Tag Archives: My little town

Better Days

From the best of 2007 files . . .

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My Daughter and the DS

My daughter really wants a DS. She’s been lobbying for one for a while now. There was a period before Christmas last year when she’d try to use DS in all her spelling word practice sentences just so we’d get the hint, i.e., The DS swept the floor. We didn’t give in. Mr. Awesome felt strongly that it was just another piece of electronic junk that would be forgotten soon enough. I didn’t want to have another bit of media in her life that I had to manage her access to. I know that they are very addictive for young kids and we didn’t want to get one for her. We have a Wii and she can play games on the computer too. I don’t think we were being unreasonable about it. Frankly, the craze around them has died down a little bit and she hadn’t really been asking about them that much lately. Well, until yesterday that is.

Her friend called yesterday and asked if Piper could come over and play. It was going to be a very short time since the friend had to go to sports practice. I dropped her off and came home and tried to work out (YIKES! It’s been a looong time. I thought I was going to pass out!) for an hour before I went back. When Piper comes out of the house I see that she is holding a DS and several games. I see it and want to make sure with the friend and the Mom standing there that it is OK that Piper borrows the game until next time. Oh no, they all tell me, they are giving Piper the DS because her friend has a new one and never plays this one anymore. The wheels start turning in my brain, what am I supposed to say?? I don’t even want to bring the thing inside the car let alone my house, isn’t it like the Devil, you’re sunk if you invite him in? I didn’t want to make a scene but maybe I should have? How much do kids these days have to have? This girl was giving away something that costs at least $100 in the store and only because she had another, newer $100+ version of the thing and no one was batting an eye. I let Piper play with it a little last night but told her that I’d have to talk to her Dad about it when he got home and I was sure that he wasn’t going to like it. I was right about that. He was extremely unhappy about the whole thing. I’m not sure what he thinks that I should have done in those moments at the door. Tell the Mom, sorry but we think that the toy you just gave my child is poison so thanks but no thanks? I’m not socially adept enough to get through these moments. Piper’s friend is not in her class this year but her parents own a local business that I enjoy and go into constantly. I didn’t want to have a big scene. This might all be moot soon. Her friend didn’t give us the power cord for the game so once it runs out of power it won’t work anymore. Mr. Awesome wants to give it back because he’s adamant that she not have it. I’m kind of on the fence. I let her play it a little bit last night and frankly she didn’t seem that into it. She played a game that we have the Wii version of and she actually seemed kind of bored. I already told her that she would have to pay for new games with her own money if we kept it. We could give it back when she sees her friend back at school in a couple of weeks. I’m sure that battery will be gone by then anyway. Boy, she was only over there for an hour. I can’t imagine what she would have come home with if she had been there for longer. I had no idea there would be an exchange of electronic devices, jeez! What do you think Internets? Do we give it back? I await your advice!

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He had me at meow

Back when I first met my husband I had my two dogs Danny and Dylan and he had two cats, the brothers, Trevor and Nigel. When we decided to get married it was like we were some kind of furry Brady bunch. When we moved in together we were two adults and four animals trying to live together peacefully in my 650 square foot apartment. It was nerve wracking at first, these were dogs and cats that had never lived with cats and dogs before. We had a couple of fights to break up but really the worst of it was trying to keep the dogs from sneaking cat poop out of the litter box. Just like candy! When we finally moved ourselves into the country it meant we could finally give everyone the space they needed. Glenn built a heated house for the cats out in the garage so they could have free reign during the day. Trevor took full advantage of his new environment and even though he had been an apartment cat for over 7 years he quickly became a proficient hunter. He had a 1 to 2 mole-a-day habit for a while. So the years went on and sadly we lost Dylan at the age of 14 a couple of months before Piper was born. Danny followed later that summer. We were a two cat family for quite a while after that. The guys both seemed quite happy and healthy even though they were getting on in years. Trevor got sick in 2006 and needed surgery to relieve a blocked intestine which he fully recovered from. Then in the spring of 2008 it seemed like Trevor’s problems had returned. He was gone by the end of June. Nigel held on until right after Christmas this past year. He had become a mostly indoor cat and would only go out to his garage house to sleep at night. It was very sad to lose our last pet. I first got Dylan in 1989 so Nigel’s death meant the end to 20 years of continuous pet ownership. It still feels strange to go to the grocery store and not have to visit the pet food aisle. As much as they were a pain in the butt sometimes I can’t imagine my life without having had them in it. I guess that now since our home is free of animal presence both dog and cat we seem to be getting some visits from some “neighbors” that we had never met before. There is a little black female cat that my daughter calls Pumpkin (because she says she looks like a “Halloween thing”) but our favorite is this little cross-eyed gray cat we call Quarter. We were outside in the back yard for most of the day yesterday and he was out there with us almost the whole time. We can’t tell if he is a stray or not because he looks well taken care of but has no collar. He did seem very hungry yesterday – he was trying to get at an orange that Glenn was eating. We still had some of Nigel’s cat food left over so we gave him some. He is obviously still a silly kitten and will chase anything that moves. Glenn and I watched him almost snatch a large bumble bee out of the air, 3 feet up in the air that is. I really enjoyed watching him and Piper play together too. We don’t know what this little guy’s status is but if we could be sure he was a stray I would seriously think about keeping him. Right now however it is a good situation for us. We get to enjoy the company of an adorable cat without any of the responsibility for him. I’d be heartbroken if anything happened to him and I’d miss him if he stopped coming around.

The position he assumed right when Glenn said, "I hope he doesn't forget how to get home again".

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We had my brother’s memorial in Great Neck yesterday. It was fitting that it was one of the worst weather days of the season. A gigantic Nor’easter clobbered much of the area in sleet, freezing rain, snow and wind. My husband was FREAKING out about traveling in the bad weather so we made a plan to go to Great Neck one day early. We stayed in a tiny hotel that is next door to the funeral home where we had the memorial. When I was growing up the hotel was called the Bayberry but has now been reborn as a boutique hotel called The Andrew. It was very hi-fashion inside and we loved our king sized bed but the room was small and hot. P loved it and declared to all that would listen that she now loves hotels and wants to stay in another one very soon. I’m very glad that we stayed overnight. It cut down on the stress of yesterday a lot. Driving home last night went very smoothly. Once we got to the thruway it started snowing and the roads were slushy when we got off the highway but we still made it home in a little over two hours.

The memorial was really nice. We had quite a few people inspite of the weather. My family from Connnecticut couldn’t make it because of the weather. We had many of my brother’s friends there and my closest friend from High School came with his parents. I went up first. I brought a copy of an email that I received from our cousins in Italy and I read that. They were so sweet to Michael when he and Erica met them two Octobers ago. They really treated him like the second coming of my Grandfather. The email described how my brother had stood up during lunch and told them all in English about how much it meant to him to meet his family and even though they didn’t understand the English words, they knew what he was saying and felt his language. Then I read what I wrote. It was the best thing that I have ever written I think. I needed it to be because it was for my brother. He was such a critic and so very very smart I knew that I had to make it just right. I felt him there with me and I know that he approved. It was a little harsh here and there but that’s OK, so was he. I was angry when I wrote it and I’m still angry. He did such a stupid thing and broke all our hearts. You can’t just answer that with rainbows and flowers. Sometimes when you get punched it is OK to punch right back. Two of my brother’s friends also spoke. One read something that Erica had written. It was really beautiful. I’m so glad that a part of her was there with us as well. She really loved my brother and I love her for that. He was hard to love sometimes. My parents both spoke as well. Afterwards everyone pretty much scattered to get home again. This was fine. We wanted to get back on the road right away too. That’s all I’m going to say for now. Maybe I’ll post what I read a little later.

Take care,



Tannenbaum 2007

Here is the skirt under the tree. We got our tree at the local firehouse. I think that it is perfect! I’m sure that it will start jettisoning needles any second now but I don’t care. I love the smell and somehow it wouldn’t be Christmas without one. My daughter really enjoyed taking all the ornaments out of the boxes and their tissue paper wrappers. It was definitely bittersweet. I got pretty emotional. All the ornaments are worthless toys and glitter really. What makes them special are the memories that you attach to each one. Decorating our tree brought me back to my mother’s trees over the years. Her ornaments and our memories of family times together back when there was still so much promise and a chance to find your place in life. We certainly had our share of unhappy family times and unhappy holiday times but at least back then my brother and I could look at each other and think, someday we’re getting out of here. How can it be that I’m the only one who made it?

Sorry about that. I wanted this to be a happy post. This story will cheer us up. My mom often finished her tree with icicles. You know those little thin strips of mylar that you kind of throw at the tree? It adds a lot of glitter to the whole thing. When I grew up and starting getting my own tree I used to use icicles too until I got my dogs. They were constantly stealing it off the tree and eating it. I’m sure that it wasn’t good for them but it wouldn’t have bothered me so much except that it came out the other end intact. Our walks would often involve me having to pull long crap covered icicles out of their butts. Thus ended the era of the icicle and I’ve never gone back.

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Alice Potter

“Alice was a 50-year plus member of the Wallkill Reformed Church and a member of the Willing Workers of the church. She was a member of Wallkill Senior Citizens, AARP of New Paltz, Past Most Excellent Chief Pythian Sisters, Past Secretary Wallkill Woman’s Club and a lifetime member of the Wallkill Volunteer Ambulance Corps. “

Yesterday I attended Mrs. Potter’s funeral. It was very moving. The service was held in a church a couple of blocks away from our house. I had been inside the Fellowship Hall but never the church itself. It was very beautiful inside and had that comforting old smell. It is a reformed church so it had none of the drama of a catholic church which I was thankful for. We sang two songs that Alice had picked for us during the service. The first was “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” and the second was “Amazing Grace”. I was able to hold it together pretty well on the first one but kind of lost it on Amazing Grace. Alice was our friend and I grieve her passing yet now I see that my loss is small compared to what her daughter and our little hamlet has had taken from them. Shortly before we moved here Alice was forced to put her wheelchair bound daughter into a nursing home. She could no longer care for her herself at home. This caused Alice great pain and she longed for a time when they could be together again. She dutifully drove the 30 minutes each way, down the curvy, twisty road to visit her daughter at least twice a week. Over the past couple of months she met regularly with her lawyer to set everything in place to ensure that her daughter would be taken care of for the rest of her life. This is why she kept herself going. She was a devoted mother to the very end.
She was a loving wife to her husband, a loyal friend and leader in her community and she was a mom. A really good one. I can only hope to be the same.


G and I were very worried about P and how she was going to fair this year. She had a terrible morning at school on Monday and we really expected the worst for Tuesday. She’s been having issues with following the daily routine at school. She would rather sit by herself and “read” her books than to participate in circle time or in the story time or do the project. I love that she loves books so much and she seems to memorize them very easily so that she can read them to herself. Sometimes she will make up her own stories too. I think that this is wonderful but I also want her to follow the program. I feel she’s at pre-school to learn about following routines and to listen to adults and to get along with other children. When her teachers challenge her at these times she will start whining and crying or at the worst start screaming! They’ve been trying to just ignore her but it is hard if she is doing this at naptime and everyone else is being kept awake by my shrieking child.

Well, I’m very pleased to report that she had a GREAT Halloween yesterday. She participated in all the morning activities and marched in the Halloween parade in the afternoon. Last year, she ran crying to G as soon as she saw him. This year she smiled and waved at us from her place in line – so cute! After school we paid a visit to our 89 year old neighbor Mrs. Potter. P was very patient and Mrs. Potter didn’t hear P’s stage whisper asking me if she had anything for P. We tried a little trick-or-treating after Mrs. Potter’s house but the first block we went to was pretty much a bust. As G took her to the next block I ran home to greet our trick-or-treaters. We were pretty busy – I ran out of candy (2 bags) and had to dig into our fruit snack supply. P gave out a little candy too but then she saw some scary masks and only wanted to come to the door for princesses.

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