Site Meter Elsie's Space: October 2007

Elsie's Space

Location: New England, United States

Not much to tell.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

It's the Season

to get into the spirit of things...

The ingredients aren't bad: peach schnapps, Bailey's, and grenadine. But the sum of its parts is boo disgusting to even consider drinking.

Go ahead, I dare you.

Monday, October 29, 2007


So exciting!!! They did it! The Boston Red Sox won the World Series, sweeping the Colorado Rockies 4-0!!!

(to be read in your most monotone voice) So boring. They did it again. The Patriots won 52-7.

Something's got to give. The last two weeks haven't even been fun to watch (well... Tommy is always fun to watch, especially when rushing for a touchdown or two).

The Red Sox won the World Series!!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Ho Hum

Today on Liz's blog (, she posted about "What Movie Are You?" and provided a link to a quiz. I don't do the quizzes that often, but I wondered what movie I might be. Liz is "Apocalypse Now." Me, well....just plain boring (good movie though). She also mentioned the "What Great Leader Are You?" quiz. So, I took that one, too. I'm making my do-goody-good self sick today. Check this out.

Now, if any of you want to show how much more creative and exciting and whatever you are than me, pop on over to her site to link to the test. Then let me know what movie and/or great leader you are. I think I will live vicariously from now on.
Ho Hum. That's me! Yuck.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Deja Vu

Take a quick look at last Monday's (10/15) post, change the score to 49-28, change the record to 7-0, and there you have it.... all over again.

And congratulations to the Tennessee team, too, who pulled out a victory at the very last second. They now hold the NFL record for most field goals (8) in one game. It didn't look pretty, but hey, a win's a win.

Oh, and those Red Sox... they're on their way to the World Series! What fun it is to be a New Englander.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Equal time....

Though I'm not a fan, I am a New Englander. I must, therefore, acknowledge the great comeback of the Boston Red Sox. Last night's win (12-2) over the Indians brings them to tonight's game seven of the series. The winner becomes the American League Champion and earns a place in the World Series. Go Red Sox.

Maybe there's a both a World Series and Superbowl Championship (Go Pats!) in store for us this year!

Saturday, October 20, 2007


Dedicated to my friend, Winston, a man who shows more interest in birds than most men would. On a recent visit to his blog where he posted about Liz's mutant (I can't, I just can't) ... bird, I mentioned having a mutant woodpecker lurking around my yard. After today's lesson, you will no longer wonder why I find this unsettling. You'll just know. Woodpeckers are found throughout the world. Today let's deal with several found right here in North America.

First there's the Acorn Woodpecker (melanerpes formicivorus). His name says it all, but he's not the problem.

Nor is the Downy Woodpecker, busy doing his thing in the photo.

"Several adaptations combine to protect the woodpecker's brain from the substantial pounding that the pecking behavior causes." (I wonder if the human male brain has similarly adapted).

It's not the Hairy Woodpecker, though I've seen more than my share of them in my day.

No, it's not the male Flicker, but I hear he's a special friend of all the female Flickers.

No, it's not even the Red Cockaded, one of the most interesting to be sure.

It's the scariest of them all. He's haunted my dreams since I was a child. He's a big, fat......


If anyone out there knows how to get rid of these or any other peckers lurking about out there, please, please let me know.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


I've always been a proponent of public schools. After all, education is the great equalizer, right? So here we are with a son who is blessed with brain power. And here we are with one of the best private high schools in the country, probably the best in New England, right in our own back yard. And here we are, confronted with what's "right" and what's "right for our son." The advantages of sending our little boy (he's still only 12) to the private school seem endless. The facility alone is amazing, nothing like public school. That 98 percent of the school's graduates go on to college, that 80 percent of them get into the first school of their choice, that 50 percent of them receive scholarships far exceeding the amount paid for tuition at the high school and that a class of 220 received over $7 million in scholarships last year only adds to our confusion.

We moved into our current home when our son was in kindergarten. We chose a neighborhood where the elementary school was known as one of the best in the city. We felt bad about doing even that, because there are many families who probably could not afford to move into our neighborhood. But we did it anyway, in the best interests of our children. So, is that what we do now? Do we send our boy to the private school because we know it is best for him? What about the families who do not have the resources to send their child to this school? Education the great equalizer? Sure. But unless you're able and willing to spend mega money (or if your child is one of the 12 students each year to get a scholarship to this school), your child will not receive the same education as the children who attend this private school. I won't even get started on public schools' "no child left behind" thing because I've seen first hand that it's also the "no bright child" will be pushed initiative. Education is now geared toward teaching to the "middle of the pack." Great, if your child is in the middle, but if he is advanced.... he's screwed. And I can feel the screw turning tighter and tighter.

We've been talking about this a lot, husband and I. He thinks that our son will do fine and get into a good college no matter which school he attends. I think that he has a far better chance to get into the college of his choice if he attends the private school. Husband thinks that we might be smarter to take the money we would spend on high school and invest it for college. I think that spending it on high school will be a better investment in our son's future because he'll most likely be able to get into an even better college coming from the private school. Husband thinks that we pay outrageous taxes to live in our neighborhood and to support public education. I suppose I'd have to agree with that one.

In the end, I know that husband will probably leave the final decision to me. Frankly, he's never been overly involved in the education of either of our kids. Just ask him the name of any of our children's teachers and you'll see how clueless he is. He is, however, educated. He's got degrees upon degrees, and he is very successful in his career. I value his opinion, but I think he's wrong about this. So now what to do?

How big a hypocrite am I if I send my child to private school? And what about daughter? She will have to pay a price, too. If we send son to private school, she can probably kiss any exciting vacations and adventures goodbye. There won't be money for that.

Lots and lots to consider. I love my children and want what's best for them. Now to figure out what is best. Private or public? Public or private? My wish for my children is for them to thrive in school and out. I want my children to get ahead; not being left behind simply isn't good enough.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Told You So

My Tommy led his friends to victory once again (48-27) against some other guys. Record 6-0. Best NFL QB, dear Winston.

And easy on the eyes, too.

Monday, October 08, 2007

On September 30th, Winston posted "Before You Croak" on his blog ( He suggested that some of us might want to make a list of our own. After much thought, here's mine.

Places you might want to consider:

1. Banff, Alberta, Canada -- perhaps the most beautiful place I've ever experienced. I've been fortunate enough to go with my parents when I was about 11, with my cousins when I was about 15, and again in my mid-twenties. There's something for everyone. Most of the streets have animal names. There's swimming in the hot sulfur springs beneath truly majestic mountains. Simply looking at the mountain's reflection in Lake Louise takes your breath away. I've heard Texas called "God's country" many times, but I've got to believe it's Banff. I can't wait to go back again.

2. Christmas at my house. There's nothing quite like it. As a Christian, I celebrate Christmas in a private, quiet way with my husband and children at our church. Then it's a free-for-all Christmas afternoon and evening. There are always so many people. Young. Old. Male. Female. Married. Single. Gay. Straight. Christian. Jew. Muslim. Atheist. Teacher. Nurse. Executive. Social Worker. Student. Engineer. Mom. Dad. Grandma. Grandpa. Aunt. Uncle. Cousin. Friend. It's our own kaleidoscope of people. Everyone celebrating our love for each other. As simple and complex as that. My dad once said, "if only the world could be like our family." I wish everyone could celebrate a holiday like that just once. You all (or most of you, anyway) are invited.

3) Sailing with friends on a hot summer day. There's nothing quite like the feel of the wind or the summer sun burning the delights of the day onto your face. Good food, good drink, good wind and good friends are the recipe for the perfect day.

4) Simultaneous mutual orgasm (stolen directly from Winston's list). To that I'd add living together to a ripe old age with only the shared memory of the mutual orgasm, when love is all that's left and love is enough.

5) Sunset at Rick's Cafe in Negril, Jamaica. They (and who are "they" anyway?) say that it's the most beautiful sunset in the western hemisphere. Having experienced the sunset there with one of my dearest friends, tropical cocktails in hand, I'd have to believe it's true. If there's a more spectacular sunset anywhere, I'd like to see it.

Then there's my list of places I've never been, but hope to see before I croak.

1) Paris. The City of Lights. I've heard mixed reviews from several of my friends, but I still want to experience it for myself. I picture it being one of the most romantic cities on this earth. Ooooo, and the food. Someday I'm going to go see for myself.

2) Mount Rushmore. I don't know why I feel the need to see it, but I do. And I will. Someday.

3) Alaska. Everyone I know who's ever been there says it's spectacular. I wonder if parts of it have that same feeling as Banff. I'd like to see the finish of the Iditarod, a dog sled race I've been following as long as I can remember. Plus all those men.... I'm going there someday, too.

4) Block Island. Just because it's there.

And given the chance to do absolutely anything.... (feels like there should be a drum roll here) ... I would happily blast off in one of our Space Shuttles. It may be silly, but when I was a little girl I wanted to be an astronaut. I was told that girls couldn't be astronauts -- too dangerous and all that science. I would still go into space in a minute. Now it's not that I'm a girl, it's that I'm too damn old. But if I could....

Instead, I'll try visiting Block Island one of these days.

Hitting a Nerve

My newest (4 years) and youngest (32 years) friend and I were enjoying a cup of coffee and some girl talk. The subject was, of course, men. She knew I'd been divorced once, but on this day she asked me about it. Trying to not sound too bitter, I told her the shortened version of what happened between ex and me and how afraid of him I had been. I wrapped it up with, "One day I realized that whenever I came home and saw his car in the driveway, I thought 'oh, shit.' I knew that I couldn't live like that any longer. And that was that." The look on her face told me everything I needed to know, and she switched to a safe subject, our children.

Had I been thinking clearly about the things that I had witnessed between her and her husband, I might have considered putting it a different way. Sitting here tonight and looking back, I realize that she behaves the same way I did when married to ex -- panics when she's five minutes late getting home, worries that anything she does will make him angry, is far more calm when he is not around -- the list goes on. It seemed to be the words about seeing his car in the drive and all the anxiety it caused that hit a nerve. She didn't have to say anything; her face said it all.

So here I am wondering what to do about it. I'm not even sure if it's any of my business. I let the moment slip by without saying or asking anything. Is that what friends are supposed to do? Should I bring the subject back up or just let it go? It is her life and her marriage. What didn't work for me could work just fine for someone else, I guess. But that look. I can't get it out of my mind.

For now I will pray for a whole, wonderful life for her. And I will be thankful for the second chance I've been given with my sweet, happy, supportive husband. I wonder if that's all I can do.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Not Me

I am no longer part of the rat race. I haven't been part of it for what seems like forever but has, in reality, only been 12 years. And how things change.

This morning I had an appointment in Providence which required driving during rush hour. People have gone crazy! First, there was a guy who pulled out from Dunkin' Donuts right in front of me. Hey, we all make mistakes, but this guy was holding a cup of coffee in one hand and a cell phone in the other. How on earth did he even make the turn? And was he trying to kill me? I may be getting older, but my reflexes are still pretty good, so I jammed on the brakes and avoided a collision. Good.

Then, once I got onto the highway, things got really crazy. Cars everywhere. I made the mistake of trying to not follow too close, but this one guy decided that there was plenty of room for him to enter my lane without using his blinker. Again, I jam on the brakes and pray that I don't get rear ended. I didn't. Good.

I finally make it to a lovely section of Providence. I'm the first car stopped at a red light. Light turns green. I make yet another mistake, beginning to enter the intersection. A woman this time, but again on the cell phone, barrels through the intersection, right through a red light! You know now, jam on the brakes. Everyone is safe. Good.

I arrive at my destination just in time for my appointment. Now there's nowhere to park! Are you kidding me? I circle the block. Nothing. Circle the next block. Nothing. End up back where I started when someone pulls away from the curb. I pull right in. Good.

Run into the office. The appointment goes off without a hitch. Great! Rush hour's over and the trip home is easy and pleasant.

Now I solemnly swear I will never again make an appointment in Providence at 8 a.m. Never. The Rat Race is over for me. To any of you who must live it each day, I wish you peace and good reflexes.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Bad Mom

Grandpa Ralph

Once again I was reprimanded by daughter for answering, "A dog and a cat," when asked, "Do you have any pets?" "Mom, you always say a dog and a cat, but you never say that we have a pet fish."

So, in the interest of full disclosure, WE HAVE A DOG AND A CAT AND A FISH.

Now, I don't really think of the fish as a pet. We inherited him from our house's previous owner who didn't want to drag him to their new digs (it's hard to say no when asked, in front of the children, if we'd like to keep him). We were told that he was thirty-five years old, yes 35, when we became his family. We were told that they'd given up on him during the Blizzard of '78 when his tank was so dirty he couldn't be seen. But he came through.

We had a hard time believing that a fish could possibly be so old. But now we've had him for seven years (!!), making him 42 years old. Yup, according to what we've been told, he's now 42. I suppose that's unusual and a feat in itself to live that long (I really don't know about fish, so it could be common, but I doubt it).

So..... we have a dog, a cat, AND a fish.

The end.