Thursday, June 30, 2011

A Doggy Fourth

Jack Russell Terriers are a funny sort of dog.  They bluster and bark and act like they are the size of a St. Bernard.  They run and jump; boy do they run and jump.  They are the doggy version of a type A personality…until it thunderstorms.

I’m not sure about other Jacks out there but, Maddy, my little bullet is deathly afraid of thunderstorms.  And the older she gets the more afraid she becomes.  The cat walks nonchalantly around my shivering Maddy, mocking her.

Living in Virginia it is very common after a hot and humid summer day for an evening thunderstorm.  As soon as the sky turns a bit dark, Maddy has run for cover, patiently waiting it out in the dark of a windowless bathroom.  In her doggy mind she is sure that the storm won’t be able to locate her there.

But that is not the least of it.  Once while she was peacefully sleeping and so darned cute, impulsively, in order to capture the moment I pulled out the only camera within reach, my cell phone.  The flash went off. 

Now, most dogs think their masters are godlike, but my dog actually thinks I can control the weather.  Like the Norse thunder god Thor, Crystal has a magic lightening machine.  And what follows lightening, but thunderstorms?

Whenever someone texts me, and that lightening machine vibrates and lights up, Maddy runs for cover, meaning the nearest dark place she can find. All you see is the back of her, tail tucked, as she makes a beeline to safety.

Now we approach the Fourth of July and even though firecrackers have been illegal in Va. As long as I can remember everyone who lives in my neighborhood has amassed large quantities of the exploding stuff.  And it sounds to a slightly disturbed Jack Russell much like Thunder. 

So while others are eating hot dogs and lighting off fireworks a little terrier I know will be waiting it out under a blanket where the thunder can’t find her.  Until the next time the skies turn dark and I notice a little brown and white blur practically running me over as she seeks out the current hidey-hole.  I cover her with a blanket and she is calm until the next storm… or text.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Life is a sandy beach

When I was a kid our family didn’t take expensive vacations at theme parks and resorts.  Our vacation was packing us all in the family station wagon and heading to the beach…for the day. 

What more could you ask for, a full day of sun and sand.  I’d sit and build sand castles till I was so sunburned that I glowed.  I would figure out how to make tunnels and tie it into the ocean water so that it flowed around the castle like a moat.  Pretty soon, the moat sort of took over the castle and then, well the castle was no more. 

My point is that playing with sand was pure unadulterated fun. Give me a beach full of sand, a pail and a shovel and I will be in heaven.  Unfortunately I burn even easier than I did as a kid.  Even under an umbrella that sun always finds me.  So I haven’t played with sand as much as I would like recently.  Besides the beach is a 3-hour drive, which is still closer than some places, but not exactly a trip to the corner market.

So for now I will just have to settle for viewing non-ocean sand sculptures (created by sculptors that I must admit are a bit more experienced with designs that are a bit more intricate than my childhood castles) at the local mall.  They recently took 50 tons of sand and sculpted a tribute to the racehorse Secretariat who was born on a Virginia farm not 20 miles from where I grew up.

These are cell phone photos and taken—at night—so not the best.  This is very impressive for temporary art that will be gone with the next wave…or maybe I should say thunderstorm.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

For the birds...and Paint Party Friday

Parrot ACEO...boy or girl?

Ever wonder why boy birds are so colorful and pretty and girl birds are sometimes rather drab?   Take cardinals for instance, the males of the species are bright red, the females a drab brown color.  Even a male robin’s red breast is just a bit redder than his mate.  I won’t even go into the American goldfinch male who is bright canary yellow while his significant other is a dull ocher-ish color. 


Science says that female birds choose their mates by judging a beauty contest of sorts. Yes, that shallow hussy picks her mate by virtue of his good looks.  She doesn’t care if he has a great personality; she likes the one with the prettiest and brightest colors.  Sounds pretty superficial to me.  So as a result he poor little bird who just didn’t get enough vitamins in his bird seed flies away without a girlfriend. 


To be fair to those feathered females, some scientists also think that maybe the color difference may be to protect the female from predators. I mean, if you were a predator wouldn’t you go for the bright red bull’s eye and leave the ugly, brown baby mama alone. I don’t think anyone really knows for sure, but it’s interesting to ponder.

And then there is the case of the parrot.  Male and female are both very, very colorful.  In fact, since their sexual organs are internal, without an invasive medical procedure you won't be able to tell which is which.  So the question is how to do you tell a male parrot from a female parrot. 

Answer:  You ask them…. Parrots can talk right?

For I am showing off my ACEO of a parrot.  Sorry but I don’t know if he is a boy…or a girl. Please go and visit all the wonderful, creative and truly fantastic art from all the other participants.  You’ll be glad you did! As always thanks to Kristin and Eva!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Recycled mini bubble blower, edited!

I am so sorry about any inconvenience but when I published my original instructions in an effort to make the blower more colorful I incorrectly used acrylic paints which will not stay on the blower.  I realized that it is better to use spray paint made specifically for plastic!  Sorry...I'm only human, maybe a bit more than most people.  LOL

Summer is now officially here.  There will soon be outdoor parties and reunions, and vacation bible school.  This project uses recycled empty bottles and a few simple and inexpensive items to make a mini bubble blower that blows tiny bubbles.  I have even included a recipe so you can even make your own bubble solution or take the easy (and more expensive) way and a buy some pre-made.

You will need:

Mini empty sample shampoo bottle for each bubble blower

Cardboard covered with plastic wrap or waxed paper, scrap newspaper for spraying the paint. Work outdoors where there is plenty of ventilation

Spray paint specifically made for plastic available in discount dept. stores

Small scrap of plastic canvas, any color

Glue gun and glue sticks (an adult will need to do this step)

Small scissors

For the bubble solution you will need:

1 cup  of water
2 tablespoons of Karo syrup or glycerin
4 tablespoons of dishwashing liquid (Joy works best)
Funnel to fill the bottles

Mix the Bubble ingredients together and set aside .

1.    If you cannot find spray paint made for plastic just leave it unpainted, no kids I know will mind.  Spread some newspaper outside and spray the bottle on all sides.  Stand up the bottle on the plastic wrapped cardboard.   Let the paint dry completely. 

2.     Cut a piece of plastic canvas four squares across and however many down you need to fit in the bottle you are using. You can cut it later if it is too long. 
Some plastic canvas mesh is wider than what I used.  If this is the case you can cut it three across instead of four. It should  fit in the neck of the bottle.

3.     With a hot glue gun add a bead of glue in the inside cap and stand up the plastic canvas strip.  Hold in place until it sets.  Make sure you do not get any glue on the inside screw area of the cap.

4.     When the paint is dry and the bubble wand set, using the funnel fill the bottle with the bubble solution that you have made.  The blower will blow mini bubbles. 

I just had a blast making bubbles...and I am sort of an adult!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Polydactyl Rex

Relax you Jurassic Park aficionados; the term polydactyl isn’t a reference to a newly discovered dinosaur.  Simply put, it’s a cat, a cat with extra toes. 

Now when my daughter, Mary, was little she had a polydactyl cat she called Daisy.  So it was no surprise when the other day she got a polydactyl kitten.  When she found out it had those extra toes, she took it as a sign.

The condition of polydactlylism is a genetic mutation that results in extra toes on one or more paws. Some people call these cats mitten cats; some call them Hemmingway cats in reference to the writer Ernest Hemmingway who loved these cats so much that he basically collected them.  To this day on the grounds of his Florida home, now a museum, many polydactyl cats still roam freely.

The origin of these cats is a bit cloudy. They can be found mainly on the east coast of the United States, Southwest England, and Wales. Sailors prized these cats thinking they were good luck.  Why you may ask?  My hypothesis is this… Ships have rats and mice, which is not such a good thing on a ship.  Polydactyl cats have giant paws with extra toes—and nails.  If you were a mouse and you saw those paws coming at you, you got down on your little mousey knees and said your prayers—right before you jumped ship.

Most Polydactyl cats have at least six toes on the front paws making it appear as if they have thumbs.  What’s more is that a particularly intelligent cat can actually learn to use these pseudo-thumbs much as we humans do. Polydactyl cats have a manual dexterity that can be, frankly, amazing.  I’ve seen Daisy catch things in one hand and open doors. 

This little hyper kitten may end up being quite a handful for Mary.  Then again, she could teach him to fetch the paper and open tight pickle jars.  If she really set her mind to it maybe she could even teach him to clean his own litter box.  That would work for me.

Before I close I would like to mention two giveways given my blogging buddies Maggie and Maddie.  They create the most charming Santas and I know anyone would just love to win one!  Check them out!  and

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Happy Father's Day

This is a Goloot

With her mouth she does toot

As she dances around

Her foot it does pound

with her fancy and colorful boot

Father’s day is fast approaching and while my father is no longer with us, the memories of days past will live forever.

My father worked a job just like all fathers did, but when he came home he drew, he wrote, and he cartooned.  It was his way to relax and allow the creativity that modern life stunted to flow freely.

When I was 10 years old Dad and I wrote a picture book together. The book detailed fantastical, made up creatures and included an appropriate poem.   The book’s title was “This is a….” I drew, and he wrote the poems to go with the drawings.

You won’t find it in the library since there was no publication.  I mean really, the authors were a gift shop owner and a small child.  It was our book, and as the years passed it sort of disappeared and was lost forever.

The other night as I lay in bed waiting for sleep, I thought of that book. The memories of those long ago days came flooding back when a father and daughter worked together to create something more than just drawings and words. 

So I figured for Father’s Day I would include a new page for the unfinished and missing book.  Although dad has passed on many years ago, I am hoping that he is still watching over me and will appreciate that I have used his whimsical style to write something appropriate.  I hope you enjoy, a new version of…”This is a.”

I am submitting this rudimentary sketch to Sunday Sketches at in memory of my Dad.  Why not visit today!  Thanks Sophia for hosting.  

Happy Father’s Day!

Friday, June 17, 2011


Finished product # 1

When someone such as myself paints, there are bound to be accidents.  I know I am not alone though.  I mean who among us hasn’t had a sip or two from the brush water now and then?

This week I had spent the better part of a day working on a painting of two “paint horses.” As I rose to take a much needed break, my hand brushed against my reference photo and before you can say lickety split…it had landed right on top of my palette.  Yes, the full of globs of paint, palette. This time, unlike some of the other fiascos, it landed backside down. 

I’m a pro so I worked quickly to survey the situation.  No paint was smeared on the painting.  I wiped the back of the photo with a wad of paper towels, and I discovered that, yes it was colorful, but no real damage was done.

As I finished wiping, right before my very eyes the accident turned into art.  Ah, serendipity we meet again.  Try that as you spew dirty brush water all over your work surface!

Sorta finished product #2

Please be sure and visit all the other participants this week and enjoy some wonderful art!  Thank you Kristin and Eva for all your hard work!  TGIF everyone!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Camping anyone?

scherenschnitte paper cut deer ACEO

I have to admit I am not really a fan of camping.  I like the things one associates with camping, like roasting marshmallows and hotdogs, telling ghost stories and campfires, Kumbaya…yup those are fun.   Sleeping in a musty tent on the freezing hard ground cocooned in something inappropriately called a “sleeping” bag not so much.  Don’t get me wrong I like the outdoors.  I guess I'm outdoorsy only during banker hours-- from 9 to 5. 

When my daughter was little she joined Girls Scouts.  One thing led to another and when the leader had to relocate I was the next in line.  Yeah you guessed it, Crystal became the Girl Scout leader  extroidinaire and Girl Scouts camp don’t they?

When May rolled around the girls informed me they wanted to go camping.  I froze.  An encampment was coming up at a backwoods, rural camp in the middle of nowhere and they wanted to go.  I’m nothing if not agreeable so I, albeit reluctantly, agreed.  Before I knew it, my assistant leader and I, along with two other mothers arrived at the camp.

This particular camp was equipped with fancy naturally composted latrines…in other words “outhouses.”  The tents were set up on wooden platforms with four cots inside each.   We spread our sleeping bags atop the smelly cots, and went out to enjoy the day.  Night must fall, however, and soon we were getting our evening things in order. 

By now it was pitch dark and we could hear the girls giggling in the tents beside us.  Then all was quiet, for a while.  A scream broke the silence and one of the girls was at our tent describing a spider “the size of my hand” that had taken up residence on the walls of their tent.  The assistant leader volunteered to take care of the situation.  Me, I wasn’t going anywhere.

After a bit, things simmered down and it was really quiet.  I never knew there could be so much quiet.  I took a final sip of juice out of my paper cup and placed it under my bed.  The four of us talked for a while and although, I would have been content to talk ALL night, the others wanted to get some sleep.  Who could sleep?  It was too quiet and too dark to sleep.

An hour passed and I lay in the dark, thinking and listening, and definitely wide-awake.  I heard the steady breathing of others and I knew they were asleep.  I heard a rustle, and then another.  I wondered if bear was native to the area. Something was in this tent and it was not human. I realized it sounded small and was probably a mouse so I started to relax...just a bit. I silently prayed for morning.

What if I had to go to the bathroom before daylight?  The latrine was at least 100 yards up a hill in pitch dark.  Just as that thought passed through my mind, my body decided it was a pretty good idea.  Guess I shouldn’t have had that juice before bed.

My mind was working overtime trying to figure out a solution.  I thought about the cup beneath my bed. I know it may sound odd but it made perfect sense at that time.  If only I could reach it.  I was afraid to put my feet down and no way was I going to reach under there, even if the cup wouldn’t solve my problem it became a quest.  Besides it kept me busy. 

I reached in the bottom of my sleeping bag where I had stowed my flashlight.  I know it would seem logical to just shine the beam under my bed and get my cup, however, I decided that I did not want to flash the light anywhere near the floor and risk seeing two shining eyes of any species.  Secondly, I wasn’t flashing it on the walls seeing as spiders of huge size frequent that area.  The only place left was the ceiling, which is what I did.

I pointed my light straight up and as I did this one of the other mothers called my name.  I almost fell off the bed.  She asked if I had to use the bathroom and as she did the others woke up and also needed to use the facilities.  Grabbing a flashlight we started our trek up the dark hill to the bathroom.  For a fleeting moment we wondered if any of the girls need to go and decided that it was every man for himself.

We walked together as one entity.  If an alien life form had observed us at that moment they would have thought the native being was an eight-footed clump of hair and flesh.

The way back was a bit easier and soon it was morning and we were on our way home, with a new appreciation for modern amenities.  That night I thanked god for my bed, my stove, my toilet, my shower, my bug killer………………

Friday, June 10, 2011

Am I in a Paint PARTY friday mood after little sleep? Answer: youbetcha

Last night I awoke to an explosion.  Well, maybe not an explosion but a couple of thunder claps that my foggy sleepy brain translated as an explosion.  I nudged my husband and asked:

“What was that?”  Yes, he was still asleep; he really can sleep through an explosion!

He told me it was thunder, rolled over and went back to sleep.  I mean really now, what if it actually was an explosion?  The rain that started to beat down on the roof told me that the man was right…again. Darn, he is always more alert than I.

I drifted back to fitful sleep sure that maybe today the world really was ending.

This morning when I awoke I was intent on proving my ever-right husband at least a little wrong.  That was no ordinary thunderclap. So I went outside and surveyed the yard.  Nothing.  No damaged trees, no destruction of any sort.  A look reveals that horses are peacefully grazing and bunnies are hopping. The searing heat has abated somewhat due to the storm.  All appears right with the world, until I enter my family room and see that all the pictures that were on the wall were now scattered on the floor along with various knick-knacks.  Ha!  I knew it.  I really must call, my overly calm husband at work and inform him that his prized beer bottle collection had a casualty, one broken bottle.  I promise, I won't gloat. RIP little bottle.

It’s paint party Friday again, so today I have to share another little ACEO in acrylic of an appaloosa horse peacefully grazing. Be sure to check out all the wonderful art to be discovered at this weekly event.  Thanks again to Kristen and Eva for hosting!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

40, 60, 70 80 90… 100

Think cool thoughts!  

The cold chill of winter is just a distant memory and today in my neck of the woods they say that temps will reach 98 with a heat index of 115!  It is only early morning and it is already 82 degrees.  I apologize to you heat lovers but I am not a happy camper. Temps like this are just too darn hot.

My daughter is on vacation in Florida and a quick check on their weather forecast reveals that Florida temps are at this moment in the 70’s and will only reach 92.  What the heck is wrong with that picture?  I mean Florida is the land of palm trees and tropical sun? 

 My son, who is in the Air Force in Minot, N. D. tells me his temperature is in the 40’s and may reach 60 as the day wears on.  Here in Va. Most of the time even in the dead of winter temperatures don’t often go too far below 40.  

I guess I will just have to think cool thoughts, look over my photos of the rare blizzard of 2010, sip an ice tea and not leave the cool comfort of air conditioning for the next few blistering hot days.

Today my friend Judy Admamson has featured a guest post by me on her blog. Thanks Judy! Judy is a fantastic artist and creates the most beautiful paintings and Greeting cards.  Please stop by and visit her, you’ll be glad you did!

Find Judy at:

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Storefronts keep-a-changin in Creative Tuesdays

Historic ACEO?

I live in a small, history rich Virginia town.  George Washington slept here; in fact he grew up right across the bridge at Ferry Farm. I’ve lived here for almost my whole life and it was a wonderful place to grow up.  Like most small towns, everyone knew everyone else. The main street held all the stores in the area, dept. stores, drug stores, and soda fountains.  For entertainment on Friday and Saturday nights teenagers cruised the strip. (Another name for the main street)  Or they went to one of two theaters that had been there since they invented movies.  At Christmas the whole town seemed to become a fairyland out of a currier and Ives print.

Alas, time does not stand still.  Developers arrived and the town changed.  A mall detoured shoppers and teens alike from downtown to many stores and a multiplex.  The Hot Shoppe’s where we ate our Mighty Mos, became a quick stop gas station.  One theater became a church and the other an antique store. .  The Farmers and Merchants bank is now a museum, literally. The Department stores moved and in their wake stores cropped up that specialized in all sorts of off the wall items.  Do you have a hankering for some Va. Honey?  No problem its in the made in Va. Store.  Want a shirt that says I love my cat, there’s a store for that too.  How about something from the Emerald Isle?  We have it and you won't have to fly anywhere.  Houses crowded out woods in cookie cutter subdivisions and no one knew anyone else or even cared. 

Funny but when I drive through town, I can still see things they way they used to be.
Although when a town has been in business as long as this one has there is bound to be a lot of changes.

The theme for Creative Tuesdays this week is storefronts.  This ACEO in acrylic is of old brick building in the historic district that is now a hair salon…it started its life as a restaurant. (Before I was born of course)  Anyway in my dining room I have framed the old advertisement for the original restaurant…and its menu!  Check out these prices!
Know anywhere I can get a Porterhouse steak for $1.25?


Be sure to check out all the other great artists and their storefronts at Creative Tuesdays

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Four Seasons artist?

Painting by Nick Massi of the Four Seasons

Last week my husband and I went to New York and saw the Jersey Boys musical.  I adore Broadway and as you all know by now I love New York, even with its slight imperfections.  Although I liked the Four Seasons music when I was a kid, I wasn’t a super fan. Hearing this music once again put me in such a good mood.  It was so upbeat and I doubt that there is anyone of any age who wouldn’t enjoy the heck out of it.  Amazing since the songs are over 40 years old!!!

So… I changed my background music to Four Season’s songs.  I know they are not the original recordings, but I like to go instrumental so as not to be too distracting on my blog.  I hope you enjoy them.

I learned a lot about the real Four Seasons.  The songwriter was a prodigy, a creative genius.  Their sound was unique.  They were multi-talented.  And I never knew that Nick Massi, the bass player and background vocalist was an accomplished fine artist as well.  Music is an art so it makes sense that talent would transfer to other forms of creativity.

Nick’s daughter set up a website in honor of her father who passed away on Christmas Eve, 2000.  Nick’s paintings can be viewed on the following website.  Please enjoy the fine art of one of the unsung singers of the group, The Four Seasons.  As his character said in the show…

“What do you do when there are four guys and you are the Ringo?”

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Dakotas and Paint Party Friday

Northern lights ACEO

Ever since my son was a little boy he wanted to grow up and join the Air Force.  I supported his dream just like a good mother should.  I tutored him when it was time to take his ASVAB placement test and when that didn't work (as is always the case when a parent tutors their own children) I got him a real tutor. I told him that if he worked hard he would excel in the Air Force.  I used the mommy threat tactic that if he didn’t study hard, they would send him to some Timbuktu base like North Dakota.  So he studied very hard.  He took the test and he did well.  When they were giving out base assignments he waited while his schoolmates received their stations, South Carolina, Florida…and then it was his turn, Minot, North Dakota.  When he called me to tell me, I thought he was joking.   No such luck.  Now, I don’t want to say a negative thing about a state that I have never visited but NORTH DAKOTA?

Mt. Rushmore ACEO

 I have been to South Dakota, visited Mount Rushmore and loved it, but honestly the whole state closes every evening at six. And from September, to May even Casper the friendly ghost will not be caught…dead there.  And North Dakota is exactly as it sounds, north—way north.

I’m sure my son is not looking forward to spending the next year and a half in sub zero weather.  Fortunately for him he inherited his father’s optimistic outlook.  So he tells me the jokes he has been hearing since he found out where he was going. 

“Why not Minot?” He says to me.

“Freezin the reason.” He adds.

He arrived in North Dakota today.

The positives?  There are phones.  There is Face book, email and texting.  There are planes and airports.  And North Dakota is one of the few places in the lower 48 where you can see the aurora borealis or northern lights---a spectacular natural laser-like light show.  I think we may just make it.

Be sure to check out all the wonderful art to be discovered at Paint Party Friday  Many Thanks to Kristen and Eva for their all their hard work organizing this fun event.

I love New York

My imperfect quilt

Let me get this out of the way right off the bat.  I love New York.  And I am not just reciting a commercial phrase.  I love it, I really do.  I love the stores.  I love the food.  I love Times Square, and the shows. I love the subways, really I do. With all this love, there has got to be at least one drawback right?   I read somewhere that in the old days quilters would put a little mistake square in their quilts so as not be viewed as perfect since no one is perfect.  Well, I think I found that New York Square…and I don’t mean Times Square.

I am very lucky that my husband being a lifelong airline employee can fly for free.  New York is a very easy ½ hour hop so going to New York City is a fun little excursion for us. 

Yesterday we flew to New York.  As is our habit, we rode into Manhattan using public transportation, namely buses and subways.  The day was hot and humid, not unlike the 110-degree heat index we had left behind in Virginia.  Entering the city was uneventful and rather fun.  We had lunch at a wonderful diner and saw a show.  And then it was time to go back to the airport. 

That is when I discovered the New York mistake square.  Exiting the crowded, but air-conditioned subway we descended the stairs with the intention of riding the bus back to the airport.  Optimistically we reached the bus stop and waited.  We waited some more.  The heat beat down.  Little did I know that this heat was just a cool, walk in the park compared to the searing heat we would soon experience.

After about a half an hour not one, but two of our buses appeared on the horizon.  We had our choice!  The first bus stopped and the line of people waiting to get on had increased from just us, to over 25 others.  We somehow ended up at the end of the line.  As I reached the step, the bus driver told the person in front of me that the bus was full. Call me a country bumpkin but it looked full to me the minute that he pulled up.  Does he actually count or does he gauge it by whether he can close the door? 

So we turned and headed towards the second bus.  Luckily (depending upon how you look at it) the driver allowed more passengers.  This bus was so full that I swear you would need a crowbar to get another person on.  No one needed a bar to hold onto, packed this tight we just wobbled against each other like weebles. The door closed.  And as I looked around at these tired, hot, sweaty co-riders I realized this was not going to be any joyride.  The heat increased.  No air conditioning.  No windows open.  Are you kidding me?  The bus had to be approaching the heat of a sauna. And I never did get the idea of sweating in a box as being pleasant.  Those around me were dripping in sweat.  At this point I would have paid anything to be in an air-conditioned taxi.  $30 not a problem, $100, you betcha, blank check, all yours. 

Delirium took over and I started to think that walking to the airport would be a better idea.  Every time the door opened at yet another stop, I’d glance pleadingly at my non-complaining but sweating like a pig, husband and ask,

 “Can we walk from here?”

“No, it’s too far.”

“But I can see the tower.”

Finally I could take no more and at the next stop I was getting off, with or without him.  Fortunately he agreed and we walked the quarter mile to the airport.  Never in my life had outside air that was probably still pretty warm, felt so cooling.  I gasped and took it into my lungs with a newfound relish.

In retrospect, I have to believe that these buses are usually air-conditioned.  Perhaps there were too many passengers.  Maybe, it was broken.  It sure didn’t look as if the windows could be opened except by the use of a hammer.  So maybe, just maybe we got the bad square.  Hopefully the rest of them are just fine.  Still, I think that just in case I will only be visiting New York during the cooler months from now on.
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