Saturday, July 30, 2005
This morning I read a post by Cowtown Pattie about a massive chemical explosion at a plant not far from where she works. Go read about her reaction to this major happening. It is quite a story and if you have read Pattie before you know she tells a good one.

Funny thing, this morning I had planned to tell a story about an explosion that took place recently at my place, it is nothing like hers but here goes.

The other day I was at the pool talking to my pool buddies and one of the girls was telling us about a new way she used to poach an egg. She uses a pyrex container, sprays it with Pam, cracks the egg into the dish, covers it and puts it into the microwave oven for 45 seconds and it is done and comes out delicious.

Well when I hear about a new and easy way to prepare something, I do it as soon as possible so I don't forget it.

Eggs by Markus Masataka, uploaded from flickr.

A friend of mine was visiting for a few days, she overheard the conversation and said, "why don't we have that for breakfast tomorrow morning." What a great idea!

Well the next morning came and I got two pyrex bowls ready, cracked the eggs, covered them and put them in the microwave and punched in 45 seconds. What I should have done was double the time so when the buzzer went off they were not done, so in my sleepy state I punched in another 45 seconds!

Well, what an explosion I had and what a mess I had to clean up.

We had oatmeal that morning!!

Tuesday, July 26, 2005
On Sunday, July 24 I made a post about the new section in the Boston Globe called "Sidekick." I e-mailed a copy to Richard Chacon ombudsman, and here is a partial reply he sent me:

Thanks for sending me this. I hear rumblings that changes to the Sidekick are coming soon. Keep your fingers crossed.


How about that!


Sunday, July 24, 2005
When something happens and you know it is the right thing it is a wonderful feeling. Everything is perfect and you are happy and content, it seems that nothing can go wrong. That feeling can last for a long time and then slowly things start to change. You become aware that some things are changing and are not so great but you still feel ok, start to rationalize and do not want to acknowledge the changes.

You even start looking elsewhere and see that things could be better but still --- you feel a loyalty, after all you have been together for years.

For sometime now I have been unhappy with the Boston Globe. They have let some of my favorite columnists go, changed the caliber of the stories on the front page, have a very poor food section, and it seems to me that the print has gotten lighter and smaller. That last item could be me, after all I am no chicken, so fair is fair.

A few weeks ago the Globe added a new section called "SIDEKICK." What a disaster that is! It comes out six days a week, thank god it is not published on Sundays. I think the paper that it is printed on is flimsy, doesn't feel right. I used to read the comics but now, the way it is set up, I do not have the patience to read them. I could go on and on.

In today's Sunday Globe there is a column by a new ombudsman, Richard Chacon, who has a column titled "Sidekick Raises A Ruckus." Boy was I happy to read about the ruckus this has caused.

To quote Mr Chacon, he says, "But in a push to attract new readers, the criticisms from longtime Globe subscribers should not be ignored." I like that.

I plan to send a copy of this post to the new ombudsman. Now let's see what happens.

I hope my love affair with the Globe gets back on track.


Friday, July 15, 2005
There are two book clubs here at the Summit, one is conducted by the ladies who live here and it is a rather informal club. Once a month we choose a book and review it the following month. When we get together we talk very little about the book, then we are off on whatever strikes our fancy. It is a nice way to keep in touch with who has moved in, moved out, in the hospital, out of the hospital, good places to eat, what movie to see and oh yes, what they thought about the book.

The other book club is run by NORC (Naturally occurring Retirement Community} This group is lead by a librarian from the local library, and what a joy she is! I have attended a number of book clubs in the past but I find this one is most unique. You never know what tract she will take to make the book come alive. For example last month we read "The Devil In White City" by Erik Larson. White City refers to the Chicago World's Fair which took place in 1893. That year Crackerjacks were introduces at the fair and what do you know, she brought them in for us to enjoy.

This month we read "Kate Remembered" a biography by A. Scott Berg. Did you know that Kate had a favorite Brownie recipe? So what did she do, she brought in Brownies that she baked herself, and truth by told, they were not from scratch, she used a Duncan Hines mix. Not only that, she served them with Paul Newman"s lemonade!

After that we did talk about her life and then wound up the afternoon playing movie trivia.

Next month we will discuss "The Plot Against America" by Philip Roth. I can not imagine what she will bring in for that book!

Here is recipe for Kate's Brownies

2 oz. unsweetened Chocolate
1/4 lb. unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 ts. vanilla extract
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 ts. salt
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 325 F. Butter an 8-inch square pan. In a heavy saucepan, melt the chocolate with the butter over low heat. Add the eggs and vanilla and "beat it all like mad". Stir in the flour, salt and walnuts and mix well.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 40 minutes. Let it cool: cut into squares.



Sunday, July 10, 2005
Ever since I can remember I have loved the movies. I grew up in a small city with a very large population. We had three movie houses in town, the Olympia that showed first run movies, the Strand, second run and the Chelsea, real oldies. If I remember correctly the price of admission was ten cents, even though money was tight in those days we managed to go to the movies.

No money for candy or pop corn so my mother packed me a lunch, it usually was a salami sandwich. Those poor people that sat near me!!

The Strand ran a special every Saturday afternoon which included Pathe News, the main feature plus a cowboy serial so you had to come back the following Saturday to find out what happened. In addition to all of that, every week they gave you a plate, a bowl or a cup and if you went on a regular basis you wound up with a complete set of dishes. That is how my mother managed to have a matched set.

I remember there was a time we were expecting company and we did not have enough dishs so I went over to a neighbors and asked if we could borrow some of her dishs. She was happy to oblige and what do you know, she had the same pattern we had. She got her dishes from the Stand too.

The movie that I remember most vividly was King Kong, I saw it at the Olympia, the Strand and the Chelsea, and now I hear they are doing a remake. When it opens I will be there but without the salami sandwich!


Monday, July 04, 2005
A while ago I wrote about NORC (naturally occuring retirement community) becoming available at my development. We have had book reviews, various classes and the latest offering was a day trip to Gloucester which included transportation by a van, lunch at the Studio Restaurant and a play at the Gloucester Stage Company.

The cost of the transportation was covered by NORC so all we were responsible for was our lunch and the theatre tickets, It was a very reasonable package so, because the van could only accomadate 10 people, it filled up quickly.

This was the first time that a day trip was offered to us, my friend Nanci volunteered to look into the place, the play, and take care of the reservations. As the time drew closer to the event I would talk to her about the various details.

We were to have lunch at the Studio Restaurant and it was not a set menu. I asked her, how are you going to handle the bill? I know that when I go out with four or six ladies it is quite a hassle to get the correct change from them, so just image trying to do that with ten ladies!! She called the resturant and asked if they would give each person a separate check, fortunately they agreed!!

The restaurant and the theatre are close to each other but the arrangement was that after lunch the driver would pick us up and drop us off at the theatre since some of our ladies can not walk too well.

By this time it was 3:45 and we had to pick up the tickets at the box office by 4:00 pm. We go outside and there is NO VAN. The driver is there and she tells us that the battery is dead and will call AAA.

We had to be at the theatre by 4:00 pm and a few of the ladies can not walk! What to do!!

Four ladies said that they would go into the restaurant and call a cab.
The six hardy ones started walking to the theatre. When we got there the four ladies WERE ALREADY THERE. The owner of the restaurant had driven them to the theatre.

The play was "Dinner With Friends", a bittersweet comedy about the joys and sorrows that confront marriage in middle age. The play held our interest and I don't think any of us were to concerned about how we were going to get home.

What a surprise awaited us when we got out of the theatre! There was our driver with the Salem Sightseeing Trolley!! She works for the city of Salem, drives the trolley for them and one was available to us. Not only did we have unusual transportation home but she drove along the beautiful coastal area where we saw some beautiful estates.

The first time experience was going on a day trip with NORC and the second was getting home by the Salem Trolley.

The unexpected trolley ride was the best part of the day!


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