonials, no one, but me. Yes it needs refreshing, so amazing what a can of paint can do, but this is the type of house that over the years, as it is improved upon, will garner "oohs and ahhs". The yard is a good size for a garden and patio, with me adding a mudroom to the back stair area, and the garage is only 3 years old. It does not match the house, but that can be fixed. My husband was brought to the cottage yesterday and he saw my vision and even though it will take years and money, we both believe it is truly worth it. Now, who is to say this deal can pan out, we all know our track record and at this point, a novel should be written, but I believe that the "A-ha! Moment" my husband said I had is what makes this different. The house is livable now and move in ready of course with enough counter space to make me giddy. We are certainly not renovators and we never sought that out, but apparently, it found us. We are aware of the trials and tears that come with reworking a house, but I tell you, this is a diamond in the rough. A gem amongst other gems. It is the only house on the block that has not been renovated and
revisioned, but it will be, oh yes, it will be. Fingers crossed again my friends, we are rolling the dice and dammit, mama needs no whammies!

Decorating links - some are insane, some reasonable, but enjoy it all regardless.

Yes, I will take the Slipper Tub please.
Cabico - Custom cabinetry, nice portfolio
These small bathroom makeovers are great at
I have seen Corey's work first hand, it is sublime.
Just discovered the Klondike Refrigerator, WOW!
Wanna have booth seating at your house like "Happy Days"? Want a "Kit Kat clock"? Go for it at Retro Planet.

That is all for now my dears, ta ta!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Don't be fresh! Well, just not right now...

This is easier said then done. The frustration of not being able to find work in any NJ hospital has been nerve wracking and scream inducing. You spend a chunk of money getting trained to do a good thing and BAM! you are out of luck. Yes, I have applied to Unit Secretary, admin asst, sweeper of floors and nothing. So, I have resolved myself to eventually filling out volunteer forms once we move. That is right, by the end of the month, I will reach out to local hospitals and other health places and give away my services. Yes, it is very nice to be able to help relieve suffering and know the patient will be less stressed once I give them a gentle massage. No, it is not very nice to keep doing this stuff for free. As fresh and selfish as it sounds, it does bog you down after awhile. Of course hospitals want you to do it for free. They are the worst when it comes to handling cash and getting grants written. You have everyone wanting more for their needs and desires. Whatever possesses someone to want to be a grant writer I am not sure, but you get an "Atta Boy/Girl!" from me for it. Sadists.
I know of other graduates of my program who are doing nothing but volunteer work as well. I have a good mind to call the owner of our school and say, "Umm yeah, I want my money back, NOW!" We all know THAT can never happen, so I will out good vibes out and volunteer more. I do have 2 or 3 private clients, but that does not help pay the bills, we do put it in a savings account though. I guess I should not complain, but everyone says that now like it is a bad thing. "Oh everyone is in a pickle." Yes we are and we have the right to get all crazy about it now and then. We all have the right to scream, yell, cry, pout and kick a foot through the wall during these wretched times of uncertainty. I am not sure about you, but there are days I wonder how the hell most people get through it without being 10 sheets to the wind. I assume faith, hope and pure resilience help. For me, I am going to spend a couple of days at a friends farm and lend a hand. I will learn to use a rototiller and I will talk to the chickens. Chickens are misunderstood, they are great listeners and very loving. Perhaps working with nature and helping plant a bounty is what I need right now. A way to release all this pent up frustration, of feeling useless and chained in. It sucks being a smart gal and having no way to utilize it. Maybe I do have a way, I just do not see it yet. My ego is still bruised from Rutgers, you bastards, and I feel my energy is better spent helping others, but without certain degrees and certificates you get denied. I know we all make our own way, but God does put speed bumps in the road. How I maneuver through is the true test I gather. Luckily I can vent here, I have 2 stories in progress and I will be farming by Monday. Life is good, but that does not mean I will not fresh now and then.
Also, it is the Hubby's birthday and there is no reason to be fresh today, well, not that kind of fresh ;-)

Links, glorious links:

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Classic. Vintage. Handmade.

*Bette Davis in The Little Foxes, dress by Orry-Kelly

Well I hope everyone had a nice Momma's Day. :) And may you all look as fabulous!

One of the greatest things about the Internet is locating folks who you share similar interests with. Of course, if you look hard enough, we can all find someone of a like mind. For me, it is nice to commiserate with people on food, frugality, knitting, vintage wear, etc. Speaking of vintage, I just came across one of the coolest posts on vintage lingerie and here it is. I have also been following a gal who has chosen to live ife as if it was 1955. A fascinating read and educational. She posts photos and recipes and about the news of that time. She is also having a grand time doing it and it has been wonderful following it.
All this vintage makes me yearn for Rosalind Russell's wardrobe in Auntie Mame. Perhaps not all of it was practical, but I am sure Orry-Kelly could have made a superb gardening outfit for me. I am wistful because I have nowhere to wear a pillbox hat and opera gloves. This does not mean I would not do it, it is just sad that dressing well is no longer the norm. I will be attempting to knit these opera gloves one day. I actually have a few different patterns for opera gloves. With my wrist still out of commission, tomorrow I am calling a dear friend's wrist doctor to get an appointment and have this remedied once and for all, I have not been knitting. Not knitting makes for a sad MissFifi. Sewing though, that could be less painful. Can you imagine sewing these exquisite hats from a vintage McCalls' pattern??? Simply gorgeous!

Well, I am off to la la land, I need my beauty rest. I am making more bread tomorrow and we have actually begun packing stuff up for the inevitable move. Wish us luck as the search continues and dammit, we are hopeful!!


Friday, May 8, 2009

Apply to jobs, Seek a home and bake bread

Yes, I feel like that angel as the inevitable has come upon us, we are now going to search for our 5th house. We are not angry, we are not pitiful, we are more numb and at times, wondering how we got born under a bad sign. The septic issue could not get resolved due to the fact the sellers have no money at all to offer a credit on the system which received 2 unsatisfactory ratings. They of course believed their system is fine and would be willing to credit us some cash for a third inspection, but so what? If another person says it is crap, pardon the pun, they have no cash to credit us the cost of repairs which can run the gamut of 15K to 30K.
We have learned a whole lot and that is a plus. Perhaps it is my true destiny to become a house inspector. HA HA! (I have to laugh or I will vomit.)
Most importantly, our new search involves houses only with public sewers.

I have applied to 16 jobs since February 22, probably more, but I only began tracking some of them then. Tonight I applied for a part time administrative assistant position in Parsippany. I am thankful I still have hospice and some private clients. Though I really really would like to be massaging more people and working in a hospital.

Thankfully, my bread baking is much improved because of the bread in 5 minutes a day book. I have made 2 loaves and they have been very tasty. I now want to have a 25lb flour bucket and 10 lbs of yeast so i can do nothing but bake. Our home smelled delicious today!

I have also been working on my stories to submit and that has been lovely. I amaze myself what I can come up with and how much I enjoy trying to construct the proper tone and depth of my characters and their stories.

Another bright side is that by dining out with friends tonight, we had camaraderie, drinks, food and an all around good time. That is the best healer of aggravation. Laughter and fun. Thankfully, it does not have a price. Except if you eat out ;-) but it is worth it.


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

All Hail Gwen Verdon!

When Broadway was Awesome:

"Whatever Lola wants, Lola gets" of my fave songs at 3:53


Monday, May 4, 2009


That is not me, but it represents how I truly feel about Jenny McCarthy and Oprah. Oprah, queen of whatever makes a buck, is giving Jenny "I am more educated in autism than a Harvard Med student" McCarthy a talk show. WTF??? Here is a woman, who unfortunately has many folks buying into her vaccines cause autism bullshit. What aggravates me the most is the lack of knowledge, data and hard facts behind her declarations. I am a firm believer that genetics plays the strongest role in autism. The Kirton Family in Utah is a prime example of this. Now, I know some people do not want to believe that their genes had anything to do with passing on a pathology to their child, but guess what? That is how cancer, ALS, cerebral palsy, and many other diseases come to light. I am even willing to give room to the fact that your kid was fine, got 5 vaccinations and is now not behaving like he did. Well, somewhere in your genetics/epigenetics, even if he only had ONE vaccination, could have triggered autism. Many factors come into play when it comes to eye color, height, allergies, etc. It is also true when it comes to all types of pathologies. To push it off only as vaccine related is ignorant and dangerous. Technically, Jenny McCarthy can be the root problem of a public health crisis and I for one will not stand for it. You can certainly talk to your pediatrician about spreading out the vaccines, you can discuss your concerns, but by no means should you follow what some D-List celebrity says. I know parents want answers and need someone to blame, but this is not the solution. We need to all work together not against. Recall the Japanese proverb: Fix the problem, not the blame.


Sunday, May 3, 2009

A rainy Sunday, but Saturday was nice!

So today is a rainy day, but relaxing. We are still waiting on news to see if our deal with the house is going forward or if the hunt resumes. Not excited to resume a hunt, but it is really out of our hands now. As Tom Petty sang, "The waiting is the hardest part." It is and it sucks, but it is what we must do. Just keep your fingers crossed that we will hear something ASAP so I can either curse like a sailor or begin drawing up my garden.
We went to NYC yesterday, it was a beautiful day. Bought the beloved Aussie biscuit, Tim Tams, the greatest cookie EVER! I highly recommend dunking them in a cup of hot tea. MMMMMMMMMMMMM...they are hard to locate here in the states. We got them at the Holy Land Market on St Marks, so if you are in the city, go get yourself some. Of course they were expensive, $6.99!!, but so darn worth it.
We ate a very yummy lunch at Curly's Vegetarian, their fries with the buffalo sauce is out of this world! Meat eaters can enjoy themselves at this place as well because taste is what Curly's has in spades.
Then we popped over to one of our favorite spots, The Strand. Honestly, if I could, I would be there all the time. Terrific bookstore and amazing titles.
Then as we walked all the way back to 120th from 34th, the subways were really slow and it was such a nice day and I need to lose about 20 pounds off my ass, we turned and there was this cute little boy coming towards me chatting with his dad who happened to be Matthew Broderick. I almost yelled out "Ferris!", but held back. Not a tall man, but handsome in person.
So now I will return to making my garlicky lentil soup for today and then it being Sunday, it is Law and Order:CI and In Plain Sight night!