Sunday, June 29, 2008

The Party Crasher

This weekend we were blessed with being invited to two gatherings--quite rare for us. We were glad they were on separate days so that we did not have to chose between them and were honored that we were included in the festivities.

One was an anniversary party and we only knew six people, four of whom we hadn't seen in many, many years. The other party we only knew two people. It is fun making new acquaintances and discovering common bonds that unite us. One person we met today knew our next door neighbor. Yes, it is a small world.

At the anniversary party we experienced an unusual phenomenon. We had heard of it before but never saw it first hand. There was a party crasher. He blended in as if he knew everyone. He even tried to make acquaintances with everyone there. I wondered if perhaps he was confused and came to the wrong party--just following the posted balloons. He nearly begged for the food and took anything anyone offered him--often gobbling it down. At times he was in the middle of everything, not caring one bit that he was not invited. Ironically almost everyone liked him and talked to him--he had an animal magnetism that made him the center of attention.

I finally had to ask the hostess about him. Turns out he lived two houses down and she did not even think that his family knew that he did this, but she said that he did this often. In fact he practically lived there.

Okay, enough teasing you--he was the neighbor's lovable black lab. He got along with their little dog and came to hang out there. The hostess wasn't even sure if the neighbor knew when the lab was gone for the day that he was at their house. Fortunately they loved dogs and giving him attention and treats would certainly make him come back. He was one lucky dog to have two homes and he was one likeable party crasher.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

Okay, now you may be sorry that I learned how to post pictures.

It looks like once again we won't be going on a vacation, but we will do day trips. We took off a day this week to go to the Naugatuck Railroad Museum and to ride the train. It's starts at the historic Thomaston Station in Thomaston, CT which was built in 1881.

The train ride is an hour long. It rides along the Naugatuck River. The pamphlet shows it as a pretty blue river--it is quite muddy and not so beautiful. The ride is not very scenic, but nice if you like train rides. At the end we got a nice view of the Thomaston Dam. I imagine it would be beautiful in the fall.

My goal for each trip we go on is to find a piece trivia or interesting fact (last blog was the "you're fired" trivia). Well, this time it was interesting but sad to hear that Alfred Bishop was the one who dreamed of this railroad. I don't know exactly his accomplishments to achieve that dream, but he died the day before the first trip. :(

Another very interesting fact is that the railroad is run completely by volunteers. It is amazing that they can keep it going with just volunteers. They obviously love the railroad.

He hasn't made it a goal, but I think George's thing is to meet and talk to a new stranger on every trip. He always does. Maybe between the two of us--his talking and my trivia and picture taking, we should take a video camera and make a documentary.
Don't worry, we won't bore you with that.

Reminder, you can click on a photo to enlarge it. You may see someone you know in the first one--gee, he's not talking to anyone in that picture.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Boston Part 3

Just some more pictures from the boat ride. Unfortunately the second bird picture had to be taken through the glass. He was so close too.

After the boat ride, we went to Quincy Market walking around, window shopping, buying yummy foods and watching street entertainers. We saw a guy work his way out of a straight jacket and listened to some interesting music produced by a Peruvian (?) Indian. We bought one of his Inca Cd's. It is very relaxing music--kind of like the pan flute. That time went too quickly and we had to be back on the bus. We think next time we will just take a bus or train to Boston and do what we want to do, not be under the time restraints of the tour.

One thing I like about bus trips is that I can read on a bus. The best part is being able to read without seeing things that need to be done around you. I read 160 pages which must be a new personal record for me. I am reading, "The Innocent Man" by John Grisham (one of my favorite authors). It is non-fiction and therefore, very exasperating to see our justice system fail so horribly. It's so hard to believe all of it is true.

People watching was fun too on this trip, but I won't go into details as I have always tried in my blog to not talk about individuals unless it is good. But I have to say it was fun and interesting to see a guy who was working at the Cheesecake Factory trying to hit on a girl from the trip. A co-worker had to tell him he was needed elsewhere and he gave up when he found out the girls were only here for the day.

Well, the top picture of the duck says it all, this is the end of my posts regarding our Boston day trip.

Boston Part 2

Okay, first let me mention that I think you can click on each picture to get a nice big view. The first picture is of the tallest building in Boston--an insurance company. I forgot which one. To the left of that building, see the building with the rounded top? That's where William Shatner and David Spader sit at the end of each episode of Boston Legal.

I took the next picture because we were interested in the architecture of the place. It's built so everyone who lives there gets a nice river view.

The next picture is not attractive, but I took it because of it's uniqueness. I think he said it is the only place that a boat can go under a train, under a car, under a plane. It didn't happen when we were there, but I thought that was pretty neat.

One other neat little trivia. We rode by a site where Henry Ford had his factory. It is said he got so upset with one employee, that he took his desk outside and set it on fire-thus the origination of "You're fired." Glad just the saying lived on and not the actions, can you imagine? I'd get nervous if I saw my boss going for matches!

Okay, this is continued on the next post.

Boston Trip

Wow, this has been tricky for me--adding pictures to the blog. I cannot find out how to write with each picture. I may have to do each picture as an individual blog entry.

Anyway, this is a picture from our trip down the Charles River in Boston. As you can see it was an absolutely gorgeous day. We took a bus from Litchfield with a stop to pick up more people in Watertown. When we arrived at Boston, we were left at the Cambridge Mall to walk around and then to dine at the Cheesecake Factory, which was included in the tour price. We were allowed ample time to digest and walk some more before our narrated boat ride down the Charles River.
I will go to another post for pictures now and then return for a wrap up post.

Friday, June 20, 2008

One Recent Saturday

Poor abandoned blog. Where's Debbie? Is she sick? Is she on vacation? Where is she?

Here I am. Did anybody miss me? It's just that time of year--birthdays, anniversaries, Father's Day and picnics.

Last Saturday was Open House day in Connecticut with many museums offering free admission. We went to the Governor's Mansion and we met Governor Jodi Rell. She was very personable. What a mansion! George told her what a nice place she had and she said, "it's yours"--meaning our tax dollars pay for it. George asked her how often she stayed there (she does have her own home). She said about 5 times a week. He asked if we could stay the other two days, but she didn't commit. Oh, well. Worth a try.

The place is decorated so lovely with antiquey looking things, and many windows overlooking the pool on the side yard and the beautiful grounds in back. There's one room with a baby grand piano. It's 3 floors, but we were only allowed to see the first floor. We were treated to lemon ice on the back porch. It made us drool to see how some people get to live. As another visitor remarked, "I would just like the housekeeping staff."--No kidding!

Well, from there we went to the Old State House. I always find it fascinating to be in the same exact spot that history took place and from meetings to trials, it was a busy place. There is also a section for the museum of curiosities--a museum that used to be in Connecticut. There were weird things that I did not spend too long looking at (like a two headed calf).

Interestingly the Amistad case was heard in the Old State House building. Also, a number of witchcraft trials. They said before Salem, CT was the most aggressive. Anyone who went to trial from 1647-1655 for witchcraft was always found guilty.

We discovered a book talk on Christian Science was being held there and we stayed for a little of it. I was quite surprised, as I had made a pre-judgement about that religion and I think I was too hasty. I might study more about them.

Well, we rushed back to Canton after that for our annual strawberries and ice cream at the Methodist Church. We wanted to view the tag sale too, but it was thundering and lightening by then and we could only see the items in the basement and still found two little treasures. The strawberries were yummy!

We went home and freshened up and then went out to eat to celebrate George's birthday.

So, that's just one day of what we've been doing--I didn't even tell you before we went to do those things, George had worked and then had breakfast with a friend. I had picked up a little around the house and went to a writer's group. Why waste a day? We only get so many weekends in the summer. Hope you make the most of yours too.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

"Stand By Me" by Stephen King

On this hot evening I watched one of my favorite channels--American Movie Classics. Tonight it was "Stand By Me". Occasionally they do this thing on this channel, where they put all kind of trivia things on the bottom of the screen. I was quite interested in many of the facts and have chosen to share some of them with you.

First, don't know if you've seen the movie but it has River Phoenix, Corey Feldman, Keifer Suderland, Wil Wheaton, Jerry O'Connell and narrated by Richard Dreyfuss. They are all so much younger, so it was fun seeing that. (Side note: My husband, George, has been told several times that he looks like Richard Dreyfuss.)

If you haven't seen this movie, it is about four 12 year old friends who overhear that a boy has died and they go on a trek to find the body (in a very small nutshell). I was quite surprised that this is another story by Stephen King.

I was shocked to learn a few years ago that he wrote "Shawshank Redemption"--that is my husband and son's favorite movie. I am happy to see that he doesn't write just horror. The only book by Stephen King that I have read is his memoir, "On Writing". It was very good.

Anyway, if you've seen "Stand By Me", I thought you'd be interested in knowing...
The scene where the boys are on the bridge trying to outrun the train was inspired by an incident that happened to Stephen King. He was only 4 when he saw a child get hit and killed by a train. Some people thought that was the reason for his dark books, but he says no.

Also the scene where the boys were swimming and found themselves covered with leaches also happened to him and his friends. Yuk! No wonder he's like he is!

Now "Shawshank" and "Stand by Me" were originally short stories or novellas. In fact the footnotes said that short stories are often easier to turn into screen plays.

Not being a Stephen King fan, I'm sorry that I cannot be specific, but I also found it interesting that several of the characters that were in "Stand By Me" were in his other stories as the same character--kind of like a sequel. One was in "Christine"--I think he was a bad character in "Stand by Me" and he finally got his punishment in the next story. He continued other character's lives in other stories. Most of them were influenced by his childhood friends. He did say that he just loves to scare the you-know-what out of people. He finds it great fun.

They did a major change from King's version as to which character took action in the climax--they chose a different character. They said when Stephen King saw the screening, he didn't know. He was so shocked that he left the room. When he finally came back about 1/2 hour later, he told them how much better that made his story.

Well, that's all I remember. For those of you who love trivia stuff like this or want to know what year a movie came out, who's in it, goofs, and so much more info, look up for any movie you want, or search by actor, director, whatever. It is a fantastic site. Now when we watch a movie, I log on to see the errors so that I can watch for them and whatever other trivia that is mentioned.

Thursday, June 5, 2008


New Winnington Times is now out. Hope you will support and enjoy this new little local paper.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Old Reminders

Yes, I'm alive! I've been meaning to post something, but...Today I feel very old because my daughter is 29! Where did life go? Also, lost a customer this week to a heart attack. That was quite unexpected. She was nice to talk to because she felt the same about the state of the world now as I did. She doesn't have to worry about it any more.

I interrupt this blog for a special message... Have you seen the new publication called the New Winnington Times? First I should ask if you ever saw the Otis Gazette? George and I would pick it up whenever we saw it--usually at the Log House. We thought it was a cute paper and always thought that it would be fun to start one like that for the Barkhmasted area.

Well, the same woman who started the Otis Gazette started this new monthly paper for New Hartford, Winsted, Torrington and the "vicinity"--guess that's us. It's small right now, but hopefully it will grow. The next issue is out June 4th and she said she was going to print an article that I wrote. The paper is free at various places around the towns, but if you can't find a copy, you can view it online--New Winnington Times. I really hope she can make it work.

In my article, I reference to Roxann who owns the Aerie Mountain Flower Shop because she has written two articles for the paper (this is only the third issue) and she and I went to school together. She is a remarkable woman. She was born with one hand and she got her pilot's license in high school, she raised a large family and she started her own business growing herbs in Riverton and has expanded to her current location next to the Log House. She has taught basket weaving (with one hand!) and now gives gardening classes, I guess. She's got a great personality. So, that was neat to be able to give the bookend view of her love for gardening and my ineptness at it.

Speaking of that, my lilacs are out!! Lilacs are my favorite. I was driving by a house on our street the other day and I had to stop and look because they have what I think are pink lilacs! They are beautiful. Well, as I was gawking, I did not notice that they were out in their yard. When I realized, I asked them if they were lilacs and since they came with the house, they did not know. I asked if I could smell them and got out of the car. Since they were working in the yard, the husband had shears in his hand and cut me off a couple of branches. He also said I could come back and get some little plants. I hope to do that. They are gorgeous and so fragrant! I'll have to ask Roxann or someone else advice on when is the best time to do that and any other tricks--don't want them to go the way of the plants that I mentioned in my earlier blog. :( My lilac bush at my parents never had baby lilac bushes. George bought that for me May 1975 when we were dating because he knew I loved lilacs. My Mom kept waiting for me to dig it up and take it, but it's too late now--it must be 10 feet tall--and besides it's 33 years old! Wow, I hadn't thought of that. As I said at the beginning, I sure am feeling old--too many reminders of that around.