Penny Quarterly

Remise? Seems that way, doesn’t it?
Of late, I’ve had the pleasure to truly exploring the city: picnic in Prospect Park, museum for an exhibit I knew that I wanted to see, walked the entirely of Central Park. Transportation museum to learn the history of the subway system…

After a sweltering summer and starting serious health/fitness improvements, I’ve been able to focus on changes. Changes in so many things have come into full swing. Some routines are set, and I run every day errands without getting lost!

The biggest change is on the calendar- City Hall wedding on 11/12/13!

The first year here has flown by… The Yankee and I might even get a couch soon… Yup, changes keep coming!

Get Away….

You’d think with 1,000,000 things to do in NYC, there wouldn’t be a reason to leave.

There are so many states close by (compare the 19 hours to get from one side of Texas to the other), that a jaunt away for the weekend seemed like a good idea. Cape Cod was the choice for a first outing. Rent car, pet-friendly B&B, 4 days off…away we went!

It really was a great experience. Five hours driving didn’t bother me too much, and the change of pace and scenery was really nice. It was also nice to come back to the city when it was all done.

I joined ZipCar upon my return. Look it up! It’ll be a lot easier to grab a car and go wherever it’s needed. Those things were ‘zipping’ all over the road all the way to Massachusetts!

Checked Rhode Island off my list of states I haven’t visited yet. Ta-da!

A trip to Vermont might be the next jaunt in the Winter. Cocoa! Snow! Something to look forward to….

I forgot what summer is like here! It’s been uncomfortably hot for me – not the same as Texas, but harder to work all day in. Window unit arrived, but it can’t be installed quite yet.
So, new desk ‘yes’- air soon. I can’t ask for more than that!

As I knew they would be, things are different in the couple of weeks back from California. I’m different. The Yankee is different. Hot or not, we are going to be making the summer a memorable one. Cape Cod for my birthday trip to a B&B is the next plan. Doggie, us, and a rent car. I’m excited to go.

Visit to Texas is scheduled, too. In the heat. Wth am I thinking?! Oh yes, I had a daughter in July. Seeing her for her birthday & visiting friends & family will be great, and they’d better have the air cranked up!

Still learning… It’s not as easy as it looks.


I’m in California for work for a couple of weeks. Someone said this is the time to see how much I love New York- to see how much I would miss it.

I can say that I miss many things including the Yankee & my dog, but this has also been an important trip.

The silly perks of having bathroom countertops and a car to drive are a nice distraction from not being in my own bed and staring at my broken ikea desk. If I’m good, it might be waiting for me when I return.

After this break- a new life awaits me in Brooklyn. Time for real changes now that the “move”, holidays, and learning time is done. Bring on the future- it’s going to be the dream I hoped for. I believe it will be….

Where Have I Been??

map_manhattan<a <a Boroughs

I just have to say that I’ve ‘been’ living life and learning how to navigate. Spring is coming, and I feel some serious pressure to know where I’m going when friends start to descend on NYC and visit me!

My lovely and talented daughter visited with her bff for Spring break. We wore the sidewalks out – including cookies at Carlo’s Bakery in Hoboken, NJ. It was a short trip, but it was great to see them.

I’m attaching a map here so you can get an idea of how very BAD I am at getting around. LaGuardia airport trip to Queens (Astoria) to pick up the kids? Ended up in Harlem. Chinatown trip for fun things to do and a nice lunch? Landed in Times Square. To my credit (and expense), I have only given up and hopped in a cab once.

Shopping online has become a surprising convenience. I don’t know why I didn’t do it before! Free shipping is easy enough. I guess after so many years in retail, and because I don’t mind shopping, it never occurred to me to do it. It’s just crazy to go out and shop for hours, then lug everything home with you on the train or bus. So, Amazon is my newest friend.

Speaking of friends- have I made any? Nope. Have I tried. YES! If I make a new friend, you all will be the first to hear about it! Cabin fever set in quite a while back, and I’m starting to talk to crazy people on the bus. Wait, does that make me one of them??

I sold my house in Texas, so there’s nowhere to run away to! The relief I feel from not having to worry about it any longer is huge. We’re fixing up the house here, so things are looking up. Bought a desk at IKEA. 4 1/2 hours total time spent with 4 buses and the shopping time. $75 to deliver it. Broke the freakin’ thing trying to put it together. BUMMED. The Yankee is going to work on fixing it for me. I have got to get off this card table!

Off to California for work next week. I come back in 19 days- whoa! I get to find out how much I’ll miss my new home and living things… I have a feeling that will be a lot. I can honestly say that I’m seriously looking forward to crab meat in San Francisco and having a bathroom counter in the hotel! Otherwise, I’m sure I’ll be Brooklyn homesick.

Spring’s here! I’m outside all the time here both out of necessity, and because I’m not allergic! The weather here is more consistent. In Texas, the temperature can change 20-30 degrees in one day. I do not miss that!

So….. I miss my peeps in Texas. Going for a visit soon- Early July…. be ready for the movies, gang!




Today was full of hard work and smiles. More to come on the progress in the kitchen (which we are painting a lovely shade of ‘not yellow’).

This box was inside the wall …. And, it describes days like this.


A Real Beat Down

Time is relative, but it really seems to be more important here. To the NYC native, budgeting time is natural. I find that everything takes 10x longer here than in other cities. Grocery store? 15 minutes walk ‘to’, 20 minutes walk ‘from’ (cuz you’re lugging it all back up-hill. Doctor visit to Manhattan? (with blinding rain, 3 trains, and walking 7 long blocks) 1.5 hours. I could drive from Allen to Ft. Worth and back in the time it took me to get 2.5 miles to the dentist.

Restaurant seating even takes more time just to disrobe coats, hats, and ‘check’ them and your packages when you’re stopping for dinner in the city. Tip the person that puts them away,too.

So, when visiting- budget in the 1.5 hours it’ll take you to get your luggage and take a cab to your hotel. Add time if you’re going to try to get on a train to where you’re going. Flying in on Friday night and leaving on Sunday? Wonderful! Your time for sight-seeing = 40 hours. Wait, that includes sleeping (if you plan to sleep).

I promise friends and family to learn as much as I can about navigation before you visit so that precious time is not wasted! If I could stop taking trains the wrong direction, that would help a lot!

On the way back from yesterday’s weather-beaten trip out, I pointed out a suited man dozing on the train who was nearly falling out of his seat onto the briefcase between his feet. The Yankee said, “This city will do that to you”. This resonated with me. Rest is important here. So is the courage to get your tail out the door to brave the journey out there into the big city. It’s easy to hide out in the house.

School girls on the train last week said, “Why would you ever leave your neighborhood? Everything you need is in Brooklyn!”.

If someone hadn’t paid them, would explorers have gone anyway?

-Penny Columbus Polo Vespucci


Merry ho-ho-ho and feliz kalikimaka!

Here we are at the holiday season, and I find myself in a new city with an opportunity for creating new traditions. Except I didn’t make any! With Sandy and the moving boxes, etc, etc, etc…. the tree is up, and all else is ‘undefined’. Next year, I’ll get out. Next year, I’ll shop. Next year will be Christmas in New York for me.

I don’t feel disappointentment or sadness – Just to be clear.

I hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday. I’m grateful to have seen my friends and some famiily on my quick trip to Dallas last week! Most of all, I’m happy to have seen my daughter!

I actually chatted up a stranger at the crosswalk the other day. Since she looked at me like I had two heads, I’m thinking I need to make a few new friends now! The WW meetings here aren’t far, so I’m making plans to get there and have both success and an opportunity to make some pals.

Many more posts to come in the future. Signed me, hoping to be mouse-free in 2-0-1-3!


Stuffing and Stuff

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday! This was my first ‘major’ holiday since moving, so is it called a litmus test? Because I had no family rounds to make (historically 3+), the secondmost important thing about Thanksgiving’s events revealed itself – the bird.

The bird was moist, tender, juicy, succulent, etc. And, that is what turkey has got to be. We had a really nice meal. With only two diners, lots of leftovers, because I don’t know how to just cook for two! I’ll figure that out eventually. I dragged a card table up to the dining room, so at least we had a real table to dine on! No one has to know that it was on my madras print table cloth.

Up went the tree on Saturday! Combining ‘Christmas’ stuff was fun. Different parts of the country have such different styles of everything. Things that I’ve only ever seen on television and in movies are all around me.

Tonight was special. I went down to the avenue (at the ends of every block are avenues)…. and heard Bing Crosby singing. His voice came from a loud speaker at the top of the traffic light. It was echoing over the intersection and creeping slightly up into the street in a tinny way that sounded like a gramophone. It was so beautiful. I love the fact that you can stand on a street in any part of New York, smiling like an idiot and staring up at the light pole without a single person noticing. I don’t know why Sunset Park is playing Christmas songs in the neighborhood, but I hope they keep right on doing it through the new year. I LOVE having a soundtrack to my adventures. Think Manhattan would mind doing it while I’m Christmas shopping?

I got a text on Turkey day that said, “Macy’s called. They want you there at 11:30 p.m.!” TOO funny! Sad that I missed it? Kinda.

Waiting for snow…..



I am a strong person. I am a strong person. I am a strong person.

Affirmations are very important when you have lost your dignity. See… there was this mouse, see… and I was minding my own business reading a book in my comfy chair in my 114 year old brownstone in New York.

The pooch resting quietly at my feet cocked an ear, and went to check out something in my office (right across the room). *rustle ristle*. Pooch backs up. *ristle* Pooch skeedaddles over to me and ‘says’, “WHOA! Something’s ristle-ing in the wastebasket!” Damn.

I realize that my toast crust from breakfast is somewhere in a paper bag stuffed into that can. Damn. SO, I’m a very strong person (see above). I don’t need to wait for the Yankee to come home. I’ll just make sure it’s nothing or gone, and get this here trash taken out. I kick the can with my foot. Nothing rustles, so I take the liner and tie it up. *BOING!* from I don’t know where flies this freaking gray mouse! I skweeeeeeeee all the way down to the landlord’s place on the first floor screaming, “We’re coming to visit!!!!”. Uninvited, I proceed to dance and wiggle all over their living room explaining why I’ll be moving back to Dallas in the next 10 minutes or so. The pooch followed.

*sigh. Mr. Landlord chuckles. Mrs. Landlady says I’ll be fine, and she wishes she had a video of whatever I looked like when it jumped out. har har. Up the stairs we go with a very humane type of trap that’s like a small, metal lunch pail. There’s a hole in the side where nosy critters crawl in, and *clunk* the door pushes them into a spot where they can’t get out. No food needed, Apparently,mice are just nosy. and jumpy!

Over to the wall we go and set up the trap. Thank you, Mr. Landlord. I’ll be just fine. Whew! What a surprise. hoo hoo..yup, all I need is a trap to make me feel safe. haha. okay. thanks.

He should have been gone, right? There’s a dog.. and a screaming person here. Why the hell was he still here two minutes later when I walked cautiously back to the office to make sure the trash was tied up properly?? *BOING!* AGAIN! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! Actual screaming ensued. Now I end up half way up the stairs with my head in my shirt and tears running from my eyes screaming,”I’m normally a very strong person!!!” They all think I’m crazy.  That whole even took 13 minutes off my life expectancy.

This morning, the Yankee calls from work and says, “Honey, I got the mouse. No need to worry. I love you.”. Awww. Down to my desk I go. The mouse lunch-box trap can stay right here in case. Two minutes later. *CLUNK*! A mouse was in it! Right freakin’ behind my chair!!!! Omg. Mice belong in fields or in someone else’s house or something.

I’d like to take a moment to appreciate the mice in my life so far:

  • Jack and Gus Gus from Cinderelly- singers with fashion-sense
  • Stuart Little – harmless and very smart
  • Jerry- always smiling and quiet
  • Mickey and Minnie- entertaining. Classic.
  • Mighty Mouse- Superhero!

Notice that these mice all have a couple of things in common. They are animated. They are friendly. They do not jump out at people in their houses! Grrr!

Mr. Landlord was so pleased that my office mouse was safely trapped in the lunch box. I watched as he took it out to the street and opened the door to the thing. Boing boing boing! Away the mouse did run. Quick little booger made it to the end of the block in less than 4 seconds. If I have to surround my desk chair with traps in order to work in peace, then I will.

Most of you who know me will imagine that and then expect an entry here for how I caught every toe in a trap one day.

Now, you see what a strong person I am becoming. I know… you’re impressed.

That’s me. All citi-fied.


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Raising My Rainbow

Adventures in raising a fabulously gender creative son.

Natalie Claire's Creativity

The place where all my projects come to live.

Simply Photographed

Wedding, Portrait and Event Photography

Fancy Hollywood Frogs

"I may not be one of your fancy Hollywood frogs, but I deserve a chance..."

Atheist Dave

atheism, religion, science, dave


Just another WordPress.com site