Peaches Prattlings

{February 1, 2021}   A new adventure starts today!

Today I started a new job and that means a new adventure! And what a day to start! And what starts! A new month, first day of the new month, and the first day of the week of the new month. What are the odds. What a way to start!

I had been looking for a new opportunity, something different from what I had been doing for the past several years. Now, by different, I mean the products and media that I use to create, not a different career path. I was on the lookout for an Instructional Designer and/or Software Trainer, two roles I am incredibly proud of. As a Software Trainer, I absolutely love explaining how a product or application works. I always say that an application is an application is an application, and by that, I mean it doesn’t matter to me what it is, I want and can learn it and turn around and teach it to you. I don’t even need to understand it completely to teach it, I have to understand it and be able to help you understand how to use it in your day to day job. As I teach, I learn, meaning that no matter how many times or how many years I teach something I learn something new every time I teach!

I didn’t know for a long time that being a good trainer was not as easy as I thought it was. I found out, years ago, that I have the ability to learn an application in a short amount of time and be able to turn around and teach it. I’ve been brought on projects and put in front of a class in a week or less. I would prefer to have more time to prep, but I am always up for the challenge. I really do live for it, I have the best time in front of a class, could be in part, not only my love of teaching, but my gift of gab, which I had way before I kissed the Blarney Stone! I have said in the past, I get a runner’s high when I teach, I do! When it’s a good or great class, I thrive and float, my feet sometimes don’t touch the ground for a few hours after I am done! I absolutely love seeing the look on someone’s face when they get it! I can see the proverbial ‘lightbulb over their heads’!

I will also take the time to explain something to someone until they get it, I want them to understand. I am also very honest that when I teach, I have the patience of a saint, but personally…I have the patience of a gnat! No patience, none, if a website hasn’t started in 3 seconds, I’ve started over! It’s true! Ask anyone who knows me! But for you, in my class, I have all the time in the world! Let’s dance! I am, after all, the product of two amazing and gifted teachers!

On the opposite side, when it comes to writing, I’ve always been a good writer, at least that’s what I have been told! ha ha! It must be true, for some reason you keep coming back to see what I have to say! I didn’t enjoy writing as a kid, I could write a book report, but I’m not sure it gave me the joy I get now. Now, reading, that I enjoyed, and I could tell a story, just didn’t feel much like writing it down. Later, in college, I got high marks on my stories, very descriptive and inviting. I remember writing a paper about my grandmother’s house and my professor said they could see it clearly in their mind and wanted to go and visit.

I started blogging, as you know, and that seems to be going well, ha ha. I’ve updated or written resumes for people, hopefully it has helped. I’ve written dating profiles, those I really enjoy! I even wrote one for a guy I was dating at the time! It helped him meet his current wife, go figure! And…four people have gotten married from the profiles I’ve written! I’ve even written them for people I didn’t know, my favorite was someone I met on a train. It was pretty good, if I do say so myself!

When I got into writing professionally, it was really the same way I fell into training. It started with “We got this new application, teach us how to use it” huh? Ok…then I was in one position and I knew I was going to be out of the office for a bit, so I wrote instructions on how to do my job and when I got back, the person who was filling in had no questions and was able to follow everything as if I was walking them through it step by step. Then I started getting jobs as a writer, sometimes updating existing training materials, sometimes building new materials and then one job or project led to another and here we are.

When I write training materials, I really get into what I’m doing, when I know how to start. Sometimes, I have to sit and look, and look, and think, and look, and think before my brain clicks and I think…oh yeah, this is the way we’re going and we’re off and running! If you know me, you know I don’t turn something in until I am proud of it, I’ll work through the night, hence the 80-120 hours I got in trouble for submitting sometimes! I love testing a product every which way to see how it works, if I click this, what happens? If I click that, where does it take me. Can I break it? How do I explain this so it flows just so. How can I write this so the trainer can teach it, even if it’s not me, and the student can understand it. Where do I add a screenshot? Oh man, I do love a screenshot! I’m being serious! How much is too much information? How many details derail the point or the materials? On my last project, I built a lot of the materials I was teaching, based on the data given to me, and some of the materials I had updated what was given to me. As I was teaching, I realized that some things just didn’t flow right and I rearranged things, moved things around, made them flow better and I have to tell you, when I was done, I was so very proud. And that was at 4 o’clock in the morning, I’m not kidding, I was driven and I was going to turn in something I was happy with. And…I’ve heard that others were happy with it, it made more sense, and that to me was everything!

So…as I mentioned, I was looking for something different, not in the role, but in the software, I had been writing and teaching the same product for the last five years and it was time for a change. And that’s where we are today! Today I started with a new company and it’s a whole new ballgame! I am going to be updating some existing materials and building brand new content, I am so ready to jump in and get started. What I really love about writing assignments is that each client has different mediums they want to use. Some use Word, at this point, I’m an expert for building training materials! some use PowerPoint [PPT], I have since become quite the PPT aficionado, it doesn’t intimidate me anymore!, some Adobe Captivate, I’ve dabbled, some Articulate, I’ve experimented, RoboHelp, it’s been a while, and now, with this new job, I’m getting to use two new mediums, Skilljar and Genially, and from what I’ve seen when I investigated them, I’m excited!

As I get more into what I’m doing I’ll definitely share! I know you know that! For now, Monday, February 1st, new adventure! Liferay, here I come!


{December 8, 2017}   Paper, I recommend paper!!!

I am tired of doing dishes! Only paper!!

I say that every time I am washing dishes! Argh! And the reason I am washing so many dishes is that the dishwasher is broken and it turns out we are waiting is our landlord. When PSM reported that the dishwasher was broken, the owner wanted to know what we did to break it, “I barely used the dishwasher, what did they do?” Seriously?

PSM and I are both landlords and know when something breaks at our respective houses, we talk to the management company about what happened and who to send out to fix it. We don’t ask what the tenant did, unless it’s something that sounds absolutely crazy, not general wear and tear on a house.

So, that being said, every time we cook, we have to wash the dishes. Now, when PSM is here by himself, he doesn’t use a lot of dishes, it’s just cooking for one and I’m the same way when I’m on my own, probably use the same dish, spoon and cup, so to speak.

With me being home and cooking every day, I’m cooking for two, some of the dishes have been quite simple, but others have required multiple pots, pans, spoons, measuring utensils and then of course, we have to serve the food on something!

I have enjoyed every minute, getting to create new things, come up with something creative or just the simple and cooking for PSM and sharing meals with him. It really has been great and makes me want to be in the kitchen more often, so I think that tells you why cooking when I’m on the road is a treat.

But…no more dirty dishes! Paper plates please! Of course I don’t think of the paper plates until I am washing dishes again! Drat!

Is that the water running? Nooooooo!

{September 26, 2017}   It’s not October…

Please stop with the Halloween decorating!!

I get that it’s fall, officially. Halloween is in October, I don’t know if you know this interesting fact. I know once fall comes, it’s time for pumpkin spice and fall decorating, I’m good with that.

If you know me, you know I la,la,la love Halloween and used to have the biggest, most fabulously decorated house. I loved decorating, setting up for trick-or-treating, seeing the kids faces when they walked the path to come to the door for candy.

What’s hard is seeing all the decorations for Halloween is that my birthday is in September and I always refused to decorate for Halloween before October!

I know the decorations are in the stores in July, I’m just never ready to put it out until October 1st!

I’m not ready, so please stop! You only have to wait six days! Then, go for it, I cannot wait to see what you do!!!

This is my sister’s house, what’s that?

741am, the texts started, “how’s it going?” All good. Some kids were up at 645am, others about 730am. Auntie J was in the basement, there’s no sleeping in…

Good morning little people, so cute! All slept well, made it through the night, even a milestone was had! And what did their parents do while they had an empty house? Cleaned the cabinets, went to the mall, went for a walk. Whatever it is mommies and daddies do when their kids are out for the night!

Two kids went home, four went to Sunday school.  GES had a brunch at the temple, the rest of us had breakfast and relaxed a little. I walked to CVS, um…i got a haircut yesterday, sparklers showing, had to fix that!
Kids home, play in the bouncy house, friends for a quick visit,  bounce, snacks, I did my hair, 35/40 minute process  [color, rinse, shower, dress], out the door. A cheering section for EJS’ lacrosse match, great match, they won, she scored! It was great to see her in action! 

I don’t know if it’s like this everywhere, but the referees stop and teach the kids why they stopped and coach a little. 

Back to the house, friends over, lunch, more bouncy house, crafts naps, myself included for a few. 

Laundry, pack, play, detergent down! MGS, our tiny acrobat… crawl behind and grab what you find! dinner, play, bath, bed.

Goodnight kisses for all,  I’m leaving very  early in the morning. 

What a weekend! I need to get back to work so I can get some rest!

{October 1, 2016}   It’s too salty! Tee hee hee

We cooked all day…all day. 

Tomorrow is erev Rosh Hashanah, which translates to eve of, the night before. My sister always hosts friends and family, and you know there’s no small happenings here, so there will be about 35-40 people, the usual…

So, there is cooking to be done. People are bringing food, but there is still a lot to be done. We made chicken soup, lots of chicken soup, batches of matzo balls, dessert and a dairy filled kugel, which is like noodle pudding, it’s fabulous and a dry kugel, no dairy. 

The dairy kugel has milk, cottage cheese, sour cream, brown and white sugar, cinnamon. I used to love this kind when I could eat dairy. 

It smelled great while it was cooking and when it came out,time for the taste test! Not me, not a good idea, all that dairy. As soon as GES put the bite in her mouth, the look on her face said it all! Too salty!

How is that possible? We used all sweet things, I put salt in the water to cook the noodles, but that doesn’t make a difference.  We used sweet salted butter, but that doesn’t have that much salt. We couldn’t figure it out. We made everyone try it, just to be sure, including me, nope, too salty. 

So…we decided to move on and try the other, “dry” kugel. It came out of the oven and we had to taste test of course. I tasted and as I walked away said “it’s too salty”….and I started laughing.  

The look on my sister’s face was priceless! The worry, it lasted all of 3 seconds because she saw me laughing, it was worth it!

It reminded me of when I was a kid and my grandmother made applesauce and I would tell her it needed sugar, never did, but I would tease her. 

That memory was a nice feeling and we needed the laugh! And by the way…the kugel was perfect, can’t wait to eat it tomorrow!

{September 22, 2016}   A team outting…a coming class!!

So much fun!

Two team dinners in a row? Sounds good! This time, a cooking class, fun!

We went to The Social Table for a fantastic evening!

When we arrived, appetizers were waiting, toast points with chickpeas, butternut squash, tomatoes, olive oil and pepper. A yummy way to start!

The kitchen was set, the table was set, everything was…set!

We were making a brussel sprout and kale salad, fresh pasta with carbonara sauce, minus the meat, tomato soup, stuffed peppers and chocolate cake with ice cream. 
Rachel and Ian were our chef/instructors and they were fun and patient and encouraging and remembered each of our names and called us to do things, that was impressive!

Everyone chopped, sliced, diced, pureed, mixed, folded, whipped, you name it, we all got to do it! 

We prepped, cooked, drank, chatted and laughed, it was fabulous and so much fun! We talked a little work here and there but most of all we laughed and really enjoyed the process and each other’s company. 

When it was all done, we sat down to mange! It was fabulous! 

[Yes, my friends, every piece if food had some form of dairy and I tried it all, except the chocolate cake with ice cream. I’m paying for it, but the experience with my coworkers was worth it! Every once in a while, you have to go for it]

If you have never taken a cooking class, it’s worth it. This is my second, it’s more fun with an intimate or smaller group and if you know everyone, you can relax a little more.

{April 21, 2016}   We’re home…let’s cook!

We got home from dad’s and it was time to get down to business.

Tonight is erev pesach, that means night before passover, which begins tomorrow at sundown. We’ve tales about passover before and I’ll talk more about it tomorrow,  today is for cooking.

There is so much food to prep and cook, there are menus, recipes, shopping. We send out a list to people coming to see what they can make and then GES and I figure out the rest.  When we were kids and my mom’s mom still had it at her house,  grandma, me,  mom and GES would cook up a storm the days before. 

Then when it moved to my parents house, me,  mom and GES would cook,  grandma was still responsible for the homemade applesauce,  which I always teased her was not sweet enough, she’d pretend to hit me,  it was our thing.

Then,  it was GES and I cooking and hosting at  dad’s and then after EJS came into our lives,  its been in Boston ever since,  with GES and I cooking and hosting.

So, this year,  as we always do,  we make a plan and then away we go. This year,  instead of cooking a few chickens,  Costco cooked them for us! 10 rotisserie chickens, done!

We started at Costco and got most of what we needed,  then the grocery store for the rest. We headed home and after some dinner,  decided tonight would be desserts, the rest tomorrow. Some stuff, like the soup was made last weekend and frozen, matzoh balls tomorrow.

Since it was desserts, we made matzoh brittle, yum! Macaroons, yum! And cookie jam drops, omg, yum! I can’t wait to eat tomorrow!

I can’t wait to tell you all about tomorrow!! Better yet, come join us!


See…Y U M!!


And the plan of attack, from the planner herself, my sister!

Another jam packed day!

The day started early,  but that meant breakfast! And breakfast in the south means…Waffle House! The All-Star Breakfast. What could be better? Nothing!


On the way home we stopped by the package store,  ST needed some supplies for the weekend and I picked up a few things for some people I know, wink wink. After we got back to the house,  I packed up my stuff, loaded the car and headed to Starbucks to get some work done for a few hours.

On the way to pick up RJS for our dinner date with JCT, I had something happen for the first time ever. I ran out of gas! On the highway! I knew I needed gas yesterday and thought I’d get it today and totally forgot. So, all of a sudden the car starts stalling, duh! I managed to get the car from the hammer lane to the right shoulder! Whew!

I called ST and he reminded me about GA511, they send the State Farm HERO units out.  They asked where I was,  that was easy! Mile maker 111 in 85S. Could I have stopped in a more perfect spot??


The truck arrived and the hero himself,  so to speak,  put one gallon of gas in the car and made me feel better,  he did the same thing himself last week!


After my hero left,  ha ha, I found a station,  got gas and headed to pick up RJS. We had a bit of traffic to sit in,  so lots of time to catch up!

We made it to dinner, had a great time with JCT, laughing,  catching up,  we’ve known each other, this October, 7 years! Wow! We met on the same day on a new project and became instant friends,  we met ST on that project as well. Pretty cool,  huh?

After dinner, I drove RJS home and we caught up some more,  talked plans and dresses and stuff. Eventually I realized it was late and headed to JCT’s house for more catching up, just the two of us.

When I got there,  she gave me the new “sleep” hat her mom made me,  totally rad!!! Don’t you just love it! Mom rocks!

Maybe one day I’ll actually be able to make something like this!


I love being spoiled by two amazing moms! JCT’s and SDL’s, they make me feel like one of theirs,  thank you!

And now my friends,  it is time for sleep.  Repacking in the morning and off to the airport for the next great adventure! Thanks everyone for making this week fabulous!!!

And a very happy happy birthday to one of my best friends! MM! live it up,  it’s your day! Xoxo

{March 23, 2016}   My apartment

You wanted to see where I reside, well, here you go!

So…I needed a place to live after I finished my project in Massachusetts last year. I wanted a place close to the airport, not too expensive [this is Boston after all] and takes pets, simple, right?

Not quite. It may sound unreasonable, but I wanted to find something about $1000 per month and I have to tell you, anything in that range would be a roommate situation. You can’t really move into a house with other people and ask them to watch your furry kids. So, alone it is. I found a place, it was perfect, well perfect in the way it was what I needed.


Do you remember your first “POS” apartment? It was the worst, right? Falling apart, missing things, but you loved it. Well, this is not that, ha ha. I am almost 45 years old and I had that first POS apartment, I’ve owned a home and now I’m where?

Truth be told, it was a wee bit scary when I first saw it, well, scary to others, but I saw potential. The agent told me that a young girl, about college age saw the place and walked out.

It’s the basement apartment in a house in East Boston, I just found out the other day that makes me “an Eastie”, ok, I’ll take it. It reminds me of being called “a Slopie” when I was still in New York.

Being a basement apartment, you hear everything!  I would love to know what those people upstairs are doing all night and sometimes into the morning, on occasion, joining me in my insomnia.

When I first walked in, I was less than pleasantly surprised. The baseboard heaters were falling off, the walls were that lovely fake wood paneling, cabinets had to be from the 80s, if I was lucky, counter tops are fake marbling, glued down in some places, coming off in others and burned through in some places and yellow and sticky. Doors falling off the hinges, the ceiling in the bathroom was falling off, the dishwasher…1980s PINK people, PINK and sticky, on the outside. The range and refrigerator were fine, at least I hoped they were.



So…I told the agent that I would take the apartment if he fixed the issues and he would have three weeks to do it as I was going to be out of the country for that time as you may remember. He agreed.

Did he fix everything? Not exactly, but big things were done. Walls are now white, the baseboard heaters are re-attached, the ceiling in the bathroom is now in one piece, shower is re-tiled, new carpet in the front room and there is a new fridge and dishwasher.

The cabinets, not replaced and still falling apart and VERY icky, sticky, storm door can’t stay open, some windows don’t have screens, some of the existing screens are ripped. The only closet is the one under the stairs by the front door, there is a set of stairs to no one where and they added a giant shelf. Shelves or cubes would have been better, just saying.

First, I don’t know if you remember me telling you about my dad selling the summer house and me getting a lot of stuff to furnish the apartment, I didn’t have to buy much to furnish the apartment, which was great! My dad’s first set of dishes, a table and chair my mom used to use as a makeup table, a table from my grandmother’s house, among other things.

I took the doors off the cabinets and used Greased Lightning, bleach, whatever I could think of. When I sprayed the Greased Lightning, his yellow stuff just started to drip and drip and drip, it was kind of, well, grody! I put the doors in the shower to drip, drip, drip, didn’t help..they were all still sticky and gross. There was one door I couldn’t get off because they hinges were rusted solid. Even the drawer pulls were nasty. What did the people who lived in this place do?


Ok, I wasted enough time trying to clean the cabinets, so I decided to forget the cleaning, I’m going to paint. I went to Home Depot and picked out a nice blue, after asking the landlord for permission, of course.

I started with primer and moved on to paint. I painted inside and outside the cabinets, the roof of the cabinet, under the cabinet, pretty cool. I cleaned the drawer pulls as best I could and decided that I was not putting the doors back on and after they were dry and I loaded them up, I seconded my decision, I love the way it looks.

After I got the bed set up, I was no longer sleeping on the floor, have my fabulous new comforter set that my dad got me and I’ve made this space my own.


Do you love the pillow my mom made when she was pregnant with me?

She loved this doll, it was at the summer house.


The entrance to the shower looks bigger in the picture!

The area where my clothes are is ffffreezing!

I even put in a closet rod so my clothes stay a little warmer.

See, open cabinets, love it!

See…special artwork on my fridge!

See my Starbucks mugs on the windowsill?
Something to put my paintbrushes and colored pens and pencils in!
Found a place for my medals and race bibs.

The dishes look great!

So, that’s my place, now you’ve seen it and where I hang out when I’m off the road. What do you think?

Today we had a party for one EJS, who turns NINE tomorrow.

What a day we had! I got to GES’ house, hugs and kisses all around,  then it was off to Karate with EJS, she really is getting stronger with her kicks and punches. She was even called to the front row of the class, that is not a common thing for lower level students, that’s what she told us when class was over. The Master instructor called her out after class to tell her how well she did.  Go EJS go!

Then back to the house,  make rice crispy treats,  never knew how easy they are,  butter, rice crispy cereal and marshmallows. 

A few errands and then the girls started showing up. Thirteen in total with EJS and MGS, oh my!  It was a great mix of girls, some from school, temple, book club, family friends and camp, very nice.

Since they were from different places,  not everyone knew each other, I had all the girls sit in a circle and we played an ice breaker game to get the girls to relax,  laugh and maybe learn each other’s names. It worked a little, by the time they started the festivities,  the girls were laughing together.

We started in the dining room with instructions,  we were having fun with food.

They started with decorating their own containers with markers and stickers.

Next,  on to the fun with food… first, they were making candy sushi! We made two different sizes of rice crispy treats,  blocks and long thin pieces. Then take a Swedish fish or gummy worm and either roll it in the longer thin piece or put it on the block,  then wrap it in fruit roll up like seaweed. How cool is that!

Next was melting chocolate and crumble cookie pieces to pour into molds and then after they harden in the freezer, wrap them in foil for their own candy bar.

Lastly, we had different flavored puddings, whipped cream, cookie crumbles, Graham cracker crumbs and mason jars to put it all in,  with labels hand made by each girl.

Perfect timing, as one group of girls left a station, they went downstairs to play, then,  after we finished taking the chocolates from the freezer,  it was time to sing and eat ice cream cake. Pure perfection! Parents started showing up just about that time.

After most of the girls left, five stayed behind, four were spending the night, was doing a sleep under,  she would stay until bed time and then go home.

The girls put on their pj’s, watched Paddington then headed upstairs to set up the sleeping arrangements air mattresses and sharing and floors and mommy and daddy’s bed, play a game, while they waited for the sleep under to head home and one other girl to come back.

By now, it was almost 10pm and I headed for the hills,  or at least my place and my furry kids [and yes, they did exactly what I said they would].

Tomorrow, more fun with family and a birthday dinner.

I told you those nine year olds could party!


et cetera