she just upped and left us!

Monday, August 27, 2007

We've been so blessed this summer with a constant flow of friends and family through town: passing by for only a few days or sticking around for longer chunks of time.
This morning, we said goodbye to Noemi and to celebrate her last day in New York (yesterday) we had an impromptu photo shoot on our roof.

Ciao piscia! Ci manchi gia'...

on drugs...

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Humph - I originally wrote this post and tried to upload this video with Blogger's brand new "post your video" function. I was so excited about this feature, I'd even finished the post by writing: "A big fat YAY to Blogger, for finally allowing you to upload videos directly."
Obviously I spoke to soon. After I patiently waited a whole 4 minutes for the video to upload, I got this message: "So sorry, we are not going to let you upload your video right about now, because there is some kinda problem. No, we won't tell you what the problem actually is, but if you go to this link and tell us you had a problem we'll look into it. How about that?" So I went to the help page, and I couldn't figure out *how* I was supposed to tell Mr. Blogger that I can't upload my video. So I gave up. And figured out another way to upload the video. Anyhow, enough of this. Let's go back to what I originally came here for...

Brookie has never really gone crazy over catnip, as we were told most cats do. She has always enjoyed nibbling on it, but has always maintained her composure and never seemed too eager to get some. That all changed this summer: now she loooooooooves this stuff and will do about anything to get herself some. Here she is about 15 minutes after we gave her a couple of leaves...

movin' to the country, gonna eat me a lot of peaches

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

It seems like summer has abandoned us all of a sudden... it's rainy and cold in the city and the other day I couldn't shake off the sense that it was the last day of summer, the day before school starts. Excitement and dread well up inside me in equal measure – it’s getting chilly, and you spend those precious last hours of complete freedom setting out your brand new school books, pens and note books, packing your book bag and filling in your new diary/agenda for the year with all the important dates, like birthdays and holidays.

Needless to say I am not, sadly, going back to school. And in fact, the weekend was spent doing very summer-y things… like peach picking. I’d never been on a farm where you pay to pick your own fruit, since growing up we had fruit trees in our back yard which were there for us to pillage. We would have a nearly endless supply of cherries, apricots, persimmons, figs, chestnuts, blackberries, raspberries, hazelnuts, plums and pomegranates. Or we’d help out our neighbors down the road with their vendemmia (grape harvest? What is the English word for it??).

It was so nice to wander through the rows of trees, spotting the brightest, juiciest, bug AND pesticide free fruits. I surely ate enough peaches and nectarines in one sitting to last me till the end of the summer, but they were so deliciously plump and flavorful. There is nothing quite as satisfactory like finding the perfect peach, and sharing it with those around you, promising them, for the 20th time, that “No, seriously, THIS is the best nectarine ever. Try it. Come on!”

Matisse was all about digging in and he must have eaten about 10 peaches all by himself. I’ve never seen a kid go so crazy about eating fruit and smearing it all over himself. And those around him. Just peachy.

Oh, and the farm we went to had a great petting zoo. The sheep kept nibbling on my bag and Matisse…

More pictures, as ever, here.

something's missing...

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Sana. Look, I know you're not my no.1 fan, so this is not easy for me to admit. But we miss you. A lot.
Shamim has no one to play Mario Kart with and argue about the worth of America's Got Talent contestants.
No one fights with me over washing up the dishes.
There is no one to play "put the headphones on" with.
Brookie doesn't know what to do with herself. Seriously. She's thinking of giving up regurgitating all together.

Look at how miserable she looks!
We used to be a happy family. Now look at us. What have you done to us?

thou shall not covet thy neighbor's IKEA catalog

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

I did. I saw it laying there, abandoned in the hallway. Just calling me to it. But I resisted. I did not... take it. I left it there. Untouched. And I was rewarded. With my own copy. Waiting for me at home.

In other news, after I finished the three softies for the cute nephews I was hopefull that I would be able to keep the craftiness going. Now, it definitely slowed down a bit but since I am basically learning how to do all this stuff from scratch, I figure I'm allowed to take my time. So... as things stand I did start working on a bright yellow scarf, but it's just too hot to handle wool right now. That also applies to my crochet blanket. Who needs a blanket in August anyhow?? Those two projects are on hold till September.
Instead I am refreshing my embroidery skills. I used to embroider a bit way back in the day and it's been fun picking up the needle again. I kept it very simple thus far, just practicing my stitches with some of Jenny Hart's Sublime Stitching. I love this book! It is so simple and easy to follow the instruction for the various stitches and I love the patterns it has!

Then, as I was rearranging furniture in our study, I stumbled across a pair of bright pink gloves that did not belong to any of the current residents of our household. If they happen to be yours, I'm sorry - I cut them up in order to make this... thing:

Yes, that is a headless... something, plundering through my fire-escape garden. Quite terrifying, especially for the poor little rosemary plants. I started out hoping to make a piggy, following the pattern from this book, but really? Not so much. Looks more like a dog-type creature. I am sure this is completely due to my lack of skill rather than any shortcomings in this sweet book. Here is what it will look like eventually...once I figure out how to sew its head on.

Any ideas on how I can do that? I'm finding it really difficult to attach its head! Maybe I just need more patience...

12 weeks to go: it's all about the gear

Monday, August 13, 2007

What got me out the door: wanting to try out my brand new RaceReady shorts. Geek.
What gave me that extra push at mile 4: Chocolate Outrage flavored Gu.
What offered me a welcome and unexpected break at mile 6: the nice Gatorade vendor in the park telling me about how he's from Morocco, and I should visit, and his whole family lives there, and I can surely go and stay with them when I visit, and I should come by his stand again and get his family's address, but I must go before October because that's when he stops selling in the park.

What I patiently waited till mile 8 1/2 before having: Fruit Gushers Fruitomic Punch. Oh Yum.
What kept me company along the way: my little iPod shuffle.

What I missed desperately: my running partner. I am never running more than 5 miles by myself. Ever.

Edited to add: I need a new pair of running shoes.

no swimming permitted

Sunday, August 12, 2007

This is NOT my idea of a relaxing day by the lake. First of all, what's with the sand? And all the people? And the loud, annoying music? And the restrictions about where and how far you can swim? And... the socks? Huh?

Blargh. So basically, don't go to Welch Beach. Don't. Really. DO NOT GO. Unless you like loud music, the smell of cooking grease and loud children kicking sand in your face. And dirty water with kids in it. I won't elaborate on that.

We quickly abandoned this awful spot, piled back into the car and headed over to another one of the lakes in Harriman State Park. Now that is much more like what I had in mind as we planned this day-trip...

We rented rowboats and headed out to the middle of Lake Sebago ...

Took a refreshing dip (or two, or three) in the cool, clear, inviting lake waters...

Fooled around and/or struggled back onto our boats...

And broke a couple of rules...

Ok, so we were fully aware of the fact that we were NOT allowed to swim in the lake but the lifeguard told us, and I quote: "As long as you go far out enough and I can't see you, I don't really care."


I was on Team A

Saturday, August 11, 2007

week... who's really counting any more?

Sunday, August 5, 2007

I remember struggling through the last 5 miles of the San Diego marathon and thinking that:

a. I was obviously insane when I thought running a marathon was in any way, shape or form, "cool"
b. I would never do such a thing again
c. this was all Elizabeth's fault, really.

So how exactly is it then that two years later, I have ended up here, once again training for a marathon? Really, why?
As I walked down sixteenth street early this morning, headed to cheer for fellow Team in Training members that were running the half marathon, I realized once again why I chose to put myself through this, a-hem... torture. Because really? It is torture.
I could hear music and cheering, and cowbells and screaming swelling up the closer I got to the West Side Highway. I immediately welled up and felt a trickle of goosebumps down my back. The excitement, fear and energy of my marathon experience came back to me in a flash, and I could see myself in each one of those runners, sharing the pain and the ache, and the realization that we've never quite done anything like this and it's actually quite amazing, come to think of it.

Team in Training has been really instrumental in making this experience possible. They encouraged me and pushed me to train and accomplish something I never thought I would do in my life. And all along, they raise millions of dollars for cancer research. I really doubt I would be attempting this again without TnT. You see the coaches on the right of this picture? They run with you. And tell you that you are doing great and that you can and YOU WILL finish this run.

Plus you get really cool hats.

And then people, people that you don't even know, they shout for you. And cheer for you.

And all of a sudden, I can hardly wait for November 4th.

escaping the heat

Saturday, August 4, 2007

It was hot hot hot in the city, so we tried to escape the heat and headed down to Sandy Hook for some sand, water and relaxation.

We ventured into the ocean with no fear and grateful for the refreshing and cool waters. A sighting of a jellyfish encouraged us to engage in some sun bathing, but as it turned out that was just the first of a couple of interesting encounters...

Yes, that is a stingray. You know, the sweet, beautiful creature that can KILL YOU?
And this? This was one of the TWO sand sharks that local fishermen caught while we were there...

Doesn't it have the most amazing eyes? Click on the picture to see a bigger version. Then you can really appreciate those eyes! And don't worry, the stingray and the sharks were released safely.
Oh, and by the way, did you know that the oldest working lighthouse in the U.S. is in Sandy Hook?

You know where the rest of the pictures are...