Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Back porch is finished...

and it only took about a month! I wonder how long the front will take. We must have everything painted before winter. This sounds like trouble to me.



Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Masumi Hayashi

We were in bed and watching the news on Thursday August 17, 2006. I was in that in-between sleep and awake phase, eyes fluttering open with the start of each loud commercial. My husband startled me by asking "Are you watching this? Is that Masumi's apartment?!?"

Oh my God. Yes, it is. But that can't be her. No, that's not possible.

A woman and man were shot to death in a condo on W. 75th St. and Detroit.

I jumped out of bed to search all the local news websites. The names of the vicitims were not released yet. The stories were all very vague and contained different details. I could barely breath. Wasn't she still in California visiting family? Should I call my friend E and tell her? No, I can't call and wake her up and upset her with news that I wasn't sure was true. Maybe it was someone else.

I laid back down and listened to my heart beating hard in my chest. I was not going to sleep. My phone started ringing. I jumped out of bed to hear E on the other end of the line tell me through tears that Masumi was dead.

I can not explain what it's like to see a news camera focus in on your friend's apartment window in the middle of the night, while the newscaster states that a woman has been shot there. All night I thought about her son getting phoned in the middle of the night.

2 weeks have almost passed now. It's been tough. She touched so many lives and left so much behind. The memories of her are very sweet right now and I'm enjoying them immensley.

Take care Masumi.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

The Sunshine State

I'm back from Florida and still recovering from a ridiculous sunburn. I don't understand how 2 grown, educated women do not know how to apply sun screen. I guess it could be due to lack of use? All I know is that I'm totally embarrassed by this burn and am shielding all parts of my body for the rest of my life!

Let's get on with the story of my friend T's move...

Day 1 - we drove (13 hours) to Savannah , dropped our bags at the hotel and quickly got on a shuttle to the city. I've been there numerous times before so we didn't have to waste any precious time finding our way around. I ate oysters at Bernie's, we both has slices at Vinnie VanGoGo's and drank beer at The Rail.

Day 2 - On the road again to Tampa. We arrived at her new apartment where she signed the lease and we then moved her stuff in. A trip to Target was next where she used loads of gift cards (what great "going away" presents!) to purchase some necessary apartment items - shower curtains, towels, garbage can, etc. That evening we went to Ybor City and visited the New World Brewery (fun!) & the Green Iguana (very touristy).

Day 3 - T went to work and I stayed at the new pad to watch cable, do some laundry, read and enjoy the pool. What a hard day!
IMG_1568 After a long first day at work T was in need of some relaxing. We had dinner and enjoyed live folk music that evening at an Irish bar called Four Green Fields.

Day 4 - the day we had our meeting with the sun at Indian Rocks Beach. It was gorgeous weather, the beach and water were beautiful and we had a lovely time. That evening we visited with some other friends of mine that live in Tampa. They had a low country boil in their backyard that was completely devoured.

Day 5 - T and I both got up really early so we drove around a little and checked out an area called Hyde Park. We enjoyed brunch at a diner called Daily Eats. Both of us ordered the "Benedictine" - eggs benedict with shredded chicken, mushrooms and basil. I enjoyed a side of grits. Yum! I was very nervous about the airport. With all the security stuff that has gone on recently I had to check my bag. I insisted T drop me off at the airport super early and of course I was through security in 10 minutes.

It was a great trip with lots of memories. Good luck to T at your new job and in your new city!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006


Feels like I have not written anything in a long time. Things have been pretty crazy lately. My sister-in-law and her family came to Cleveland for a surprise visit (they live in Colorado), I got a huge job rejection, construction started on our house and I'm leaving tomorrow morning for Tampa. One of my good friends GOT a job there - hooray! I will be accompanying her and one very tightly packed Saturn on the 18 hour(?)drive. I'll be flying back on Sunday - hopefully with a tan and lots of pictures.

Anyways, I've been meaning to post for days about our home in Old Brooklyn. We live in the upstairs apartment. There is barely any paint left on the siding and the front and back porches are falling down. Looks like a great place to live, doesn't it? Well, the apartments are huge and in very good shape (really!) and it's a nice street to live on. So, it came time for us to get the outside looking good too.

We worked on getting the funding and the contractor together for months. It FINALLY got under way last week. Both the front and back porches torn will be torn down and rebuilt plus other misc work will be done to spruce teh joint up.

The back porch was torn down first. Here are a few photos.

day 1 - demo

day 4 - working on 2nd floor

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Praying Mantis

My husband found a praying mantis hanging out on our cooler last week. He carefully moved it over to the hydrangea bush.
Can you see it?
According to OSU "They do not bite humans, damage household furnishings, nor spread disease. However, when handled, their spiny-like forelegs can be readily felt as a "sharp pinch." Mantids are most commonly seen in late September and early October either resting on a plant or "fluttering" through the air, sometimes mistaken for a hummingbird." Then I found this's not being mistaken for a humming bird, it's eating one!