Google Earth... good or creepy?

My Realtor called this morning, to ask me what I wanted to do about the car parked in my driveway with out-of-state plates. He offered to call the cops, but I declined -- I know when I first moved in, the house next door was vacant, and some neighbors would occasionally use that driveway for "overflow" parking (like "I'll park here this afternoon so my guests can park at my house"). We decided the Realtor would send one of his guys over to put a note on the car, asking for it to be moved.

Then I went and looked up my address on Google Earth -- this car was/is pulled all the way up to the side door. Now, my driveway is long by city standards -- almost the full depth of the lot -- and the house is a little forward of center front-to-back. That means this car was/is parked halfway up the drive, frankly, where I always parked.

So, I can't quite decide... was it better to SEE the car parked there for myself, or should I have just let the Realtor handle it? I'm a little freaked out by looking, and yet, I can see this becoming an obsession...

[Lisa, if you read this, DO NOT TELL mom and dad!]


This week's adventure

Tuesday, George-the-cat was desperate for cat food. I had already determined that the grocery store doesn't carry his food. I know, there's no rule that he has to eat IAMS weight control, but I was reluctant to choose something else given his recent hunger strike. A little web searching revealed a PetSmart about 10 miles from my apartment. No big deal, right? Wrong. 45 minutes and a splitting headache later, I was home with a 20-pound bag of cat food. Where I'm going to store all this food, I have no idea, but I'm definitely in no hurry to go back out for a fresh supply!

Think of your typical street on which the usual assortment of retailers, restaurants and "big box" stores are located. It's probably 4 lanes, plus a center turn lane... I was prepared for that. I was not prepared for 6 lanes, divided not by a traditional median, but by a wide median upon which more restaurants and retail stores were located.

Traveling east, I could only see things on the south side of the road, and in the middle. Coming back west, I could only see things on the north side, and in the middle. How is anyone supposed to FIND anything that way?! I hope this particular street is an anomaly... I can't imagine the shipping cost to order cat food online ;) Wait, I went to check... a 20-lb bag is $28.49 online; ground shipping is estimated at $15.19. Hah. Wonder who orders that?


Odds and Ends

I've fallen behind, obviously, on sharing the details of my life since I've been consumed by ending a job, moving and starting a new job! Since I knew where both the camera AND the cord were tonight, I thought I'd upload some pics from the last 6 weeks or so, and combine them into a disjointed post!

Bear's Paw for Sophie

Here's my Bear's Paw block for Sophie, which was made in February for her "birthday" month in the long-term swap on quilting.about.com. 14" square, although it looks a bit wonky in the picture because I tossed it over the back of a chair for photography.

Small Noel Quilt

And isn't this the cutest little angel? I wanted to take a picture of my mom's, too, just because they're alike but different. She still needs a face, but the pattern for that is packed in a box that I haven't opened yet. Otherwise, completely done and ready for Christmas 2008.

Hillbilly Hoedown
Finally, here's the evidence of trash day, March 6, 2008. Taken from the front door at first light. We hauled all of this to the curb at about 5:3o in the morning... and yes, it took three different trucks to clear the curb. (Regular trash -- he emptied the totes. Bulk trash -- he and his clamshell crane took the rest of the stuff. And a "Special" recycling truck of some kind -- the first recycling truck radioed for backup as he drove by the shredded paper and empty cardboard boxes.) I wasn't kidding about looking like a bunch of rednecks! For the record, I called the city twice to confirm that this was what I should do -- there's no place to TAKE trash if you're a city resident, so you have to suffer the agony of your neighbors seeing this at the curb!

Now I think we're almost caught up. I still have to find and photo the blocks I made for Miss March (yup, didn't mail them before I moved, so heaven help us now!)...

A sad day...

Can you stand this sad face? Meet my sister's dog Zoe. Here she is, upon learning that her parents are taking away her stuffed butterfly toy. Wouldn't that look melt your heart?

Here's what Zoe wrote to me tonight:
I wanted to properly thank you for my butterfly toy. I love it dearly. Mom and Dad said it's time for it to go away though. I'm very sad about that. Because of this I made mommy take pictures of me with it for you. You are the best aunt ever for making me such a lovable toy.


PS. A blog about me would be extra cool. So cool that I think my tail would wag right off!

This particular toy was the softy I made for her for Christmas (remember the little quilts I made for my parents' cats?). Zoe LOVES soft toys, and even though this one doesn't squeak, it quickly became a favorite.

How quickly? You can't see it in this pic, but in about 98 seconds, she had already torn it! Yup, Zoe loves her softies. I didn't consider the stress that would be put on the center when she held one wing down with her paw while pulling the other with mouth.

I knew this toy wasn't "built to last" in Zoe's world, but I had hoped she could enjoy it for a little while. It's stuffed with little torn up batting scraps (I didn't have any fiberfill, and didn't have time to go buy any.) Zoe has made a game of pulling out the batting scraps and leaving a trail of them around the house, until Lisa or Jason rounds them up and stuffs them back into the butterfly. Lather, rinse and repeat, until her mom and dad tire of the game and decide the butterfly must fly away.

On Sunday, Zoe's going to ask her Grandma if there's any hope for repair. If she gave YOU that sad look, wouldn't you want to try to fix her toy?!

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Happy Birthday Mr. Rogers

I almost forgot -- today would have been Fred Rogers 80th birthday. A call went out -- wear your favorite sweater (a cardigan, natch) in honor of his kind and gentle spirit.

Although I *didn't* remember about "Won't You Be My Neighbor Day" this morning while getting dressed, I actually DID choose one of my favorite cardis to wear today. It's not red and doesn't have a zipper (funny, the one I wore on Monday fits that bill!), but it's comfy and wasn't too warm for the first day of spring. Did you know that Mr. Rogers' mother knitted all of his cardigans?

I grew up with Mr. Rogers, and his kind and gentle approach to life and play was both meaningful and memorable. For 15 great reasons to love him, read this list.

Thanks, Mr. Rogers -- here's to you.


My favorite word in the English language has to be SOLD. My wonderful house in Upstate NY went on the market this weekend, and had a great open house on Sunday. (Seriously -- 17 buyers went through.) My Realtor and I were a little disappointed on Monday not to be looking at an offer.

Our prayers were answered this morning though, by a cash offer with no contingencies. (No contingencies -- that can be my favorite phrase!) You better believe I accepted that baby!

We'll close as soon as the title docs are ready, which will hopefully be about two weeks. Not putting the cart before the horse here, but I just might make a buck on this transaction... have to wait to talk to the lawyer to find out about the closing costs and fees.


A little whining

OK, I'm just going to whine a little... after three weeks of basically wearing jeans and slippers, getting back into the skirts and stockings routine is NOT fun. Yesterday, it took three tries to get a pair of stockings on without putting my thumb through them. Today, I wore one of my most comfortable pair of shoes -- or so I thought. All I could think about by 4 p.m. was taking off my shoes. Out of respect for my new co-workers, I did leave them on, although I did consider it a personal mitzvah.

Now, back to our regularly-scheduled (Top Chef) programming ;)


Cute story about George-the-Cat

I *so* wish my mom or I had thought to take a picture of this, because it was just too cute! Alas, no mug shot of handsome George :-(

So we got to Jersey about a week and a half ago, on a Friday afternoon. I got the keys to my apartment, and we brought in some stuff from our cars, including George-the-Cat. The movers were coming Saturday morning, so we planned for the people to stay in a hotel and the cat to stay at the apartment. Although I've smuggled a cat into many a hotel room over the years when moving, we all knew there was no way that would work with this big boy!

Now, let's pretend that my parents and I easily found a place to stay (and that we weren't lost in the dark and rain), and fast-forward to Saturday morning. We got here before the movers (a good plan!) and thought we'd go ahead and transfer George to the bathroom for the morning. But I couldn't find him. Remember this is an 800 square foot, one bedroom apartment. The walls, doors and cabinets are all painted white, and the floor is light hardwood. George, you'll recall, is completely black.

We opened all the closet and cupboard doors, and I was starting to panic. I was sure he must have made such a racket that someone came and took him away in response to complaints from the neighbors! Finally, I happened to look UP in the kitchen, to see him curled up on top of the cabinets above the refrigerator.

Are you KIDDING me? My 22-pound cat is above my head. There's an excellent plan, no? He must have jumped onto the stove top, then the top of the fridge, and from there, it was barely a stretch to be on top the cabinets. (In my house, the kitchen cabinets go all the way to the ceiling -- here, there's probably a 12" gap.) Apparently he felt safe there, so we decided to leave him there as long as he didn't want to get down. He stayed during the entire time the movers were in and out (almost three hours), and ambled down to ground level shortly after they left. Goofball.

When my mom unpacked my kitchen (thanks, mom!), she put some stuff on top the cabinets and the fridge to discourage such behavior in the future. Fingers crossed... he seems to be happy napping in the cabinet under the kitchen sink, so I guess I'll just remove the cleaning products to another location and move on!


I'm here...

More or less. After last week's Hillbilly Hoedown, it's been a steady spiral of craziness, including my dad being really sick, me going to the Emergency room, bumbling around the apartment like dunces and generally not getting anything done. Today, finally, a knowledgeable cable guy arrived, so I have phone, internet and TV. Yes, I scheduled that for last Saturday. The first guy was 25.5 hours late, and rather confused. This guy was on time and got the job done. Whew.

It'll be a bit before I'm back into the swing of things, but I've got a couple of cute stories for you later...


It's a regular Hillbilly Hoedown here!

I should go take a picture of all the trash we put out for garbage day this morning. Thank goodness I live in the city and they just pick it all up, no questions asked! We had it all on the porch yesterday before lunch (too windy to take it out to the curb), and when we drove away for lunch, it looked like a serious hoarder lived here. I know that's not really something to laugh at, but I'm sure everyone who drove by (it's a pretty busy street) thought the homeowner must have died and someone was cleaning out the entire house onto the porch!

My recommendation? At least once a year, go through that box of odds and ends you cleared off the table every day. Clean out your corners and attic regularly. Otherwise, you'll look like this :)