Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween treats for the Golisano Children's Hospital at Strong

One of my friends and co-workers, Jennifer Steward, loves to knit, crochet, and sew.  In Pediatrics, we have a parade for those patients who are able to participate.  As they move down the hall, we hand out candy and favors.  Each year, Jen sews these adorable stuffed animals and gives each child one.  Here she is with this year's collection.  Click on the picture to enlarge it.

I wish I could post pictures of the patient parade, but federal regulations prevent me from publishing pictures of patients.

Hats off to Jennifer Steward for going above and beyond the call of duty!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Toys from yesteryear

A recent post from one of the blogs I follow, Home on the Range, spoke of toys from another era.  That one brought back a flood of memories of toys you never see today.

Do you remember any of these?  If you are under 50, you probably don't!

I was a "Tomboy" - yeah, the younger readers will not remember that one, and if you do, in today's world, it is considered a bad word, like, well you know!  A Tomboy was a girl that pushed aside girly toys - dolls and tea sets - for things that were considered appropriate for boys.  I played cowboys and indians, riding an imaginary horse fashioned from a broomstick with a hole drilled in the top to hold a small rope - the reins for the horse.  I played with cap guns. . . even wore my new cowgirl outfit, complete with holsters and guns, the first day back to school after Christmas in the first grade for Show and Tell.  Try that one in today's world.

Going back to even younger days, I had a "putt-putt boat."  It was a small, tin boat, a bath tub toy.  You placed a birthday cake candle inside the boat, lit the candle, and the heat from the candle somehow powered the boat and it moved through the bath tub water making a "putt-putt" sound!

A trip downtown was a special event for me.  There were the street vendors with their carts selling wind up toys!  It could be a monkey playing a drum, a walking horse - those are the ones I can remember - I'm sure there were many more.

We didn't know what a TV was.  I think I was in the first grade before there was a TV in the house and it was a black and white screen that took five minutes to "heat up" before the screen came on.  We had one channel, the local television station.

Sometimes I almost wish we could go back to those days.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Division Luncheon at work today

Several times a year, the Division of Neonatology at work has a luncheon.  We had our first one last winter - a crock pot lunch - and it was a big success, both in attendance and in the nice variety of food people brought.  That was followed by another one in May - a salad lunch - another big success.

Today was a pot luck.  A lot of people brought some really good food.  But one stood out (even more than my contribution!).  One of our Neonatologists, Rita, brought the most divine fried rice.  This is one of those recipes that leaves itself open for variety.  Here is the way she made it today.  For me, it was the chunks of pineapple and the cranberries that stole my heart!

canola oil, 1 tablespoon
garlic, 2 cloves minced
scallions, 2 chopped, white and green part
shitake mushrooms, sliced
romaine lettuce, chopped coarsely
cranberries, a handful
pineapple, chopped, 1 can or fresh
rice, 2 cups cooked
salt and pepper to taste

Note:  you can add other ingredients:  peas, bamboo shoots, cabbage, bok choy, even left over turkey after Thanksgiving.  Drain the pineapple well as the juice can make the rice soggy.

In a wok or large skillet, heat oil under high heat.  Add garlic and scallions, cooking and stirring until fragrant, a little less than a minute.

Add mushrooms, lettuce, cranberries, and pineapple.  Stir fry until cooked through, about 2 minutes.  Add rice, salt and pepper and other optional ingredients, stirring constantly for about another 5 minutes.

Thursday, October 17, 2013


Walking into work from the parking lot yesterday, in the rain, a woman asked me about my umbrella.  It does turn heads!

"It is a Gustbuster!" I told her and briefly explained that it will hold up in strong winds.  I have ruined countless umbrellas, with a cheaper price tag, in strong wind and rain.

It is large and provides much more coverage from rain than the dainty little ("prissy" is a better term) fold up umbrellas that I have heard people brag about, "It fits neatly in my bag."

Gustbuster umbrellas have a top cover over the upper part and underneath that are holes in each section that prevent strong winds from turning it inside out.  I bought mine directly from the company, but I believe now you have to go through an online retailer.  I have never seen them in the stores locally.  Just do a google of "gustbuster umbrellas" and you will find a source.

I have a long walk from the parking lot into the Medical Center and on a stormy day, I wouldn't want to be without my Gustbuster!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

How can it be?

Recently I put together a powerpoint presentation of pictures from the cousins reunion we have ever year in the spring down in Alabama, on land that has been in our family since it was deeded from the government back in the 1800s.  Looking at this picture, fills me with awe.  Here we are, lined up by age.  That's me on the far left in the yellow shirt (the oldest) on down to Richard, the youngest.  The space in the center is in memory of Paul, our cousin who drowned in 1961.  Actually, I"m the third oldest of the gang.  Our two oldest cousins rarely attend.

I grew up with these "kids."  Then I married and moved to New York State and for 30 something years, I mostly didn't see these guys.  I remember at my father's funeral ten years ago, Debbie came up and gave me a hug and I had no idea who she was!

How can it be, seemingly in the blink of an eye, we changed from little kids to old people???  We have had our share of bumps and bruises along the way, but we still know how to have a good time and we look forward to the reunion every year.  I think the one thing that stands out as I look at this picture is how much like our "ancestors" we are!  There is Kenny, white shirt, third from right, who is sooo much like his dad, our Uncle Harding!  Uncle Harding was one of those people who could make you laugh for hours and so can Kenny!  We all have that Morgan stubborn streak and those same Southern conservative values.  We will all tell you, we were raised in classrooms where the pledge of allegiance to the flag and the Lord's Prayer were recited every day and we all turned out the better for it.  My dad and Uncle Harding each served in the military during World War II, so we have a respect and appreciation for our military.

None of us are wealthy in terms of dollars.  But we have so much more to be grateful for in our upbringing and our heritage.

Love you, cousins!  See you in a few months.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Paddling at Mendon Ponds Park

My friend, Nancy, got a new kayak this morning and was looking for someone to go paddling with.  It's rare for me to turn down an offer like that!  We went to Mendon Ponds Park.  Here are some pictures of the afternoon.

A dog that was hiking through the park with its owner decided that two ladies with kayaks was better entertainment!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Goodbye to an old friend

It served me well.  My Mad River solo, kevlar canoe accompanied me on canoe camping trips in the Adirondacks, as well as local paddling in the Rochester area.  When Molly was a hyperactive puppy, I took her to Mendon Ponds Park for a canoe ride.  Except that Molly wanted no part of a canoe ride and she bailed out, the only time I ever flipped the canoe in water.  I put her back in the boat and gave her a very stern, "Stay!" command.  She accepted her fate for the next half hour or so.

In more recent years, my interests turned to other things. . . my sleek yellow kayak, my old tandem kevlar canoe, bicycling, and the list goes on.  I had been trying to sell it off and on for awhile.  No one was willing to give me my price.  Far too many people don't understand the difference between this canoe and a dime store quality that you would find in BJs or Sam's Club for much less than I demanded for this one.

A recent ad brought an e-mail from someone at work.  I described the canoe to her in more detail than the two line ad that caught her attention and I sent her this picture.  "I have too many toys and not enough time to enjoy them," I told her as my reason for selling it.

She has a cottage on the water so she will get a lot of use out of it.  And though a part of me wanted to hang on to it, I am grateful that it is going to a new home where it will be loved and cared for!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Happy Birthday, Kevin!

It was thirteen years ago today that I was racing up the almost empty expressway in the pre-dawn hours to get to the hospital in time for the birth of my first grandchild, Kevin!

Kevin is active in Scouts and enjoys golf.  The picture above was taken recently on a Scout hike in the Shenandoahs.