Tuesday, June 16, 2009

So…What’s on Your Bucket List?

Posted in Life tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , at 5:08 pm by Elaine Petrowski

You know … that list of things you want to do before you “kick the bucket”?

It helps to take them out of the closet first.

It helps to take them out of the closet first.

Okay… I’ll start, but then let’s hear from you lurkers out there on this one… share some of the top items on YOUR bucket list. ( You know who you are!)

Here goes:

(I note a common thread of travel through these, which does not surprise me in the least.)

1. Visit the towns my father walked through as an infantryman during World War II- they would be France, Germany, Luxembourg and Czechoslovakia. ( Happy Birthday, Dad. He would have been 85 today!)

2. Meet all my great grandchildren.

3. Go  to each of the 18 states I’ve not been to…yet.  (I could cheat and make the list shorter, but  just an airport doesn’t count.)  Michigan, North Carolina, Colorado, Tennessee, Iowa, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Oregon, Oklahoma ,Utah, Nebraska, North and South Dakota and Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas and Mississippi.

4. Own, and know how to competently use, a kayak. ( NOTE: This does NOT imply there will be any white water rafting. This means quiet water kayaking.)

5. Research the rest of my family tree.

6. Knit just one sweater that really looks great on me…. and that I LOVE to wear.

7. See the Northern Lights.

8. Master watercolors. Ok, maybe master is a bit strong, but at least use them occasionally? And taking them out of the closet is a good first step, don’t you think?

Okay lurkers … your  turn.  It’s simple… Just click on the word “comment” below.

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Thursday, June 11, 2009

You Gotta’ Laugh

Posted in fun, Humor, Laughs, Liberty, Life, Pursuit of Happiness tagged , , , , at 3:46 pm by Elaine Petrowski

or you’ll cry, for sure!

check this out… made me chuckle

Worst Slide Story

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Garden & Gun?

Posted in fun, gardening, Life, Pursuit of Happiness tagged , , , at 12:45 pm by Elaine Petrowski

Received an email today inviting me to subscribe to a recently launched, upscale, lifestyle magazine titled — of all things– Garden & Gun.

Check it out. Looks great, doesn’t it?

And take it from a long-time freelance writer.  A new magazine in this economy is certainly something to crow about.

As a self-avowed magazine junkie, I’ll do my best to pick up a copy on my next trip below the Mason-Dixon line.

But what about that title– Garden & Gun?

A bit  incongruous, especially given the chi-chi content.

Is it just me?

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Redefining “Community Gardening”, the New Jersey way

Posted in Funny, gardening, Humor, Laughs, Life, Pursuit of Happiness, sustainability tagged , , , , , at 8:43 pm by Elaine Petrowski

We started planting our first-ever plot in our town’s community garden today.

What could be better? The community gardening season begins. www.freedigitalphoto.netGreat exercise, fresh air and fun visiting with all the other eager, new gardeners on this, the first day planting was “permitted.”

Much to my surprise, it turned out that of the six other gardeners we encountered, four were  also newbies.

As I “played in the mud” and mentally planned how to fit in all the sun-loving herbs, tomatoes, tomatillos and sunflowers  we can’t grow in our shady yard, I couldn’t help but wonder just why so many of these much-coveted, 10′ x 12′, already roto-tilled, mini-farms were suddenly  available this year.

As we finished our third hour of working  (3 x 2=6 hours*),  one of the more experienced gardeners showed up and regaled the newbies with this story:  Late last growing season a woman who was NOT a  participant, arrived at the garden with a basket on her arm and began happily picking tomatoes. “My son told me it was OK because this is a community garden, ” she said.

And so, the adventure begins.

As the old Irish saying goes , “May the rain fall softly on your fields and the wind be always at your back”…

*Just for the fun of it, I’m counting the person-hours we invest. (I’m afraid to add up the cost!) We’re now at 10,  including the garden committee meeting, shopping for plants, seed, fertilizer and the chicken wire to keep the rabbits out, setting up the fence (an engineering feat for two non-engineers) and then finally, actually planting some seedlings.)

Monday, April 13, 2009

Don’t Miss The WaPo Peeps Contest Winner

Posted in Humor, Laughs, Life, Pursuit of Happiness tagged , , , , , , , , , at 6:29 pm by Elaine Petrowski

For the last three years The Washington Post has sponsored a  “Peeps Diorama Contest” at Easter time, when the sugar-coated marshmallow candies have traditionally appeared. Each year the contest grows and this time there were more than 1000 entries. One rule prevails: All the characters in the dioramas must be Peeps, those gooey, colorful, chick and bunny (and now Christmas tree and jack-o-lantern, etc.) candies.

Click HERE for a peek at the top 40 entries, as selected by WaPo editors.

Sure to make you smile. And then to make you wonder where all these people found all that time to not only conjure up the ideas for the scenes, but then to actually implement them.

Maybe if I gave up knitting (and blogging) I’d have time to enter?

If you hurry out right now, you just might be able to pick up some discounted Easter Peeps to start on your entry for next year!

But be forewarned: Apparently Peeps were sold out in the D.C. area weeks before the holiday, so there may not be any left for a practice run.

And according to The Washington Post’s web site, this year’s winner is a pro — a graphic artist who spent 45 hours, spread over two weekends, perfecting her Edward Hopper-inspired entry entitled “Nightpeeps.”

Friday, March 27, 2009

The World is UGLY … So Why Not Wear UGLY Shoes?

Posted in Life, Pursuit of Happiness tagged , , , , , , , , at 8:54 pm by Elaine Petrowski

It’s not bad enough around here these days, what with all the incessant gloom and doom about the economy dragging us down. To top things off,  it now looks like you can’t buy a decent pair of shoes this spring… even if you do have the money. Macy’s, Barney’s, Bloomie’s, Shoebuy–makes no difference. They’re all participating.

In what appears to be a random act of terrorism, (or is it misogyny?) someone drugged, hypnotized or clubbed the collective creative shoe design genius of the world. And now it seems, as a result of that heinous act, the shoe creators have all, as if of one mind, decided that 2009 must be the year of the really ugly shoe.

Have you noticed them?  Fringed, ankle-high, platform-soled boots… with the toes cut out? They look like something Cro-magnon Man’s mom would have fashioned from a woolly mammoth hide. Or what was left of the last Christian after the lion returned to his den. Read the rest of this entry »

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Knitting DOES Serve a Higher Purpose

Posted in Life, Pursuit of Happiness tagged , , , , at 7:09 pm by Elaine Petrowski

Recent addition to already huge stash of knitting supplies.

Recent addition to already huge stash of knitting supplies.

It was good news to  find out recently that knitting, a pastime of mine that I’m fairly obsessive about, which I’ve admitted to here before, has been given a new, higher purpose in the fabric of life.

Or so says the BBC.

In addition to providing usable garments (sometimes), cute baby gifts, a way to stay out of the potato chips and meditative, hands- on, creative “play” for many — not to mention the boost to the local economy that a successful yarn store produces –a Mayo clinic study, due to be presented at the American Academy of Neurology, shows that:

“Those who had during middle age been busy reading, playing games or engaging in craft hobbies like KNITTING were found to have a 40% reduced risk of memory impairment.”

Well, maybe.

And here’s why:

The problem with this research, reported the BBC article, is that the people who were surveyed already has some mild memory loss and thus might not be remembering correctly,  if, in fact, they did perform any of the memory-saving activities.

Question of the day: Ignoring the sheer lunacy of the study (which I so hope I did not pay for in some way.), does anyone else find it unusual that this report, from the world-famous, Minnesota-based Mayo Clinic and The American Academy of Neurology, came from the BBC network?

Or am I overworking my aging brain cells by thinking too much?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Who Has the Oldest Spices Out There?

Posted in Life, useful information tagged , , , , , , at 1:21 am by Elaine Petrowski

Baking up some gingerbread cookies? Mixing up some eggnog? Here’s some useful info to potentially improve the results.

A friend recently sent a link to McCormick spices,  where you can find out exactly when the spices in your cabinet were minted.  At the risk of having everyone I know afraid to eat at my house, I’ll  admit I possess – I kid you not – spices that  predate …  um … let’s see … the Millennium?  The Lewinsky Affair?  My  nephew Paul, who is currently in his second year of law school?

Before you get all smug on me, go find out how old the spices in your cabinet are (at least for McCormick spices) when you have an idle moment or two. Then post your oldest spice date in the comments section below.  Shortly after the  New Year, I’ll post my codes and the dates and we’ll see who wins. ( And no cheating. You may be asked to verify with the code.)

A treasure trove of antique spices. Are yours even older?

A treasure trove of antique spices. Are yours even older?

FYI: I’ve always  HATED  the taste of cloves. So could someone please explain why I am harboring , not one, but two, “tins” (hint)  that will soon qualify as archeological finds or at least tickets of entry to “Antiques Roadshow” ?

Oh, and happy holiday baking.  With all new spices, I hope.