Sunday, February 28, 2010

Guess What Happened Last Night?

It snowed! And snowed! A winter wonderland. I took this picture last night when I let the dog out. It was much prettier with the security lights illuminating the build up of snow on all the branches of the oak tree. I didn't know the tree had that many branches. My vegetable garden is the fenced area to the rear of the picture. And I used just about all the effects in IPhoto. Fun.

Yesterday was long. There were two classes being presented by others and I had wanted to listen. But customers came in for repots and other things and I missed both. And I found out I am doing the seed starting class next Saturday. Should be interesting. We tried to order take out for lunch but the place we called couldn't deliver. The driver didn't come to work. Still large pockets of town without power. So many trees just fell over and lay in the yards with the entire root system exposed. Incredible. To see, first of all, and because they didn't hit the houses or anything else. My yard has lots of drooping trees especially around the vernal pond.

Norway couldn't beat Canada. The Norwegian skip was certainly handsome. And gracious.
When it was evident Canada was going to win, he smiled and joyfully congratulated the Canadians. Someone in the Canadian audience had sounded a loud horn on two important releases for the Norway skip, which led to bad shots. Terribly rude. Not typical of Canadians. And still the Norwegian skip was happy and gracious in defeat.

It's end of the month, G will be working late into the night and Riley and I will be home reading. Nothing I want to watch on television. PBS isn't interesting. And the Olympic Closing Ceremonies? Yawn.

Oatmeal and a banana for breakfast. Coffee. My journal. Some laundry. Nothing else.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Good Morning

The dinner went well. The Lasagna was DELICIOUS! Golden brown and so tasty. I made salad and garlic bread and opened a bargain bin red Italian that was smooth and lovely going down. I drank most of the bottle. The house was so clean it squeaked.

The Swedish Women won the GOLD. They were radiant and the Canadian crowd was quiet.

Yesterday was a gift. Spring air, open windows and electricity. Thousands are without power due to downed trees and high water. My fridge is humming and my clocks are ticking.

Going into work this morning. We have two classes today. Edible Landscaping and Garen Journaling. Should be a lovely day.

Friday, February 26, 2010

A Blustery Night

I'm having a wonderful bowl of 80 calorie nonfat Vanilla yogurt with 1T of Grape Nuts and about a dozen frozen raspberries. This sat overnight in the fridge so the Grape Nuts got all soggy. I would normally have the the low fat vanilla (about 8 ounces) for 200 calories. This is much better. And, like Heidi Klum in the commercial, I clean the carton out with my fingers.

Last night. Wow. The rain and wind were pounding on the house. Roaring. Thumping. Smacking into the windows. I had trouble falling asleep and listened to the storm until I heard the tiny beep that signaled the loss of electricity. Then I fell asleep. I expected to see a war zone out in the yard this morning. Tree branches, etc. Instead, I woke up to Spring. And very few branches.

The vernal pond next to the house (right side ditch) is full. The snow is completely gone. And the daffodils are showing. Squirrels are running up and down the tree trunks. The sun is shining. And it's 39 degrees. In the morning. Riley is sitting in the middle of the yard choosing a squirrel.

So, Spring. And they say there's no Global Warming!!! It's February. The grass is bare, the breezes are sweet and the sun is shining. Amazing. Last year we had HEAT and SUN in April. And then we had COLD and RAIN for the entire month of June. Mother Nature. Probably menopausal.

The Swedish Men. They lost their Curling focus, first. Then, their confidence. Then, the game. I gave them pointers from the edge of my seat, but they didn't listen. I am desolate. Survivor was just okay. Russell buried the machete. Now his team has no way to chop things or open coconuts. The first place I would look, if my machete was missing, is right smack at Russell. He plans to steal or burn Rob's Red Sox cap next. K and I are disappointed in the challenges. They always had a reward and then an immunity challenge. Now, it's one combined challenge and too much chatting. We watch for the challenges. Don't like the chatting because it's meaningless as it's all edited by the film crew. Waste of time.

Today I will be working to clean the house and make the food and walk the dog. And that's a LOT since the house itself is one big pile of stuff "that needs to be put away". Coats. Shoes. Empty jars. Recycling. Art Supplies. Beads. Books. Dog Toys. More Dog Toys.

No Bunny House work as G never got around to wanting to cut the house parts until 6.30 pm. G falls asleep at around 7.30 so beginning a project with a table saw one hour before he loses consciousness is not my idea of a "good thing". He wasted most of the daylight hours doing all sorts of nothing. Not my problem. The house is being built for display in his store. If it doesn't get done? I'll just make it next year. No worries on my part. I don't care. I have enough stuff to do of my own. If I sound "testy", well, I am.

So, now I'm going to start in on the recycling and the collection of empty jelly jars. Then the coats and shoes. Then the table. I'm working all day tomorrow so I won't see you till Saturday evening. Be good.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Go Sweden

The very young Swedish Curling Team (men) beat the GBR team soundly in the preliminary match and today they are up against the Great & All Powerful Canada Team in the finals. This horse is my only remaining souvenir from my first visit to Sweden. Stockholm. Just before Christmas. There was daylight for about 6 hours and cozy candlelight the rest of the time. Cobblestone streets in the old town where I window shopped. Pink pigs were a big Christmas item. I bought the horse and straw Christmas ornaments. No pig.

It rained hard last night and most of the snow on the lawn is gone. 38 degrees. From the weather reports, the ski resorts in the western mountains have TONS of new snow. But last week was school vacation. Timing is everything.

The house lights are on this morning. It's dark in here. G is going to be cutting out the pieces of MDF for the Bunny House. I worked with a ruler and pencil and tried to find the right proportions for the little bunny house. I needed an eraser. Finally, I did what G suggested and measured the Gingerbread House for comps. I was way too tall. I had a good width. So more erasing. Now, I think it's good. If not we'll go buy another $6 sheet of MDF. Still not sure G will be able to cut the stuff. He has tools but it's not always that easy. Is it?

I got a nice haircut yesterday and had a lovely Indian lunch. I had the Nine Gems, Rice, Pakora and Chapata. And I packed up half of everything to eat for dinner. And I made Carbonara for G. He was happy and I was happy. Then I watched the 10th and extra end of the Swedish game.
And marked up the board for the Bunny House.

I don't have any list of plans for today. Bunny House? Lasagna for tomorrow? Ironing? Laundry? Clean sheets on the bed? (yes) A shower? (yes). Oatmeal? (yes). I have a Romance to read today. Haven't read one in a LONG time. Garwood's Sizzle. Rich woman and handsome FBI agent (who is also rich). That's the formula because women like "shopping" and "danger" and "handsome" and "rich" and "romance". In that order.

Several of the establishments where I was seeking employment in the first weeks of January, are now looking for a new employee. Again. They don't retain them for long do they? Some where around four to six weeks and the new employee makes a run for it. Probably took them that long to chew their leg off. G suggests I go back and ask for another application. (no).

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Le Creuset

This lovely Flame cast iron casserole was a wedding gift over 42 years ago. Well, one like this one. The original is sitting, wrapped in brown paper, waiting to be sent back to France for a replacement. It cracked. Now, I have three new ones in three sizes. And because one was a gift, in Flame, and the others purchased on discount at TJ Maxx, also were Flame, it seemed that Flame was "my color". I cook everything in these pots. Spaghetti. Soup. Pork Roast. Beef Stew. Pot Roast. On top of the stove and in the oven. Nigella cooks in the Caribbean Blue and Giada and Ina use the white.

The weather man went on and on last night about all the SNOW and RAIN and WIND that was coming our way overnight. I woke up expecting "weather". It looks exactly like yesterday. The same snow and ice that's been in the yard, melting slowly, for weeks. On closer examination, I see drizzle. And a few drips off the roof above the bay window. Hardly the 2 inches of snow per hour he was describing. I really should have gone into the weatherman business. There's no downside.

Today there is some excitement. I am going out to get my hair cut.

Sad but true, that was the entire excitement factor for the day, as written on my 25 cent desk top calendar. Sigh! But I am ramping it up with lunch at the Indian restaurant. Now, I just have to squeeze in a walk with Riley (who is actually my real dog, Diane) before leaving for lunch and the haircut. Riley has noticed the drizzle. And is growling at it through the window. I let him out and he raced over to his bucket (toy) to make sure it was okay and then did his business. Now he is hunting in the woods on the right side of the yard. He saw a raccoon over there earlier in the week and the scent must still be around.

I'm having coffee but skipping breakfast since I will be eating lunch. I have found I can't do both. Two regular sized meals a day seems to work best for me. With a piece of fruit and an ounce of cheese in case I get lightheaded. I have low blood pressure. If I'm really busy, I don't even remember to eat. But, in the winter, I'm rarely that busy.

I bought another bag of Romaine hearts at the grocery yesterday. Now, I have three bags. And haven't made a salad all week. Crazy. I also haven't made Paula's Hummus recipe. Next week I am attempting to make homemade pita bread. I did purchase an eggplant. Now I have to
decide if I want to bread and fry it or saute it with onion and tomato as a pasta sauce. I love eggplant. If I make it into a pasta sauce (for me), then G will be having Carbonara. I can also make the eggplant into a Greek meze. I think it means "small dish" or starter. Lots of possibilities.

When I was at the library yesterday, I checked out the (my) final Wallander. The White Lioness. I have checked it out several times now and still haven't read it. I know there is a real final, tenth, book coming out this year. The Worried Man. And, in this book, Wallander is a grandfather. And, the author says, there will be no more. Ever. There are also 3 more BBC televison Wallanders with Branagh. I can only hope PBS airs them.

So, these are my thoughts this morning. I have yesterday's catalogs to look at, I wrote checks for the bills yesterday after dinner and balanced the checkbook, and I watched the US Women lose their final game. In fact, they gave up before the tenth end. The real games begin this evening with Sweden and Great Britain playing for the last spot in the mens finals. Canada, Norway, China and either Sweden or GRB. I may hunt through the closet to see if I can find brown pants. And then I will see if I can wear them. I have been wearing my Chocolate Kanga and would like to be monochromatic today.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


I went looking for red in the drawers of the studio again. I found a number of things I had forgotten in those drawers. Sewing machine needles, thread and filled bobbins and blank sheets ready to cut into stamps. All waiting quietly in the drawers. These 1940's handkerchiefs were there also. I bought them on those same flea market/ antique show Sundays. Only the ones with red in the design. And I use them. Folded sweetly in my purse, ready for a sneeze or runny nose. This little pile had been forgotten. I remember going to elementary school and having to show a freshly ironed hankie each morning, before or after the pledge of allegiance to the flag. And to show clean hands and fingernails. 1951 or 52. Teaching us to be responsible.

Riley and I had a good day yesterday. I got to read an entire book and he napped quietly on his bed. G had dropped one of his pills on the floor in the morning, but didn't realize it was missing until 10 am when he was having his breakfast at work. Riley had found it, of course. I called the vet and he said it was the dose he would prescribe for a dog Riley's size, so it should be okay. There might be vomiting, spacey-ness and sleep. Riley chose sleep. G will be more careful in future.

The weather man has forecast rain/snow mix for the Midcoast for the next three days. It's overcast and gray outside but still unseasonably warm for February in Maine. The weather maps show snow in the western parts of Maine where the skiing takes place and rain here on the coast where Riley walking takes place. Riley doesn't like rain. I have a full rain gear suit I can wear so rain doesn't bother me. We'll see who wins.

The US Men's Curling Team lost again. They now have two wins and 6 losses. One more round robin game to play and we will not be seeing them again (I hope). The US Women's Team is shuffling players (as the Men's team did) to see if they can do better. In my humble opinion, the team's coach shouldn't select his daughter to be skip (captain). The remainder of the Curling will be winning teams playing each other for gold. And everyone in America can see the Canadian team curl. They are awesome. Our team is NOT.

China came into this Olympics as the World Championship Team. They are 1 and 8 in Vancouver. Edit: China-Men's is doing just fine and I think they are 8-1. Sorry!

I have two Wallander books to read before winter ends. It worked out nicely. The Fifth Woman was very good. I am reading them out of order due to availability from other libraries. I knew Ann-Britt was shot from a book I had already read, so I was waiting for it to happen in this book I just finished. But it's the procedure and not so much the suspense.

Winter is winding down. There could be more snow and storms but they won't stay around long. March is always wet & muddy with melting piles of snow (I remember it well when we had a 2 month old puppy in March). We have had feet of snowfall in early April so we must wait and see. But the "dark times" are past. I always feel so much better when the days are no longer so short. When there is light in the house (not produced by lamps).

Today I have bills to pay, checkbook to balance, books to return to the library and groceries to buy. I will be having guests for dinner on Friday. And I will be making homemade Lasagna. Tomorrow I am having my hair cut and I am treating myself to lunch at one of the Indian restaurants in town. Just me. Instead of never getting to eat Indian food, I have decided to eat alone on the day I have my hair cut. So that's what I am doing tomorrow. While it rains.

I have been running into fellow quilters at the grocery lately. They ask me what I am working on. Sadly, I must tell them "nothing". I do have two 12 by 12 things to show here on March first. The belated "pink" and the new "blue, white with touch of black". I worked ahead for once. I still need to bind the edges of these two. In fact, I have edges to bind on a few pieces. That could be something to do while watching live Curling. I do have a television in the studio. Now that I am using felt instead of batting in these smaller pieces, it is much nicer to stitch and work on them. Much. Another reason to be grateful for Deborah.

If you have been participating in the dialogue about real or fake blogging personalities, you might get as much of a giggle from a comment I received from a co worker who knows me from work and the blog. She feels I am more authentic on the blog. LOL. Don't you just wonder, as I do, what I am like at work?

That's it for today. This is post number 726. I think I just might make my goal of 1000 posts by the end of the year. You will all be SO tired of my "authentic" self by then!!!!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Whose Got The Button?

I had to actually leave the kitchen/dining area this morning to find something red for today's picture. In the "disaster area" aka studio I couldn't find what I was hunting for but did find a bag of red buttons. I would go looking for old Depression era buttons at winter flea and antique markets (years ago) and sort them by color. Red is by far my favorite color. So I have more of them than green or yellow. I never use them. Because I want to "have" them always. Are you like that with certain things?

Yesterday was a Slow Day. I just sort of rolled through it, getting things done, but no hurry. All my non blooming plants are now upstairs. The geraniums are about to bloom. One of the clivia fell out of it's pot and another had no roots. One orchid has two or three flower stalks but it's weeks from opening. The window sill down here in the kitchen looks a bit less cluttered. It's nearly time for me to begin some seeds. Calandula. Rose Campion. Coneflower. They take a bit of time to get going. And I can start some tomatoes. Let them grow tall in successive repots before setting out in June. Our season is very short. And I will be teaching the Vegetable Class at our Open House on March 27.

I have committed myself to preparing dinner for my daughter and her friend Mr L this week. I am very nervous. I want to make something they both will enjoy eating, but not something so difficult that I get myself in a tizzy. The short list contains Lasagna. But a nice Moussaka would be interesting.

I started another book, not Swedish, yesterday. Okay, but not great. Grafton's U. And I deleted the US Men's Curling. The Jerk is back and they lost again. He devised some lame plan to "trick" the Great Britain team. Wow. They didn't fall for it. And now the Women's Team has promoted that screechy, chatty idiot to skip. Pottinger. So, I think I will have plenty of time this week to read, as I won't watch the US Team lose more games. I'll tune back in during the medal rounds to see the GOOD teams play. US Mens won't be there. When your loss column is double the wins, not much chance of being on the medal platform.

And I have been interested in the blog question. Are blog writers authentic, invented or censored (by themselves). This was sparked by a comment from a blogger's real life friend. She said her friend (the author of the blog) wasn't anything like the person she seemed to be from her written blog posts. Which has led me to ask the two or three people who actually know me, in real life, whether I am authentic, invented or censored as written on my blog? No results, yet.

And this leads me to fantasize about creating a Fake Blog Persona. And lead a purely fictionalized life on the internet. I know it's being done. Fake financial people. Health products. Phone sex. Predators. Bad stuff. But how many "happy" fake blogs are there?Bloggers who reinvent themselves and pretend to be happy, married, successful, even creative (by stealing photos of other people's work). Hell, they even steal family pictures and add them to their blogs. Fake dogs and children. Do you think you are reading any manufactured blogs?

Today's breakfast bowl will be filled with oatmeal. And lunch will be soup or yogurt with fruit. I have strayed a bit from the diet and today and tomorrow I will be strictly low calorie. Lots of salad and soup. And a walk with Riley.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Good Memories

This piece of fabric and the notebook the fabric is covering contain so many wonderful memories. I was sitting next to Deborah (Deborah's Journal in the sidebar) at a quilt lecture five plus years ago. Deborah was encouraging me to start my own blog. She wrote the blogspot "address" on a sheet of paper from a covered notepad just like the one covered in this fabric. I went home and made my own covered notebook (with her directions) and started this blog. And here we are this morning. Still friends. Still blogging. Still using this wonderful notepad. Thank You, Deborah!

Riley is barking outside. I managed to see what was causing all the excitement. Either a raccoon or a porcupine. Moving slowly, just on the edge of the electric fence which contains Riley. The raccoon could be sick and the porcupine is just all round bad news. So Riley is back in the house. And now G is awake.

G is having a terrible "week after vacation". The morning manager on sick leave, a second manager fired and G having to go in at 4.30 am to unload the supply truck and then getting called in at 4.30 again because the safe wouldn't open. All the rest from the vacation has evaporated. At least the Curling puts him right to sleep in the evenings. :-)

I now have four books piled up on my book reading bench. And Curling. Too many things. Not enough time. And this morning the clivia fell off the table and scattered potting soil all over the floor and carpet. Ugh. Yesterday, I repotted my Jade plant and rooted cuttings of stems into another pot. Everything is going upstairs this morning and I will be watering. I think one of the cymbidium orchids is in flower so it will be coming downstairs. Plants and dirt everywhere.

The house is tidy. I have only one load of laundry to do and some shirts to iron. That won't take very long. Pizza for dinner. An easy day. Time for reading. I can read a whole book in one day if I have the time. I think I will attempt Grafton's "U" today. I only have about 50 pages of my Wallander left to read. Then I will read "The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest".

Dee has sent me some lovely beads and some very interesting papers for collage. Thank You, Dee. And I have the Easter Bunny House to work on a bit. So many things to do.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Hungarian Egg

G and I visited Budapest on one 4th of July in the 1980's to serve Big Macs to the American Embassy staff and other embassy guests. The Russian ambassador filled his coat pockets with Big Macs. Twice. The Special Sauce was sent from Germany in a "diplomatic pouch". Before leaving, I had money to spend in the airport and bought a dozen painted eggs. I still have them all. Still love them.

Today was a good day. I had about 15 students in my class and finished in 55 minutes. Then I answered questions for about an hour, one on one. That's why I stay employed, I guess. Later in the afternoon I diagramed the making of a terrarium for a lovely customer. Ed brought me a nice orange from his trip. I know he went to Mexico and San Diego and that there was a boat involved. Ed is 87 and tells a very loopy story. But he's a great guy and we all love him at work. Ed is in charge of seeds. I stepped in some cat poop at work and Riley is now in love with my shoes. G is eating but I have no idea what I want. Perhaps, popcorn.

I'm tired. The good kind of tired. I read some Wallander at lunchtime. It was nice and restful. So now I think I will eat something, change into jammies and start watching Curling until I fall asleep. Good Night.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Oh, What A Beautiful Morning

This small embroidered crazy pieced cloth is from many years ago. I was "into" crazy quilts and loved doing all the intricate stitches. I made these small pieces into sewing caddies. Notice the little chicken in the upper left?

This morning I had breakfast with my walking buddy N. We don't get to walk much so we go out for breakfast and catch up on all that has happened in our lives. N's life is a bit more interesting right now. Lots of drama. I discussed Curling and Survivor. Sad but true, these are the highlights of my life right now.

The US Men's and Women's Curling teams continue to lose every game. I watched Great Britain and Sweden last night (TiVoed at 3am) and even G was amazed at how excellent the strategy and accuracy was, something we haven't seen in the American play. The Swedish captain can place the stone in the exact spot it needs to be, time, after time. In one run, both team captains (Sweden and GBR) threw stones that had to pass through a number of tight places, and they managed to do it perfectly. Incredibly beautiful to watch. The Canadian teams continue winning but the American television audiences have not seen any of these games. Not even highlights.

I know that the only games I will get to see, will be the Americans. And it's sad. They seem out of their league in this company. And I think the American Men's captain (skip) is a jerk.

There are a few younger women competing and doing an amazing job. The Danish Skip is 20 and the GBR Skip, with two toned hair, is 19. Incredible skill and accuracy. And the Danish team wore really cute black wool skirts with black tights. Not your Granny's Curling. My favorite team is still the Swedish Team. All things Wallander. :-) You aren't surprised are you?

The sun is shining, the sky is blue, I had a good breakfast and I have coffee being made. Riley and I will be having a good walk soon and then I will settle in to study for my class tomorrow and watch today's curling matches. I wrote a bunch more about Curling but deleted it all. You don't care.

I've been eating too much of all the wrong things. But still not as much as I would usually be eating. So things are still better than normal. Time to feed Riley and take him for his walk. I will set the TiVo to record the 12 to 3 match and be on my way.

N and I had four deer run out into the road in front of the car on our way back from Freeport and saw a deer carcass in the ditch on the way TO Freeport. Very odd.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


The fake radishes I found in the attic storage boxes. I also found two large bags of wool meant for crewel embroidery and other wool stitching, but not knitting. I had forgotten about them. I had taken a few other photos but then noticed the lovely radishes and quickly deleted everything else from the camera. I keep very few photos.

I watched Curling yesterday for many hours. TiVo'ed and so I could skip through all the ads. I got to see Lindsey Vonn after she won the downhill gold and was surprised to see her wearing mascara, eyeliner and lots of other cosmetics. A real athlete. Do they take them to "hair and makeup" before they compete? The Women Curling Teams are also all made up and combed out. Well, except for some of the German team. Both American teams (men and women) lost again. I'm disappointed that these are the matches we are shown. Now that the US men can't get a medal I hope to see some of the other, winning teams, compete. Like Canada. And Sweden.

G has the day off. He walked Riley in the woods yesterday afternoon when he got home from work so Riley would sleep. Well, it was a bit too much. Overtired. Riley was still awake when I went to bed at midnight and he was trying to comfort himself with his big green spider toy. Poor baby.

I now have a HUGE pile of books to read on the reading bench due to a visit to the library. And a recipe for homemade pita bread that I want to try. And a new hummus recipe. I made myself a large pot of bean and escarole soup yesterday. I added a bit too much red pepper flakes. Quite a burn at the back of the throat. But delicious. Three cups for 300 calories. All the calories are from the beans. Sort of compensating for the breakfast bread.

I think we will be eating a late lunch out today so I will be making the Chicken Marsala tomorrow for G. I bought chicken and mushrooms yesterday at a quick grocery stop. I'm trying to only purchase what I need for a few days and not load up on food. My cupboards are full. I need to try and rotate some of the older stuff into our meals. I may just sort and label things with dates and a black marker. I know there are things way in the back of the higher cabinets that I never see and forget I have. Like dry packets of mushrooms and chilies.

The grocery had large packages of skinless, boneless chicken thighs and I almost bought one so I could finally try Nigella's chicken Muglai curry. I know I spelled that wrong. G won't eat Indian food. I love it. Perhaps I should make it and freeze it in small portions for myself? I have all the spices. I'll let you know what I decide. I have talked to myself many times about only making things he likes and never making things I like. Many times.

Windowsill Gardening is also on my very short (and getting shorter) list of things to do and think about. The class is on Saturday morning. Sam will be walking Riley and I think she is bringing a friend along for the walk. Which means they will be in the house. So I have to clean a bit. Or at least straighten the slipcovers and fluff the pillows. And the bathroom (which I have delegated to G).

Okay, my list is pretty long as of right now. I need to write it on paper and cross off stuff as I finish it. Because later I have Curling to watch. And that is important. I'd love to throw a curling rock someday. I'd put that on my Five Year Plan if I was making one.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Wednesday Wonders

I finally got to see some Curling. The American Women versus the Japanese Women. I was on the side of the Japanese and they won. There is something about the US Team that was so obnoxious. My usual favorite team is the Swedish Women's Team. The 6 to 10 inches of snow we were getting, never arrived. While walking Riley yesterday a few (6) flakes fluttered down in front of me and later we got a "powdered sugar" dusting. Our lack of snow continues. And our weather man continues to be wrong 85% of the time. He was all Storm Center yesterday to create "ratings". The sun is even peaking out this morning.

G had to go in very early this morning. His morning manager tried (but failed) to commit suicide last week and G is having a hard time dealing with this. G really likes this young man who is now being medicated and having counseling but will be way from work for a long time.
G has a very small group of employees and now one important one is missing. The morning, set up, manager. G is doing the job today and had to leave for work at 4.30 this morning. G also has two employees playing "he said, she said". A bit of "riding the crazy train" as we like to call it at the greenhouse. Too few employees and not enough work equals bad interpersonal behaviour on the part of a one or two making the rest crazy. That's why they love having one of the furloughed employees visit or even work once in awhile. Fresh stories. Less crazy train.

So G is riding the "crazy train" at work and I am back to my winter routine. I got 9 shirts ironed yesterday and have 8 more for today. Made breaded pork chops and mashed potatoes yesterday with a side of pan fried sauerkraut. Walked the dog. Read my book. Watched Curling. Today, since there is no snow, I will be driving into town and the library to return books and pick up new ones. Friday, N and I are going out for breakfast and a long chat. N is taking a course in personal protection which involves firing a gun. Wowza!

I never even though about learning how to fire a gun. I was (am) a policeman's daughter and grew up with guns. We even had to hold and pull the trigger on my dad's service revolver (not loaded) when we were youngsters. He didn't want us playing with it so took the mystery out of it and made it "work". I remember that gun being damned heavy as we tried to maintain a level "shot". A big Colt. But we knew how to take the safety off and aim and potentially fire at an intruder. My dad said to never get the gun out unless we intended to shoot. And to hit what we were shooting at. Lucky for me, I never had to see if I had the "grit" to actually do this.

Well, I didn't think the post was going in this direction this morning!

Riley is outside barking and chasing down something he saw out the windows. He's had birds fluttering near the foundation of the house, right under his nose, and this is making him very eager to go out and "get it". And the baby squirrels are venturing out of the wood piles. And, of course, the mice are not as well covered by snow right now. Plenty to keep a dog occupied.

I am contemplating having BREAD for breakfast today. BREAD is my temptation and pleasure. The more I eat, the more I want. Why is it SO BAD? It's just whole grain flour and water with a bit of yeast and honey. Really, what makes it SO BAD? So Good. So Tempting. So Chewy. I think this is what I am actually craving. Chewing. Here I go.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


I had other, labeled and edited photos for you today but this is the only one that made it into the file. The others are floating free in the ethernet. Salt. The most important "spice" in the cupboard. And it must be added before cooking in order to do what it does best. Yesterday I made mushroom pasta. I used my favorite Jamie Oliver recipe and changed it up just a bit to suit my tastes. His calls for heaps of fresh wild mushrooms. Mine uses some baby bellas and a package of dried mushrooms (soaked in boiling water for 30 minutes). His calls for butter and I add heavy cream. It was delicious.

The we settled in to watch downhill skiing, pairs free skate and the ice racing. In the end, I turned off the television. Too many commercials and too little of anything worth watching. The downhill was a test of who could make it across the line. No World records. No Olympic records. Just skiing over bad surfaces. Crusted ice and at the bottom, slush. The audience at the pairs free skate looked bored. No applause. No cowbells. No flowers on the ice. And the ice racing? A one hour delay which turned into a two hour delay because the "state of the art" electric Zambonis were cutting grooves and lumps into the racing ice. And the racers had warmed up. And were now getting lactic acid build up in their thigh muscles. And would need to warm up again, and the ice would need to be freshened, again, and the ice machines would screw up again. etc. I watched one of the medal ceremonies. Gag! Everyone looks like they are attending a funeral. Especially those tall "models" dressed in black or dark brown marching the medal winners in. Little joy.

We are supposed (television weather man) to be getting 6 to 10 inches of snow today. Our schools are on break this week so it would be nice for them to have some snow to play in. The sky is grey but that's about all that is happening. My little weather indicator on the desktop says "sunny" and 35. Same thing it said yesterday. And we had 35 but no sun.

My Pomegranate and Chocolate Kangas arrived yesterday. The Chocolate one is the best of the two, as it fits sort of loosely. The Pomegranate one is still snug at the hipline but wider at the shoulder and bustline. So, not radiantly happy.

I had eggs and grits for breakfast yesterday. My egg yolks weren't runny enough. So not a perfect breakfast. The grits were delicious. Just coarse yellow cornmeal and water (1/4 cup to one cup water) and a pinch of salt. No butter or cheese. I have whole grain bread I could toast and try to make better eggs or I can just have my regular oatmeal.

Curling will be on from 12 to 3 (mens) and then from 5 to 8 (womens) today. Unless, they have problems with the ice in that event as well. I will be walking Riley after his lunch so I will set the TiVo to record. Tomorrow the women are at 12 and the men at 5. Someone referred to Curling as "Chess played on ice". There's something very Zen like about it and I find it very relaxing. It's also on from 10.30 to 1 in the morning every night.

I think we are having breaded pork chops tonight. With some sort of potato. No applesauce as I forgot to buy apples. And that's it for plans for the day. Curling, dog walking, cooking. And some book reading. My Wallander is very good. The Fifth Woman.

And, yes, I will show you the construction of the Easter Bunny House. Right now I am trying to decide on the "lot" size and the height and width of the house and the size of the garden area. Proportion. Not too big. Not too small. Not too tall. Or too short. It's not the fancy bit, but all the fake carrots and "stuff" won't help a bad design. G has suggested no cardboard box, but rather a thin wood board construction for the house. The Spooky House is cardboard and has lasted for almost 8 years. But I do have a wooden doll house to replace it, purchased on clearance. G feels I should start with what I want in the end. A wooden structure. We'll see.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Back To Work Week

G has returned to work and I am returning to my daily household tasks. Yesterday I spent the afternoon with my daughter shopping for the Easter Bunny House I will be building instead of doing Ironing. It was a lesson in shopping. We bought things in one store, only to find them less expensive (by a lot) in another. So I bought, I returned, I bought, I returned. I didn't return the wooden tongue depressors I bought at JoAnn's even though I found double the amount for less than half the cost at Michaels. And at Moore's.

My photo this morning is of a print which hangs in the "Cooking Altar" over my stove. I have several framed prints of bowls of cherries. And each has the cherries in a blue and white bowl. They make me smile. Always a good thing when employed in the "Cooking Altar".

I sent G to work with the latest in a long line of counter top displays for his restaurant. The Easter Bunny House is destined for this counter display next month. Today they have a tall, wide glass vase with paperwhite "greens", bulbs and roots, growing out of volcanic rocks. And I have inserted fake Hawaiian flowers into the living green leaves. Something I enjoy doing. A bit of real and a bit more of fake. I wish now I had taken a picture for you, but it wasn't red. And it was dark (night) when I prepared it for G. Not the best time to take pictures.

In fact, I was happy to have an extra picture in iPhoto for you this morning, as it is cloudy and dull this morning. No sunshine. So not a good morning to be taking pictures, either.

On my shopping adventure S and I found large fake carrots but no other root vegetables. So I went hunting in the attic craft boxes. And I found strawberry bunches and the fake radishes I remember buying once upon a time. I plan on having a side garden next to the Bunny House where these fake radishes will be growing. My daughter wanted me to buy Easter Grass to go all around the house, but I have been imagining real grass, started from seed. I also bought some wood cutouts that I can paint. Sort of wood cut out cookies. Eggs and carrots.

I plan to read a bit this morning. Walk the dog after lunch. Do some much needed grocery shopping. Milk, yogurt, butter, coffee. Make dinner even though, right now, I have no idea what that will be. And try and fit in some ironing of shirts and preparation for Saturday's class. G and I had Chinese for dinner last night. We were starving (no lunch) and ate while reading the Sunday paper. Not very romantic. I can't really remember a romantic Valentine's Day.
Ever. PBS had another Jane Austen. Now that was a lovely Valentine treat.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day

Red, Red Roses. I just wish they had a bit of fragrance. I brought them home with me yesterday after a long day. Made even longer by not having slept the night before. The Tirimisu at the restaurant was definitely made with caffeine fueled Espresso. I was wide awake all night. Last night, I slept after a long, hot shower.

While not sleeping Friday night, I came up with a pretty good plan for an Easter Bunny House. A floral fabric wrapped cardboard house (trimmed with fake carrots) with fake vegetable filled window boxes, a picket fence (tongue depressors), a garden (with fake radishes), a roof covered in bunches of paper raffia "thatch" and a tree in the side yard with Easter Tree ornaments. Now, when is Easter? Do I have time to get this done? Time to get to Michaels in Augusta for supplies?

The house will be smaller than my usual Houses and the yard and garden larger since Bunnies are all about vegetable gardens. And I will glue on the window frames and doors rather than cut them into the cardboard. Now to find the right sized box for the house. I already have the perfect fabric. And the spray adhesive.

I have IRONING to do today. G is going back to work tomorrow morning and needs shirts. And I need to go to the grocery store for food, since I will be going back to work cooking dinner every night. Vacation is over. And I have work to do myself as I am teaching a class on Windowsill Gardening next Saturday. I know what I grow on my windowsills but I have to discover what else can be grown. And how. And, I want to read my Wallander!!!

My books are piling up on the reading bench. G is going through his pretty quickly. I haven't had time for my paper journal or for any Doodles. This is what happens when I'm not here at home alone. I need a few days of being alone to set everything right.

We are supposed to be having a wee bit of snow this week, I have my Curling schedule here on my desk calendar, my books, my homework, my coffee and G and Riley have gone for a walk in the woods. The only sound is the clock ticking. Do you think anyone would mind if I went back to bed?

My Valentine to Myself arrived yesterday. The 3 quart All Clad saucepan with lid. Very nice.

Friday, February 12, 2010

I Am A Rock Star

Can you believe this. I did it! I feel like I should be getting a standing ovation. Like my IQ just went up 10 points. Very big. This is a very small scrap heart that I made and then zigzaged to a piece of my own painted fabric. Originally, I made several of these and mounted the fabric hearts in a card with a square opening. Which matted the heart nicely. I cropped this photo and even used the blemish remover.

So, dear readers, I have mastered the new technology, sort of, and can continue to enjoy my blogging. Everything old, is new again.

G and I just returned from our Valentine Dinner. We had a delicious Italian meal with a gift certificate. Mussels. Salad. Filet for G and Shrimp Scampi for me. Coffee and dessert. Lovely and delicious. Tomorrow I am working. Going to be a long day and I'll be pretty tired (and G says cranky) when I get home. Not the best time to being going out for dinner. Which is why I am blogging now instead of tomorrow.

I bought more Smart Wool socks today. A really good day. Really. Good.

OMG It's Friday!

Can you believe how fast this week has zoomed by? For me. Today we were up a bit later than usual (Riley slept in) and G and I both took fast showers and left for the Freeport Cafe and breakfast. I had my "usual" of three over easy eggs and one blueberry pancake. It was delicious. Then we stopped in at the Cuddledown outlet because my intuition said I should. And, upstairs in the bargain section, what to my wondering eyes did I find but a Buttercup (yellow) Italian Linen king flat sheet and pillow cases. Yippee!!!

I adore linen sheets, especially the Italian ones. Yes, they cost $249 regular price but I buy them at 70% off. And they are cool in summer and warm in winter. I don't know how they do that, but they do. And I had purchased a Buttercup fitted sheet many years ago but never could find the flat. Everything is now in the washer. These linen sheets do get better, softer and more yummy with every wash and dry. When I cleaned out my linen closet a few weeks ago, I gave most of the regular sheet sets to Goodwill. I "wanted" white linen pillow cases today but they were only available as full price. $94 each. Yes, you read that correctly. $94 for one king size pillow case. Remember, my mom called me "the little princess" (and not in a nice way).

I tried on and wore my LL Bean chocolate down coat today. I could snap all the snaps without gaps or pulls around the hips. Not loose like it was when I bought it, but way better than it was 4 weeks ago before the diet when it fit like a sausage casing. A bit of progress. The coat is going in the washer after the sheets are done. Since it fits, I will be wearing it again. It is very warm. And my brown leather gloves were in the pockets. Had been looking for them.

I folded and knotted all the plastic grocery bags that were collecting all over the house and filled a cloth bag with them. Handy and not so unsightly. We take a couple bags with us whenever we walk Riley. We are "good neighbors" and take everything back home with us. We are in the minority.

Survivor was a delight. A dislocated shoulder, popped right back in by the medics and Steph was back in the game. Rupert broke his toe in two places. The Villains team could be aka the Jerks. The Heros caught some chickens and have them cooped up and laying eggs. Sugar has gone home, thank goodness. Looks like an interesting season and because everyone is getting older, we should see lots of medical emergencies. Boston Rob was unconscious in next week's preview. Good times.

Riley and G are back from the walk. I will be trying out iPhoto once we hook the camera to this computer again. Fun.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Sunshine & Fishy Water

I took yesterday off. No computer stuff. Just email. And I didn't even try to download any pictures. I just needed to "step away" from it for a period of time. My lunch with J was great. The food was good and the conversation nice and friendly. I had been tempted to reschedule (because of the vacation) but didn't. I was happy I hadn't because during lunch J admitted I am her only "lunch friend". How horrible if I had cancelled, huh?

G has gone to a breakfast meeting with his bank advisors. G has a list of investments he no longer wants to own. The bankers don't like G thinking for himself so these meetings are usually only partially productive. I went to one and, let me just say, never again.

We did manage to eat dinner out yesterday. We had Memphis barbecue. I ate a whole pile of meat products and cole slaw. No carbs. And drank lots of water. I felt VERY full. Today we are having breakfast and then lunch at 3 pm. G wants to have frozen butterscotch custard and chocolate chips while watching Survivor. He'll be calling that dinner. We read that two Survivor contestants get hurt tonight and may not be able to continue. The SuperStars are usually real crybabies. Rupert, Coach, James, Stephanie, Russell, Sugar and possibly Richard Hatch fresh out of prison. What's not to like about that lineup? I wonder if anyone (smart enough) will chop up the fresh coconut meat and boil it in water to make a fat filled coconut milk to drink? I wonder this every season.

I haven't journaled in my pen and paper journal for a few days, so I need to do that today. And draw a flower in the little red leather book. A newspaper gardener recommends "fishy" water to fertilize my indoor plants at this period in time. More light. More stress. I already sprayed the plants with Sevin to control the dirt gnats that are flying around them. I sprayed upstairs and not here where I live and breathe in and out. I sprayed and quickly shut the door. I might mix up some "fishy" water for the upstairs plants and shut the door even more quickly. "Fishy" water is fish emulsion (oh, doesn't that sound yummy?) mixed with water. Do they put fish and seaweed in a big blender to make emulsion? Now, that's a job too horrible to contemplate. But it also could be that thick, green stuff on the bottom of the fish tank. The stuff you have to scoop out when you clean the tank. Fish poop.

Which reminds me that everything is now functioning normally in my lower digestive track.

Yesterday, after dinner, G & I stopped in at TJ Maxx and Big Lots to just walk around and see what they had. Nothing at the Maxx but Big Lots had the little Italian bowtie (Farfalle) pasta we adore, so I bought all 19 bags. And then needed to find a Sterlite container to store them all in. This imported pasta is made out of Italian flour and water. Period. And tastes divine. Chewy and dense and delicious. And now I can serve it 19 times.

In case anyone is wondering, we haven't gotten even one tiny flake of snow in all this horrible weather in the Northeast. Today it's going to be 37. Which is Spring here in my part of Maine. And the sun just keeps shining. And the streets are clear and dry. It's like living in an alternate universe. We watch the weather pictures on the news and just can't quite believe it. By Valentine's Day, winter is nearly over. Life is good up here in Maine.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Saying Goodbye To The Laptop

The only thing remaining to do on the laptop is downloading pictures. Everything else is now being done on the BigMac. There may be a few days without pictures, but as soon as I figure out how to transfer pictures from here to there, we'll be in business. I watched the iPhoto tutorials and it is a massive improvement. For people who have family photos, go on trips, and just have large collections of photos. I take pictures for the blog and then delete them. I might, possibly have 100 or 200 saved pictures I could transfer and name and sort. Today, or this evening, I will look thru the files and delete what I have no interest in keeping. And then we (G) will transfer the photos with a zip stick or photo card.

I have been answering email, reading blogs and surfing the internet on the BigMac. And now that we have toned down the contrast with the handy button, and as soon as G removes the wallpaper art he installed, the screen will be lots simpler and calm. The way I like it.

We didn't do anything even remotely vacation-like yesterday. G walked the dog and I took a shower and wrote my blog post, watched tutorials, added websites to my bookmark menu, asked my computer engineer son questions (which he answered) and even started to watch a television program on the computer. Something I couldn't do on the laptop. G was reading and then fell asleep. We didn't even eat out. We had warmed up leftover pizza at 3 pm and later had butterscotch custard ice cream out of the freezer. G had his with a handful of chocolate chips.

I may have gotten to read about 25 pages of my Wallander.

Today I am having lunch with a friend and we are having eggplant. Such creatures of habit. I am skipping breakfast in order to eat out with J. So I will try and keep busy until it's time to drive into town. G has finished a book so I can drop it off at the library.

I never did start crying. After S emailed me to "get a grip", I had a little chat with myself and pulled up my socks, so to speak, and just dealt with it. Because I have no choice but to move on. Or be left behind. And I'm not ready to be left behind.

The weather looks like snow. We'll see. Riley is enjoying the long walks in the woods with G and being able to run around with other dogs. Yesterday he played "catch me if you can" with an 11 month old Lab. Riley was faster. But Riley ran out of steam by the end of the walk, which is why he and G were both asleep from about 4 to 6.30.

Anyway, this is the last time I will blog from the laptop. And you will understand, won't you, if I don't manage to get pictures on the blog? I'll still keep the laptop handy in case I need a website or email address, but only as a sort of electronic address book. I will miss it's small, intimate screen. But I will enjoy the larger, more colorful, faster, clearer, faster BigMac so much more. Did I mention how fast it is? Quite a rush moving from Medieval to Future in just a few days. Sort of like Time Traveling. Whoosh!!

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Uncomfortably New. Back To The Familiar

Sorry, but I loaded the pictures in the wrong order. So we begin with this morning and go backwards in time. I am also using the laptop keyboard for the first time (I had been using an add on keyboard all this time with a real mouse not the touch pad) and one of the shift keys (left) is broken so I have to stop and shift right with capitals. This is going to take longer than usual.

Here's a picture of our table at lunch yesterday at Macaroni Grill at around 3 pm. G had Chicken Marsala and I had Eggplant (of course) with salads but no wine and no dessert. We may be on vacation but I am still on the diet.

The Apple Store in Portland. To the left is Adam who sold me my new iMac. That's my iMac on the cart to his left and he has a coat on because we are going outside to where G is waiting in the car in 27 degree weather. G is parked in the Department of Motor Vehicles spot, illegally.

Yes, I bought a new computer. I selected it while standing up. And now that I have it at home, it is so large, the screen so wide (like a television) and my chair so low that I am having visual problems with my tri focals. G had to switch all the colors to muted tones. It was all so bright. Like a carnival. And we tried to use iPhoto last night. And now I am back to using the laptop and have the camera hooked up here. I'm seriously considering packing the new one up and taking it back. It's really too much. And it's the smallest of the iMacs. Overkill.

Our first stop yesterday was the Art Supply but that picture is next. Here is our second stop. Big Sky Bakery. Where we each sampled some bread. G had English Muffin and I had German Rye (a very small sample compared to G's). Then we drove into Portland and the Apple Store.

Art Supply. They have painted all the walls of the building and it looks very nice. There were so many cars in the parking lot that this was the only wall I could take a picture of. Everyone was parking so they could eat in the bakery which is next door to the Art Supply. It was lunchtime. I purchased more NeoColors, this time buying the water soluble ones which I used to do the drawing in my red book at the top of this post. I also got some more brush pens but in a different brand and a Niji waterbrush like Roz uses in her journals. We've come full circle.

I hate all things that are new except for art supplies which are completely under my control. Despise new machines. I take comfort in the familiar even if they no longer work for me
(fridge is an example). The things I can use, wear and enjoy without struggle, tears and failure. So far, I do not like this new computer at all. I liked it in the store when it was dwarfed by the larger machines. In the bright lights. Now, here at home, on my small cramped desk, with a wall behind me so I can't back up far enough to not have my eyes cross while looking at the screen? It is too large. It is far too complicated.

Apple has taken iPhoto which was so simple that even I could use it the first time and made it into something so confusing that I don't think I will ever be able to understand it. And does it do a better job with all the complicated techno files crap? My daughter has had her iMac for 6 months and while she tried to help me navigate iPhoto over the phone, it was soon obvious that she has found it too complex to use, and doesn't use it as she had hoped to. The things that worked in the older iPhoto on my old computer are no longer available. Gone. Even the cropping tool is ridiculous. Clumsy. And neither G or I can figure out how to make a desktop file icon. And we have owned and used Macs since 1984.

So, the vacation so far, is giving me a headache. And because I am sitting up so high (just to have the correct part of the trifocals level with what I am looking at on the screen) and the screen is so large and the colors so vivid. My neck aches already. It's 10.30 in the morning and I think I will be going to my room to cry for awhile. Or just cry right here. Meanwhile, G is unpacking the new printer. Which I just told him to repack. Why unpack something we maybe returning to the Apple Store????

And, yes, I have read the horror stories of others with new Apple computers. And I have witnessed the weeks of absence on their blogs as they fight with technology. And they reappear with new visuals and not many scars. We'll see. My needs are simple compared to them. The blog, email and pictures. Period. I don't do anything else. No scanning, no Photoshop, no written text over photos, no photo montages, no slideshows or videos.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Blank Pages: Opportunity & Possibilities

I bought this little red journal (4 by 6 inches) a long time ago. For less than $3. The red covers are leather and the pages of cream paper are in signatures sewn to the cover. It's all very sweet and I imagined, when I bought it, using the journal as a "carry along" in my handbag. I even bought several more, thinking they would make excellent gifts. What can I say? I love books of bound blank pages. Any number of wonderful things could happen on those pages. Like the stuff Roz does in her books.

I'm not interested in drawing birds, dogs or zoo animals. I could become interested in drawing flowers. I did take a Botanical Drawing class at the Nature Artist's Guild at the Morton Arboretum. In the winter. We drew sticks and dead leaves. And then moved on to vegetables and fruit from the grocery. Eventually, we had budded branches as Spring appeared. I did a lovely watercolor of an acorn squash nestled in a white linen napkin. And a lovely dead leaf with holes and diseased spots. Not wet in wet like I did in college, but in layers of light glazes.

There is a possibility of taking this small journal to work when I return and drawing from all the flowers I am surrounded with in the greenhouse. Instead of eating lunch in the lunchroom and being tempted by chips, sandwiches and cookies. A calm spot in my day. An artistic moment. Right now, I have a number of plants in flower and could test the pages of this little book to see what the surface will accept. Pencil, Neocolor, paint or brush pen. And as I turn the pages, I will hear the beautiful sound Roz's journal pages make (as she turns the pages in her videos) a sound which I can't describe to you, but which is music to my ears and soul.

Emma, on PBS last night, was a delight. Really. So good. And I have Persuasion to look forward to this season. I just adore Jane Austen.

Today is the first day of our vacation. We haven't made any plans yet. I would like to visit the Art Supply (surprise!) and have lunch at Macaroni Grill. G also wants to go to the Apple store to look at computers. I don't. I will bring the camera along.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Vacation Starts Today

This Lady in Red was purchased as a mark down several Christmases ago because she had only one leg. I loved the red tulle with white dots. She is usually pinned to my design wall in the studio but today, she is pinned to the wall in the dining room. Adding red cheerfulness to my granny beige walls.

I had one and a half grilled cheese sandwiches with sliced tomato and half a cup of baked beans for dinner. It was such a thrill to eat BREAD and CHEESE. And I stayed under 1200 calories because I had no lunch. I can't even express how happy I was eating dinner last night. Happy.

Today is the first day of our vacation. And it's Super Bowl Sunday. And Emma is on PBS. And the resale shop is having $5 a bag day with snacks. And Sam is coming over to have me do her hair. Best of ALL, G will be walking the dog today. Riley's very excited and wants to go now. It's too funny. He loves walking, off leash, with G in the woods. Wait till he discovers he will be able to do it everyday this week!

We'll be having pizza tonight in honor of Super Bowl Sunday. When G goes to the grocery for mushrooms for pizza topping, I think I will suggest he get some chicken wings from the wing bar. Super Bowl is all about the food. And some Frank's Hot Sauce.

I plan to read my book (Wallander's the Fifth Woman), take a shower, continue cleaning and reorganizing my studio and the bookcases here in the dining room/kitchen. Clearing off the dining room table. Again. Running the vacuum because the floors are covered with sand and grit from my walks with the dog. It's all up in the grooves of my shoes and falls out as I walk inside. I also plan to write in my pen and paper journal and make a paper collage.

Since we are on vacation, I will take "vacation pictures" to share with you. I'm really interested in what I will be able to photograph. LOL. Could be interesting. See you later!

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Gosh, What Day Is It?

I'm losing track of time. Each day is exactly like the ones before (and after) right now and I just had to figure out, on the calendar, what day it was. Breakfast, blogging, feeding dog, walking the dog, shower, read the mail, errands (if any), dinner making. The End.

G and I went into town last night to pick up the Toyota truck that was getting an anti-corrosion treatment. The stuff they sprayed on the under side was finally dry. Thursday morning till Friday evening. And they washed the truck. This was something Toyota was doing free of charge. They are getting beaten up right now, but they do stand behind their products. The frames of Toyota trucks are regularly checked for corrosion and owners of '00, '01,'02 Tacomas have gotten checks for 110% of their vehicle's value when Toyota bought them back due to corrosion of the frame. No questions.

And Jason, my Product Specialist at Orvis has finally found a Pomegranate and a Chocolate Kanga sweatshirt that match the measurement specifications of XL. And, as soon as the snow stops falling in Virginia, he will be sending them to me. Jason wasn't located in Idaho. Orvis is another company doing an excellent job of customer service. I wore my orange (Autumn Glow) Kanga on Thursday and received compliments on it's style and color. And the person giving the compliment, called in and ordered her own Kanga. I make a good sales rep.

G discharged the battery on my digital camera overnight. Perhaps it will take better pictures for awhile. No matter what I did, they came out just a little blurry. It could also be the lack of good sunlight in the house when I take the pictures. The picture at the top is of a metal hose hanger. Really. I got it for $5 because no one thought it would hold a garden hose and so it was left unpurchased for two years. It can barely hold itself up. I intend to detach the bird from the hose holder part and just use it as a "graphic element" in my home decor.

Speaking of which (house decor), I was visiting the dog on his dog bed the other day, and while he gazed out the window I had the opportunity to see my dining room from a different viewpoint. His. And, GAK, it looked old and frumpy. I hated everything. So Granny. So beige. And not the good beige. This was that pinkish beige that screams "old people live here". And, actually, this color and paint job was selected and paid for by the 74 year old woman who lived here for three years before us. I got an estimate for the room (quite large with 20 foot ceiling) and years ago it was $3800. It'll be much more now. And I would be replacing the windows with something more energy efficient and replacing the floor. I'd like radiant heat, also, even though it's terrible for dogs. Too warm. And I would add French doors to the entrance to the freezing cold foyer. I have an insulated curtain hanging there now. It blocks drafts. And we haven't even addressed the falling apart chimney which will cost nearly $10,000.

Boy, that visit to the dog's bed could end up being very expensive!

Our "vacation" begins tomorrow. I'm preparing for it by having absolutely nothing in the fridge to eat (besides breakfast items, but I want to eat breakfast out, also) or use to make anything besides peanut butter sandwiches. Tonight we are having grilled cheese sandwiches with baked beans and my homemade zucchini pickles. I had soup last night and G had a Subway sub. I had forgotten about the grilled cheese. I think I'll be making pizza on Super Bowl Sunday and ease into the vacation on Monday.

Riley is on alert out in the yard. People must be walking the trail that illegally crosses the back of our property. I've asked the person who put the trail in to move it off our land but he hasn't. And the people walking are entirely too close to my house, in my opinion. If you live on four acres, you don't want people walking where you can SEE them. Riley is barking. Dogs being walked off leash have wandered into the yard which is a real problem. Dogs are very protective of "their" yard.

My oatmeal is ready to eat and I will be having a second cup of coffee and writing in my pen and paper journal and perhaps making a paper collage. I have Ironing to do. And beads to string. And later, a dog to walk. Saturday. I like Saturday better when I have a morning class or breakfast with N. This is going to be a long day.

Friday, February 05, 2010

February Friday

I was busy taking pictures of red things here in the dining room when the camera let me know I am having "a battery situation" again. G is going to have to put the camera in battery discharge mode yet again. I don't let it fully discharge and it gets tired, crabby and throws a fit. And the pictures don't focus as crisply. This coffee cup and it's mate in black are from Pier One. When I was watched Alton Brown's Good Eats on a regular basis years ago, he had a hanging rack of coffee mugs like this. And once I see something, the hunt is on. It took several years, but finally, while taking care of my recovering dad in Ohio in 2004, I spied coffee label mugs at the grocery store. There was tremendous joy. I was shopping deprived. And I had found something I had wanted for a long time. G drinks his coffee from the yellow (his favorite color) mug every morning. And from this red one in the evening.

Busy television evening last night with Bones (for Gary), Fringe (me), and then Project Runway. Why won't they give them 2 days or at least 1.5 to make these clothes???? They have hems and zippers and stuff like that in addition to drafting, designing etc. Time consuming. The result is absolute crap walking down the runway.

N and I had breakfast in Freeport yesterday and I went into the beading store and purchased some Flex wire which I should have gotten on Monday. I even asked questions of the teenage girls working and got good answers. Last time I was there the owner was working and she was very rude. I added this store to my Employment Search Log. I also bought a larger yellow heart bead and some golden amber colored beads so I can make a pink and yellow bracelet or necklace.

My Product Specialist at Orvis has shipped another Pomegranate and another Chocolate sweatshirt to me. I hope they are the correct measurements. Now I need to send back the ones that aren't the correct size. They were too big for N.

Riley has been barking at something out the windows all morning. Cross country skiers I think. Today the weather is mild, sunny and no wind. Should be a pleasure to walk. Yesterday I did a section of the walk in "power walk" mode and Riley had to trot alongside to keep up. He liked it.

I never got around to reading yesterday and am starting to be upset by this. It means I am too busy to read. I don't like that. And, I have been watching television instead of reading. Less calories being burned. My diet is now into the fourth week. I still don't see any results. Today I had a huge bowl of shredded wheat and milk for breakfast because I need to poop. Really.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Geezer Power

Not this. This is my Pottery Barn Kids Calculator. The pencil gives you an idea of how large this is, big buttons. And it's "solar". Just means it has to be in sunlight or strong lamp light in order to work without a battery. I've had this gorgeous thing for about 10 years? I balance my checkbook with it and do my taxes. I love it.

Now, Geezer Power. This is the title of a New York Times Opinion piece. Good Stuff. Seems that the large proportion of us "geezers" are the recipients of the largest portion of the Federal budget. Mandated entitlement. Medicare. Social Security. And since we are, we should "rise up" and mandate some change in the way things are done in America. We have the numbers. We are the largest population demographic. We vote. We need to lead. Stand up! Geezer Power to the People!!!

Yesterday was a blur. So many things to do and places to go. I even wound up my watch and wore it. I needed to tell time. I never need to tell time. Walked the dog. Power walk since we finished 20 minutes faster than usual. Bank. Chatted with bank manager and admired her hair cut. Library. Resale Shop where I bought really nice handcrafted wool mittens made from recycled Goodwill wool sweaters. I also "bought" (I used my store credit) pale green corduroy pants ($3) and a magenta wool sweater jacket which is now felting in the washing machine ($3). Watched a phone video of the store owners baby taking a fun filled bath. Dentist. Had my teeth cleaned. Asked dentist to install small tvs in the ceiling so I could watch CNN while having my teeth cleaned. The hygienist suggested massaging chairs. Grocery shopping. It's always $40 to $60 even though I basically don't buy anything substantial. Walk the dog. He was good about being home alone so I walked him again (30 minutes). Made dinner. Ate dinner. Read the paper. No book reading. Bed time.

Today N and I are spending the morning together and I'll be back in time for Riley's lunch and afternoon walk. Then I hope I have time to read the rest of my book. I have three more waiting to be read. I hope to stop at the Beading Path and get some Flex cord.

I'm going to have three eggs and one pancake for breakfast at the Freeport Cafe.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Lost in LA/ Dumpling of the Month

I will attempt to post a picture of something red everyday this month. I'm running late this morning. I have to be at the dentist at 1.30 and have to move the dog walking up and that changes the way my day usually runs. A creature of habit. I could have found more red pencils and pens if I had time. And now that I am looking around, I see lots more red stuff. So this will be fun. Now, to get clear photos. This one could be better.

I had a load of fun last night. TiVoing programs on two stations and running out to the kitchen to watch a third. Lost is back! And now the cast is living (?) in two different time periods. The plane didn't crash. Charlie was in the bathroom on the plane. Desmond was on the plane for a few minutes and then disappeared. And then they landed in LA. And back on the island, Juliet is dead (because she is on "V"), Sawyer hates Jack again, Sayid was dead but then was alive in the last minute. Locke is dead but now the black wind is living in a cloned Locke body. Wowza!

I made pork filled potstickers for dinner last night. I chopped the lean pork in the food processor and added soy sauce, mushrooms,green onion, garlic , ginger, cornstarch, sesame oil. Made dough from three cups flour, salt and one cup boiling water. It took longer than I expected to get all the little dumplings filled. I was glad I started at 2 in the afternoon. When G got home, all I had to do was heat up the frying pan and pull the ready to fry and steam dumplings out of the fridge. I made the dipping sauce also. From my son's recipe. G choked on his first bite. That vinegar has a kick. They were simply delicious.

No time for reading. Riley and I had a very pleasant walk. It was 23 degrees and felt like a heat wave after the minus 3 degree walks. I wore my light wool hat and light gloves. No ice on the streets.

After the dentist, I am stopping at the library to pick up books, at the grocery to buy chicken, Uncle Ben's Wild Rice Mix, canned mushroom soup and broccoli for dinner. Saturday Chicken. Chicken breasts covered in a mixture of mushroom soup and 1 cup cream, baked for one hour. Makes a lovely sauce. I may add some sliced fresh mushrooms to the chicken before I add the sauce. I'll have a salad. Don't like chicken. G loves chicken.

No art content and plenty of food and recipes. Oh, and television commentary. LOL

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Valentine Countdown/ Blog Police Alert

I am totally in love with Valentine's Day this year. The RED! So, it was with great anticipation that I went into the Beading Path yesterday to buy heart shaped beads to make, what I thought, would be an over the top bangled ( I know how to make them now) heart bracelet. No heart beads in red. Only in blue. Even Elvis would not make a "Blue, Blue Valentine Bracelet". Instead, it will be a red beads and more red beads. No hearts.

I am eating my oatmeal with one teaspoon of butter and sprinkles of cinnamon this morning. I am having my coffee with sugar and fake creamer. I'm not messing with the coffee. It tastes great this way and I enjoy it. G and I stopped at Big Top Deli for lunch (3 pm) and I asked if they were hiring. Another space filled on the Work Search Log. I had the 7 inch Eggplant Parm sub. And potato chips. And that was it for the day. 1090 calories total.

Someone has decided to become Chief of the Art Quilt Blog Police. And she has a list of offenses committed. I am guilty of all of them. Blathering on and on about my life. Recipes. Lists of things I eat. Lists of things I read. Lists of chores I plan to do. Walking the dog. And I don't promote myself. I don't have things to sell. I don't have work in shows or galleries. In other words, STOP reading and go somewhere else. I am a blog LOSER!!!!!

I always knew that. In fact, I began blogging because one of the people I sent long, chatty emails to, asked me to stop sending them as she really didn't care about my life. That was harsh. And it made me fearful of sending emails. My son and Deborah suggested a blog. An online diary of sorts which people could chose to read or not read. For nearly a year, I just sent out posts into the blog-o-sphere and had no idea if anyone was listening (reading). Eventually, I got Sitemeter which let me know someone was reading. I didn't know who because I never got comments. So all my bad habits began in this cyber vacuum I was posting into. Just me. And whatever I was thinking.

Still doing that. Only now I have comments and blog friends and I feel connected. I'm still writing to amuse myself. Occasionally, I amuse you. Still not promoting myself or selling stuff. I still make stuff and show it to you. But my work is my own and made with the sole purpose of amusing and entertaining ME! Get the handcuffs ready Chief of the Art Quilt Police!! and right after you arrest me, I think I'll write out a complaint against you. For sticking your nose where it doesn't belong.

G informed me that he is on vacation next week. Talk about being an excellent communicator! I don't think we'll be going to Mexico and drinking tequila on the beach at 9 am. Or having umbrella'd cocktails poolside in the Florida Keys (where it's raining). We'll be right here in Maine. And since it's a vacation--we'll go out to eat every single night. Damn. Sounds good to me!

Monday, February 01, 2010

Case Of the Bloody Paw Print

Riley got his nails cut and one was cut a bit too much. And when he goes outside the ice covered/crusted snow breaks open the clot. I have been following him around with a damp towel. Getting my exercise.

I also went out alone, while his nail was clotting the first time, to collect his "business". Well, later in the morning we (G & I) were wondering where Riley was. And we found him in front of the exit door. No one was getting past him without letting him OUT. We took him for a car ride since I wanted some heart shaped red beads. No beads. Sigh! Why have red heart shaped beads in a BEAD store in February????

We got home and Riley went out to pee and we started the bloody paw prints again. So G took the dog for his all time favorite "walk in the woods". The nail is gonna bleed no matter what and he does need exercise.

G also went and bought a new belt for the vacuum. After I told him the beater bar is supposed to "turn". Amazing how much stuff you can pick up when the beater turns. And the carpets look nice and no smell of burning rubber. He is attempting to clean up his office and have a place to unpack his pockets after work, rather than use the end of the dining room table. So far he has moved the PC tower and printer. He also unplugged the HP photo printer we never needed. I'm hoping my daughter will want it.

We also got a food additive for Riley's meals. To make his "business" less attractive when frozen. I know that lots of animals don't completely digest their food the first time, so they eat it again. Rabbits, deer and some dogs. I watched that survivor guy on the Discovery channel and he was eating deer poop. Oops. Deer "business". It just makes me crazy to see Riley out there searching and digging up stuff. His breath doesn't smell. I checked. But I want him to stop. Now, if I can get all the neighbors to feed this stuff to their cats.