9/11 Twenty Years Later

American flag and Twin Towers

Twenty years ago I was a 25 (almost 26)-year-old newlywed. I lived and worked in the New York metro area (Ossining, NY and Norwalk, CT). My husband had just recently left a job in Manhattan for one in White Plains. That weekend we had attended a friend’s party in New Jersey, and driving home late at night, I remember looking out over the lights of the NYC skyline and noticing the World Trade Center. We used to go into the city pretty regularly, so I didn’t always take the time to notice the buildings. But driving home that night, for some reason I paid attention. 

Twenty years ago I drove to work early. It had rained the day before and we spent all day watching movies (including, ironically, “Escape From New York”). A cold front had moved through the area and it was a crisp, sunny day. I remember thinking how it was perfect weather.

I settled into my cubicle, checked my voicemail and email, and got started on the news section for the telecommunications magazine where I worked. It was just me and a co-worker. We often got to work on the early side and enjoyed a bit of quiet before the newsroom started to bustle with ringing phones and chatty editors. Her radio was on quietly. I could barely hear it. 

Around 8:45 she told me that a news broadcast announced that a plane had just hit one of the Twin Towers. We couldn’t imagine what was happening. I thought it might have been a small, private plane. An inexperienced pilot must have lost control.

And then it happened again. Now the rest of our co-workers were filing in. There were calls between our two offices. Staff members tried over and over again to get hold of their husbands, wives, partners, relatives, friends who lived or worked in the city.

I constantly refreshed by web browser to see if CNN.com had updated with anything further. What was happening? Why was it happening? We were approached our monthly deadline for the magazine and somehow I managed to keep working that day. I think I left early. Honestly, it all starts to blur.

To go home, I had to drive I-95. It’s the highway that goes right into the city and typically it is always busy. Traffic is horrible, and backups were pretty regular. That day, there was no afternoon traffic — maybe a couple dozen cars. After all, you couldn’t get into or out of the city. It was so weird driving with almost no one on the road. In fact, it was unnerving, and this just compounded my anxiety.

That night we ate dinner while watching the president address the country and we just wondered what could possibly happen next.

And here we are… 20 years on. 9/11 changed us a country, and it certainly changed me as an individual. We all have our stories, our memories from that day. Today I hope you will all take a moment to pause and remember.

Heading Into Autumn

And just like that summer’s gone! Well, we all know that technically there are a couple weeks left, but let’s be honest — once September rolls around, my mindset shifts to apple-scented candles, cozy blankets, spooky movies… It’s my favorite time of year! Seems as though I skipped summer here on the blog, so a quick recap might be in order!

Summer was incredibly busy with work. I laugh at anyone who claims that library work is quiet and not stressful. These fools have no idea what it is like working in a modern library. We were bustling with patrons, which was wonderful. We kept our programming outside for the most part, which worked really well. Our summer reading program was one of the best we’ve had in terms of participants and hours read. I may have been a ball of nerves for the last three months, but professionally it was worth all the effort.

The family is doing well. Laura celebrated her 12th birthday, Noah his 16th birthday, and Jake his 19th birthday! We all are fully vaccinated and I am happy to say no one had any issues whatsoever. Jake is back on campus for his sophomore year in college where he’s studying Psychology and Economics. School starts tomorrow for middle school and high school. I’m a little nervous for the kids to be fully in-person, but I am also thankful for our community. Something like 96% of the district teachers are vaccinated and New York has a mask mandate in place so hopefully we won’t be seeing high Covid rates or closures like schools in other parts of the country. Only time will tell.

The gardens did not fare well, I am sad to say. Once we got into the hot & humid weather I just didn’t have it in me to keep up with them. Add in some of the heavy rains we had and I was stuck with water-logged plants. In mid-August I decided to clean things up and got stuck with a horrible case of poison sumac all over my arms, my leg, and part of my chest (don’t ask me how, but I can only guess there were oils on shirt that seeped through). I was pretty miserable!

Craft-wise, I have just started the Wave After Wave pocket shawl. I know that pockets shawls are last year’s trendy item, but I never got around to making one and this will be perfect to keep at work. I’m also still plugging away on my C2C blanket that I started in the spring. There was a stretch where I just didn’t feel like working on anything with yarn — that tends to happen in the hot weather.

And as for the blog… honestly I almost deleted it completely the other day. I am currently off work because I have quite a bit of PTO to use, so I thought I’d come in and try to spruce things up and get back to posting regularly. Well, I have no idea what happened or when it happened, but something was totally fakakta. Images that were hosted within my site were not displaying, I couldn’t view any of my media in my WordPress admin console. So after two days, a lot of research into 403 errors, updating this, disabling that, last night I finally figured out how to fix the error. Not only that, but I also learned why for the past few years Pinterest and my blog did not get along. And I discovered a cool plugin that generates a printable version of your blog. I cannot explain how excited I was about that. I have posts here going back to 2006, when I switched from Blogger to WordPress (I’ve actually been blogging since 1999, believe it or not — my earliest entries were just hand-coded in HTML). I’m so thankful that I can put together a document of all those memories! So I guess in hindsight it was a good problem to have because in the end I solved a number of other issues, too.

Well, I suppose that’s enough catching up for now. I’m hoping to get back to semi-regular posting, so hopefully I see you sooner rather than later! 

Happy Homemaker Monday, April 26, 2021

How I am feeling this today…
Ready for the week! I have a pretty busy week ahead so I spent time yesterday organizing tasks, menu planning, and setting myself up for success.

The Weather…

Seems like a nice week ahead of us! I know a lot of people who would like it warmer, but I am totally OK with temperatures in the 60s and 70s. Summer will be here soon enough — let’s enjoy spring!

On the breakfast plate…
Well, it’s long past breakfast, but I had an apple danish and a cup of tea today. For lunch I had a cup of homemade chicken noodle soup. (Call me a snob, but I just can’t stand the canned stuff!)

On my reading pile…
Yesterday I finished Department of Speculation by Jenny Offill, and I really liked it a lot! I think it’s a book that appeals to a certain personality, though. I can see why some people aren’t charmed by it, but I really enjoyed it. I also recently finished Tokyo Ueno Station by Yu Mari, which is for my May Global Literature Book Club. I fell absolutely in love with this book. It is sad and emotional, and really got to my heart. Both are quick reads (or quick listens if, like me, you’re on an audiobook kick). Currently I’m getting a jump on the June Book Club selection, which is Disoriental by Négar Djavadi. I also have The Hands-On Home by Erica Strauss checked out. It looked like a sweet little book.

On my TV…
Drew and I started watching “The Last Man on Earth” on Hulu and it’s pretty good. Also, the usual “Law & Order: SVU” as well as the new “Law & Order: Organized Crime.”

On the menu this week…
Monday: Chicken cordon blue
Tuesday: BBQ pork chops and macaroni & cheese
Wednesday: Tacos
Thursday: Meatloaf
Friday: Take out (?)
Saturday: Kielbasa and pierogis

Looking around the house…
I did a ton of cleaning yesterday, catching up on laundry, washing the floors and organizing things so I’m not in bad shape! I have a pile of clean laundry to put away and I really need to clean up my “nest” area (as I like to call it) around my favorite chair. It’s where I have all of books, yarn, planner stuff, etc.

To relax this week I will…
I started a new blanket over the weekend (just a C2C pattern), so I’ll keep hooking away on that.

Something I want to share…
If you’re on Instagram and want to learn about government in a non-partisan way, follow SharonSaysSo. I absolutely love her Stories and at some point I want to take one of her Government for Grownups classes. She explains things really clearly, is not judgy at all, and she’s hilarious! Check her out.

What’s New Around Here


Well that week flew by, didn’t it? I don’t even know how it happened, but here we are… Wednesday again!

Spring flowers

Last Friday morning I got my 2nd COVID shot (Pfizer vaccine), and it wasn’t that bad. About four hours after the shot I got the same dull headache at the back of my head, and the sore neck I got after the 1st shot. I powered through work and by the time I sat down at home around 5 PM I realized how tired I was.

Shot #2 - Done!

The next day I felt really good when I woke up, but halfway through the morning I started to feel tired and slightly achy. If it wasn’t a Saturday I definitely could had pushed myself, but since it was the weekend I just took it easy and drank a lot of water. By Sunday I was my old self again! I went grocery shopping in the morning and spent the afternoon crafting.

This first half of this week has been a blur! Monday I was really busy at work, editing and submitting a grant. Yesterday was Drew’s birthday. He used a Lowe’s gift card to get some plants for the side of our driveway. We started working on this area last year and are trying to really fill it in with shrubs and flowers.

For dinner he wanted chicken marsala from a local restaurant so we ordered that to-go and just relaxed in the evening.

This morning I caught up on laundry, washing extra blankets that we probably won’t need again until the fall. I made tortellini soup for lunch. I have just been craving lately and since we had some spinach that really needed to be used up, it was the perfect excuse!

Tortellini Soup

After that I ran a few errands with Noah and Laura. I went to pick up my prescription (sigh, not there — our medical practice is really dropping the ball when meds need to be re-upped), dropped off some clothing donations, grabbed a few items at the store, and then we swung by Stewart’s for a treat — an ice cream cone for Laura and hot dogs for Noah, who had skipped lunch (knowing we were going to Stewart’s).

Once we got home I threw together a fajita marinade for chicken tenderloins, prepped corn for tonight, and made a delicious banana bread with dark chocolate chips. Oh, I can’t wait to grill a slice for breakfast tomorrow!

Banana bread

Yup, it was a busy day! But the good kind of busy. After all that, I just sat down to relax a bit and enjoy my day off. I finally settled on a blanket pattern for this yarn that has been staring me down for months. Nothing exciting — I just decided to do a C2C pattern. My reasoning is that there’s really no guesswork involved. Once I use half my skeins, I will start decreasing and that will be that! It’s also what I consider a pretty mindless pattern — one that I can work on while watching TV in the evening. Maybe once it’s done I’ll add a more intricate border. We’ll see.

New C2C lap blanket

Dinner came together quick, and it was delicious! I had scored some of the Elote seasoning from Aldi and was excited to try it. The corn was definitely spicy! I’m not sure if it was everyone’s cup of tea, but I really enjoyed it.

Chicken fajitas

Well, I guess that catches us up! Drew is finishing up the dishes, and that’ll be about it for tonight. Hope you all had a great day!

Blogging Like it’s 1999

Well, it’s been a while. Again. The other morning I was scrolling through my Instagram feed and saw this image and it reminded me of my poor, neglected, little blog here.

Rhonda’s comment reads,
“Listening to Prince and reading all your heartwarming comments yesterday gave me an unexpected but fun idea. If any of you are keen to join me and return to blogging the way we used to when it all first started, then please use this awesome Prince-inspired hashtag, #letsbloglikeits1999, so that we can all follow along! Who knows—maybe this is how we get the movement started? 🙂

Friends, let’s blog like it’s 1999!

Who’s in?”

The funny thing is… I actually started blogging in 1999. Back then we were calling them “online journals” but… yeah. I’ve been at this for quite a while and I definitely support Rhonda’s sentiment of blogging like it’s 1999. I love that other bloggers are embracing this, and I know I keep saying I want to write more, I want to get things down. And then… well… life kind of gets in the way. Work, family, chores, a freaking pandemic. It all just snowballs, doesn’t it? But I think I’m going to print out this Instagram pic and keep it in my planner where I’ll see it every day and it will hopefully remind me to get on here more often.