August 27th, 2011
If It’s Free, It’s For Me: 2011 US Tennis Open Not a huge tennis fan, but always up for a new adventure with pals… Dee is an old friend I have not seen much of lately, so when she suggested this, it sounded perfect.
Every August, in the week before the US Open is held in Flushing Meadow Park, is a free qualifying tournament.
YES! Free parking, free access to all the qualifying tournaments-you just walk in and sit down. There were vendors selling programs, and I think , too, a listing of matchups and schedules, but neither of us really follow tennis, so we wouldn’t have known who was who, or how to pick, so we just wandered.
We got STUPID-LUCKY, the first match we wandered into featured #5 seed David Ferrer from Spain. In other matches, also caught Go Soeda, of Japan; and Jesse Galung, of the Netherlands.
Not being focused on the finer points of the game itself, was able to ponder all sorts of other incidentals:
Don’t understand the scoring, but the protocols of the game were fascinating: Everything from how the ball kids entered, then ran on the court, how towels and balls were handed to the players in between points, even pre-match preparations, like measuring the height of the net, and signing off on it all-was replicated with military precision on every court, for every match.
Makes sense, just not the stuff you’d see if you were watching on TV.
Also learned it takes a lot of people to make a match official: Not counting security or supervisors, there were a total 15: Six ball ‘kids’ , seven judges, and ohyes, the two players.
And a LOT of towels!! In between points players could signal for one, for a quick wipe. Even my untrained eye could see other strategies at work.
One player in particular signaled for a towel at every opportunity; most times it was a delicate dab to his mouth, like one would practice with a linen napkin, in a fine restaurant. He was losing; whether he was not good, or the other guy was just on fire-who knows, but it was a great stalling technique.
But that begot other questions-was each towel fresh-or just aired out? Then, WHO WASHES ALL THESE TOWELS??
Two other take-aways:
Decorative sports tape is the must-have sports accssory: Tape that functioned to support, or dispense some type of therapy made a fashion statement on several players. What looked like lace graced the back of one female player; blue (Painters’ tape!) complimented this player’s outfit, while doing something else more worthwhile, I’m sure.
Black Sharpie pens: bring your own-bring several! Better yet, inquire about investing in Sharpie concession. Collecting autographs on tennis balls were all the rage; but for every kid holding a ball-there was a black Sharpie pen in the other hand.
Also loved the un-automated brackets on the outer walls of the stadium.
Set on the grounds of the 1964 World’s Fair, it was a delightful two-fer to wander over and see the iconic Unishpere. Never been, always wanted to, and it was great. Beautiful gardens, lovely day-couldn’t have asked for more.
Yesterday was the last day for this year’s event, but if you’re a fan, make note for next year, you’ll have a blast.
May 22nd, 2011
Have been busy, planning our 35th High School reunion…so even though that time of life has been on my mind lately, earlier this week I was rocketed back in a nano-second when I suddenly realized our Senior Prom had been 35 years ago, that night.
Couldn’t tell you why I remembered it all of a sudden, but I did.
Then I had to find THE picture.
Took me a few days…
But finally, wow, there we were.
Those lapels were certainly wide.
But so were our eyes.
And did you ever see such big dreams? We were so worldly then…
Seems like we were in good company…Happy 70th birthday Bob!!
April 21st, 2011
Tax day. Earth Day. Earth WEEK.
Passover. Easter. 3 Birthdays. Our Wedding Anniversary.
Spring Buying Season. Furniture Drives and other events.
YUP< this is what April means to me. ENJOY!
March 16th, 2011
OK, so by now we are good with overly-doting parents, refrigerator clutter, and ‘the party house’; sex, religion and politics-right?
EXCELLENT!! Onward, then!!
QUESTION: What do pets, kids, people who smoke and cooking have in common?
ANSWER: Easy answer is they…ummm emit odors.
QUESTION: How to help a seller come to terms with, and remedy this condition?
A) Elevate the discussion, and focus on the positive first. Acknowledge that at the very core, in the majority of cases, these odor-emitters are also what bring light and love into a home and a life.
B) Separate the sin from the sinner. Understand-while buyers will smell wet dog, nasty sneakers, stale smoke and lingering fish.
Sellers think of the wagging tail that greets them every morning, the pride of their kid making the jump shot at the buzzer, perhaps their beloved spouse who is so struggling to quit, or who very romantically made the grilled salmon or scampi for dinner the night before.
C) Early on, everything is about getting the house sold. Period. It is the motivation, rationale and answer to everything. It allows for kindness, compassion and forthrightness to be present simultaneously.
D) …is for ‘de-personalize’ it. The reality is that today many people have allergies, asthma, or some other sort of respiratory ailment…why shrink the buyer pool unnecessarily?
E) “We are all in this together” My sellers know I am with them, every step of the way. So they truly get that while it may be hard for them to hear of their odoriferous conditions, it is just as hard to tell them.
February 28th, 2011
Some people dislike, even dread their birthdays.
Especially as I collect more and more, each one is all the more reason to celebrate.
While I like to look for things to revel in, and be happy about most every day, on my birthday l am determined to squeeze all the fun, silliness and specialness out of the day that is possible.
Did you know- “The tradition of birthday parties started in Europe a long time ago.
It was feared that evil spirits were particularly attracted to people on their birthdays.
To protect them from harm, friends and family would to come be with the birthday person and bring good thoughts and wishes.
Giving gifts brought even more good cheer to ward off the evil spirits. This is how birthday parties began.
At first it was only kings who were recognized as important enough to have a birthday celebration (maybe this is how the tradition of birthday crowns began?).
As time went by, children became included in birthday celebrations. The first children’s birthday parties occurred in Germany and were called Kinderfeste.” Courtesy of Reference.com
When Robert, my oldest nephew first started to speak, his toddler shorthand for “Happy Birthday Aunt Marie” was “Happy to You, Aunt Re!”. Anyone else celebrating today? HAPPY TO YOU!!
February 22nd, 2011
Temps in the 40′s?
Seeing this morning’s sunrise?
Valentine’s Day just passed?
AND OHYES< My Birthday fast approaching???
Spring Training has started!
First NYY game in the Grapefruit League is Saturday 2/26, 1:05 vs Philly; Opening Day for NY is Thurs 3/31 vs. Detroit.
John Fogarty’s “Centerfield”, anyone?
January 31st, 2011
East Rochester NY is just under a mile and a half squared, southeast of Rochester proper, and in close proximity to Fairport, Penfield and Pittsford.
Originally a planned community, with the NY Central running right through town, it was home to the Aeolian Piano Factory, until it moved it’s offices to Memphis in the early 50′s. Despite being a small community, they are known for their winning sports teams.
Robert Trent Jones, the famous golf course architect once lived there. The spring is glorious, with more lilacs that you can imagine in bloom during their annual festival in late April. The summers are too short, and the winter, well…
My in-laws met and married there, my husband was born there, and it was the life-long home for Stella Dudinski Vogler, my husband’s grandmother. She lived in the same house on West Filbert Street for almost 60 years.
In the almost 18 years we have been together, Doug and I made the trip up together about a half-dozen times; plus Doug on his own, at least that many times, mostly in the last 8 or 9 years.
This past April I wrote about he and I surprising her for her 96th birthday, as she was walking into lunch at her assisted living facility.
This past week, after a fall, and an ohsofast decline, we lost Stella.
The hands that made thousands and thousands of cookies for 8 grandchildren, that held and rocked 19 great-grandchildren, but would still beat the &$!& out of you in cards were stilled.
I had often told friends that ‘if you are going to be old, you want to live in East Rochester’, because it seemed to me that for every 70+ resident, there were 3 or 4 younger residents who were more than willing to look out for their neighbors, and I wanted to thank them for helping Stella lead the life she wanted.
Most I will never know, but a few I do. SO-if you manage to score a seat for breakfast at Steve’s Place over on Penfield Road (officially in Rochester), tell Steve you know what a great next-door neighbor he was-and congratulate him on his upcoming wedding!
If you know of St. Jerome’s, let Father Frank know you heard about how his sensitivity and compassion united and touched us all.
Even though she never let any of you win at cards, thank you to the staff, and all her companions at the Senior Center. If you’re visiting anyone over at Maplewood Estates on Ayerault (in Fairport), know they are in a great environment, and say hi to Priscilla and Bob, the managers.
And if you know of anyone associated with Highland Hospital in Rochester-well, let them know their kindnesses and professionalism is a comfort that won’t ever be forgotten.
November 28th, 2010
Newspapers cause me great concern.
Obvious reasons (like content) aside, I love knowledge, and being more aware of what is going on in the world; hate to see so much paper used in such a fleeting manner. Recycling newspapers before I read-or at least perused-them feels very bad. Sure, it’s not new news, but I will still know more than before I read it….
I am a fan of the NY Times, their softer sides in particular. Articles with a unique and sometime quirky point, and the story about the interesting people behind them. Makes me feel like a wiser and kinder citizen. But because of the afore-mentioned points, newspapers-like buying brownies- sometimes there are things just best not brought into the house.
All these odd points converge in the persons of my neighbors-Len and Katherine next door, and Mary Jane downstairs.
Len gets weekend delivery, Fri-Sun. A few years ago, I asked Len if he could leave me his Real Estate sections after he was done with them. Nothing of the instant there, but trends/info that I could read a week late without the world coming to an end. It’s worked out so well that my welcome mat has now become his recycling bin, and I now get the benefit of his subscription, angst-free.
The Home Section is published on Thursday though. I approached Mary Jane. Now, when she comes upstairs in search of Hugo, her Russian Blue Point with a wanderlust and a crush on my dog Bella-she also drops off the most recent edition of that section.
I used to leave rolls of quarters (for laundry) for my pals, but now everyone has their own pay-card, I reciprocate with gift cards for their favorite places instead…it works out very nicely.
All of which brings me to an article I just read, and wanted to share. Novelist Rick Moody penned The Hazel Effect, a look at how Hazel, his 18 month old daughter has helped him to see new meanings of home, and community.
HEY-it’s a long weekend, give yourself these 10 minutes, read it and enjoy.
October 20th, 2010
Yes, I admit it, I do read my horoscope from time to time. I’m a Pisces, and yes, I do know enough about the signs and the tendancies to acurately guess someone’s sign about a third-to-half the time.
I don’t make plans by it, really more an amusement, after-the-fact thing, to see what the stars had in store for me that day…
It was with great joy and wonderment I read this:
‘A powerful imagination is one of your gifts. Like a muscle, your creative abilities get stronger the more you use them. You’ll help someone else by dreaming for them the dreams they can’t see on their own.’
WOW-how cool is that?? ESPECIALLY for someone in my field!
Happy Day, fellow fish!!
October 2nd, 2010
Have been a furniture and furnishings gal from way back: At age 9, I persuaded my parents to paint the stairway and upstairs hall ceiling yellow and orange (hey, it was the late 60′s) I also moved my bedroom furniture around A LOT.
Went to a school known for fashion, but took every Interior Decorating elective I could. At 21, on a dare, I interviewed for, then accepted a position as a Decorator at Ethan Allen. I discovered dealing with furniture, furnishings, people and their homes was both fun, and surprisingly profound.
About 3-1/2 years ago I read an article in the local paper about an organization called Furniture Sharehouse. It was a furniture bank that collected unwanted furniture in good condition, and redistributed it free, to clients of various Westchester agencies.
The plan had been to profile their Grand Opening, but that April 2007 weekend, a nor’easter slammed the East coast, dumping almost 8 inches of rain in Westchester, flooding much of the Sound Shore area. So instead, the story told of how 65 families who had lost everything were furnished out of a tent in Harbor Island Park by this Furniture Sharehouse organization.
Kept that article for 2 reasons: first as a referral for clients who wanted a good home for their unwanted or unneeded furniture; second, because I thought…’one day, I might want to be a part of that’. Guess what? http://www.vimeo.com/9747580
In 1943 Abraham Maslow proposed what he called his Hierarchy of Needs. Simply stated, an individual could grow, evolve, and deal with larger, more challenging issues only once their more basic needs were met. Don’t want to get all preachy here, but if you’ve read this far, maybe even watched the video, you get it.
Home is where we all start from. Help someone get their space together, you make an immediate and concrete difference in their life, it’s that simple.
Furniture Sharehouse is a year round operation, and is fast closing in on their 1000th Westchester family served. Later this month (10/22) is their inaugural fundraiser, to be held at the Larchmont Yacht Club; Saturday 10/23 is the next furniture drive, held in Armonk as part of their town-wide Zero Waste Day.
The web site has all the details, www.furnituresharehouse.org and your donations of furniture (including pick ups), time, talents, supplies or funds can all be processed thru the site. Remember-we all can do something, ‘just’ spreading the word among your friends, neighbors, family, colleagues and clients is huge.
August 11th, 2010
Know the phrase ‘still waters run deep’? That’s The Head, personified. Very still. Very deep. You may need to put a mirror under their nose for signs of life…better, wave some market comps or stats in spread sheet form, just see the pink return to their cheeks!! OK, I may be exaggerating here a bit, but really, not that much.
Real Estate is a lot of numbers, facts and interpretations. The Head loves it all, nay, needsit all. They are detailed, focused and precise. Numbers and facts, preferably on paper, is where they find comfort and value (a little foreshadowing here-it’s often also where they believe most of their own value lies).
Sure, this way of thinking in extreme-and when it’s not your deal-you’ll chuckle, but until you have established a good working relationship with The Head, any missteps will cost you.
Those operating from this modality I believe has the hardest time seeing the point of others, including the value Staging. Not out of ignorance or arrogance, they are just that sure of the superiority of data. Real Estate is hyper-local, and (more foreshadowing) there is no reliable/independent gathering and reporting process.
Residential Real Estate has a strong emotional and interpersonal component to it; buyers, sellers, even agents-anyone really entrenched in the data-misses all the other signals, and can easily lose the distinction between “Data” and ”Guarantees”, and-say it with me now-Guarantees?? There’s no guarantees in Real Estate!
If you are working with The Head, either as buyers or sellers, be punctual, be organized, and be prepared (be very prepared).These folks do not like vague answers, overly optimistic scenarios or anecdotal stories. Just as with any other different modality-to connect, watch and mirror their actions: speak slowly, and never, ever rush them.
They take their time and deliberate everything, but generally there is no mystery: they will tell you where they are and why they are stuck, and decide when you have answered all their questions. You may be in for the long haul, but once won over, these folks are very loyal.
If you are a Head, I have a confession: we are brethren.
In 1981, I took the job at Ethan Allen on a dare. I was young, had instinct and raw skill, but little professional training or experience, and I was selling fairly expensive furniture to people whose own kids were my age. Memorizing measurements and other facts seemed the best way to for me to succeed.
Yes, I made some great connections with 25% of the customers I met, and for me at the time, I thought that was great. But looking back, by keeping in my comfort zone, I wasted so much time, and missed so many opportunities with the other 75% of the people I met.
Remember-none of this is judgemental, and no one personality type is better than another. Understanding the different styles is like having the right eyeglass prescription: Sure you can see the eye chart, but different lenses give you the most clarity, and lets you get the job done.
NEXT: The Smile-Keepin’ It Real
June 28th, 2010
Growing up, some of my fondest summer memories were the Ossining Fire Dept parade, outdoor concerts on blankets at Nelson Park, and occasional trips to Playland, or to one of the two Drive-Ins, Starlight in Croton (now the Shop Rite Shopping Plaza) or Elmsford Drive-In, now the Sams Club compound.
Time marches on, but happy to share easy connections to some of the classics, and some newer finds.
62nd Annual Mamaroneck Carnival and Fireman’s Parade Carnival June 29-July 5 7 PM-Midnight at Harbor Island Park, parade 7PM on the 30th, FIREWORKS on the 4th, Rain Date on the 5th.
Cool Jazz in the Summertime Mark Morganelli, Founder of Jazz Forum Arts, is in his 31st year of making great music accessible to us all.
He plays year-round with his group, the Jazz Forum All-Stars, but has also he has orchestrated another summer of free music, 30 concerts in all.-different acts, all thru Westchester, all summer. http://www.jazzforumarts.org/Summer-2010.pdf
Westchester County sponsors a ton of events, but their site can be dicey to navigate., so here is link you want to keep handy all season long: .http://parks.westchestergov.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1824&Itemid=4033
It’s your pass to free movies, fairs and different ethnic festivals, more concerts, (DO NOT miss the ones at Lasdon) Playland, fireworks, golf-well, you get the point.
Buying and eating food grown locally is good for us all. Farmers Markets Community Markets has been developing and managing local Farmers Markets since 1991, and while I typically only include links to non-profit and community events, there is just so much good here-locations, schedules, recipes, and-foodies take note-even profiles of the growers and other food artisans http://www.communitymarkets.biz/index.php
Walter’s Hot Dogs in Mamaroneck Since 1928, 937 Palmer Avenue. Just go, ‘nuf said.
Milt Gerver’s Big Band Orchestra Come as you are, whatever your skill level, and dance to the classics under the stars on the Boardwalk, on the water, at Playland. Fridays, 7-10:30, 7/16 through 8/6. And when you’re in the tent, look up.
While not in Westchester, these last two are close enough, reasonable enough and cool enough to be included. The Hudson Valley Renegades is a farm team of Tampa Bay.
I love baseball: the history, the rituals, and the consistency it brings to summer. I root for the Yankees, but all costs conservatively considered, it’s a big night out. Do yourself a favor , check out the Hudson Valley Renegades at least once this summer.
Tickets run from $6.00-15.00, $2.00 more on fireworks nights, which there are plenty. They have enough goofy fan events and giveaways to keep everyone entertained and engaged, and who knows, you may just see a future star! http://www.hvrenegades.com/
30 minutes across the TZ bridge will transport you to a different time an place. The Warwick Drive-In is where a family of 5 could see 2 first-run movies for less than $30.00 ($8.00 adults, $5.00 for kids 4-11, and under 4 is free).
They even have that cool cartoon clip they run in-between features to promote the snack bar-where hot dogs are doing tricks, and cups of popcorn and soda dance!http://webusers.warwick.net/~u1006131/driveinmovie/ for features, directions and times.
June 3rd, 2010
It’s Not If You Win Or Lose…
Last night I attended my first high school Lacrosse game. LAX to non-neophytes, it was the Section A Championship Finals, Yorktown vs Walter Panas/Lakeland.
My husband Doug is from Yorktown. Lacrosse is big in Yorktown, very big. And ’full disclosure’-it is actively very big in his immediate family as well.
Game was fast-paced, teams seemed closely matched, and crowd was really into it. Score see-sawed til the 4th quarter. Lakeland went up by 2 goals. Then Yorktown came back, tied the score, but lost in OT.
Obvious reasons aside, it was a very tough loss to take, because it seems there were a number of controversial calls that went to Lakeland. (See, lucky for me I was sitting in the rowdy adult fan section. Ignoring Section 1 rules on sportsmanship, the rest of us were kept apprised of this by some very loud, potty-mouthed yahoos).
Don’t understand the game, can’t speak to the validity of their claims, but every time these faux-adults booed the refs, or screamed out a number of other un-sportsmanlike epithets, we saw dozens of young kids wearing Yorktown green jerseys-who were certainly disappointed themselves, turned and just looked up at these belligerent, rude people in the stands.
Many from the town’s Youth Athletic league, probably a lot of future players in this group. Their expressions said it all. In a moment I saw things shift: I felt this collective, very bad lesson learned, and I ached for them all.
Come home to the TV news, only to see the story of Detroit pitcher’s Armando Galarraaga’s perfect game, blown by a call the ump who later, tearfully, admitted was wrong. Photo to the right is of Armando, a split second after the call went against him.
Baseball I know and love. Historically there are no do-overs. In the hundreds and hundreds of thousands of professional baseball games, there have been 20 perfect games. This morning there is quite the firestorm, and the debate is re-ignited for instant replay. As I write this, it is being reported that the Commissioner’s Office is having a meeting to review this call, but it remains to be seen what, if anything might happen.
If you haven’t already seen it, google Galarraga’s post-game interview. Such class and grace, a lesson for us all. In the words of one morning news anchor, it should be required viewing for all youth sports players, their parents and coaches…from his mouth, to the dinner tables in Yorktown tonight.
May 20th, 2010
Glorious color, gracing the front of River Rock Supply on Rte 9 in Sleepy Hollow 5.20.10
March 15th, 2010
YOUR refreshed home
Came upon this image a few weeks ago, walking Bella just as the nor’easter was getting started. An appropriate metaphor for so many things, but especially so because first it was my birthday, and second, this brand new site-finally live-has had a gestation period longer than most large mammals…
the refreshed home is first and formost an information and service company that supports your having a better life. In the posts to come, I look to share helpful information, present some interesting thoughts, introduce you to some really smart people, help save you time and money, and yes, even make you smile.
Thank you for visiting, and welcome to your refreshed home!