Saturday, January 31, 2015

43 Ideas for Birthday 43: NYC Shopping Cart

After standing in line in an Upper East Side Fairway for about an hour waiting to check-out, with a heavy basket in the crook of one arm, and another bag gripped in the other, and then schlepping two very heavy and stuffed bags home in the subway, train, and then home ... I realized some things. 

A) There is a grocery store much closer to home at which I should have shopped. 
B) Why did I decide to shop on the Upper East Side on Saturday afternoon? Before the SuperBowl? WHY!?
C) Why do groceries get heavier the longer and further you lug them?
D) With the distances to travel, I can't stock up on some frozen goods and things.

The problem with a NYC store or one near my Attic is the same as all the others. Having no car means you carry what you can. 

For all the years I worked in the City I resisted getting one of those collapsible grocery carts, because it still wouldn't quite work for me, due to all the stairs that I would encounter. However, with the steep hills, and walk to the local store ... it would definitely be more helpful than hauling back about 50 pounds of groceries, and straining my neck and arms.

Even if it did mean I looked like one of the local little old neighborhood ladies.

Models can be found at: Amazon, Overstock, 
Folding Shopping, Rolling Utility Cart.Net, etc.

I'm stubborn, but I do eventually realize I'm being stubborn.

Postscript: Some anonymous friend of Auntie Nettie bought her a shopping cart! It is BEEEYOTIFUL and BLACK and ever so helpful.

Friday, January 30, 2015

43 Ideas for Birthday 43: Shopping Spree at The Strand

One  can never have too many books, but the price of soft covers and hardbacks these days is ... OUCH! Therefore I haven't been keeping up with adding books to my collection. I actually only collect a few specific authors, and I am behind in some of the additions to their various series. Wouldn't it be great if I could find some gently used and/or reduced priced copies of some of the books I haven't collected?

Thus, a shopping spree at The Strand would be super fun.

Haven't heard of The Strand? Shame on you.

Per Wikipedia: The Strand Bookstore is an independent bookstore located at 828 Broadway, at the corner of East 12th Street in the East Village neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City, two blocks south of Union Square.[1][2] In addition to the main location, the store's Central Park kiosk is open on fair weather days at the corner of Fifth Avenue and East 60th Street.[3] The company's slogan is "18 Miles Of Books", as featured on its stickers, T-shirts, and other merchandise.

You lose time in wandering the stacks at the Strand. One could spend a whole day just perusing sections ... Say, the Fiction: Science-Fiction/Fantasy or Crafts or ...

Gift Cards


Thursday, January 29, 2015

43 Ideas for Birthday 43: Nuts for Peanut Butter

You know what is a versatile product? Peanut Butter!
You know who makes a wide variety of peanut butters I really enjoy?

 So much so I visited back in 2009 with Jane and had lots of yummy treats!
Might Maple Sandwich above/The Elvis below

You know what would make a great birthday present? A year's supply of a variety pack!

I have so many recipes I could make with peanut butter, thanks to owning this cookbook already, and finding new and exciting ways to incorporate this ingredient.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

43 Ideas for Birthday 43: Girl Scout Cookies - THIN MINTS ONLY!

Or if you are going to make me be calorie conscious, let me introduce this alternative:

The Yankee Candle Company has released a limited edition line of scented candles and air fresheners that smell like Girl Scout cookies. The company is offering four different scents inspired by the cookie varieties Coconut Caramel Stripes, Thin Mints, Trefoils, and Chocolate Peanut Butter.

Yes, Seriously.

But I will take cookies too. Apparently you can order them online now.



Tuesday, January 27, 2015

43 Ideas for Birthday 43: Passage(s) on a Private Plane

Yo fat cats!* You need to use up your share on your private jet? Need to make your private pilots earn their keep? Need to use the plane to justify its purchase? Want to just be an all-round mensch?

I may have need for some trips from NY, to DC for a pickup, and then out to West. When? I can't tell you until I have to tell you. That's the way of these things. Just being able to pick up the phone, place an order with you, your plane butler and/or pilot(s), zip down to the private hangar at the local(ish) airport and get in the air and get to my destination(s), that would be really helpful for me and my family. Like an eternal blessing kindof helpful.

Oh Birthday Fairy, please connect me to those peeps.

Plus, it would be my way of getting to get a ride in a private plane.

Hey, a girl can put this out into the universe, right? No harm, no foul.


* I am sorry. What IS the appropriate terminology with someone with deep, deep pockets who can float multiple private plane trips without it impacting them one bit? And don't expect anything in return from me and mine?

** No insult to people with higher than average BMI or cats with the same issue.

*** What do normal people do? Stress out!

#Snowmageddon2015 #Blizzard2015 #Juno

First major named snowstorm of the year, Juno, hit my area.

Like there was only going to be one this year?

Twitter named it:  #Snowmageddon2015 #Blizzard2015 #Juno
The media went wild. Because, of course it did.

"Juno?" ('cho know), says the weather folks: This could be a big one.
To be fair, the totals were anticipated in FEET, not inches.

I dragged out my lighting and emergency flashlights, radios, clocks, and charged up phones, batteries, etc.
And shopped with moderation.
Mostly worried about the water and Diet Coke.
 Not pictured: water, Diet Coke, crackers, pb & jelly, pizzas, chocolate
Hadn't stressed out on this, until the folks started to.

The office said to use best case judgement on travel to work on Monday, so I decided not to get possibly stranded (and honestly harangued by the folks) and just worked from home.
Monday: Coming down
 Pretty as a picture
 So glad I don't have to deal with it.
Monday: At Dusk
That's not a filter, that's Mother Nature.
Just from watching from the window and news, glad not to have been cold, 
whipped by snow and wind, or sloshing around.

Tuesday: 12:30a.m.
 Why is someone riding their bicycle down the middle of the street?
Tuesday morning:
My first reaction was: That's it? What? Well, okay.
The office is closed, so ... I'm going to laze about.
Really? This is it? Where are my DRIFTS?
 Still glad I don't have to deal with it.

Enjoying two days of staying home, working from home, in my sweats.
I kind of wish it could be three.

The weather people seem to be a bit annoyed and disappointed that NYC didn't get the big storm.
The transit, sanitation, and government people are justifiably peeved that they are being asked to justify the closing of the roads, transit ways, schools, etc.
Better prepared than under-prepared.

Because, inevitably ...

There will be "the big one" at some point.

Maybe time to buy more Diet Coke.

Monday, January 26, 2015

43 Ideas for Birthday 43: Cameras

I've actually posted this already, so I'm going to extract and reblog from July 2013. Models may now vary, but the idea is there.

I would like to upgrade my camera. Like seriously upgrade my point and shoot to a lightweight DSLR upgrade.

Or even move up the tech curve to something like this?

Here's the original post, so you can see all my babbling:

Here's an excerpt:

I have other funding priorities, like:
- paying the rent,
- paying the bills,
- paying off my graduate school student loans and other debts,
- affording trips to see the family and/or far-flung friends, and
- living in one of the most expensive areas in the country ...

And ... "write" now, this is just a hobby for me. I'm not the type of blogger who has sponsors sending her all over the country, or a semi/full-time photographer who takes pictures that are licensed for use elsewhere or used to make prints, cards, etc. that are sold through her store, or as a (fill in the blank)


I can't see spending the equivalent of upwards of 1 to 3 months worth of rent money on a piece of equipment for a HOBBY, even if it was an investment to move that hobby into a money-making venture. I am serious: 1-3 months of a NYC-adjacent studio apartment (studio even) rent, for a new DSLR BODY. If you add on lenses and flash packs and batteries and other accessories ... It adds up. Even checking out the used sections of camera stores like B&H Photo and Video in NYC (where all the following photos come from, except where noted), finds that used cameras cost almost a month's rent.

Thus, I'm Dreaming Out Loud.

I would love a DSLR - but they are so large, heavy, expensive,

and then they have various lenses that are also large, heavy, and expensive.

Most come in a generic black color, which is fine for most people, especially New Yorkers, 
but look! Some come in this pretty blue. 
I really love blue.
And then some of the DLSRs need external flash packs, 
which is MORE money and stuff to lug around.

So let's be practical, these can get heavy and when you are already schlepping around, you want something lightweight to sling around your neck.

This Canon EOS Rebel SL1 Digital SLR Camera is new to the market, and is supposed to weigh in under a pound, before battery weight, and is smaller and less bulky. The price seems about on par for other smaller DSLRs on the market. With an existing flash plus mounts for more, hand grip, auto functions plus some manual ones, ability to switch out lenses, and both the traditional eye view-finder and digital screen, ... it's where I'd like to go on a camera, eventually.

From the Press Release photo kit
One day.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Happy 10th Birthday Drew!

This guy is a whole ten years old now. 
A Decade.
Officially a pre-teen. 
Holy cow. 
 This guy has become a hard core New England Patriots football fan 
and is excited they are going to the Big Sports Ball thing.

He's also excited to explored all kinds of new activities this year, including:
Karate ...

   I love exploring, chatting, and playing with Drew when I get to visit.
 And am glad (and jealous) and the gets to go exploring and kayaking with Grumpa.

Yo, Drew!
 Don't change your little face!
 Or stop sending me notes and letters.

I love you. A lot.
Don't grow up too fast. I want you to want to hang out with me for a long time yet.

~ Auntie Nettie
aka, apparently,
J Dog

(some of the above photos c. of his folks and Grumpa) 

 Making wishes upon his lemon poppy seed cake
 thanks Grumpa and Kelli