Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Every two weeks Bloggers unite for a day to write about a communal topic. This week LetsBlogOff asks the question so what’s a good Thanksgiving food memory for you? 

Honestly - and this goes against tradition I know - the best food Thanksgiving I ever had was the first year I moved back to Florida.  I lived in an apartment complex and had made a couple of friends through walking my dog.  Dog owners know - when you know the dogs name but not the humans :)  Anyway most people left for Thanksgiving but another woman also had no plans to visit family so we decided to get together. 

We met early Thanksgiving afternoon and took our two respective dogs to the dog beach where the pooches had the run of the beach.  After a few hours we packed up and drove back to the apartment complex and started our Thanksgiving dinner.  We threw some zucchini, yellow squash, red peppers on the grill to get them toasty.  Then we placed our main dish - swordfish steaks - on the grill.  Everything was perfect and tasty.  Our only concession to tradition was a pumpkin pie which we were eating by the pool as the sun set.  

For a Thanksgiving that I had thought was going to be pretty pitiful after deciding not to visit my family, it turned out to be a beautiful day.  

I hope your Thanksgiving is filled with the joy of being on this beautiful earth.

Knowing our group of bloggers you will find great recipes and more Thanksgiving food by reading their LetsBlogOff posts: 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Doors and Door Pulls of New York City

Some (most) people would find it strange that when I travel I look for interesting doors and hardware.  Thankfully my BFF and I are a lot alike in that regard.  While walking the streets of New York City here are a few of the more interesting doors and hardware we found.  I have to say I had you, JB @BuildingMoxie , in my mind with each snap.

Curved door pull built into the door

Arched Door at St. Thomas

Interesting door pull

A Door +

Large sliding doors

Beehive doors - unequal pair

Double Acting door

I guess you "wrench" the door open!

Guess what building this pull is on!

A gothic comedy club door pull

Park Plaza Doors

Door Pull at St. Thomas

Wrought Iron Gates at St. Thomas Church

Not a standard 1 3/4" Thick Door!

Beautiful hardware at St. Thomas Church

Very old hinges (see next photo)

Small door maybe just 6' tall St. Thomas Church

Chelsea Market Gate

Elevator Doors at Chelsea Market

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

New York City Part 2 - Kind of

In order to get to New York City from Florida quickly one must fly on an airplane.  I can tell you I am a terrible flyer so though I was very excited by visiting NYC and going to the Door & Hardware Institute Convention flying there had me shaking in my boots.  Really.

I have never been a good flyer and only when I was flying every two weeks to visit a long ago boyfriend did I become decent at it.  Not comfortable mind you but not gripping the armrests with white knuckles either.

With the economy the way it is I haven't flown in several years but I really wanted to go to New York so I knew I had to suck it up.  My flight was at 7:00 am which didn't give me a lot of the day to worry.  It did however leave the night before.  I think I actually slept a total of 2 hours.  I haven't had to use the little white bag in the pocket in front of the seat yet so I kept the meal before the flight simple.  Just a few sips of coffee and a few bites of dry toast.  Then the tears started along with shaking and all I wanted to do was cancel the trip.

I know this is a mental issue and I feel like a failure that I can't get my nerves under control.  That control word is the issue.  I don't like not having any.  Logically I know I am safer in a plane than driving to work.  Logically I know all the flight staff really want to get home to their families.  Logical doesn't somehow penetrate my fear.

The car I had scheduled showed up at 5:30 am thankfully.  I thought, excellent I will be at the airport on time!  Then the driver ran the stop sign at the end of my block and though we didn't hit the car driving on the cross street we came close.  The shaking started again.  In my head I just kept repeating in 4 hours this will be over and I will be in NYC, just 4 hours.  I arrived at the airport without further incident - breathing again.  Airport security at TIA was much simpler than I expected.  Everyone was very kind and helpful.  No long lines either.

Finally at the gate and everything was on time.  Breathing a little easier but still a large knot was tightly wound in my chest.  Board the airplane and was seated next to a guy with his head in his Kindle.  Perfect because I am not a chatter.  I am too busy flying the plane in my head to say hello unfortunately.  I am sure I miss meeting a lot of great people.

Let me also say that on the few occasions I have chatted with fellow passengers as soon as they find out I am afraid to fly I am told the most horrendous stories about planes crashing and emergency landings.  That doesn't help at all. If  you find yourself talking to someone who is afraid to fly tell them lighthearted stories about life please.

The plane started to taxi and the tears roll down my cheeks.  Thankfully it was the quiet tears and not the break out the ugly cry tears.  I gripped the armrests very very tight and held my breath pretty much for the entire 3 hours of the flight.  The flight was very smooth and we actually landed almost 30 minutes early.  I just wanted to kiss the ground but I didn't cause it must be really dirty.  I did send a silent thank you up to the universe.

I was meeting my BFF at the airport and had made a car reservation to pick us up.  My BFF had found another passenger on her plane also traveling to the DHI Convention and the same hotel so the three of us piled into the car and the driver did  a great non crazy drive to midtown Manhattan.

Before heading to the convention I desperately needed about an hour to just sit and work on unraveling the knot in my chest.  After checking into the hotel and storing our bags my BFF suggested lunch.  Oh thank goodness I thought!  It was only 11:00 but her flight was earlier than mine so she was hungry and now that I was safely on the ground I was ravenous.   It also gave me a chance to mentally talk myself down from a ridiculous set of nerves.

The return flight was basically the same except I was working hard to get an earlier flight out due to the incoming Nor'easter.

I would love to visit London, Rome & Edinburgh someday but I have no idea how the heck I would fly across the ocean but I know I can not let fear of flying ruin my love of exploring new places.

Next the DHI Convention.  

Sunday, November 6, 2011

New York City - Part 1 of probably many~

Chelsea Market

New York City is truly iconic.  It is THE place where a lot of the world’s population wants to visit.   How I never visited in the first 49 years of my life is beyond me.  After 4 days visiting all I want to do is go back. 

How I finally was able to visit!  My BFF was debating about going to the Door and Hardware Convention which was being held in NYC and we had many conversations about it.  The day after my BFF and I had been discussing it my boss happened to ask about her.  I shared the dilemma and he said why don’t you go?  Not enough in the budget I said.  It is work related, I need to support you, put a budget together of what you feel it will cost, he said.  Really???  Holy cow I never even thought to ask because like many companies in the building industry afabco is financially conservative right now.  I found direct roundtrip flights on Delta for a very reasonable price.  DHI had negotiated 2008 room rates at The Sheraton Hotel & Towers in Midtown Manhattan, which I would be halving with my BFF.  Finally transportation and food, which is a bit more expensive in NYC than FL, but I felt pretty confident I wouldn’t spend a lot.  I hate to admit this but it took me a week to decide to take my boss up on his generous offer.  I knew I would need to spend personal money for clothes and travel supplies.  Plus I had planter factitious in my right foot how would I get around?  New York City is a walking city and of course there was walking the trade show floor!  Finally I decided this was an incredible gift and I needed to accept it. New York City baby!!

I am not a shopper, especially with such a limited budget, but I shopped and shopped finding the best deals. I insisted on buying clothes that I could wear in Florida too which was no small feat.   Coldwater Creek (online) and Sims (local) had the best finds! Shoes were very important since I had issues already so I paid full price for two pairs of very comfortable Clark’s shoes, one pair of heels and one pair of walking shoes.  What a difference a comfortable shoe makes!  Friends were also a wonderful source of generosity.  One friend let me borrow the perfect jacket – reversible – waterproof with a hood!  I wore that coat a lot!  Another friend had a great black cross body purse that would work wonderfully. 

Another wonderful part of visiting NYC was getting to finally meet a friend I knew from Twitter, Saxon Henry!  Thankfully she was available to have dinner during one of the nights we would be there. 

Like most exciting plans it seem to take forever to get here and then, bam!, it was time to pack!!  I laid out my clothes on the spare bedroom’s futon and put the 4 day wardrobe together.  I wrote each day’s clothes on post it notes so I would remember.  I really wanted to pack smart as I didn’t want to check luggage and after a lot of work ended up only taking two pairs of shoes.  Whoohoo! 

I made reservations for a car to pick me up at 5:30 am to get me to Tampa International Airport and another car to pick up my BFF and I at LaGuardia as that is where we would join up to start this incredible adventure. 

Next:  how much I really hate to fly but do it anyway because it gets me to incredible places like NYC!