Know a Good Mason?

The roof guys just left. They got here a little late, but they only took about an hour to do all the work, so whatever. Technically, I could go into work for the afternoon, but… I think I’ll just continue working here at home.

Anyway, they had to fix part of our gutter and replace another part that blew away a few weeks ago when it was so windy. Then we’d also asked if they could take a look at where our bedroom ceiling is leaking when it rains. Turns out, our chimney is basically a pile of rubble right now. Well, not rubble, but it’s completely cracking and falling apart. He took pictures on his cell phone to show me, and it is not pretty. It’s not actually in use – wherever there was a fireplace inside has been walled up – but all those cracks are how water is getting into the house, and luckily it’s only dripping inside in that one little spot, but I hate to think what it looks like up inside the ceiling. So the roof guy said we’d need someone who does masonry work to either put in a new chimney, or (more likely, I think) remove what we have up there. For the time being, he sealed some of the cracks with cement.

If we can find someone, I actually would like them also to take a look at our bricks, which are cracking/losing mortar in some areas. So, anyone know somebody in the area who does this kind of stuff?

Still Sick

I was at my grandmother’s house yesterday and found out that her next door neighbor had died over the weekend. He was an old man, and his wife died several years ago. I was surprised to hear the news, though, because… I had thought he was already dead. Is that bad?

Not going to band practice tonight, because I’ve been sneezing and coughing all day and I think I’m losing my voice again, and generally no fun to be with. Plus, I didn’t sleep well last night because I kept waking up coughing, so I am really just exhausted. But I did my duty and printed CD covers, so I’ll send them along to practice with my carpool people. Next week I won’t be able to go because I’ll be on my big New Jersey business trip!

Tomorrow I work from home while we get our roof and gutters fixed – finally! Hopefully by staying home tonight and tomorrow, and taking it easy over the weekend, I’ll be well recovered for my big trip next week.

Heroes Episode 10: “Six Months Ago”

I was really looking forward to this episode, to see if some of my predictions were true. I guess some of them were…

Peter: So I think in addition to absorbing other people’s powers (temporarily?), he definitely has some ability related to dreams. Except, he’s had these dreams relating to other important events (Nathan’s accident, Simone’s dad dying), but not when his own father died?

Nathan: The accident he and his wife had was pretty much as I expected, except I was a little disappointed that he was just sort of suspended in the air! I thought maybe he’d go shooting from the car or something. I wonder if his wife remembers all that, like that he was totally out of the car and hanging in the air for a few moments before they crashed. Or did she lose some memory and just think that he was driving?

Niki/DL/Micah: Was Jessica her twin? If so, I find what happened a little easier to believe, because twins have weird connections like that. So apparently she’s had that split personality for almost her whole life, for whenever things happened that she didn’t want to have to deal with. I wonder what DL had already been in prison for – she said at her AA meeting that he was an ex-con. And Micah – I love him, but that was kind of tactless to pull apart that computer before his grandfather even left, even if he is a technopath.

Sylar: What a super-nerd. Did he eat that guy’s brain and then absorb the guy’s power? Did he tinker with the brain or fix his own brain the way he would fix a watch? I would really hate it if it’s true that he eats people’s brains and gains their abilities. (Oooh! Is the fact that he’s a watchmaker why it’s also so important that we’re shown his watch every time?) Also, I thought we’d seen somewhere that his name is Paul Sylar – but he was still going by Gabriel?

Hiro/Charlie: Such a sad story… But, there’s so many questions about time travel! Why has Hiro lost his power? Did something he did in the past affect him in the present? Also, Hiro gave Charlie the Japanese book – who gave it to her the first time? The book, and the fact that she still dies, lead me to believe that you can’t really change the future by visiting the past. If Hiro hadn’t given Charlie the book, someone else would have. And one way or another, she still dies (and it’s still a brain injury). That does explain, though, why in the present the cops are gone and there’s just a memorial to Charlie in the diner. Does Ando remember the murder, then? Does he even remember why he’s been sitting there waiting for Hiro?

Matt: Yawn. Sorry. That was pretty funny with the donuts, though.

Mr. Bennet/Eden/Mind Eraser: I am really curious now as to who Bennet works for and how he knows about these people. Obviously, someone was aware of them before Chandra Suresh’s book, and they have a better method of tracking them down than he does. In that case, did Mr. Bennet already know about Claire? (We know that her mother was special.) Did Mr. Bennet know that if his boss found out about Claire, he’d have to catch and release her like he’s done with the others, and he doesn’t want to have to do that, so that’s why he wants her removed from Suresh’s list – in case his own boss finds it? If that’s the case, does his boss know he’s using his latest catch, Eden, for his own personal mission? Also, Mind Eraser – still creepy. I guess his power also has to do with the brain – not only erasing memory, but supressing powers.

I’m still wondering if the wrong cheerleader was saved last week. As we learned from Hiro and Charlie’s story, you can’t change what’s destined to happen. They saved Claire, but another cheerleader did still die…

Heroes Lunch Invitation: Be there, or just eat a dozen donuts by yourself.

Blah sick

I spent most of yesterday resting, and resting my voice, and drinking tea and Emergen-C. I still feel awful today, though. I’m at work, but I might leave early. It’s not so much the sickness (I took some pills and feel less drippy for the time being), but I only got about two hours of sleep last night. I don’t know why – I specifically didn’t take any medicine that might keep me awake. But for some reason, I just couldn’t get to sleep. I was very uncomfortable, and I kept hearing things that sounded like someone breaking into our garage (nobody was, of course, I think it was some neighbors getting home late), and the cats were wanting to sleep on me. Like, Katrina, who rarely sleeps on our bed anymore, perched on my chest with all of her weight before finally settling down laying across me. When I woke up this morning, she was sleeping next to me and Ivan was laying across my legs.

Bla bla bla, I hate being sick.

[Edit – 2:59 PM] Thanks for all the good wishes, guys! It’s nice to know I have such good internet friends :o) I am keeping hydrated and I picked up some conk-out medicine at the company store, so hopefully sleeping tonight won’t be a problem. [/Edit]

Holiday Weekend

It was a pretty good holiday weekend, I guess.

On Wednesday my group had already planned to go out for lunch when our boss e-mailed (she’s in New York) to tell us to leave at 2 PM, if we weren’t already planning to leave early. So we basically went to lunch, came back to the office, turned off our computers, and left. It was pretty much a joke day at work anyway – most people had taken the day off, so it was just boring and quiet there. But I always like the last day of work (or school) before a vacation for just that reason.

Thursday of course was Thanksgiving. My grandmother wasn’t cooking for us since most of my family had other places to go and she’s still not back to 100% after her knee replacement in September. So GG and I went to his parents’ house only. His mom had asked me to make spinach dip, so I did that at home in the morning, and then pretty much napped the rest of the day away. We headed out around 4:30 for his parents’, and of course his mom was still cooking when we got there, even though she kept saying she was sick and should really be in bed. Dinner was pretty good, but GG had about three beers before dinner and several glasses of champagne while we ate – and he’s really not a good drinker. So while dessert was being served, he sat his champagne glass down a little too hard and it broke into two pieces. (His mom dropped one of the pieces again while she was picking them up, and it shattered into little bits of glass dust all over the table and in some food, but that’s another story.) After dinner, GG’s uncle and grandmother went home, his mom went to bed, his brother went out to meet his friends, and GG showed his dad some DVDs he brought and some videos on the internet while I dozed on the sofa.

My mom wanted to go out shopping on Friday. I know. We ended up going to the Metroplex shopping center in Plymouth Meeting, and did pick some things up, but it wasn’t any kind of major Black Friday shopping. GG was at a marketing meeting that morning, but as my mom and I were walking back to her car, I saw a car that looked exactly like his – I even commented to her that the license plate looked the same. He told me later that he’d stopped by Guitar Center on his way home from the meeting – which is where I saw the car parked! That was him! Friday night we met Ed, Julie, and Julie’s friend Analisa and we all went to see Stranger Than Fiction. It was cute. Then we all went over to Max & Erma’s to hang out afterwards, and ended up staying there until they closed – again! It was a fun night.

I spent Saturday morning out doing some errands, and then came home and made Mexican layer dip for Jess and Rob’s engagement party. GG and I went to Costco to pick up her sandwich trays, and then Julie was going to meet us at our place so we could all drive over together. Well, I’d forgotten that the Saturday after Thanksgiving is the day that they build a stage in the street outside our house, close off all the enterances to our block, and have a one block parade with Santa and some fire trucks. So I was trying to give Julie directions here, but it was hard with every road closed. Eventually, she called and said she was on our street, but there were barricades. So I just went out and moved one out of the way for her. (This was last year.) Jess and Rob’s party was really nice. We got there early to help set up, but they didn’t really need a lot of extra help. Jess’ mom is like Martha Stewart, literally. She’s made all the curtains, pillows, and cushions in Jess’ place, embroidered her towels, decorated everything… for the party, she made most of the food herself and everything was set up beautifully. I spent most of the night with GG, Julie, Jen, and Jen’s husband and daughters. Yes, there was even a moment during the night when I had the two year-old on my lap and I was reading her a book. GG kept saying she looked like a mini me. It was true, though I hadn’t noticed before – Emily looks a lot like photos of me at her age. GG, of course, drank too much and acted totally crazy. By the end of the night, he was in the basement where the little kids were set up with Nickelodeon. They were naming different characters from Star Wars and stuff, and he was drawing them and arguing with them. Luckily, I was driving us home. When we got back to our place, the parade of course was long over. Julie came in to meet the cats for a little bit while GG passed out somewhere.

This morning… I lost my voice. I don’t know how, but as the day has progressed, I’ve felt yuckier and yuckier. I’ve been drinking Emergen-C and tea with honey, so hopefully I’ll feel up to going to work tomorrow, considering last week was a short week and I’ll be gone most of the next week at that class in New Jersey. Ugggh.

The kitties are all friends now!

No Good, Very Bad Night

Last night was not a very good night.

When I got home from work (in a rush, because Jess would be coming over soon), I found a little red card from the water company in our mailbox notifying us that our water would be shut off around 11 AM today. It said we should shut off our water at the valve in our house to avoid damage to our pipes, which they would not be responsible for, and that we should draw enough water beforehand for our needs. However, the card didn’t say whether the water would be out for ten minutes, or the whole day, or what. So I didn’t know if I should really be concerned about saving water for us if it was just going to be off for a few minutes in the middle of the day when no one was home. There was an 800 number I called, which connected me to the national office of the company, but they were unaware of any scheduled outages in our area. They said this notice had come from our local office, and they would hopefully recieve a notice from them in the next couple hours, and I should try calling back later.

Jess came over, and we rushed to Costco so she could order sandwich trays for her party. She ended up getting two trays of sandwiches, a tray of wraps, and a tray of shrimp. (She’s expecting 50 people at her party. For comparison, I was expecting 50 people at our housewarming and got two trays of sandwiches and one of wraps, and only about 25 people showed up. GG and I ate a lot of sandwiches for the next few days.) Since the Costco card is actually my mom’s, I figured I should hang onto it, so I volunteered to pick up the sandwiches and things on our way to the party on Saturday. I was expecting someone at my house at 6 PM to give an estimate on replacing our doors, so we rushed back and actually got there around 5:30. Jess hung out for a while, played with the kitties, and had some cookies, before she had to go.

I waited, and waited, and waited, and the door people never showed up. I was pretty ticked off about that, because 1) we made this appointment last month at the home show we went to, and 2) there were a lot of other things I needed to be doing, other than waiting around for some dude. I tried calling the phone number I had for them, but of course that was just their office number and they were closed. I also called the water company again, who still hadn’t been notified that our water was going to be shut off, and couldn’t tell me why or for how long it would be out. They said I should call today at the time it was scheduled to be shut off, and maybe they would know something by then! Just to be safe, I filled our water pitcher that we keep in the fridge. At 6:45 I started calling around to see if any place was still open that could give me an oil change. (I realized a couple days ago that I was about 200 miles overdue for one.) Tires Plus was about to close, but NTB was open until 8, so I drove down there.

There was nobody at the counter when I arrived, so I ended up waiting around for about ten minutes until one of the mechanics came out to see if I’d been helped yet. I told him I was there for an oil change, and he said the front desk guy was busy, but I could give him (the mechanic) my key, and by the time the desk guy got back and did my paperwork, my car would be ready. So I handed over my key and told him where my car was, and headed to the waiting room. The whole time I was in there, I kept thinking, “What have I just done? I handed my car key over to some guy, he could just drive off! I never filled out any forms, there’s no record I even brought my car here!” After a while, I heard people at the desk, so I did go out and fill out my forms. My car was ready around 7:45, but there was a guy who’d been waiting with me who said he’d been there for four hours. I don’t know what he was having done, because he told me he did all his work on his car himself, except for rotating the tires and checking the alignment. So if that’s all he was getting done… wow. I’ve had very mixed experiences at that NTB – and I don’t know if it’s that particular shop, or the company in general. But the guy who’s usually at the front desk is pretty friendly and helpful.

When I got home, I ordered some Chinese food from the place down the street. Usually I’d just walk down and pick it up, but it was late, I was tired, and I don’t like walking around in the dark by myself past a few sketchy areas on the way to the restaurant. So I had it delivered. While I was waiting for the delivery, GG came home – he had to drive his uncle and grandmother to a funeral. He hadn’t had dinner either, so he wanted some of mine. Grr. It’s okay, I ordered some extra stuff, thinking he’d probably want to eat some. And I tried their fried dumplings for the first time and they are delicious. (Not as good as at the China Jade, near work, but pretty darn good.) I had to do some work on the computer, too, and the phone kept ringing, so by the time I was finished my work and dinner, it was about 10:30 and I was just ready to collapse.

The story doesn’t end there, though! When I woke up this morning, I saw that a kitty had thrown up on the bedroom floor, so I had to take time out to clean that mess up. (Luckily, I think I caught it early, and thanks to Resolve, you can’t even tell anything happened.) And the battery on my MP3 player is going to die soon. Luckily, today should be a pretty laid back day at work. A lot of people have taken the day off, and a lot of those who are here are wearing jeans – a sure sign of a relaxed day.

Free Cookies in Valley Forge

Woo hoo! VF mention on MTTS!

(Click for full size.)

This is going to be a great/busy week. Today is Heroes Lunch, then after work Jess and I are going to Costco so she can order sandwich trays for her party. Tomorrow I’m thinking is going to be pretty much a joke at work (I always love the last day before a holiday). Thursday of course is Thanksgiving. Friday my mom wants to go out shopping with me, though it would probably be easier to park at my house and walk to the mall than to try to find a parking spot there, and Friday night a bunch of us are probably going to the movies together. And Saturday is Jess and Rob’s engagement party, and GG and I will be getting there a little early to help move furniture (?), plus I’m bringing some food, plus there’s nowhere there to park so if I get there early maybe I’ll be able to park in her neighborhood.

I’ve been listening to the Rent soundtrack at work for a couple days. I think it’s getting me in the mood for Christmas?

Heroes Episode 9: Homecoming

The much-anticipated episode has finally come… and yet we still haven’t really solved anything! Arg!

Claire: She got the “freak vote” – I love it! I’m also glad she’s coming to terms with her abilities and whatnot. Also, how many cheerleading uniforms does she have? She’s destroyed at least three now. And I loved how she remained bloody – because that was Jackie’s blood. Claire’s own blood gets sucked back into her body. Nice touch.

Zach: I thought he was going to slowly come out over the course of the season? Way to out him at school, Jackie.

Nathan: WTF?! You obviously believe this stuff is real, because if you didn’t, the painting wouldn’t have meant anything to you. Also, how’d you get so buddy-buddy with Linderman all of a sudden? (Nathan gets my new vote for villain.)

Simone: Could you be any less helpful? The least you could’ve done is try to wipe off the paint splatter while it was still wet!

Peter: At last he realizes his limitations and also his abilities.

Mr. Bennet: I understand you’re trying to protect your daughter, but did you have to be such a creepy jerk about it? I am really curious as to what reasoning he gave to ground her on Homecoming night.

Eden: For once I didn’t totally dislike her. Not only did she stand up for Isaac, I think she also used her powers against Mr. Bennet to get him to change his mind about feeding Isaac more drugs. And she was pretty sassy at the end there with Sylar. Though I find it slightly unbelievable that she could use mind control to stop him from killing her or whatever, when she couldn’t even use it to keep Mohinder in New York.

Sylar: Loved the way he split Jackie’s head open just with telekenisis! Wouldn’t it be cool if he could move things down to the atom!

Mohinder: Oh, were you in this episode?

I am really looking forward to next week’s episode. Just from what we glimpsed in the previews: Jessica is a real (dead) person?! Mr. Bennet didn’t know about Claire on his own? Hiro in the past? Sylar’s a giant nerd?! [Edit – 2:24 PM] Correction: Sylar isn’t the nerdy guy – he’s standing opposite that guy, talking to him. So we still haven’t really seen his face. [/Edit] I’ve also been reading a lot of interesting theories about upcoming episodes, and I wonder if letting Jackie die was a mistake. After all, she was a cheerleader, too…

Heroes Lunch Invitation: Be there, or we’ll have to carry a photo of you around India and randomly ask people if they know you.

Brief Etsy Fame

I was so productive yesterday: I went out shopping (didn’t get anything, though), I cleaned the kitchen (swept and everything!), cleaned out the refrigerator, and folded laundry. I even cooked myself a late lunch/early dinner. Then I got a massive headache and had to lay with my eyes closed and an ice pack on my forehead for most of the evening. But I did open my eyes long enough to catch this:

You’ll probably have to view it at full size to see why I’m so excited!

GG starts his new job at 8:00 this morning! He’s training in Upper Darby this week (just for three days) and Allentown next week. Then I think he’ll be training the following week in Frazer. Woo hoo! I was so excited to hear his alarm go off this morning while I was still home!

Raspberry Pasteries

Last summer, I saw a recipe for these raspberry pasteries, and I tried twice to bake some, but because of our stupid oven, they burned. Like, caught fire and burned a pot holder. So now that I have my new range, I thought I’d give them another try… except this time, I changed the shape slightly. I like to think of these as hearts, but I think they might also be called “elephant ears,” and I think they have a French name that starts with a P, too. I’ve modified the recipe slightly, so I think it’s “mine” now.


  • frozen puff pastry sheet
  • raspberry jam (or your favorite fruit)
  • sugar

Let the pastry sheet thaw for about 30 minutes. Then unfold, and roll with a rolling pin to even it out.

Spread a thin layer of jam over the pastry, getting as close as you can to each edge. Sprinkle the entire thing with sugar.

Fold each edge about 1/4 of the way in. Then fold each of these edges in so the folded ends meet in the middle of the pastry sheet. Finally, fold the pastry in half one more time. (At this point, you can put the pastry roll in the freezer for about 10 minutes to make cutting easier, but you don’t have to.)

Cut slices from the roll, approximately 1/2-inch wide. Lay the slices on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Allow one to two inches between each. Bake at 400° for 15-20 minutes. Allow them to cool on the pan.

Yield: 12-15 pasteries