Monday, January 31, 2005

Our Second Weekend at Adzentoivich Woods

It all started out on Friday night when Nancy left work. Since the C train is no longer running (see previous post) she had to take the A train to Jay Street in Brooklyn. Here she should have transferred to the V train which would have taken her to her usual C train stop. However, she instead took the F train (which in her defense is also Orange) and ended up in Park Slope near NY Methodist Hospital. If you are not too familiar with Brooklyn you should know that this is not close to where she lives, not close at all.

So, in the negative degree weather she decides to walk home rather than paying for a cab. So across 7th Avenue she walked, in her hiking boots, crossing Flatbush, across Bergen Street to Underhill where she eventually turned onto Pacific and landed home. This took a good 45 minutes at a fast clip.

By the time she got home it was 8:30 and she was starving and tired. Mrs. Jinx and Godzilla whined and cried until they were fed. Nancy had no food in the house for dinner. Nancy was not a happy camper.

Ernie was at a recording session which was supposed to be over at 9:00. It was up to Nancy to pack up the car and to go to the city to pick him up on their way out of town. As Nancy was gathering the gear and making piles of necessary items, the phone rang. It was Ernie saying he had finished early and she should come pick him up. Instead Nancy requested that Ernie come home and help her to load the car, which would give her an extra half an hour to find something to eat.

Ernie arrived home at 9:30 and said he didn't want to leave until Saturday morning. Fine. So they went to sleep.

Saturday morning Nancy woke up at 3:30 am. She promptly woke Ernie and they prepared to leave. Neither one could sleep as they were very excited to get to the farm and had an 11:00 appointment with their Allstate Insurance agent to switch the car insurance from CT to PA. They were hoping this would save them money, and they were right.

By 5:30 a.m. they were on the road. They got to PA in no time and went first to the 24 hour Walmart in Hazleton for more supplies; a new sweeper and a few saucer sleds, and then straight to the Ringtown Post Office. They opened a PO Box and now have an official address:

42 Old Mill Rd.
PO Box 74
Ringtown, PA 17976 (I think that is the Zip)

NOTE: This is a bit confusing because Adzentoivich Woods is actually in the town of Brandonville, not Ringtown. However, Brandonville has no Post Office, therefore no Zip Code. So the mailing address is different than the actual location of the farm.

Another side note: Ringtown is a quaint little town with beautiful Victorian and Colonial homes. Nancy and Ernie are looking forward to exploring it further.

Upon their arrival to Adzentoivich Woods, they realized there was no way the Hyundai would make it up the snow-covered drive to the house. This is where the saucer sleds came in handy. They loaded as many of the supplies as they could onto the sleds and pulled them along through the forest. Nancy was smart enough to pack a backpack and filled it with the smaller things like books, silverware and a bottle of wine. This she carried on her back while pulling the sled. It wasn't heavy at all. They made this trek twice that day. Funny how a full-size vacuum cleaner really doesn't ride well on a little saucer sled. See photos below.

When they got to the farm they found the mountain spring that feeds the water to the house had indeed frozen over, as Nancy's father has predicted. There was no water in the house the entire weekend. Luckily there was plenty of snow outside and a few buckets to fill. Ernie kept a continuous supply of snow-filled buckets standing atop the heating vent to have water for flushing the toilet (of course they had already picked up a few jugs of drinking water at Walmart).

When it was time to go to see the Allstate Lady they decided to put the sleds to the test and slide down the drive. Alas, these sleds were not made for full-sized people and so did not get them very far. They did have fun trying though! See photos below.

Later in the evening Ernie decided to explore near the pond, where he found a small run-off stream that was not entirely frozen. He used old water jugs to gather water for rinsing food off dishes and flushing when the snow was not yet melted. The headlamp came in handy. It was snowing. See photos below.

There is plenty more to the tale of Adzentoivich Woods, but some things must wait for another day. Perhaps tomorrow we will tell of the mysterious flies, our Sunday morning visitors, or the antique hinges we discovered on our doors...

Adzentoivich Woods in the Snow

Adzentoivich Woods in the Snow
Originally uploaded by nadzent.

Nancy Trekking Through the Forest to the House

Nancy Carrying the Backpack and Pulling a Saucer Sled Up the Drive

Ernie Pulling Supplies Up the Drive in a Saucer Sled

Nancy Trying out the Sled at the House

Nancy and Her Gear on the Sled

Nancy and Her Gear on the Sled
Originally uploaded by nadzent.

Ernie - The Second Trek up the Drive

Ernie Trekking out of the Woods to the House

Baron Von Ernie - Water Gatherer

Baron Von Ernie - Water Gatherer
Originally uploaded by nadzent.

Baron Von Ernie Going Out To A Stream to Gather Water

Ernie Gathering Stream Water

Ernie Gathering Stream Water
Originally uploaded by nadzent.

In the Stream

In the Stream
Originally uploaded by nadzent.

Walking Back to the House with Water

It's Not Scary At All

It's Not Scary At All
Originally uploaded by nadzent.

Relaxing with a Home Repair Book

Relaxing with a Home Repair Book
Originally uploaded by nadzent.
Ernie relaxes after gathering the water and before going to bed. This is his favorite rocker - which we will have reupholstered.

Friday, January 28, 2005

Farm Weekend

We are heading out to the farm this weekend once again. We will see if it remained in one piece while we were gone. The temperature in Hazleton, PA today is -2, without wind chill. I am not looking forward to the cold walk down the driveway. You see, we have not had our drive plowed and so will have to park the Hyundia at the end, put our stuff on a sled, and drag it down the drive, through the forest, through more than a foot of snow, in the dark. Doesn't that soudns like fun though? We will have our miner's headlamps which we are lucky enough to have bought for our annual campaing trips to Maine. We will stop at the 24 hour Walmart on the way in to purchase a plastic sled...

My phone service has now been changed to Verizon Wireless and will work at Adzentoivich Woods. If anyone needs to get in touch with us please call my cell. If you need the number shoot me an e-mail And if you also have Verizon we are now IN and should talk more often!

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Adzentoivich Music News

Bunim Murray just licensed two CDs worth of music from Adzentoivich Music for use on the several TV shows they produce. You may have heard of The Real World, Road Rules, Real World Road Rules Challenge, etc. all on MTV, or The Simple Life featuring everyone's favortie idiots Paris Hilton and Nicole Ritchie. They also produce several other television shows including Starting Over which is on NBC daytime.

One CD is early PLEXUS music, composed and recorded with Allen Towbin of Maze Studios, NYC, and the second is original Adzentoivich Music tracks, some of which feature vocalist Deanne Wood (my little sister who lives and works in LA).

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

50 Worst People

This is funny in a much different way than yesterday's singing overweight teenager. Although it may be a bit bitter it is undeniably funny when read with a good sense of humor. I think everyone can agree that at least one of the names on this list belongs there:

Sorry about the lack of original content these past two days. Work at Reprise Media has been so incredibly busy that I haven't had any time to think of witty things to say. It is only when looking through Search Engine Marketing Blogs that I have found these few bits of levity to share. Hopefully I will have some time after this next weekend at Adzentoivich Woods to give an update.

If you are looking for stuff to read you can always check out the Adzentoivich Music web site

Tuesday, January 25, 2005


A little afternoon pick-me-up.

This is so funny and makes no sense whatsoever. I found it on Seth Godin's Blog today - he also mentions Stew Leonard's in one of today's posts.

Make sure you have sound turned on and are not in the middle of an office or someplace where you don't want people to think you are insane. This is hysterical. Obviously this kid is not American, and I have no idea what language it is in.


C Train Blues

Back to the harsh reality of City life.

The subway line that runs to our neighborhood in Brooklyn is no longer running after a fire was started, allegedly by a homeless person, on Sunday afternoon. In order to get to work I now have to walk about 10 - 15 minutes to my old neighborhood to catch a different train. The MTA has reported that they don't expect to have the C line running for 3 - 5 years.

How can this be so? How can one individual gain access to such a critical area of the subway system that one fire wipes out an entire line? How can the MTA, who charges $2 per ride, tell more than a half million people that they will have no transportation for 3 to 5 years? What does this do for my property value? The people of Prospect Heights, Clinton Hill, Bedford-Stuyvesant, East New York, etc. are stranded on the island. Is it possible the MTA and the City doesn't care so much because these neighborhoods are historically under-developed and lower income? If this were the 4/5 or 6 trains running to Wall Street and along Lexington Avenue would the MTA timeline be any different?

Who can answer these questions for us? Mike Bloomberg? Is he even aware that people live in these neighborhoods? I don't know. I haven't heard him address the issue as of yet. Where is Al Sharpton to stand up for our civil liberties? Don't we all have equal rights to access to transportation to get to and from our jobs? I am fortunate that I can walk the distance to the next nearest train. What about the older folks who rely on that train to get to their doctor's office or to their volunteer jobs and can't walk that far - especially in the cold?

I have no answers.

Oh yeah - I just got a notice from the NYC Dept. of Finance...they are raising my property taxes for the next fiscal year. I love NY.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Antique Hardware

Who knew that antique hardware ws such big business? Now that we have an old farm house to restore we realize how out of place a new brass doornob would look on the front door, or a modern hinge on the bathroom door.

Luckily my brother Bryan works at a cool place in LA called Liz's Antique Hardware:

Right now he is working on getting us copies of our skeleton keys so that we have a spare set.

There are tons of other resources online for antique hardware and fixtures. Some that I have found:

Crown City Hardware
Clawfoot Supply

Ernie and Woody Walking the Property

Although it was bone-chillingly cold last weekend, we decided to try and walk the property on Sunday morning with my dad. We walked about 1 1/2 hours before giving up. I think we might have gotten to most of it; we'll have to wait until the spring to try again.

Hauling the Trash to the Transfer Station with "Walshie"

"Walshie" came by on Monday and helped us load up his Dodge Dakota with junk we took out of the house (We have at least three more truck loads to go). Luckily for us Walshie didn't think the three or so inches of snow we got that day qualified as "Snow". He came down the mountain anyway.

Adzentoivich Woods DOT - Clearing the Front Steps

Antique Dressing Table and Wash Stand in "Guest Room"

A couple of antique pieces from the "Guest Room".

Front Door - to Kitchen

Front Door - to Kitchen
Originally uploaded by nadzent.
We are so glad to have found the matching screen door so we can switch out the glass in the spring. The screen door was stashed overhead in the barn.

Front Doornob (Tight Security)

Front Doornob (Tight Security)
Originally uploaded by nadzent.
These are the only nobs and locks on the doors. Guess we might have to beef it up a little bit - but without ruining the integrity of the original hardware and door.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Not Going to the Farm This Weekend

We are expecting a huge blizzard so we thought it might be better to stay put in Brooklyn this weekend. It is killing us not being at the farm. I guess it will give us some time to plan and read all of the home renovation books we have.

We finally finished off that bottle of champagne that had been sitting around since New Year's Eve. Now we are drunk at 12:30. Well, not much else to do in a snow storm!

Stay warm.

Pennsylvania Realtor

Our Realtor for the purchase of the farm was Anne Riotto. Anne is Ernie's cousin and has been working in Real Estate in the area for many years. She was patient enough to show us homes on weekends for more than 2 and a half years. Her patience, and our persistence, certianly paid off as we could not be happier with our final purchase.

You can see what Anne has available at under Featured Listings. If you don't see anything you like there click on the Favorite Links button at the bottom left for more listings at Charlotte Solt Realty.

She also has links to other PA realty sites under Favorite Links. There are a lot of great invesment properties in the area, which is why we started looking there in the first place.

Thanks Anne!!

Adzentoivich Woods as Seen From the Pond

Another view of Adzentoivich Woods. For those of you who don't know - Wood is my maiden name, so Adzentoivich Woods is the name of the property but also an homage to both our families. We plan to keep this in our family for at least 4 generations, as the Savitsky's did. Assuming there is going to be a next generation (we are working on it).

The Hyundai only made it this far up the drive. The section closest to the house is the most steep and muddy.

Ernie in Front Room with Antique Cabinet and Yuengling

This front parlor looks like it was used for storage. There is a beautiful oriental rug on the floor that is too large for the room and so is rolled up half way. We think it is the real deal but it is hard to tell until we can unroll it and clean it up. This is what we now call the spider room. We also found a mouse casualty in here (gross). We think the cabinet is the find of the century and most likely is worth more than the purchase price of the house.

Antique Cabinet/Bureau

Antique Cabinet/Bureau
Originally uploaded by nadzent.
This is the most amazing thing we have found so far. When we looked at the house for the first time this dresser/cabinet was sitting closed up in the front parlor off of the bathroom. When we heard that they were probably leaving it we were more excited about that than about the house itself. We really don't know what it is. The carvings are amazing. The front of the piece is curved and has curved-front drawers and cabinets. The mirror is large and backed with leaded silver. This is definitely staying. It will probably end up as a diningroom piece. We found several things in the house that came from Japan and are guessing that someone was stationed there during the War and sent things home to PA. Lucky us!

Clawfoot Tub After I Ruined It

Clawfoot Tub After I Ruined It
Originally uploaded by nadzent.
This tub was pristine when we arrived after the closing, except for a few spiders and dead flies. Of course it did not take me long to destroy a tub that has sat in peace for more than 75 years.
I filled it with hot water and bleach in an attempt to clean it. Ernie was washing dishes at the same time. Apparently the hot water heater doesn't have a very big tank. We ran it until the water turned to rust and was cold. When I went to check on the tub it was filled with rusty brown water. The tub had rusted on the bottom by the time I emptied it. We tried to scrub it with AJAX, thinking it was a stain. Unfortunately it looks like we burned the finish completely off the bottom of the tub. Luckily we have found several tub reglazers in the Scranton area who claim to be able to repair the damage I have done. More hard-learned lessons.... 1. Replace a hot water heater if it is more than 25 years old before attempting to fill a bathtub 2. Don't add chemicals to a cast iron tub 3. Don't clean with chemicals when your water is untreated spring water, already high in metals, and prone to rust and reactions...We will be installing our water treatment system and a new hot water heater very soon.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Skeleton keys to the house. More than 100 years old.

One of the joys of purchasing an antique home with all of its contents are the things of beauty and historical significance that you find along the way. One of the challenges of purchasing an antique home with all of its contents is sorting through all of the junk before finding the treasures. Here is a sample of the beautiful pieces that were left behind by the Savitsky family.

Antique Wash Basin on Wash Stand

Antique Wash Basin on Wash Stand
Originally uploaded by nadzent.
This pretty wash basin and pitcher were left on a dark wood antique wash stand.

Antique Cut Glass Lamp - Electric

Antique Cut Glass Lamp - Electric
Originally uploaded by nadzent.
There are two of these beautiful lamps. The electric cord is an actual wire, thin and pliable. I am not sure how safe it is to use these but they really look great. The cover has a floral etching.

Found antique frame with photos. Phone, wallpaper

This may be the original wallpaper. The phone is old, obviously. The frame is black velvet and has four round openings each with a great antique photo of what we are assuming are Savitsky family members through the years. It adds great history to the house.

Antique Hoosier Baking Cabinet with Sifter

I am not sure of the spelling on this one. The cabinet to the left is actually for storing baking flour. There is a sifter in the bottom. The counter slides out for a larger work space. There is a second cabinet like this in the barn in need of refinishing.

Antique Farberware Electric Coffee Maker and Various Coffee and Tea Pots

The Farberware pot was in its original box and looks like it has never been used.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Dawn at Adzentoivich Woods Day 1

Dawn at Adzentoivich Woods Day 1
Originally uploaded by nadzent.
We found it very difficult to sleep past 6:30 this first weekend at Adzentoivich Woods. Luckily, we were rewarded with a beautiful sunrise each morning.

Dawn at Adzentoivich Woods Day 1

Dawn at Adzentoivich Woods Day 1
Originally uploaded by nadzent.
We bought the farm for the beauty of the land and the location - the house itself was secondary.

Dawn at Adzentoivich Woods Day 1

Dawn at Adzentoivich Woods Day 1
Originally uploaded by nadzent.
A pink glow sheathed the farm on the first morning, just after dawn.

Dawn at Adzentoivich Woods Day 3

Dawn at Adzentoivich Woods Day 3
Originally uploaded by nadzent.

Dawn at Adzentoivich Woods Day 3

Dawn at Adzentoivich Woods Day 3
Originally uploaded by nadzent.
Monday morning we woke to a light snow fall. We woke every morning before 7 am, in time to watch the sun rise over the mountain.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

More farm lessons;

1. Don’t buy a house filled with someone else’s junk. You spend way too much time cleaning it out and sifting through it.
2. It’s cool to buy a house full of someone else’s stuff. You end up finding a lot of cool things.
3. What ever you think it is going to cost double it.
4. How ever long you think it is going to take-triple it.
5. Sitting in a warm dump truck beats trail running in hiking boots.
6. We have a ¾ of a mile dirt drive to get to the house, it is wet, uneven, full of huge holes, (there is even a section that we call the pond) and the roads in lower Manhattan are worse.

Adzentoivich Woods

Adzentoivich Woods
Originally uploaded by nadzent.

Farm House "Master Bedroom" - 2nd Floor

The second storey has 2 dormer bedrooms. We bought a new matress set and put it on this old metal bedframe (after ripping off the attached metal springs). The rocker and dressing table were left byt he previous owners.

Farm House Kitchen-Dining Area

Farm House Kitchen-Dining Area
Originally uploaded by nadzent.
This is one big room that was originally two rooms. The previous owners used it as the kitchen/dining/sitting area. The stairs are the main (steep) staircase to the house, the other front parlor is to Ernie's right and the bathroom is through the doorway at the bottom of the stairs.

Dad Sifting Through Junk

Dad Sifting Through Junk
Originally uploaded by nadzent.
Here is my dad (the Hero of yesterday's story), sifting through an old antique piece that is located in one of the 2 front parlors. This piece of furniture is absolutely amazing.

Farm House Kitchen

Farm House Kitchen
Originally uploaded by nadzent.
Old one-piece sink/drainboard. The previous owners left all of their belongings behind. We spent the entire weekend going through their old junk to see if there migh tbe anything worth keeping. We hauled one pickup truck load to the dump so far. Notice the linoleum...there are about 5 layers.

Farm House Bathroom

Farm House Bathroom
Originally uploaded by nadzent.
This is a full-sized room that they turned into a bathroom. The house originally had no plumbing, therefore no proper bath. The tub is beautiful and we plan to have it reglazed. This room even has linoleum on half of the wall.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

This Old Farm House

Well - we made it through our first weekend on the farm. The first night was a bit rough. Us City slickers are not used to such darkness. Luckily we found that we get great radio reception in the house and were able to distract ourselves from the quiet with that.

When Ernie looked out the kitchen window his first remark was
"Dude, it's like we're under water. It is so dark. I can't see anything."
And there you have it. Being in the farm house at night is like being under water - except the air is really, really good.

On Saturday morning we had a bit of a fiasco. We realized that our cell phones, in fact, did not get service on the farm. For some reason we remembered them working when we were there in November and so did not call to have the land line turned on. Not only were we physically more than a mile from the next human, we could not call anyone either.

When we went out in the morning to drive to the post office we found that the van we had borrowed from my father was in trouble. It started, but one of the rear wheels was locked. I slid about 500 feet down the driveway before realizing one tire was not moving. By this time we had already landed one of the front wheels in the brook that runs alongside the upper part of the drive. It turns out one does not have great control over an all-wheel-drive vehicle when one of its wheels refuses to move. We were sure we had broken something underneath the vehicle on one of our trips down the dirt drive.

Since we could not call for help we set off down the drive on foot. 3/4 of a mile with no breakfast and no coffee at 8am. There was a guy on his way with 4 tons of rock at 10:00 am and we had to be back by the time he arrived. If we could not get the van out of the way we were afraid he would not be able to turn his dump truck around to dump the gravel for the drive.

We walked in the freezing cold to the end of the drive where we still had no cell phone service. From there we walked about another mile - up hill - to the little deli/variety/hunting goods store on the main road. The proprietor, Yablonsky, happens to be the nephew of the woman from whom we bought the farm. He is happy to meet us but can't help us to move our van. He sells us a roll of quarters instead. I try to call my mother, in Connecticut, from the pay phone outside, but it won't work. I end up calling her collect. Luckily she tells me that my father is on his way and had left about a half hour ago. Ernie and I jump for joy that daddy is coming to save the day! (Pathetic really, at this rate we will never make it as country folk).

Ernie is on the pay phone with my mother giving her instructions to relay to my father. I see a big dump truck barreling down the road and flag him down - figuring it had to be our rock guy, Wayne. Sure enough he pulls into Yablonsky's parking lot and Ernie jumps on board while I am left on the phone with my mother. They leave me there while they go dump the gravel.

After another 10 minutes confirming directions with my mother, and giving her emergency numbers for my dad to call if he gets lost (since there will be no way for him to get in touch with us), my legs and face are entirely numb. I set off down the road towards home. After about 1000 feet I start to jog. Walking just didn't seem to make sense at that point - why walk when you can run? Here I am , in my hiking boots, green khaki pants and multicolored Columbia jacket, running down a windy, steep mountain road. Two cars pass me and I wave, as if there is nothing odd about a 30-something woman jogging down a rural mountain road in hiking boots and khakis, at 10 in the morning on a 15 degree day. They don't wave back.

I get to my drive and just keep running. Now an even greater challenge - trail running. I leap over fallen branches, stones and puddles, all the while not feeling a thing because my legs are so numb. I think briefly of the Polar Bear swim on January 1st and how I pulled my back muscles without knowing it due to the numbing cold of the water. I keep running. I run past Ernie, I run past the guy dumping a ton of gravel, I run right into the house where I promptly stand over the hot air vent. I lie down on the bamboo couch (more on that another time) and rub the crap out of my now purple legs until the feeling begins to return. I feel good for the running - but the numbness is a bitch.

Ernie comes into the house after Wayne has finished dumping his stone and tells me a theory. Wayne told him the brake drum on the tire probably froze over night in the severe cold. I think to where I parked the van the night before - in direct path of one of the 30 mountain springs on the property. The wheel had been sitting in the middle of flowing water all night long. Wayne suggested banging the wheel with a hammer. We did. It moved. Crises ended.

Dad showed up about an hour and a half later expecting to find his van broken and in a ditch. Luckily for all of us that was not the case.

Lesson #1
Never park downstream of a spring, in its path

Lesson #2
If you think you get cell phone service in a remote area, check twice to be sure

Lesson #3
Always carry a pre-paid calling card

Lesson #4
Everyone you meet has something to teach you

More farm weekend pictures will be posted later tonight or tomorrow, along with more stories. This may spin off into it's own blog This Old Farm House.....

Adzentoivich Woods

Adzentoivich Woods
Originally uploaded by nadzent.

Adzentoivich Woods - Third Morning

The third day it snowed and it didn't stop until we left on the fourth day. This is the farm house as seen from the driveway. The barn and garden house are on the left of the photo.

Adzentoivich Woods DOT - Foreman

Adzentoivich Woods DOT - Foreman
Originally uploaded by nadzent.
Uncle Bernards wheel barrow came in quite handy.

Adzentoivich Wood DOT - Supervisor

Repairing the driveway

Repairing the driveway
Originally uploaded by nadzent.
When we arrived on Friday there had been 2 inches of rain within 15 minutes time. The Catawissa Creek, which runs adjacent to our driveway, had risen over its banks and flooded our road in many spots. We ordered 4 tons of gravel and spread it the next morning in about 1 1/2 hours. According to the gravel guy, we are going to need about 150 tons more to cover the entire drive...

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Country vs. City

I know this may cause a lot of controversy among you diehard city-types...but oh well:

Reasons the Country is Better than the City
  1. Stars in the sky, not on the street
  2. Trees and grass outside the windows instead of garbage cans and cars with loud radios
  3. I can go for a walk without leaving my property
  4. Don't have to spend 20 minutes each morning brushing up against 35 strangers and 1 or 2 crazy people
  5. I can take a deep breath without inhaling car fumes and pollution
  6. Silence
  7. I can wear colors: bright colors, light colors, red, white, whatever, whenever
  8. Don't have to worry about being hit by a cab every time I cross a street or get in my car
  9. Don't have to move my car every day
  10. Don't have to worry about being stabbed, shot, blown-up, mugged, raped, slapped, punched...(insert any violent act) during my regular daily routine
  11. Don't have to travel underground

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

USA Freedom Corps

This is the web site that George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton have been seen supporting both on television and in print. It is a great site and deserves some attention.

You can donate, volunteer or just find out exactly what the US is doing to help in the Tsunami relief effort. It seems to be mostly non-partisan, which is always nice.

Preparing for the Farm through Reading

Last evening, after work, I bought the book Contracting Your Home. Ernie bought the Book Home Masonry. For Christmas my father bought us Old Home Rennovation. We have an apartment full of painting, caulking and cleaning supplies. Not to mention clothing and linens stored away in Rubbermaid containers where they will live until the house is finished.

Mrs. Jinx and Godzille and freaking out. They definitely know something is up. Godzilla likes to sit in the middle of the pile of stuff as if saying "Don't forget to take me too!" Unfortunately the kitties will have to stay at home in Brooklyn alone this time and perhaps for many, many weekends to come, until we get things semi-squared away (or at least to a point where they can't get hurt among the construction).

We have ordered a subscription to This Old House magazine, Ernie got me the entire first season of Ask This Old House on DVD. We have also become very fond of Cottage Living and Old Home Journal magazines.

Ernie came across The Complete Guide to Country Living at Barnes and Noble. It is a giant tome full of wise advice such as "how to teach your cat simple tricks" and "making home vinegar". Ernie believes this book is going to be essential to our lives once the farm is completed....

Help Wanted:
The Truck
We are still looking for a pickup truck to buy on the cheap. Something good for hauling the demolition materials away to the landfill and lugging supplies from Home Depot or Lowes (both of which are very close to the farm...thankfully!) to the homestead. This truck may also be used to plow the 1/2 mile wooded dirt driveway...and should be 4-wheel drive and have at least a half a backseat so that we can fit a kid or two in there (hopefully someday). If anyone knows of such a truck please let us know.

Gravel Driveway Experts
If anyone has expertise in building gravel driveways over wet dirt, please let us know. We are hoping to start this project this we need to be able to get down th driveway to the house and the Hyundai will never make it in it's current condition.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

I Need More Cowbell

If you didn't see this on SNL, or if you did and nearly peed your pants, here is the Blue Oyster Cult skit with Christopher Walken and the "More Cowbell" bit. Too funny. I was crying at my desk this afternoon.

Works best if you have high speed conneciton.


We're Not Stressed at All!

Short Story:

Ernie had a gig on Saturday night in Dumbo.
He had to be there at 7:30.
We left our house at 7:00 - I was driving him over.
We were one block away from the theater when Ernie said "Holy Shit! I forgot my Bass!"
We Laughed, and Laughed and Laughed...Ernie has never gone to a gig without his instrument.
He called and told them that he was at the venue but had to go home to get his bass
They Laughed, and Laughed and Laughed...
We went home, got the bass and drove back to the theater.
The show started 20 minutes late.
Nobody laughed.


Isn't this weather out of control? My sister in LA called me last night to say a house had slid into a pre-school. She works at the YMCA in Santa Monica at the pool. The pool is in a canyon outside. Nobody was swimming yesterday - she got to go home.

My Mother in law lives in Las Vegas. She said they had several inches of snow over the weekend. There were 30-some-odd accidents within the first 10 mintes...

It is supposed to be 60 degrees in NYC on Thursday but there are 3 inches of snow on the ground in CT...

They have been having ice storms in PA for the past week and a half. Trees and wires are down everywhere...

Tides have risen everywhere around the world...

The earthquake certianly has shaken things up a bit. Most of the humans I know are in the middle of huge life-changes right now as well.

Ernie and I are moving half of our lives to a farm in the middle of nowhere in Pennsylvania...

My family have managed to get themselves out of debt and are now living free of interest payments...

Brad and Jen broke up...

The Rowe's have bought an apartment and will no longer be renters...

Mrs. Jinx discovered she likes to sleep in the dark bathroom....

Stephanie has devised a "Plan" for 2005 and seems to be at no loss of Friendster boyfriends...

Allen and Liz are engaged....

Ernie and my mom spent an entire day together without incident...

So far 2005 has shaken things up and it all seems to be for the better - except of course if your house is on the side of a hill in Southern California, or if you live in Southeast Asia.


Monday, January 10, 2005

Seth Godin's Blog

Here is a great Blog

Even if you are not into Marketing or the internet, Seth has some great things to say about life in general, the way we interact with one another and weird things to be found on the web.

Bon Jour!

Oh La La! This morning on the Today Show Katie Couric interviewed this lovely French woman who has written a new book. It is about how French women stay so slim and fabulous while eating cheese, croissants, dark chocolate and wine. Her solution is everything in moderation. Don't deny yourself anything but eat very small portions. Also - you have to eat Yogurt like it's going out of style.

I guess I can eat Yogurt once a day if it means I get to eat a whole baquette with fresh butter for petite de'jeunere (I am sure I mispelled that), followed by a cup of espresso with a dark chocolate snack before lunch (always dark chocolate, never milk).

Another trick is that the Yugurt has to be plain, with fresh fruit in it. Not premixed.

Her other no-no is foods with preservatives. Very bad for several reasons. The first being that if you can't finish it in one sitting it goes into the trash because it won't last for days and days. The second is simply because preservatives and chemicals are bad for our health. She tells us our foods must be fresh. We must sit down when we eat and take our time. Appreciate our meals. This is very difficult to accomplish within today's American lifestyle.

In any case, I think it's worth a shot! It sure seems a lot better than giving up carbs or drinking chemicals out of a can for lunch.

Bon Appetite!

Friday, January 07, 2005


Enough of the Political, enough of the serious stuff. It's Friday so let's all rejoice and chill!

Did you know that January 7th is:
  • My grandfather Germano's birthday?
  • Also the birthday of celebrities: Katie Couric, Nicolas Cage, and Paul Revere (of the Raiders, not the Revolutionary rider)
  • Birth Anniversary of Saint Bernadette of Lourdes (1844 - 1879) - who saw visions of the Virgin Mary in Lourdes, France
  • The date of the first US election when George Washington was elecetd President (1789)
  • The date the first Fannie Farmer Cookbook was published (1896)
  • Sherlock Holmes began his adventures "The Valley of Fear" (1888) and "The Adventure of the Blanched Soldier" (1903)

Thursday, January 06, 2005

New US Attorney General

The Geneva Convention was meant to protect all humans, not just Americans. How can the President appoint someone to uphold our laws who does not understand them, or who only follows them when it is convenient (for the President)? The Attorney General is part of our system of Checks and Balances and should be someone who has demonstrated a clear understanding of law and the ability, or desire, to uphold it. Make your opinion heard by following the links below. Being involved in the process of Democracy is fun and it is our right!

This is from the web site:

Say No to Torture
The Senate is considering Alberto Gonzales' nomination to become Attorney General, replacing John Ashcroft. Gonzales is the White House counsel notorious for opening the door to torture at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay prisons. In 2002, Gonzales wrote a memo to President Bush arguing the war on terror renders the Geneva Conventions "quaint" and "obsolete." Senators should view the Gonzales nomination skeptically, given this history. For analysis of Gonzales' record, click here.
Sign our call for Gonzales to unequivocally renounce torture as an instrument of American policy.
Support our TV ad calling for Senators to oppose the Gonzales nomination.


Wellies. Do you rememebr them? Also known as Golashes, Rubbers and rain boots. I love mine. I love this rainy/snowy weather becasue I have an excuse to wear my Wellies. Everyone at work thinks I am a nut. Today I am wearing them with a skirt and tights. Of course I don't bring a pair of regular shoes to change into once I get to the office - I wear my Wellies all day long!

My Wellies are shiny black rubber. They have bright pink soles and trim around the top. Very snazy. Not quite as showy as some of the others I've seen walking around the City. This morning I saw someone at my train sotp wearing bright red ones with big white polkadots. How can you not smile when an adult professional walks by you wearing bright-colored rubber booties? How can you feel down when your super shiny rubber boots give you the ability to splash through puddles at every corner without a care in the world like some sort of rainy day super hero?

You have to love this weather.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Rainy Days - Rainy People

The weather in the Northeast sucks. Cold and rainy. It is supposed to turn to feezing ice tonight - yay! Always nice to enjoy this weather in the City. This is supposed to carry on until the weekend. I would rather it snow a bunch instead. Oh well.

My entire office is sick. People are complaining of Broncitus-like symptoms and sore throats. Sneezing, coughing, etc. Yesterday I stayed home from work with a killer sinus headache. Today I am back in the office with a pile of work to do. I suppose it is that time of year! Yuck.

Along with the icky weather comes icky people. For example:

On my way home from the gym this morning I noticed a car pulling away from the curb in front of my building with its backdoor hanging open. I thought this was very strange. The driver - a car service driver - put on his hazzards and got out of the car. I was walking toward him. I thought maybe someone had jumped out of the car without paying their fare and was running off down the street. I looked to see who he was chasing after.

The only person I saw in front of him was a woman waiting for the bus. She was all wrapped up against the weather carrying her umbrella, the paper and a purse. To my surprise he ran right toward her! She tried to get away from him and ended up in the busy street, narrowly missing being hit by a car. He began hitting her about the head and face. I was stunned! There were 5 to 10 people walking on the sidewalk, not to mention all of the cars on busy Washington Avenue at this time of day. He didn't care who saw him assault this poor woman. He walked past me with a snarl on his face and got back into his car. I looked at him in the face but he would not meet my stare.

I shouted to the woman "Do you need help?" while he was still within ear shot. I didn't want him to think what I just saw him do was OK. She seemed a bit dazed. I walked over to her and asked her if she knew the man. She told me she had gotten into this car - it was a Taxi and Limousine car - and told the man where she needed to go. He told her he wasn't going to take her. So she got out of the car and went back to the bus stop to catch the bus. Apparently when she got out the man pulled away before she could close the door properly. That is the only contact she had had with this person. He felt the need to beat her because she left the door to his car open.

I asked her if she knew which car service he worked for and she said she didn't. She also refused any help and said "...God will punish this man. He will be dead by the end of the day." She had tears in her eyes. I felt so sorry for her, but thought maybe her punishment was a bit harsh. I was thinking more along the lines of writing down his TLC plate number to call it in, not imparting heavenly fury. I also felt sorry for the man who was going to get the wrath of God cast down upon him! I told her that I was sorry this had happened to her. She thanked me and I went inside to get ready for work.

I guess the moral of this story is, always make sure you close the door behind you and never mess with someone unless you know exactly who they have pulling for them on their side.

I am just glad that I did a good deed for her. Maybe she will ask God to do something nice for me in return!

Monday, January 03, 2005

Back to Work

Back to work afte the nice holiday weekend. Lots going on in the world of Search Engine Marketing (SEM). You can check out and also our SEM blog Search Views, for updates on how Google keeps making money hand over fist.

Not much time to write but a couple of things:

  1. Don't forget about Southeast Asia. Please help in whatever way you can. Pray, donate time or money, whatever. Some organizations who will gladly take your money right on line:


American Red Cross
  1. Make a New Years resolution to take better care of yourself. That is the best thing we can each do for the ones we love. Exercise, eat properly, see a doctor when needed and ask for help if you can't do something youself. Cut yourself some slack!

Sunday, January 02, 2005


Today is my birthday. Hurrah!

I posted photos from my swim yesterday with the Polar Bear Club below. Enjoy.

I don't think I have too much to say on the topic of turning another year older. But I am sure I can come up with something....

Getting older scares me of course, but at the same time is strangely comforting. For instance, a few years ago I would never have posted photos of myself in a bathing suit on a blog - and I was quite a few pounds smaller back then - today, however, I could care less. It is nice to not give a damn anymore. I guess that comes with age. A little more wisdom each year. I find I care less and less about things that used to matter so much. As I get older it is really the big things that matter the most - family, friends, health and true joy. I begin to understand why ", liberty and the pursuit of happiness..." was so important to our founding fathers. They sure didn't ask for "...the biggest SUV, more good hair days and a smaller ass..."

I also realize that it isn't really all about me. If others are happy, so I will be. If the planet is healthy, so I will be. If others feel safe, so too will I. If I give love and understanding the more loved and understood I feel. It is quite simple - really.

So, here's to turning 35!

Getting out of the Ocean after 3rd and final swim, 1/1/05

Astroland Park. Coney Island, NY. New Years Day 1/1/05.

Drying off after swim #2 1/1/05

Drying off after swim #2 1/1/05
Originally uploaded by nadzent.