Site Meter Elsie's Space: January 2007

Elsie's Space

Location: New England, United States

Not much to tell.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

It's a Small, Small World

My pal Johnny called me from the road. He travels a lot for business, so it's not unusual to hear from him when he's away. This call was a little different though.

He was calling from San Francisco. "Hey, you'll never believe this." "What?" "I was at a trade show having lunch with some other guys. One asked me if I'm from Rhode Island. He recognized the accent. I said yes. He told me that he used to work for a company based in RI. I asked which one. You know, don't you?" He then says the name of the company I worked for for ten years. "Joe Average. Says you two were pretty good friends." "I can't believe it. Yeah, we were pretty good friends back then. How's he doing?" John went on to fill me in. Who'd believe that my buddy, having traveled almost 3,000 miles, would run into someone I know from the other side of the earth? It is a small world.


I was forced to switch over to New Blogger the other day. Now some comments are appearing as 'anonymous' when they originally weren't. What's up with that?

The good news is that the spell checker thing now works. It never did before. And it's a feature I really appreciate.

Wonder what will happen when I try to post a photo.

From The Mouths of Babes

  • "You're the best mom. Mary's mom yells all the time. You only yell when we deserve it. And you yell louder."

  • "Mom, how do you tell who wins the war? ... Then what's the point?"

  • "Populars run the school. Geeks run the world."

  • "You and dad laughed too loud last night and kept me awake. Next time, could you please rent a drama?"

  • "Why am I so smart?"

  • Boy 1: "Good music, Mrs. C." Boy 2 (brother of 1) to my son: "Yeah, well he thinks Elvis is good too."

  • "My mom actually had Pong."

  • Me: "Can I see your homework?" He: "It's math. Shouldn't I just wait for dad?"

  • "Your house always smells good.... like brownies."

  • "Why are we not home schooled? Do you think you're not smart enough?"

  • "I love you the best in the world."

Monday, January 29, 2007


Yes, Shrinkage. One word which can evoke any number of responses. If you were a Seinfeld fan, you're probably chuckling. If your husband just dried your favorite cotton sweater on 'high,' you're probably not. And if you're me, today, it's not funny in any way at all.

Shrinkage. At the doctor...nurse says, "Please step on the scale." (Isn't that the absolute worst part of a physical?) Ugh. She tells me my current weight. Not too bad, but something I never reveal. Then she slides the stainless bar down on top of my head and pronounces "Five feet, seven and a half inches." "What?!!" I reply. "You're five feet, seven and a half inches." "No, that can't be right." Now here's where I must admit to having lied to everyone. I stretched the truth a little bit. I say that I am 5'8", knowing full well that I am, in fact, 5' 7-3/4". But when someone asks, "How tall are you?" it doesn't feel right to say it. Sort of like saying, "I'm 45-1/2 years old." Nope. So I do what any red-blooded woman will, I round up when it comes to my height, round down when it comes to my weight (but that's another story altogether). I tell the nurse that I'm 5' 7-3/4". She decides to measure me again. I stand as tall as I possibly can, wishing that 1/4" to magically reappear. No. "You are definitely 5' 7-1/2" tall. Sorry." How can this be?

Shrinkage. Not much I can do, so I wait patiently for the doctor to come in. When she finally arrives she asks, "How's everything going? Feeling good?" "Yes. I'm feeling great, finally. But I'm concerned that I measured 5' 7-1/2". I'm positive I've always been 5' 7-3/4"." She looks through my chart and acknowledges, "Yes, you're right. You've always been 5' 7-3/4". Let's go measure again." I breathe a sigh of relief. It must be the nurse. Yeah, that's it. She has no idea how to properly measure people. I step back onto the scale, doc slides down the steel bar. She looks at me and says, "Elsie, sorry to say, but you you are indeed 5' 7-1/2" tall." I ask her, "Is this because I'm getting older?" "It may be," she responds, "but it could be that you lost a bit of height from your back surgery. I'm not really sure. We'll keep an eye on it."

Shrinkage. Okay. It's been confirmed and reconfirmed. I am five feet, seven and one-half inches tall. I can't believe it. Shouldn't I have noticed that I've gotten shorter? And now what do I do? Do I still round up to 5'8"? Or do I (grudgingly) round down to 5'7"? I've decided that I will continue to round up, but what if next year I'm 5' 7-1/4"? Guess I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. For now -- I am five feet, eight inches tall. That's my stock answer, and I'm sticking to it.

Shrinkage. Sigh.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

If at first you don't succeed....

Upload your photos into a new post.

"Why can't we all just get along?"

Equal Time

Meet Lily Black. She's almost seven years old now. We got her as a six-week-old from the local SPCA for the low, low price of $5.00. And she's been worth every penny!
She's a feisty one, my Lil. When we got her, we tried to keep her indoors (there's a big coyote problem here) and managed successfully for about a year. Then one day she broke through a screen window, and that was that. We repaired the screen, and then she broke through another. We repaired that one, and she broke through a different one. It became an endless cycle, me becoming more frustrated and she becoming more determined to escape the confines of home each day. I finally decided that if she was to continuously break free, I should just let her outside and save myself the aggravation and expense of her breakouts. It was unnerving at first. Would she be eaten? Would she get hit by a car? How would she ever take care of herself out there in the big bad world?
I didn't need to worry. So far, she's done fine. She's a great mouser. We found mice (or half-eaten mice) and moles on our doorstep almost daily, until we attached a bell to her collar -- had to give the mice a fighting chance, and it was absolutely disgusting picking up after her every day. She lets us know when she's done playing and wants to come back inside.

"Let me in!"

She's finnickey about eating, as many cats are. Won't eat anything but dry cat food (and the occasional half-mouse). No chicken, no cheese, no beef, no fish. We've tried it all. I don't understand, but it keeps her nice and slim, like we women want to be. She only weighs about 8 lbs.

Lily, like most cats, can be rather aloof. Overall, she's a friendly kind of gal. She is exceedingly gentle. We've yet to hear her hiss or claw at any person. If she doesn't want to be held, she simply wriggles her way out of your grasp. As a kitten, my then-toddler would carry the poor thing around upside down. I'd get all freaked out that one of them would hurt the other (fifty-fifty on who would be the culprit), but they survived it. I don't know why I was so concerned, Lily never even struggled to be put down. Daughter will still sometimes pick her up that way, and the cat still just hangs there. I'd do something about it if the cat appeared distressed at all, but she seems to like it. And all you can hear is purr, purr, purr.

Then there's Lil's relationship with the Hershman. He's all over her as often as he can be. He's gentle in his own 85 lb. kind of way, which is pretty darned rough. He'll barrel toward her, full steam, as excited to see her as any female (he loves the girls). She won't run. She'll cower in place, and then he'll proceed to lick the entire length of her body. Hey, maybe she likes that! Eventually, she'll tire of his attention and take off. I think she goes looking for another way to get him into trouble. She's good at that.

Lil's a smart one. She knows how to open doors, unless they're locked. She knows how to get me up and out of bed -- she cries as though she's injured -- it works every time! She knows exactly how to get what she wants -- typical female.

Lil, of course, is the prettiest cat around. She's jet black, her fur as soft and as shiny as any I've ever felt. But it's her personality and the way she's always been gentle with the kids that warms my heart.

Lily Black. Older sister to Hershey. Pretty cool cat.

Monday, January 22, 2007

You win some....

You lose some. So it goes. 38-34.

Let it Snow

Been waiting all winter for some sledding weather. It just may come today. Had my morning cup 'o joe while waiting to see what develops.
The tower in the background is the one at the
old governor's mansion on my street. (Photo posted on 1/10)

When it's not overcast, you can see the Jamestown Bridge from here.

Yes, that is a lobster on the roof. You should see the size of the bugs they serve!!

Absolutely, positively, without-a-doubt, the BEST clamcakes anywhere! I come here for lunch and to sit by the bay whenever I need a fix.

A pretty good coffee break. Now time to get to work.

Que Sera, Sera

Whatever will be, will be....

Monday, January 15, 2007

How Much is Too Much?

There are those who have and those who have not. I suppose I am one of the "haves." Anyone reading this on their computer is probably also one of the "haves." So, having admitted that I am one of the "haves," how do I know when I have too much?

Thursday, January 11, 2007

About Last Night

"As you press on for justice, be sure to move with dignity and discipline, using only the weapon of love. Let no man pull you so low as to hate him. Always avoid violence. If you succomb to the temptation of using violence in your struggle, unborn generations will be the recipients of a long and desolate night of bitterness, and your chief legacy to the future will be an endless reign of meaningless terror."
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The Foghorn....

was sounding. I could hear it at home. It was overcast, but didn't seem foggy. I just had to get out of the house and decided to see how foggy it really was on the bay. Here are just a few things I saw along my walk.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Looking for a Friend

A couple of months ago, someone suggested that I get a site meter for this here blog. I did, but I'm not very good about checking it. I decided to take a peek today to see if one of my long-lost friends has been checking in. Then I noticed that there's been a lot of traffic through here (not sure if I like that). Once again I was left cracking up about people finding this blog through their google searches.

So, if you're ever lost, looking for a way to get back here, you can try:
  • donald and kiefer
  • tossing and turning with boyfriend
  • popping sounds in attic
  • spider guts
  • weird elsie
  • julie christie love scene
  • happy thoughts
  • loner
  • secret crush feel bad
  • what does chim chiminey mean
  • your pal pete
  • getting ripped off by dentists

If I didn't know myself better, I'd think I was some bizarro person. Maybe I don't know myself as well as I think.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Weird Things

Dear Harvey,

I'm sorry for not responding to you in a timely manner, but the lady forgot to give me the message (and she complains the kids are bad at that!).

Five weird things about me, the Hershman.

1. I am a ladies' man. I absolutely, positively prefer women to men. If a couple should come visiting, I will attach myself to the woman and demand her attention. I am the lady's man. I will do (almost) anything she asks. I protect her from the man, barking wildly whenever he touches her in any way. She's my girl and that's that! I would follow her to the ends of the earth.

2. When I get loose, I chase squirrels. I chase 'em around the yard. I chase 'em across the street. I chase 'em up trees. And I will sit underneath a tree and back and bark and bark until the lady drags me back into the house. I'm not sure what I'd do if I could ever catch one. It'll probably never happen. Those acorn crunchers are too fast for me! But I never chase any bunnies. I think they'd be easier to catch, but I guess they're just too darned cute so I leave them alone.

3. I'm a smart guy. I know all kinds of tricks. I can sit, lay down, stand up, stay (when I feel like it), give high fives, and even speak (and boy am I loud). And even though I will be five years old this month, I cannot/will not learn to roll over. The lady keeps trying to teach me. When will she learn?

4. I have fallen into the pool more times than you can imagine, Harvey. Who keeps moving that thing? I don't like to swim, and I feel nervous when I can't figure my way out. I haven't learned to swim to the steps and just walk out (no matter how many times the lady pulls me over to those stairs). Speaking of swimming....I get into a barking frenzy when my lady swims under water. Is she crazy? I know she's going to drown. I know it, I know it, I know it. So I warn her (and the entire neighborhood) every chance I get.

5. The weirdest thing about me is that I'm going gray. Not too weird, right, except that now the family calls me Hershey Two-Tone. They say I look funny because my head and legs are still very brown, but most of my body is quite gray. It's hard to see in this photo, but take a close look, Harv, and you might understand what I mean. I'm still the most handsome dog on the block. Harvey, there are lots of other weird things about me, but these seem the strangest. I'm always glad to see that you are doing well. Your lady seems as nice as mine. Good life ain't it? Have a great 2007.

Woofs from your friend,

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Hand Washing and Wringing

The phone rang at 5:30 a.m. today, causing my heart to leap into action, ready to run to wherever I am needed. I hate getting calls at this time of day. Something must be wrong. And there is, but not what I was thinking. The call was the second call from the local school superintendent trying to allay parents' fears about their kids' safety in school. This time it's not about school shootings. It's about this:
After saying that our kids were safe in school, even though one child has died, he declared that schools would be closed today and tomorrow while officials from the state and the CDC decide upon a course of action.

Yesterday, daughter came home saying that the school nurse had come to teach her class the proper way to cough (into the crook of your elbow) and about hand washing. Evidently, daughter piped right up and said, "My mom always says that. Coughing into your hand and then touching something can make someone sick. And we always have to wash our hands when we get home from school and before we eat anything." I'm glad she appeared well-informed, but geeze, did she have to expose me for the germophobe that I am?

So there's now a lot of hand washing and hand wringing going on. Fingers are being pointed. What could have/should have been done differently? Schools are being decontaminated. What should be/will be done differently? School is closed.

Parents are understandably concerned. Me, I'm concerned too, but am trying not to panic. We (kids and I) have already taken reasonable steps to stay healthy through cold and flu season, and I hope that's all there is for us to do. For today, I think I'll let the kids sleep in late (won't they be happily surprised to have the rest of the week off?), go rent a couple of DVDs and play some games with them. I'm going to try to make this a happy time rather than a scary time for them.

That's all. And in the words of our school superindendent, "I wish you a good day."

Tuesday, January 02, 2007


That's how it is right now, at this very moment. Quiet. It's been a while. After almost three weeks of company, kids and husband home on vacation, and the hectic pace of the holidays, I am the only person in my house! "It's so quiet, it's deafening." I know I'm going to love every moment of this day.

Don't get me wrong. I love my family. I love my friends. I'm a social sort of gal. But I tend to be a loner at times. I've always been this way. Mom tells stories of how when I was growing up and things got loud and crazy, she'd find me playing on my bedroom floor, quietly and all alone. She said I always seemed perfectly content to be by myself. It doesn't surprise me. I'm still happy like that.

So I sit here, drinking a cup of tea, thinking about what to do today. I have NO plans. None. It feels great!!! I should take down all the holiday decorations and the tree (mandatory recycling of the tree means it has to come down soon). I should go grocery shopping to fill the fridge with something other than holiday junk. I should go buy my son some new gloves since we can't find any around here that fit him (I wish he'd stop growing for just one day), and it will get cold and snow eventually. I should take the dog to the dog park for some doggie fun. I should go visit my grandmother. I should do some laundry. I should clean the bathrooms. I should, I should, I should.

Instead, and because it's a balmy 50 degrees, I think I'll start with a walk to the lighthouse. Then maybe I'll take myself to the beach and have some chowder for lunch. Then maybe I'll go to the library. Then maybe I'll do something I should. For now I'll enjoy this quiet moment. It is good.