Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Little Surprises

I'm off work until Monday, January 4. Today I have decided to stay home and not venture out. I watched a Netflix movie, did some laundry, and I'm trying to talk myself into clearing the driveway of snow.

But there is one thing I did, hardly without even thinking, that brought a smile to my face. I got a new picture of my three grandsons for Christmas. I walked past my dresser and saw it laying there and decided to put it in a frame. So I picked up a frame off the chest of drawers that had an older picture of the three boys and decided that picture should be replaced. I opened up the back of the frame, removed the cardboard and three pictures fell out. The two that were underneath, and not showing in the frame, are what grabbed my attention. The first one was a picture of Kevin as a baby, sitting up holding a big baseball glove and a baseball. The second one, with Kevin maybe a couple of years old, showed him sitting in front of the camera with a darling smile on his face. Was Kevin ever THAT small??? It is hard to imagine that far back. . . even back before Jake and Andrew came along. Kevin was born in 2000. Where does time go?

Sunday, December 27, 2009

My most unique Christmas present

I got a lot of nice things for Christmas - a new picture of my grandsons, earrings, a new cookbook (that I didn't already have!. . . more on that in a minute), clothes. But the most unusual one that I got is a bookmark! One of Marisa's friends makes these and sells them at craft fairs. When I first opened it up, I thought it was a piece of jewelry and in my mind, I was scrambling to think, "How do you wear this???" I'll bet you have never seen anything like this! I hadn't.

It really is a lot nicer than these pictures show.

Oh! As for the cookbook! It is a joke in my family about my cookbooks. I guess you can say I'm a "cookbookaholic". . . when I see a new cookbook that looks good, I just can't let go of it! I must have well over 100. . . I've had a lot of them for over 40 years. I've never taken the time to count them all. I got "the all-new ultimate Southern Living Cookbook" No, Marisa and Michael, I didn't already have this one!!!

And while we are on the subject of unique gifts, check out Marisa's website, She makes wonderful bath products that you will love.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

How'd that happen???

Ugghh. . . I needed a few things from Wegmans (groceries). So I hurried there before the crowds got bad. . . after all, it is Christmas Eve and the last minute shoppers are out in force. The two main things I needed were milk and eggs. I distinctly remember putting a gallon container of milk in my cart.

At the checkout, I made a mistake in the little machine where you swipe your Wegmans Shoppers card and then my debit card. I've never done that before and I was frustrated, so my attention was focused on getting it right. The attendent managed to get all my purchases in one re-usable bag. I had bought a cantalope, so the weight of the bag didn't tip me off that something was wrong.

It wasn't until I got home and was unpacking the bag of groceries that I realized there was no milk. I was dumbfounded. I ran to the car because I had left the cash register receipt on the front seat. There was no milk listed as a purchase!

Somewhere between putting the milk in my shopping cart at the dairy case and checking out, that gallon of milk grew legs and walked away.

I refuse to go back today. . . I'm not totally out of milk and I can survive until the weekend. The crowds were growing by the minute when I was leaving and I don't do crowds!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Ah! The package is in the mail!

Can't tell you how good it feels to know that I finally got the Christmas package going to the "Southern Contingent of the Bennett Family" in the mail tonight. I had everyone's present except for Kevin, my oldest grandson. I ordered his present online over a week ago and I was beginning to wonder what happened to it. I was going to mail the rest of the packages on Saturday and send Kevin's whenever it came. Well, we all know what happened in the Mid-Atlantic States on Saturday! Deep snow! Ten inches of snow in the South is much worse than ten inches up here. They don't have the equipment to deal with it down there like we do.

Then I couldn't decide if it would be best to wait till conditions cleared down there to mail it or not. Kevin's package came today. After work I quickly put the presents in a box, stuffed packing paper in the box so the presents wouldn't get knocked around inside and drove to the post office. Thankfully, they are open till 7:00 pm this week.

I still have Michael and Marisa's presents to wrap. But they are here in Rochester so there is no stress getting their presents out the door!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Midtown Plaza

Those outside of Rochester won't be able to understand my feelings.

Midtown Plaza, the country's first indoor mall, was built in the 1960's. I moved to Rochester in 1974 and at that time downtown Rochester was a fun place to go - day or night.

Through the 70's and 80's, downtown Rochester thrived. Then, like a lot of other big cities, Rochester slowly became a place you didn't want to go to.

On the local news these days, they are talking about the tearing down of Midtown Plaza. It brings tears to my eyes. Yes, it has been closed for years now, and this day was inevitable. But still, it hurts.

I have a lot of memories of that place over the years. I remember evenings out to dinner with friends at the Top of the Plaza, a very nice restaurant at the top of the Midtown tower. When I was a suburban housewife in the 1970's and early 1980's, there were the Sibleys and McCurdy's department stores. . . THE place to shop for quality and variety of merchandise. The suburban Sibleys and McCurdy's just didn't have the extensive variety that the anchor stores downtown had.

There was the monorail and Magic Mountain with Santa at Midtown Plaza every Christmas. We took John and Michael when they were just little guys to ride the monorail. Thinking back, the two of them fit into one car. . . now looking at them, it is hard to imagine even one of them fitting inside one of those "tiny" cars!

In later years, when I was in real estate, many of my closings were at law offices in downtown Rochester. I always went to closings with my buyer clients and I loved showing my out of town clients downtown Rochester. . . showing them the Clock of Nations at Midtown and telling them all the fun things there were to do and see downtown.

You could find unique shops downtown that you couldn't find anywhere else. Nowadays there is a different class of people that hang out downtown. Most of the professional offices have moved out to the suburbs.

Back in those days, I could never imagine doing most of my shopping on the "internet"! Facebook, e-mail, online banking, and computer solitaire were unheard of in my life! I didn't even know what a personal computer was back then.

Times change. I sincerely hope that someday downtown Rochester can be the thriving, fun place to go AND SAFE place to go that it once was.


We had about 2 or 3 inches of snow overnight. I opened my front door to take in the beauty of the fresh fallen snow in the dark of night this morning. About 4 feet from my front door were deer tracks and rabbit tracks. Deer are a common sight around here. They roam our neighborhood with no fear of humans.

Friday, December 11, 2009

War stories

I am sure the office will be abuzz this morning with people's horror stories of getting home last night. It took me an hour and ten minutes to drive what usually is a 5 minute drive home. It was BAD! I can't imagine people who live further away than I do.

The last few hours I was at work, I watched the expressway outside my window. . . it was a parking lot. Cars, bumper to bumper, were moving at a crawl. At times, there were total white out conditions leaving the visibility to zero. I was a basket case by the time I got to the peace and comfort of my home.

We only got a few inches of snow, but it was the blowing and drifting that was causing the problems. When I turned into my neighborhood, the streets hadn't been plowed yet and it was treacherous.

Today it is calm out. . . let's hope it stays that way till I get home tonight!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Winter wreaks havoc in Western New York

Some parts of Rochester and surrounding areas today got hit hard with huge falling trees, icy, slippery roads, widespread power outages, and a heavy wet snow this morning that later turned to rain and slush. In Irondequoit, a town in the northern part of Rochester, a tree 5 feet in diameter fell on a house.

As for me, I escaped all the ugliness, other than walking through slush to get to my car this afternoon. My drive to and from work was uneventful and I didn't lose electricity at home.

I came home to a crockpot full of chili. Hhhmmm. . . wish I had garlic bread to go with it, but it wasn't worth trudging out to the store to get a loaf.

Welcome to winter in New York!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Serious snow is on the way!

Ugh. . . the snow I last posted about? That was just a teaser. Nothing to get excited about unless you live where you don't often see snow. Now there is that nasty storm coming in from the west coast that should arrive here mid-week. I was watching the local news tonight on TV and they warned viewers to look for your snow scraper/brush. . . for those of you that don't know what that is. . . well, if you ever came out of work and your car is covered in 5 inches or more of heavy wet snow and your windshield is encrusted in ice underneath the snow. . . you will learn to appreciate this inexpensive but "worth-its-weight-in-gold" piece of equipment.

I found mine underneath the driver's seat in my car.

This has been an unusually mild fall. That is just going to make this storm even more difficult to deal with! Ahh. . . in just three months I will be on my way South to meet up with my cousins again like we did last spring.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Today is December 1st and we have snow! There is just enough to barely cover the ground and we aren't expected to get much more than that today. It is the big puffy kind that clings to trees and bushes. . . and Molly when she goes outside.

I just snapped this picture of the tree in my front yard. Pretty, huh? It is not quite 6:30 am here and is still dark out.
Update: 7:30 am Okay, this blog thing doesn't want to cooperate. I was trying to rearrange the pictures but it didn't work. Anyway! For the benefit of my cousins down South and Granny in Australia, all of whom rarely see real snow, here is a new picture I just snapped now that daylight has come.