Sunday, December 31, 2017

On The Last Day Of December

Still rocking the couch most of the day but less of the heating pad and more of the "add-a-day" roller ball stick---pressed into pain points.

I DID go to the grocery store to buy food yesterday.  It was a VERY short visit--I lost momentum before I got to the freezer section where the vanilla ice cream lives.  So, none of that tonight.  G was with me in case I needed an emergency exit.  It was a close call.  I think holding on to the cart raised my arm to the level needed to lessen the pain but not have it go away.

Made G one last (for 2017) pot of his ultra favorite food--homemade chicken soup yesterday so the grocery visit was needed for chicken thighs and carrots.

I purchased  a nice bag of black eyed peas for myself and a few end pieces from the deli--smoked ham-- to season the peas.  That sort of cooking should be "doable"--get everything in the pot and let it slow cook until ready to eat.  With some rice in the rice cooker.  I can get it ready and then back to the couch.  I decided against the smoked ham hock and the greens.

Had a nice chat with the older retired Southerner who checked us out.  He wondered about the number of bags of peas he had seen go out on his register.  We talked about the peas being for luck and the collard greens for money.  He lamented not having eaten enough greens--and still having to work at his age.  I love eating green things--I hope I have eaten enough.

Today I will go into the book cabinet and select the journal book for 2018.  Feel the pages and get the one with the right sensory feel.  Some are good for pasting in pictures.  Some are better for smooth pen strokes.  Some take ink better than others.  I may spend some time tonight getting the current journal finished up--I think it covers two years, perhaps more.  Which means I have spent less time navel gazing.  More time...doing.

And today is one dollar day at Goodwill.  Things with the color of the day are all one dollar.  I really love dollar day.  But today is also the Patriots playing football.  And G is just now leaving to walk Riley.   I may have to wait for next week's Dollar Day.

The Eve of a New Year.  Wishing you a good night and a better year ahead.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Getting Better, Going Slow

As cozy as my bed looks and feels--I get up out of it everyday.  Even though I am pain free while in bed.  Why I do not know. Most people with "pain" are worse off in bed than they are anywhere else. But today--instead of the usual get up and then get back into bed as the pain grows and tries to make me faint----I got up.  Stayed up.  There were still active nerves sending painful messages--but I could deal with it.  I actually am a pretty tough old bird.

I did my usual bathroom tasks and then---feeling better than I have since December 23rd--I put a load of laundry in the washer.  Even though I had to bend over to get the detergent bottle--painful.  I even came back and moved the washed things (painful) to the dryer.  Later I folded everything.

Simple, everyday things......but mighty exciting to someone who spends entire days on the couch with a heating pad.

For entertainment, I checked out the Johnny's Seed catalog.  Thinking about what I actually like to eat.  Planning to only plant those things.

A Peanut's cartoon has Lucy (the character most like me) saying "Last year really wasn't a very good year for me.  Hope next year is better."   That's my wish going into the new year.  That it's better than this year has been.

So those of you who have expressed concern over my "nerve pain"--- I am getting better.  And in order to get better, I have found, one must get worse, first. got pretty awful there for a few days, but now it is something I can deal with--like a rational person.  Like--I should have asked G to pick up the laundry detergent bottle.......

Every time I drive home I drive past a Y intersection to turn left onto my road.  Today, late morning, the family home on the Y corner--a big old white house with people and pets--burned to the ground. G says there is nothing left.  The people got out.  The pets did not.  My thoughts go out to them.  I would not be able to deal with losing Riley that way.  I would trade the entire house for him.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Life Is What Happens When You Made Other Plans

I am pretty much located on the couch these days.  The on and off nerve pain shooting from my right shoulder blade down my right arm--not always.  Nope.

It disappears completely when I go to bed--I can toss and turn and not a ping.

As soon as I approach the "much needed" bathroom in the morning..... the world tilts and whirls with the rays of nerve pain.  I return to bed aching, climb in--pain free.

But eventually, I grit my teeth and get up, get dressed and walk out to the couch and the heating pad.  The heating pad does little for the pain--it just feels good to the rest of me.

Today, g wanted to go to the movies to see The Last Jedi.  So I went.  Getting there was a pain.  Sitting was 90% okay.  Getting up and into my coat and out to the car was 90% pain filled.  I tried thinking about other things.

Getting up and getting the pans etc ready to cook supper--no fun at all.  Standing at the stove cooking--pain FREE.  But sitting here to type is painful.  So there will be fewer posts.

It all seems so arbitrary.  I don't even know how it started.  Just "whoop!" there it was on December 23rd.  I refuse to take pain meds for nerve pain.  Won't do any good.  Not moving is the only thing that works or just staying in bed all day  (which I will not do).

Up top a photo of a tablecloth at work.  I thought it would be fun to try and paint something like it for my cards this year.  Didn't happen.

Monday, December 25, 2017

On Christmas Day

We--well, it's G--are snowplowing our way out to the street so G can go get our daughter.  We have 4 wheel drive-she doesn't. It snowed.  Lovely, lovely snow.  A beautiful Christmas Day.

It's almost 3 pm and we haven't opened our presents.  Riley is getting nervous.  I don't know how a dog knows about Christmas and gifts, but this one does.  He has a worried expression on his face. Hoping he hasn't been forgotten.  He is getting a really nice (squeaky) gift from our daughter.  Don't worry.

Our neighbor sent over some sparkling cider and the most delicious buttery sugar cookies. And G made an evening run to the grocery (still open and still packed with shoppers--some buying frozen turkey's at 4 pm on Christmas Eve) for eggs.  So we could have dessert.

The Boozy Kahlua Chocolate Bundt cake is cooling and soaking up the butter, sugar and alcohol I poured over it.  I think this is going to be our regular Christmas Dessert.  But next year, I will add a carton of vanilla ice cream to the shopping list.  We'll "make do" with whipped heavy cream this year.

We've had our Christmas phone visit with our son (who lives all the way across the country from us) and he had great news, big plans and that was an excellent gift to both G and I.  Happy children.  It is really a simple wish.

Well, I need to go get myself another two or three of this those sugar snowflake cookies.

Merry, merry Christmas.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

On The Twenty-fourth Day Of December

Everyone is waiting for Santa.  We had freezing rain yesterday.  The driveways and streets are icy but the sun is shining and the temperature is 31.

I have presents to wrap.  Cooking to do.

I sent G and Riley out to distribute Tangerine halves to the squirrels and birds.  Business is very brisk at the bird feeders and under them as well.  Something juicy might be appreciated.

I had intentions of baking a pie or a cake for dessert tomorrow.  It will depend on how many eggs I have left after making the pasta dough for the pierogi.  No eggs?  No dessert.

Christmas Dinner is Christmas Burritos.  We like that there is little "fuss" with this simple meal.  Made the first time when both my children were finally home from colleges for Christmas.  Getting our son home from Syracuse airport in December was a real nail biter.

So, I forgot to make dinner on that one Christmas where he had finally gotten picked up at Chicago O'Hare in the middle of the night after staying overnight (flight cancelled) with the family who drove him to the airport in Syracuse.

All I had in the fridge were the makings of Burritos.  So that is what we had along with a funny little Christmas story of the ingredients being all about Christmas.  We've shared this simple meal with many Christmas visitors over the years a every one has loved it--especially the silly story describing the meal using the colors of the Christmas.  The cheddar cheese representing the star etc.

Wishing you a lovely Christmas Eve, a wonderful visit from Santa and a very good meal....and even dessert if you are lucky.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

On The Twenty Third Day Of December

I made the first batch of Pierogi for 2017.  My grandmother made these for my father, so when he got married, my mother had to learn how to make them.  And when I got married, I missed home and I began my journey of making these for my family every Christmas Eve.

When our son first moved to California (he was 21)  we tried sending pierogi to him, but a delay in delivering the box to him resulting in a culinary disaster.  Since then he and I have had many phone calls on Christmas Eve as he has tried to master this special holiday food.  I sent him a mixer one year.  Another he got the new add-on of a pasta roller attachment.

I use an Atlas pasta roller.  In the early days of marriage I rolled the dough thin with a rolling pin.  And would go to bed with my arm muscles screaming in pain.

But we had to have those holiday pierogi. We haven't missed a Christmas yet.

My grandmother made potato and onion and also sautéed sauerkraut and onion.  G's cousins in Wisconsin make meat pierogi with pork and beef but do not eat them until Christmas Day.  G's mother made cheese pierogi with a dry Farmer's cheese and sugar.  Our fillings were always meatless-there was some reason we didn't eat meat on Christmas Eve.

So......Tonight's pierogi are for my daughter.  It's a recipe I made up all by myself.  Many, many years ago to suit her tastes.  A mix of cream cheese, Parmesan cheese, egg and chives.  I always make hers on the 23rd.  So she can have them to eat on Christmas Eve at her house and again for Christmas breakfast--fried till crispy in butter.

Tomorrow I'll make the ones G and I (and our son) love.  The mashed potato and chopped raw onion filling and the sautéed sauerkraut and onion filling. I always make extra so I can eat the filling while making the pierogi.  Cook's treat.

I read once in a Pennsylvania newspaper that at this time of year potato and American cheese pierogi are very popular in Pennsylvania and made and sold in American Legion Halls.  In doing genealogy research I discovered quite a few families in PA with my same maiden name.  They could be relatives.

If anyone out there reading this have eaten pierogi-- please leave a comment--with your favorite way of eating them and your favorite filling.  We like them the first night with butter and onions.  And the days after (I make a lot) fried in butter with crispy onions.  We are very sad when they are gone.

Friday, December 22, 2017

On the Twenty Second Day Of December

Baking Cookies and Wrapping Gifts.  No Monkey Business.

I have Chocolate Chip done.  I have Snickerdoodles done.  I am working on Apricot Kolaches.   The dough spent most of yesterday in "time out" trying to get itself together.  Will see if today is better.
I did a very good job of making the apricot filling from dry apricots.  It's very, very delicious. So if the pastry still refuses to behave--I'll find somewhere else for the delicious apricot to go.

We went out in the car already, today.  To get my hair cut.  To stop and wish people at my place of employment a Merry Christmas (across the street from where  I get my hair cut).  G is now walking the dog in the snow filled woods.  Birds are everywhere today.  Frolicking in branches of the shrubbery.  Doves pecking at the deck boards. We even have a squirrel who spends a few hours in one of the birdhouses we have nailed to trees.  Snow is falling.  4 to 5 inches before it rains tomorrow.  Nasty weather for the holidays.

When Riley and G return from their daily walk, I think G and I will go out for Chinese.  Late lunch or early dinner.  Daughter is going to join us which is quite a treat.

Spent the evening watching "Jack Taylor" on Netflix.  Irish Guard procedural.  Hard to understand but it's sort of like visiting Ireland.  I only have one more episode.  Then I will have to find something else.  Perhaps The Fall.  Perhaps Netflix will suggest something.

News regarding a blog friend, Grace, has arrived via other blog friends.  She has safely traveled to her new home in California.  Along with her dog, her cat and her herd of goats.  She will eventually be setting up house and internet (I hope) on a grassy hill.  Or mountain.  Depending on who is doing the describing.  It's good to know the "moving" is done and everyone is safe.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

On The Twenty First Day Of December

Solstice.  When the sun is at it's lowest and weakest point.  But still shines brightly today.  It may not have much warmth here in Maine.  But I am happy to see it rise.  Happy to see it's light reflecting off the white snowfall.  The "Turn Around Point".

My spirits are low.  In Germany they called this time of year "The Dark Times".

So... I'll straighten my shoulders, pull up my socks and just get on with it.  Pretend to be happy.

I had to sternly call Riley to the door to go outside this morning.  He had decided NOT to go out with me for the morning paper.  He did go out. But only to the top step on the porch.  And then back inside without doing any "morning business".

Cream of Wheat for breakfast and the other half of my Minestrone soup for mid day.  With cups of  hot tea.  The jaw bones still stiff, but not as bad as it was.  Bones making cracking sounds.  But not as painful.  Getting better, I think.  I sometimes forget.  Which I take as a good sign.

Haircut tomorrow.  Bad weather tomorrow.   I think.

And speaking of Germany--I found something called Krikelkrakel on a German fiber artist's blog.  Mark making.  On fabric.  I quite like it.  I loved it on paper so why not love it on fabric?

Happy Solstice to All.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

On The Twentieth Day Of December

Stayed up (later than the dog liked) to watch--- an Irish cop show.  I forget the name right now.  Season 3 seems to be available but I watched the 3rd episode of season two to try and be reminded.  Jack Taylor.  That's it. Should have subtitles.  Difficult to understand and they are speaking English.

I have a pot of Quick Minestrone Soup (recipe from the feed that shows up on my computer--NYTimes) cooking.   I had everything in the fridge except for greens (no kale).  I do have  Romaine lettuce. But I think that might dissolve.  I had Petite cut tomatoes and tiny white beans in the cupboard. I could have also used dry black eyed peas. I may add a handful of dry macaroni to the pot once it looks and tastes like soup.  You can usually make "something" if you have onions, celery and carrots. I think it's also good to have some canned goods and a few potatoes.  It would have been fantastic to have some cabbage in the crisper.  I'll add it to my shopping list.

The eating of soft foods is giving my jaw bones a chance to resettle.  Less pain and less of the bone cracking sounds.  Soup will be a good thing to have for supper.  I am tired of cream of wheat 3X a day.

We had topiary, like the ones on the table up above, in the greenhouse at work.  I wanted to add bows to make them look more like gifts.  Like the ones up top.  Once upon a time, my holiday tables looked like this.  When there were more than three of us.  The wooden table even resembles the table we had in our dining room in Germany.  With "wings" that opened and slid into place when there were more than four.

We often had parties then.  The house filled with people.  I miss that.

I didn't wrap any presents.  I wrote and mailed one additional Christmas Card.  I haven't read either of my two books but I had to renew them as they were due this week.  We didn't even turn on the tree lights yet.  I am feeling sad.

This happens when I am away from the "busy-ness" of work for any time.  There is too much quiet here.  Nothing happens.  Even the dog is bored.  I will adjust.  I always do and then regret having to return to work because I have so many projects going.

Tomorrow the guys from the garage door company are arriving to install new opener motors etc.  It will add some excitement to the day.  For G and the dog.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

On The Nineteenth Day Of December

I think these tabletop pinecone trees are super wonderful.  I have a really large sugar pine cone I brought back in my suitcase from a visit to California years and years ago.  I am going to find it ( in the freezing cold garage) and make a nice star to go on top.  Find some kind of cute dish for it to sit inside of--hopefully I didn't get rid of all the pewter and "sort of" silver candy dishes.

I started the day with my jaw bones and jaw muscles hurting.  I decided to eat only warm and soft things today.  No chewing.  And that seemed to make it better.  Cream of Wheat.

I binge watched the remaining 6 or 7 episodes of Good Behavior on Xfinity (TNT) while sipping hot tea.  One part of Xfinity wanted $2.99 per episode.  I found it on another Xfinity site --free.  I had to watch commercials but I don't mind if it's free.  Good Behavior had some elements of Christmas.  And they did stay (handcuffed) in the Holiday Inn Express.  (laughing)

I got all the binding done on the potholders.  I sewed while watching Holiday last night--way into the early morning.  Did I already tell you this?

I think I will wrap presents tomorrow.  Perhaps make a batch of cookies.  G would like Chocolate Chip.  Not exactly Christmas but they are the cookies he likes.  And Snickerdoodles.  We'll see.

Monday, December 18, 2017

On The Eighteenth Day Of December

It snowed all day.  And baby, it's cold out there........ G is trying to decide when to go out and do the snowplowing.  He thinks it will be tomorrow morning.  Usually, he likes to do it at night.  But it's still snowing.

The street plow just went past.  Meaning the end of the driveway now has a giant pile out there.

We had pizza a couple nights ago and the crust (I made the pizza) was very chewy--just the way we like it.   And now, whenever I chew anything, I hear and feel the bones in my left jaw clanking and grinding and hurting., heating pad.  Then soft foods like farina or soup.  And just sitting and sewing the binding on the last 7 potholders.

I have written and deleted several paragraphs.....regarding political news.  Enough.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

The Sixteenth & Seventeenth Days of December

I've moved from buying and sending to making.  Making is labor intensive and I tend to lose track of time.  I didn't just make this Gingerbread House.  I made it years and years ago.  I think I bought the wooden kit for the house on one of my last visits to Georgia to visit my long time friend who decided she didn't want me as a friend any more.  So this little doll house brings back memories.

And this little dollhouse needed so much "shopping" & "making" over the years to get to this happy place.  The Necco wafer roof shingles are cut from sheets of foam in all those candy colors. One by one.  There have been a number of "trees" beside the front porch entrance.  These tall cookie towers were found at Big Lots and I may have even "whooped" in excitement as I scooped them into my basket.

The gumdrops are fake and another wonderful find over the years of house construction.  These houses take time.  You have to set the "making" aside each year when Christmas is over and hope that  the next season's decor in the hobby and seasonal section of stores will help you fill gaps.  And sometimes wait several years to find the "right" thing.

And then adults tell their children to grab "candy" and pull it off the house when I was foolish enough to display it in public.  So, it's just here at home.  Safe. But it would be so much more fun to have people see it.  Now you can!

I am also making an appliquéd, pieced and quilted small gift my daughter asked me to make for her good friend.  I was apprehensive.  But yesterday I drafted it all on freezer paper, measured and cut strips for the background and added a bias cut vine.  Today five leaves.  Layered and ready to quilt by hand.  Then turn the edges to finish.

I wanted to show it here but the picture won't load.

Football today.  Snow tomorrow.  UPS delivered something to a fellow blogger and it is now happily "in use" after waiting 30 something years for the right guy.  Love it when things work out.

Friday, December 15, 2017

On The Fifteenth Day Of December

Making.   That's the "Rule of the Day" for the 15th.   Pizza is on the menu for dinner here at home. I have pepperoni, mushrooms, and red bell peppers for toppings.

I have to make G's gift.  Handwarmers out of socks.  His hands are always cold and early on,  I very quickly, made hand warmers out of an old pair of cashmere socks I have (to sleep in) but they are now getting quite frayed.  So a new pair with carefully turned and stitched edges.  Perhaps two pair.  The hand warmers out of socks leave the whole of the "finger section" open so all normal things can be done with bare fingers.  There is no fold back portion on these.  Just very simple.

I also have a stack of prefolded but "not as yet cut" pentagons.  And after cutting I will be, hopefully,  folding the remaining, much needed, stars.  Four.  I folded 8 pentagons, just in case. Who knows, I may go "rogue" and send out more than 12.

I also have to make a fabric gift for my daughter's friend.  The letter M embellished.

I can also begin wrapping gifts, mailing cards and starting on my cookie and cake baking.  Closer to the 24th I will be making Polish Pierogi-  cheese only for our daughter.  Sauerkraut and Potato for G and I.  We deliver the Cheese Pierogi to our daughter's fridge on Christmas Eve.  Like Elves.  For me, The Holiday is all cooking--all the time.  I often make my cookies after Christmas so my deadlines are flexible. Well, all "time" is flexible when one is 71 years of age. The knees--not so much.

Time is also being set aside for the Star Wars Movie.  But NOT today.  Everyone will be trying to see the movie today and into the weekend.  We don't "do crowds" especially in a movie theater. Way too many "odors".

I am now "on the fence" as to the Christmas Card.  Do I make or do I choose a commercial card as I did last year?  I could also look thru the drawer full of cards and see what I have.  I had intended to get a good start on the cards at Art Co-op.  Which was cancelled because of the storm last week.

So, I must decide.  I do not have much time left.

And the garage doors are stuck.  The opener can't make them go up or down.  G says we can do it manually.  Okay.  And we might need an emergency call to the garage door company.  Just saying....

And best of all--I don't go to work tomorrow.  Yippee!

Thursday, December 14, 2017

On The Fourteenth Day Of December

If you aren't really careful, you break a few lovely ornaments.  The tree is covered in ornaments now.  I had to climb up on a four step kitchen stepper thingy so I could then lean as far forward as I dared to try and get an itty bitty hook over some greens.  The ones in the dustpan didn't bounce on other branches to break their fall.  Direct route to the hardwood floor.

I love those candy striped ornaments.  Sigh.  But G says the tree looks "professional".  Well, thank you very much!

G took me to lunch but before that to the lovely Now You're Cooking in Downtown Bath.  I get to select anything I want.  He likes me to make a nice sized pile of kitchen goodies.  G also got to sample an Espresso made in the Nespresso machine the store is selling.  He chose the Keurig when I agreed to a coffee machine.  Now he is wishing he had gotten the Nespresso.  Because he does enjoy the occasional Espresso.  Live and learn.

We had lunch/dinner at Beale Street BBQ.  Pulled pork for me and Blackened Haddock for G.  We had deep fried ribs as a starter with cajun sauce.  Beale Street because they are making Memphis ribs, pork and beef.  The we walked down the block and had ice cream at Dot's.

December 14th is/was a very good day.

On The Thirteenth Day Of December

I forgot to post.  G and I were up until way past midnight on the 12th, shoveling slush off the driveway.  We are into 3 weeks of freezing weather here in Maine.  So any slush would have frozen into "ruts" that would be hard to navigate by foot for weeks on end.   Driving down the drive to get the mail is one thing--walking a dog?  Not so much.

Riley is having a time of it.  He is annoyed with himself regarding peeing on his hind leg while balancing on the slippery, hard crusted snow in the side yard.  Winter.

The view up top--- The old rattan table and chairs I wrote about, the dog, the bright southern side of the yard through the French doors and tall windows, the new hallway floor and carpet and under the table a peek at the new radiator and the boxes and bags of ornaments and lights.  In the vase on the hall table--pussy will stems I trimmed off the little willow tree (that keeps trying to become a very tall willow tree).  The buds seemed rather full to me so I put them in water and--wonder to behold--they are opening into little furry soft "buds".

I am guessing the crazy weather here in Maine has confused most of the flowering shrubs and trees into thinking it was time to flower.  Which means Spring will be a real dud.  No flowers.

I got little sleep the night we shoveled and then up early for my last day at work.  Which was okay. When I got home it was already turning dark and we sat and watched recorded things on TiVo and then G went out to get Chinese take out.  Never remembered to write to you.

Ornaments on the tree today (the 14th) and the boxes will all go back upstairs--empty.  I will post again later.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

On The Twelfth Day Of December

I FINALLY managed to make some origami stars.  Eight.  The ninth one refused to collapse.  Ten and twelve never made it to pentagon shape.  I had wanted to make a dozen.  Put one in each of my Christmas card envelopes.  Connie you were almost right.  I can make them, but I'm not really good at it. Though I must say, in this picture, they look pretty darn wonderful.  I found the gold paper in the drawer under the old copier.  Love serendipity.

Well, I can rest up a bit and then try again.  Later.  To make 4 more.  The trick was to fold ALL the square into pentagons and THEN start folding them into stars.  Body and hand memory is built that way.  Repetition.  It's the same with quilting.  As I am finding out with the potholder making.  That last potholder is going to have some crazy amazing binding on it.

And who knows--paper cranes for the New Year?

Made another batch of Rum Balls to take to work tomorrow (my last day of work in 2017) but the weather might make that impossible.  G is trying to get home from a doctor's visit about an hour away and is passing more accidents than he can count.  So, staying put during this weather event might be the best thing to do.  So Last Saturday may have been my last day @ work for 2017.

My left eye has decided to itch and swell up again.  Always something.  I am taking it easy, no eye rubbing and I had some drops and pills from last time--so I am doing that.  Seems to be feeling better.
I haven't had time--stars!--- to go look at it in mirror.  It's Atopic Dermatitis.

G says we are putting lights on the tree--no matter what--tonight.  And that's the day's news on the Twelfth Day of December.

Monday, December 11, 2017

On The Eleventh Day Of December

I was spending time with a good Friend driving around, grocery shopping (I forgot stuff on Sunday) and then wiring greens to two old fashioned snowshoes--one to hang on her front door and one to hang on G's workshop door.  He does handy man things for her.  So she wanted to make something for him. I even hand made a nice red bow for his snowshoe.

I am also in the process of sewing binding around the edges of my Christmas patchwork potholders. I have gotten TWO done.  It's slow going.  I forgot a lot about "quilting" in the past 10 years. Yes, it's been that long since I was "into it" as my friend always says when she is making stuff.

I did two SOS calls out to my friend Connie and she replied with the information I needed.  Once I read her descriptions--it all came back.  Like riding a horse?  No.

It's very cold here.  Or it just seems like that to me.  Either way.  The snow we had on Sunday melted a bit in the sunshine and now we have icy spots.  I am not interested in a slip and fall accident. We have another storm on the way and I think tomorrow is NOT going to be nice........ I'm guessing that the title of tomorrow's post will be about weather.

I found some very nice yellow paper and used my paper cutter to make squares.  Now to begin folding and finger's crossed--make stars.  And if that fails--add binding to more potholders.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

On The Tenth Day Of December

We woke up to snow.  Well, it had started snowing the day before but...this morning all the trees and shrubs had a gentle pile of white floating on their branches.  Riley and I made the first foot prints on the driveway snow.  Going out to get the paper.  It's wet sticky snow.  What I call "snowman snow" because it'll stick to itself when you roll it.

I have been baking.  Using what I have--waiting for the driveway to be clear for a grocery run.  So far we have a very nicely baked loaf of Banana Bread and a nicely brown crusted pan of corn bread. The oven is doing a great job! You can judge that my baking skills were learned in the kitchens of Georgia and not Ohio.  My mother didn't serve or bake either of these things. She did make Mexican Wedding Cookies.  Balls of nut dough rolled in powdered sugar. Ugh!  And the cookies made with the press that you could add food coloring to the dough.  I am reminded of how hard it was to get the dough to come out and then get it to stop coming out.  I did like sprinkling the pressed cookie trees with green sugar.  And pressing a half cherry into the center of the round "flower" shape.

Now that I write this--I am wondering if I still have a cookie press hiding in the cupboard.  And I will look for the recipe ) Spritz (?) and perhaps buy some cherries.

Gramma made apricot kolache and poppyseed roll.  I have attempted the apricot kolache on occasion and my daughter makes frequent trips to the cookie plate when they are on it.  We also like to make Buckeyes.  Peanut butter and powdered sugar rolled in chocolate.  Usually, they stay in the garage so they don't melt.

The kids at work want more Rum Balls.  I might make them with Kahlua. Or I will use the white Bacardi I have in the "drinks cupboard" as Nigella always says.

The tree will be getting lights today (oh I do hope so).  Perhaps ornaments.  We'll see.

Watched Doctor Strange last night on Netflix and our TiVo remote stopped working--yet again (4 remotes in the last 2  years).  We are NOT amused.  And the volume is way up.  So, we need to get it working so we can turn the volume DOWN.  This makes us both so frustrated.  It's a remote.  Not a rocket or anything.

Well, I need to start my shopping list and look for my recipe cards.  Happy Sunday to All!!

Saturday, December 09, 2017

On The Ninth Day of December

Work for 8+ hours.  Watering, straightening and ordering Poinsettias.  So many varieties.  So many I would like to take home with me.  But they don't like it here.  At home.

Next Wednesday is my last day at work for the year.  I have never been "released" this early.  Am I sad.  Not a bit.  I was tempted to ask that Today was the last day--but he said he needed me on Wednesday.  And one of the 20 somethings asked for another batch of Rum Balls.  How can I refuse. The request began with "Jo, I love you".

It's snowing.  Let there be accidents.  Wouldn't you think Mainers could drive in snow?  Well, they can--but not for the very first snow, like tonight.  In ditches. Slamming into guard rails. Rear ending.
This is what we call "greasy snow" and the roads are slippery.

G dropped me off this morning and came to get me.  So grateful.

Well, time to change out of work clothes, shower and put on my jammies.

Friday, December 08, 2017

On the Eighth Day Of December

Art- Catherine-White from ArtPropelled

Everything in the yard this morning looks dry, brown and brittle.  Winter creeps closer.

My frustration with folding origami stars increased last evening.  I had ceased being able to fold and cut the starting pentagon.  Before--I made pentagons easily but folding the stars was impossible.  So frustrating.  At the end of the evening I have one successful but lopsided star made from old stationary paper.  It sits here leaning on the computer-- as if to say--you thought you'd be good at this?

As the days fly past me--I must begin drawing my series of 12 Christmas cards.  I have the Kraft paper cards (brown) and the white Gelli pens.  I need an idea.  In the card supply drawer I found some of the fabric trees I made that very first year I tried "making" my own cards.  I found them in my father's things when I emptied his house.

I make but do not keep.  So I have no small collection of these cards.  I have only the memory of making them.  And, that is enough.  But it was lovely to hold the card with the silk tree in my hands again and wonder at the time that has passed since I sewed the bits together.  I think of Jude Hill's trees and moons. Ephemeral.  Here and yet...not.

Perhaps, if the Fates allow.....a small folded star in each card.  I still want to believe I would be good at this.  But...not perfect.

Thursday, December 07, 2017

On The Seventh Day Of December

Go shopping.  And instead of lunch...have breakfast.  We visited one of the original Diners made of what look like little railroad cars.  And I had two eggs, bacon and two pancakes.  Divine. Patty had the Tuna Melt with home made potato chips.

My friend and I drove all over the southern part of Maine.  We drove home in the dark.  We visited LLBean (French linen blue shirt with white woven stripes--I plan to wear it 24/7), Old Navy where we put together fabulous outfits for three of Patty's family members, the Freeport Church Thrift Shop (lovely linen hankies and an embroidered card table cloth for $3),  the breakfast for lunch, then the Christmas Tree  Shop where we wandered around and got lost several times.  I finally purchased two jars of Elderberry Jelly and six packages of Bird Suet.

After that we adjourned to Trader Joes.  Filled our carts with all manner of fruits, candy, wine and I purchased a single bottle of brown ale and a package of candied ginger for my Annual Gingerbread Cake.  I already have the lemons.  I offered to pack my own groceries.  The cashier was happy. I also returned carts to the store front from the parking lot.  I like things to be orderly.

We came back home and then G and I went out for dinner.  I had wine and the Limoncello Tart.  And a big salad.

I do not like driving with my husband.  He tailgates.  Patty does not.

With Patty ....we made u turns on highways.  We changed lanes when we shouldn't have.  We got lost. We did all sorts of things (Patty learned to drive in Boston).  I never gave it a thought.  It was really an amazing day.

Tomorrow we bring the tree into the house.  And before that I have a chair and some other furniture that needs to go someplace "else" or to Goodwill. To make room for the tree.  And Riley needs to put all his 100's of dog toys back into the baskets.

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

On The Sixth Day Of December

Still no Christmas Tree.  One gift purchased.  Still coughing.  Raining here in Maine.  Finished reading Nina George's Little French Bistro.  Loved it.  And I loved the Little Paris Bookstore as well.

Watched "While You Were Sleeping" which I think of as a Christmas Movie, last night.  We also watched The Devil Wears Prada (on another night)  which isn't a Christmas movie but it's something I like watching.  And there is Paris at the end.  You see a theme?  Perhaps.

I stayed home (sick day from work) on the couch today with my cough.  I did venture out to the library (and had to use my rescue inhaler after climbing the stairs to reference) to return my book and pick up an origami book.  I still want to make more origami stars.  Finally, with the help of several of my former colleagues, we found a website with printed instructions.  It's hard to follow a video.

I started printing them here at home and the printer ran out of ink.  I refuse to consider this project doomed.

Perhaps tomorrow I will be able to make a star? I am thinking of using a heavy gold and cream wrapping paper (cut into squares and then folded into pentagons).  Printed with stars. To make my stars.  Six of them for my tree.  For this year and for all the years in the future.  Stars.  To wish on.

Well, I am sleepy and I need to rest up for tomorrow.  My friend is coming to get me and I will be the "sidekick" on her shopping adventure.  Just along for company.  We do love to talk to each other. We once drove a rented U-haul to Boston and back to pick up a couch and chair she bought at Crate and Barrel.  That was quite the road trip.  Non-stop except for picking up the couch and chair.  And since we were at Crate and Barrel, I insisted on looking around to see if I wanted to buy anything.  I did. Marigold colored linen napkins.  Love.

But that was then and tomorrow is now.  Good Night.

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

On The Fifth Day Of December

We are still working on changing the lights on the big 48 inch wreaths we hang on the front porch for the Holidays.  Two now have the new LED light strings.  The little "clicker" we used to turn  the lights on and off is no longer "findable".  Well, G is doing this.

That is the way things are going now.  Can't find.  Don't know.  Forgot.  Not something I wanted to deal with just yet.  But Life is what happens when you are making other plans. G has added put the trash out to his phone reminders.  I am going to suggest he add "eat lunch" to the reminder list as well.  Riley serves as his own reminder for the daily walk.

My Holiday potholders need to be sandwiched and pinned and then quilted (I think I may have already mentioned this).  I will then need to make binding.  For the edges.  Auto correct just wrote "endless" instead of "edges".  Perhaps a Freudian slip?  The binding of anything seems (is) quite endless.  I purchased Kahlua for the  Holiday boozy chocolate bundt cake. Looking forward to it.

The Christmas Tree--purchased still on the porch.  Not even in it's tree stand.  I had wanted to have it in here where I could enjoy it longer this year.  But it's not to be, I guess.  Not that the room is ready to receive the tree.  I will need to rearrange and prep the area.

I did find a large glass container full of old glass ornaments.  In the cabinet next to the fireplace.  It must have made sense at some point.  I still am looking for the rectangular glass vase I grow paperwhites in.  I remember emptying it and rinsing the stones (I have them right where I usually store them) but the glass vase is nowhere to be found.  I usually spent 15 to 20 minutes each day looking for it.  Crossing areas off my list.  It's 12 inches tall and 6 by 10 at the base.  Not small.

I only have today--work tomorrow.  So, I must get as much done as I can.  Today.

We have working, new radiators in the two "new" bathrooms.  It's very, very nice.  The entrance hall  is also being warmed by the new radiator that's now there.  The plumber thinks some of the "cold" in the house is caused by the thermostats being in the wrong spots.  Like behind doors.  At some point they will be moved to better locations (making new holes in walls).  I have a feeling that the builder of this home (the wife) wanted the thermostats "hidden" from view.  And thereby--made the house feel cold all the time. It's always something you never expected it to be.

Because we haven't fixed the new toilet paper holders to the walls yet (had no idea where they would go until the rads were in), the rolls sit atop the new radiators.  Heated toilet paper.  A lovely idea.

Watched Rogue One on Netflix last night and realized that everything we might want to watch is now owned by Amazon Prime.  Not Netflix.  In fact, Rogue One was the ONLY movie we saw in the line up that we wanted to watch.  Time to cancel.  Watched the 6th and final season of Longmire.  I know there were a number of people waiting to watch that on Netflix and then cancelling their membership.

We are also watching Good Behavior on TNT on Demand.  We watched season one last November and now watching season two.  It really should have been titled Bad Behavior as nothing they do is anything but BAD.  The guy's job is killing people.  For money.  The woman steals.  And for some reason we, the viewing public, find them in need of our attention.  In between, I watch Space.  Last night it was the Hubble Telescope and then a little planet circling Saturn.  Which may have liquid water.  I could look at Hubble photos for hours.  So incredible and beautiful.

I'll be back.