Friday, March 30, 2012

And So It Goes... And So It Goes

And we love you lots, too, Sweet Girl.
Ah, we all know that some weeks can be brutal... mentally and physically challenging in ways that we don't always anticipate. And then, in strolls Michelle, reminding us that cancer isn't pretty and things could sure be worse. Though I've mentioned time and time again that the grace possessed by this gorgeous girl and her family is unsurpassed, I'm afraid you'll have to listen, yet again. Nothing to apologize for here; some things 
warrant repetition.

When the mail arrived, yesterday, it felt like my birthday. All I can say is, "WOW!"  Joe and I were floored. Michelle took the time to share another chapter of her life, via a long letter and photos. Yet again, our home is brightened by her gifts of sunshine and an invitation to her postponed party of last July.
And she thanked Gav for his gift of thoughtfulness...
During the KidGrand circus-weekend sleepover, you might recall that Aubs busily spread some of her own (link) Sunday sunshine. At that time, Gav disappeared, popping up now and again to ask, "Where is the Scotch tape, G'ma?" and other applicable questions. I must interject here that he loves business calling cards and actually carries an inch-thick pile of them, in his pocket. Okay, with that in mind, he'd helped himself to my stash of flipper cards and proceeded to make the poster pictured... this without suggestion or prompting... precious!
So, imagine along with me... the kid with cancer is sending us gifts of appreciation for merely holding her in our hearts and thoughts and prayers. 

"In every heart there is a room... A sanctuary safe and strong... 
And so it goes and so it goes..." (BJ)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


Simply cannot call just one winner!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

LIM - Tidbits Of This 'n' That

Inches count, be they on dishes or waistlines!
Consider the dinner plate. The one on the right is circa the mid 20th century, around 1950. It, as well as the tidbit plates pictured, were manufactured by Glidden of New York, a favorite potter of mine. You could say that I'm a bit of a collector, in this arena, often keeping what I'd purchased for resale. Yes, I do love Glidden. 
I digress...

The other night, I served meatloaf and mashed potatoes on Glidden dinner plates. Salad was nearby, in matching bowls of a larger-than-tidbit size. :-) Joe wanted to know, "Why the tiny plate?" Revealing, yes?

He prefers the super-sized Pfaltzgraff, pictured in floral yellow, and the larger portions it accommodates. This thoroughly challenges my less-is-more theory. Not to worry, though, discipline comes in different shapes and forms; my guy is slender.

Not pictured here would be examples from our fine china, circa the 1960's. It leans towards Glidden, as (link) Super Size Me had not yet become a trend.

The times, they are a-changin'.
Bon Appétit!

To Note: I do believe that I've blogged this, once before. It has to be somewhere in the archives of CMI. But, it's a new Spring and a new diet! C'est la vie.


The nature of Joe's work creates the need for pads of all shapes and sizes to be available, wherever he may roam.... and.... nothing is sacred, around here.
Imagining The Soon-To-Come Bunny
When Gramps drove Aubs and Gav from school last Friday, they got busy in the back seat of his car. While writing orders, yesterday, he found several surprises, two of which I share with you. 
Dreamin' Of August and A New Baby Cousin
Doodlin'.... just give a child the means. Then, sit back and enjoy the workings of his or her imaginative mind. 
Bri, if you're reading I'm sure fond memories of Fonzie Duck are surfacing. I hope that my Babes are taking good care of that sketch pad.

Vickster ♡

That was fun. Let's stuff Taco shells, together... real soon! 

Friday, March 23, 2012


This Morning's Greeting
As the sun rises each morning, it typically casts an even yellow-orange glow across the horizon. Today's streak of color was unique, in its rise towards the sky... this first observed from the master bath, where each morning 
I raise the blind to take the day's initial peek at the world. 

And as I write, I spot the first Robin Redbreast of the season. How cool this is to me, 'cause just yesterday 
I moved Mac to Christian's desk... the one with a frontal view of our yard and  the Weeping Cherry, 
in which it landed. 

Here's to Spring horizons and windows on the world.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Future IDOL... Our Very Own Music Man ♡

Here's our Hunter, practicing his guitar... and this while we were all visiting, a couple weeks ago! He's taking Suzuki lessons, now, 
and this G'ma is beyond thrilled. 

IDOL Chatter... I Hope Billy Was Watching

Y'all know of my passion for Billy Joel. Last tour, we saw three amazing shows, all from within a few rows of the stage. While I was caught up in the frenzy, Joe was envisioning a mosh pit and checking out the exits. 
Ah, my Guy; he's always worrying about me. I digress... 

Last night's IDOL celebrated the music of Mr. Joel. All of the kids did well; but Colton?? 
Well, he absolutely nailed "Piano Man". My favorite, this week.

UPDATE: We learned on elimination night that my former Long Island neighbor was watching, with approval. YAY!


Aubs has limited use of a cell phone, now. Hard to believe, right? It contains family members' phone numbers. 
My local KidGrands are fortunate to have an abundance of relatives, all within pick-me-up-in-the-nurse's-office distance: two great-grandmothers, two sets of grandparents, and a maternal aunt and cousin.  

A beep from my own often-neglected device can mean that I've received a make-my-day text or voice message. The other day, I actually heard Neil crooning Cracklin' Rosie and answered, in time. Seems that I must remember to keep it with me, now. 

"Hi, G'ma........," 
and so on and so forth, as she excitedly told me of that day's adventure with her other G'ma, June.

"You're lucky you're not here, today, Sugar."


"I'm doing some heavy-duty Spring cleaning and I might've been tempted to put you to work."

Girlie Giggles
Okay, coffee break is over and I must get back to readying our home for the arrival of The Bunny. 
The child within me still transitions with excitement.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

LIM - Dry Cereal

For me, the cabinet that contains dry cereals should be marked, "Danger Zone" and perhaps have a combination lock on its handle. Remember the challenging potato chip commercial, "Bet you can't eat just one..."? Seriously, 
I can eat just one potato chip. But give me a bowl of dry cereal and a refill becomes mandatory. I think it's a throwback to my childhood, when huge bowls would be filled to the brim with flakes, sliced banana and milk. Soooo, my solution? 
With a portion of Chobani's fat-free/plain and not-even-a-portion of unsweetened cereal, I can pile on the fruit, eat slowly with a dainty spoon, and be satisfied. Try it; I promise you'll love it!

To Note: A great way to start the day with protein, calcium, fiber and Vitamin C.
Strawberries have been abundant and beyond delicious, this early Spring; we are enjoying them, daily.
Buon Appetito

Broken Promises

Okay, okay, I failed miserably at my vow to cease and desist from speaking of the weather. Impossible, this past season. Never, as in not ever, have we had such a mild winter. As for March? Surreal! On Thursday, we shall have record-breaking warmth. And today? It's officially Springtime... on the calendar, that is. There is clearly refreshed sunshine in my step. The great room is in bloom with its new decor and the bedrooms are without heavy winter quilts. YAY! Oh, and one more thing...
The first tree to "bloom" in our yard is always the Twisted Nut. In lieu of flowers, it grows lime-yellow chains. See for yourself that they have appeared far earlier than ever before. 


Monday, March 19, 2012

LIM - Salmon Twice

Last night's wild salmon was outrageously delicious... simply baked with a spritz of EVOO, lots of lemon, dijon mustard and cornbread-mix crumbs, the secret ingredient. The sweetness of the breading really complemented the other ingredients. I prepared enough to make a salad for today's lunch, using one 6-oz. fillet, one Laughing Cow Light and a spritz of my homemade oil and two-vinegars dressing. Wrapped in romaine lettuce leaves, calories stay very low. This incredibly nutritious fish has only 250 calories in 6 ounces and is an awesome source of Omega-3. 

To Note: Never buy farm-raised fish. It grows in deplorable conditions, possesses unhealthy additives, and consumes its own excrement. Is that enough to dissuade you

Buon Appetito!

"The Descendants"

This movie is SO not a comedy, with endless shots of the dying wife. JeeshHas Hollywood lost its genre mind? Humor plummets downhill from that ever-popular trailer scene... you know, the one of George Clooney's character running in comical form with just flip-flops on his feet. Granted, light comedy occasionally softens tender and sometimes-realistic moments for this fractured family, as they work through grief-stricken lives. Gorgeous GC and his supporting cast act well, but not Oscar worthily. Hawai'i is never tough to look at, even in what seemed to be a lot of rain, during filming. We opine as such:

Joe rates it a "7" and "enjoyable". I'm givin' it a "5" for too many close-ups of just what death looks like. I guess I was more in the mood for girlie-style eye candy, if you know what I mean. See what you think.

Sunday Sun

Bouncy Chef Aubs
Aubs is growing so fast and is such a pretty, smart, kind and fun little lady, full of personality and ambition. She took charge, yesterday morning, as Joe and I enjoyed a first cuppa, nearby.

"We have a secret ingredient, G'pa. It's in my head!"

She single-handedly executed a breakfast of nutritious yogurt pancakes, turkey bacon, and eggs prepared to individual tastes. 

"You look happy, Sugar; there's a bounce in your step," noticed I. 

Do You Have A Favorite Clown?

Mega-talented Jonathan Lee Iverson

We whisked Aubs 'n' Gav off to their very first Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus, on St. Pat's Day. Ask me how excited I was!! With the alarm set for six-thirty a.m., I awakened every hour from midnight till six. You'd think we had first row for Neil.
What a blast! We'd not been since the boys were quite young, and I'm here to say that the circus has come a long way. Quality entertainment by scores of mega-talented artists was delivered with precision like we've never before seen. The Ringmaster, Jonathan Lee Iverson, is an incredible talent, with a voice worthy of any stage. In 1999, he was featured by Barbara Walters as one of her ten most fascinating people of the year. He was the youngest, as well as the first African-American, to fill the position. I consider it a stroke of luck to have seen "Dragons", our version of show with Mr. Iverson as master of ceremonies.

That's Billy on the bottom!

It is suggested that ticket holders arrive an hour before showtime to enjoy three rings of pre-show fun. We did just that, and amazing as it sounds, had already chosen our favorite clown, Billy. Of course, they were all adorable, and they never stop dancing and entertaining. And the animals....

OMG, they are just so gorgeous. I'm always worried about proper treatment for the elephants, horses, dogs, big cats, little cats and llamas. The circus website addresses these issues, though, so I'm resting easy.
There is so much to see at every eye level possible. Where to look? The arena was pulsating with fun, and wide-eyed children were taking it all in... between bites of sugary cotton candy, that is.

Boys and Girls, and Children of ALL ages... do go to the circus
It's a "ten" day.
Color Us Inspired!!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Double The Sweetness ♥♥

Love Grows... Corey 'n' Nephew Max

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


LIM - Food For The Soul

There are endless combinations. Honestly, I could not write a fixed recipe if my life depended upon it. Grab what's in the fridge or freezer; combine frozen and fresh veggies; add tofu for protein and a piece of cheese for interest. This combo includes artichoke hearts, corn, pearl onions, roasted peppers, tofu, string mozz and parsley. I love, love it on angel hair, but if there's pasta that's ready to go... well, you know how hectic some days can be
Red Peppers are super cheap, now.
Roast up a batch to keep in the fridge.
For the less is more factor, decrease the carbs and up the veggies. Easy! Indulge for an amazing 400-500-calorie entrée. As for moi? I could live on this and this alone. 
Buon Appetito.

To Note: We went cold turkey on grated cheese 'cause of the salt and fat issues... how convenient this fact for LIM. :-)

Gran's Bowl Goin' Feng Shui

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

LIM - Sure We'd Rather Have Pie

There's no substitute for a slice of apple pie with crispy crust and a dollop of whipped cream or vanilla icing. 
But we're still in recovery from the weekend, so this dessert shall have to do. Simply stewed with four apples, dried cranberries and apricots, pine nuts, a spoonful of maple syrup and orange juice, I'm calling each dishful at
200 satisfying calories. YUM.

Chipmunk Confusion

This Is Bliss

Monday, March 12, 2012

Who Knew?

We began our weekend with the wearin' of the green and wound it down in similar fashion. Who knew that St. Pat would afford us such coincidental celebrations? Spectacular!

Aubrey's debut with her Brownie troop was a dynamite event. She and her maternal cousin, Aiyana, looked adorable, sitting next to each other. Smiles prevailed. Gavin called shotgun in the truck that pulled the float, and I had to chase them down for this rewarding reaction. Bri 'n' Kell participated, too. Lots of effort went into Rock Hill's second annual parade in honor the Irish. Very, very nicely done... and festive, to say the least. Afterwards...

We headed to Albany for dinner in celebration of Christian and Dawn's expected BabyGrand. G-d, what a lovely and warm occasion, with blended families. What would it have been, though, without a show from stars, Hunter and Chloe, topped off by a walk/ride on the bike path, the next morning?! We felt refreshed and giddy, as we hopped into the car for a leisurely drive home.

A stop at a favorite haunt brought a huge surprise. Little did we know that the Hurley Inn hosts a St. Pat's week, with a very green fixed menu, live music and a packed house. You might recall my earlier mention of this fun place, where Mr. D's autographed photo hangs, as well as many of Dustin Hoffman, taken during the filming of a scene for "Tootsie". Well, as luck would have it, our waitress was the very baby being held in Mr. Hoffman's arms in those pics. Charming and full of fun, she introduced us to lots of Hurley history and also recommended her Aunt's Irish Whiskey Cake, for dessert. OMG, I think I died and went to Chocolate Heaven. 
'Nough said.

As we neared home and passed through Woodbourne, Joe spotted an eagle in the crystal clear, cerulean sky. Though my camera was not armed with the perfect lens for such a moment, I managed to capture the big bird, as it soared above the Neversink. Perfect!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Deal Of The Week - Java

Temptation has frequently lurked above my fingertips, as I browsed Keurig and Tassimo brewing systems. I'd get as far as "Cart", before canceling potential orders. Just couldn't justify "the deal". Till yesterday.
This simple system has no bells and whistles, but rather possesses the ability to brew small, medium or large/travel-sized cups of joe. It is 100% compatible with our Brita, taking exactly the same amount of water. At $99, less $10 for e-mail sign-up, with free shipping and bonuses of 2 attractive mugs and up to 40 cups of java (total worth over $40), it was a no-brainer. The icing on the proverbial cake comes by way of the additional free coffee that is shipped after registering the system.

Here's the link, in case you're interested. I'm not sure how long the special will continue. I can only say that we are thrilled, after indulging in first cups. Discs are fairly priced, also with free shipping here
My first order arrived in two days.


Thursday, March 8, 2012

LIM - The Virtues Of Pure White

Egg whites are fabulous for a low-calorie (15 per), decent dose of protein. My preference is for blandness, at breakfast-time; but watch out if it's mid afternoon, when veggies of all colors work well, and herbs and spices ramp up flavors.
5 whites, 2 slices tofu, 1 string cheese and a
few reds = only 300 filling calories
Yesterday morning, I was ravenous. Whites and rice cakes didn't cut it, so I went for an omelette with creamy tofu (60 calories in a 1" slice) and mozzarella string cheese (85 calories for one, part-skim piece). A dash of red and no further enhancement.

The MORI-NU organic tofu is amazing. Soybeans water and a coagulant are poured into packages and sealed. The ingredients transform into tofu. Refrigeration is unnecessary till opened. The product is unlike any other I've tasted. Niece Vicki tells me she eats it right out of the box! You must try it. It's readily available online for as little as $2.00 a box, free shipping. I order in bulk, thanks to its freshness factor. I'll soon experiment with new ideas.
 Please stay tuned.

IDOL Chatter... Clearly This Week's Winner...

Jessica Sanches singing Whitney... gorgeous.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

LIM - Strawberries 'n' Yogurt

You can pull this one in for well under 200 calories, depending upon the yogurt you use. Serve it up pretty,
'cause it'll taste even more spectacular!

LIM - Tuna Tortilla

Thought to start a new feature on CMI. Rather than lengthy recipes, herein shall be quick suggestions for the segue from heavier winter foods to the lighter fare of springtime. I'm labeling the entries LESS IS MORE, and shall abbreviate the same in ensuing titles. For example:
Mix 1 5-oz can of solid white tuna in water (120 cal), no salt added, with 2 wedges of Laughing Cow Light (70 cal)) and a short hit of homemade dressing - EVOO, white and red balsamic vinegars, Dijon mustard and Italian herbs (30 cal). Wrap with thinly sliced tomato (20) in a heated whole wheat tortilla (45 cal). Serve on a pretty plate along with with crudités, for a delicious and satisfying total of under 300 calories. 

After you use some vinegar, the bottle makes an awesome vessel for your dressing. 
The bonus? It has a shaker top!


Monday, March 5, 2012

G'ma, G'ma...

"G'ma, G'ma, can G'pa get on the phone, too?" asked Hunter.
"Sure, Honey... okay, we're on speaker."


Perfect! A pitstop on the way to Kaua'i. "Our" seats are only $879 per, 
real time on TicketsNow. 

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Friday, March 2, 2012

Talkin' Words

LITTLE BEE by Chris Cleave
Don't you just love words? Playing WORDS. Writing words. Reading words. Learning new ones. And G-d only knows, talkin' them. 

The English language is so intriguing, isn't it? The way differing letter combinations make the same sound, such as to/too/two or they're/their/there... or how about vowel pronunciations for variations of the same word, as sē-nile or sen-ility, each spelled with the same se, at its beginning? 

When I read from my iPad, I'm fascinated by the luxury of digital note-taking and automatic saving. Further options allow me to print or e-mail my choices. Thanks, Mac... how delightful. On that note, pun intended, when I came across this passage from my current read, I thought to share it. See what you think of the main character's opinion of our language:

This was always my trouble when I was learning to speak your language. Every word can defend itself. Just when you go to grab it, it can split into two separate meanings so the understanding closes on empty air. I admire you people. You are like sorcerers and you have made your language as safe as your money. 

Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss
It seems that my local KidGrands share my fascination. A few weeks back, Gavin came home, saying, "G'ma, I learned the new word, 'infer', today." He then proceeded to define it for me. Thus began our very own version of WORDS WITH FRIENDS G'MAI purchased Moleskines for each of them, entitling one "Words With Aubrey" and the other "Words With Gavin"... shiny and new safe havens for their treasures. (Not to worry - Hunter's and Chloe's are ready to go, upon our next visit.) It has been incredible to observe the rapid growth of our game. For example, Aubrey must have commented at least a dozen times, yesterday, "G'ma, you just said a new word." Well, think about how kids hear dozens and dozens of new words each and every day. Thing is, they mostly understand their meanings, in the context of conversations. But taking or having the time to actually notice, discuss and write them... why that's a whole new dimension.

This is so exciting to me, as herein lies a quest that shall last a lifetime, for never shall there truly be a **penultimate** syllable. 

When I finish the book, I'll be back to review it properly. Meanwhile, I'm definitely enjoying the author's unique word-crafting; it has me laughing and crying, at the same time.


IDOL has clearly left "idle" behind, with fabulous choices for the top thirteen contenders. Ten earned America's top votes, as three wild cards were selected by the judges. My favorites are numbered, but in no particular order. Joe's roster includes even more, but I thought to narrow the fieldI truly like these six and consider all to be possibilities to go the distance. I did mention #3, Philip Phillips, while the masses were trying out; but he now has a boatload of competition. In an interesting twist, the judges brought #4, Jermaine Jones, back into the competition, after giving him the boot, last week. America then voted him into the top ten. His beautiful, powerful baritone voice is unusual IDOL fodder; but he's a major talent.

Next week, the girls choose from Whitney's catalogue, as the boys select Stevie Wonder songs. 
We shall see, 'cause we are still hooked.

Here's to the music.

Update 3/14: Jermaine got the boot, and rightfully so. He snowed the producers by concealing information that disqualifies him from the show.