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Monday, June 30, 2008

This is...

...my best thrift shop (opshop) find. Thanks to Lino Forest for this week’s theme.

This is the latest of my kitchen goodies. I’m not much into looking for clothes etc as I have no desire to thumb through the unsized racks of clothes, and then have to try them on right there and then. But I am always on the lookout for kitchen gems, not that I really need any more but it is the joy of the hunt.



I have wanted a little fryer for a long time, and looked and looked at the local thrift shops but nary a fryer. One day I did see this on freecycle and dashed over to get it that day. I had been the first one asking for it!! So this one was free really, not even thrift shop price. I used it to make something with fish I recall, but for the life of me I can’t think what. My main reason for wanting it was to make arancini, the Italian rice balls. I also want to do stuffed poppers for dh, but right now it’s just sitting in the drawer. You can see how small it is by comparing the teabag near it.

The other favorite item is also a kitchen one… a blender I have used and used sooo very much. I wanted one with a glass container, and found it finally for $10. As much as I’ve washed it, that price will not come off, and so I am constantly reminded that I got a Good Deal. What do I use it for now? In the summer, I make fruit spritzers with club soda and some lassis for breakfast. I also puree soups in it after I had my ‘bone’ disaster with the immersion blender. That too, may it r.i.p., was a thrift store Find on a trip to Chicago. It was $8. And I remember it well and fondly but I’ve learned my lesson about being really, really careful about small bones before pureeing.



To see what others snagged, check out Three Buttons list of players.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Book recommendation



Having just come from You SEW Girl's blog, I thought of all you who do sew in the various ways. I really loved this book and it made me think of the needle and thread world that is out there and is so far from my experience. While I did sew in my 20s, I can't say it was any great love.

But for those of you who find satisfaction in stitching, try out this book...it's about a seamstress (probably not the best word) who worked for Coco Chanel. It made me think of The Devil Wears Prada re bosses.

The Collection by Gioia Diliberto


(btw, I am dealing with my withdrawal from the net with brief periods on my dh's laptop - the only computer in the house with a connection. New IP gets connected on Wednesday!!)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

BooHoo...no on my desk today

Why oh why? because we have no internet connection at home. While this is just a pita to me, it is a bigger deal to dh who works at home, and email is the lifeline to $$s. So after an eye dr checkup, and getting my eyes back to their undilated state, we are coffe-chop connecting to the lifeline.

But I send you all a hello, and hope to check some desks later this week. However, good news is that I will be in NYC tomorrow - if I get myself on the 7:45am bus which is about an hour from my house. That means I get into my own car...early. Ugh. It's the price one pays for about 8hrs in the Big Apple, all for $35. Still not sure what I'm gonna do but just soak up that NYC vibe.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Friday footnote - looks like we are switching IP so I'm not sure when I'll be back to use on my own computer. Godwilling and the creek don't rise, I hope to be back up in a week or so. Don't forget me!! Maureen

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

watermelon dot org???


watermelon dot org???
Originally uploaded by redazadi

As I was peeling the tag off this morning (to save for collage ephemera), I noticed the website.

Now we know why watermelons have no more seeds. They have neutered themselves by all the time spent in front of the computer, doing the watermelon blog.

Off to see what the melons are saying today. ;-)

Monday, June 23, 2008

Wow! don't you love stats?

Today I hit

1500 views

which is a big deal to me.


Plus, I had someone from Central America take a peek.
I love this shrinking world.

Thanks for looking!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

This is ...my favorite outfit

The full title of this week's theme is this is... my most favourite outfit that expresses my individual style. I am way past thinking about expressing my individual style. I know what's me and I tend to wear it regardless of fashion, save the odd fun, cheap item.

However, if I had to describe my style, I'd say simple, clean looking, and hopefully at times elegant. I have never, ever, really never, liked cute. Funky and quirky don't do it for me either.

When I worked, it was wool slacks (usually black) with a sweater, often cashmere, or a nice long sleeved, ballerina neck t-shirt. (We had heat that really worked.) On my feet? flats or a very very low heel and jewelry was my gorgeous wedding ring, and small diamond hoop earrings, and a gold Italian bracelet. Sometimes if I was bored, I'd add one of my many scarves.

For the 9 months we were not in session, I usually wore a variation of the vintage Gap below. I have not worn pantyhose in over a dozen years, but back in the 80s job when I did, I wore them with suit skirts several inches above my knees. I did outreach, rep'ing my boss, and they did remember my mind and my legs, and my boss.

And then there's me in a sort of version.

I haven't bought many khakis lately, since I have a bunch of patterned crop pants. However, most of those do not have pockets, and it bugs the hell out of me. There are times when I just want to carry the plastic and my keys. So here I am with a pair of khaki shorts (with pockets)and a top I didn't think I'd wear much more this summer, but we have been blessed with cool-ish, dry days. Heaven!



btw, I switched to some patterned crops since dh and I too often had the same kind of outfit on, and looked like geezer twins.

KittysKaboodle came up with this week's theme, and the list of players is over on Threebuttons. Have your own style show!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Flashback Friday June 20



That's my honeybunch at age 3.5 in 1942; he was just waiting for me to be born! (well, his first wife also) ;-)

fwiw, the hair still has a mind of its own.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Progress? Priorities?


We have bigger houses but smaller families,
more conveniences, but less time.
We have more degrees, but less sense
more knowledge, but less judgement
more experts, but more problems
more medicines, but less healthiness.
We’ve been all the way to the moon and back
but have trouble crossing the street to meet the neighbor.
We built more computers to hold more information
to produce more copies than ever…
but have less communication.
We have become long on quantity but short on quality.
These are fast times of fast foods but slow digestion.
Tall man but short character.
Steep profits but shallow relationships.
It is a time where there is much in the window
but nothing in the room.

~ The 14th Dalai Lama


Thanks to
Tammy Manet's Flickr profile.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

On my Desk..June 18

This was on my 'kitchen' desk the other day...just to show there can be a mess. But a mess with purpose and results!

Summer Rolls


But in the upstairs studio, the home of the craft and computer desks, there is a probable ceiling leak, so nothing except repair work is gonna happen in that room.




The desks have stuff all piled on them to clear that corner. I moved my computer about 4 ft away from the bulge in question since the pic was taken, and took one table out of the room.

This problem helped me see I don't need so many tables as they tend to just allow me to cover them with stuff. I'm sure none of you have that kind of tendency, or do you???

Check out more desks at Kirsty's blog.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Sink your teeth into this Cupcake



This is so funny but I think these meatloaf cupcakes are a really good party idea. It's also the kind of thing that might get children to eat some meat-n-'tatoes.


See the rest of the story and how to here at FineFuriousLife . I hope she survived her time out in the land of high fructose corn syrup!! Terrible but true.

How rich are you??

Rich is a loaded word I know, but when you think you may need more of this or that or just something you don't have, here's a chance to get perspective.
Global Rich List
"If you have access to a computer and are able to read this essay, you’re already doing pretty well compared to half of the world." Thanks to Zen Habits for that wake-up line.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

This is ....the space in which I create (and created)

This week's great theme comes from Michelle, the Quilting Mick . My primary creative space is my kitchen.

Kitchen in snow

I have loved to cook since I was a young teenager and saw Julia Child on tv, slapping her hindquarters and saying you need to show the butcher where you want a cut. Butcher? that wasn't a concept in the rapidly growing suburban lifestyle. But a seed was planted, I learned how to make a great quiche, and still have the recipe for African Pickled Peaches from a 1960s Gourmet magazine. Living all around the world only opened my eyes and taste buds to all sorts of food and cooking styles. It was wonderful.

Fast forward to 2001 and I am married to my 2nd husband and he says the magic words...Anything I can do to make your cooking easier... And we plunged like fools into renovation. There is a whole Flickr collection of 11 sets about that project.

By this point, dh had built me an island to test out the concept and I finally had a cooktop that could boil water. We also bought and installed some Ikea drawers to see if I really liked having drawers. OMIGOD, did I!!!

She has it all !

I'm here showing how happy I am with the test island and marvy Fisher and Paykel cooktop. Note the little jar of chimichurri sauce on the red formica. Yum!

No deck, no patio

June/July 2004 the back porch and deck were gone, and then the foundation for the addition was laid.

digging  the footing

There was a lot of this kind of examination of the blueprints

studying the prints

to get to this point.

MMR at imaginary cooktop

But by fall I was chiseling away at the stone for the new bathroom.

MMR thru the new patio door

And Christmas 2004 was simple.

Merry Christmas - 2004


By Jan 2005, we were waiting for the soapstone counters.

full wall

and on a bitter cold day they arrived.

Soapstone

The final time was over 14 months from breaking ground till the final punchout items.

It tested a new marriage, but we learned pretty well then that we are on the same team, and that our different ways of thinking CAN be complimentary, not combative. We didn't want to make our contractor the enemy either so we had to talk, cry and work our way through want WE wanted vs what I want and what you want, so that we could put a united front in discussions. That was hard because until something came up I know I couldn't always see what I wanted. It was easier to see what I didn't want. (Life lesson for me???)

But this IS my creation and my creative workspace...and I love it.

Fireplace to DR

Want to see other spaces? come on, you know you do!! Then check out Angela at ThreeButtons . She maintains the list of players.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Cancelled the Cable

Omigod...what have we done!

I'd been thinking about how little I watch on tv, himself doesn't at all, and so I took the plunge and said...Make the call. We returned out cable box last night...but now!?!?!? How will we survive without our Saturday night friends???



I think I'll hit a video store tonight while I think of the $75 a month we're saving.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Flashback Friday June 13

Miami Beach Florida...we (well I) thought we had died and gone to heaven. Christmas on the beach, a wonderful experience of seeing how the rich lived (in those days) and a good vacation despite the loooong drive south from Maryland.

The elegant me (at least in my own head) at a motel right on the ocean. I 'm not sure that this kind of low budget place still exists - ocean front i.e.

Dec 1955 Pool

and the windblown me with fish found on the beach after a storm. Sooo brave...

Dec 1955 Fish

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Were you still wondering about those firestarters? Well, while I got my idea from Danny Keo in Country Home magazine, here is an on line article on the same subject.

Dryer Lint Ideas

1) Save dryer lint in a large coffee can and use bits of it as fire starter (yes, there's actually a way to benefit from the lint's combustability). Small amounts of dryer lint can be used when starting a campfire, when using the outdoor barbeque grill (in place of lighter fluid), or when starting a fire in the fireplace. And here's a tip I learned from a Boy Scout: the tighter you roll the lint, the longer it burns. Dryer lint is also incredibly light and easy to pack (compacts down to virtually nothing) for backpackers who need to carry some sort of fire starter with them.

2) Use dryer lint and old candle stubs to make great little fire starters that can even be used as gift items. Fill each section of a cardboard egg carton with dryer lint (it must be a cardboard egg carton rather than a styrofoam one). Melt wax from old candles in a double boiler. Carefully pour the melted wax over the dryer lint until the egg carton sections are full. Let dry. Cut each section apart. Use the firestarters instead of kindling by simply lighting the cardboard.

3) Use dryer lint to pad small items being sent through the mail.

These ideas come from Deborah Taylor-Hough in stretcher.com. REMEMBER, dryer lint is EXTREMELY flammable. Be sure to clean your dryer vents often, esp if you use any type of fabric softener.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

On my desk...June 11

Today is clean off the desk day. A lot of crapola to sort out, throw away (aargh!!). put away. I want to see wood!



Some of it is the debris from the Artist Way group's studio day at my house last Sunday. I had help in doing this 6 Element (ONLY) ATC. I think ATCs are too small for me to enjoy right now...too much looking for fiddly little things. I may try it again sometime, but not with such a structured theme. Lesson learned.



And this lump of fluff is dryer vent fluff to add to candlewax in paper egg carton cups. Yes, highly flammable and that's the point...fire starters which will be gifts for those friends who have wood burning fireplaces. Ours is gas...which is good and bad. Good cause it's f.a.s.t but bad cause you lose that scent of woodburn. At our age, the ease won out.



Noting all the orange. Hmmm. Orange means change so I guess I better get off my computer butt and start that a.m. tidying. btw, first day in 3 days that it promises to be under 100ish. I came into this room at 6am and could open the window again! so nice to feel the breeze, and there is one. I accept our Maryland summer but I like the cool end of it best.

Ok, nuff from me...check out other desks and have a visit with Kirsty.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Color, Color...play with Color

I saw this color "game" over on How About Orange and it was fun and not silly imho. Some of the questions really made me think.

They say I am ...

They are for those who crave space and a clean canvas on which to display beloved objects; or for those who long for a clear, sunlit expanse. White is about purity, elegance and simplicity and in all of our variations, the infusion of light is key.

While the majority of my house is not white, it is a creamy yellow, and light was the primary thing on my mind when we renovated. I wanted clean light space. I think Pittsburgh Paints has me nailed.

My secondary is...

It's a weekend in the countryside, the smell of freshly cut grass, or fresh basil growing on your kitchen windowsill. A friendly color, green symbolizes renewal and embodies our thoughts of springtime. Need I note that I already have a forest green bedroom???

Test it out, and see what suggestions they make for you and how much they confirm some of your color choices.

Monday, June 9, 2008

I have a winner! It's Lisa.



Sebastian had no interest in doing a drawing today, it is too too hot, so I made a list and rolled the die. I'm not surprised as the die came from...



Thanks to all who put comments on my 100th post. Lisa, if you will send me your address, I'll mail the book out to you. Maureen

Sunday, June 8, 2008

This is...my favorite (recent) travel memory

Great theme this Sunday comes from Hila.

Well, as many of you might know from reading my blog, I've done a lot of travel in my life. But one recent trip stands out because of how much my dh and I learned about each other. He had always wanted to go to Budapest because he had a college friend who escaped Hungary after 1956. Budapest was part of a whirlwind 9 day trip via Austrian Air to Prague, Vienna and Budapest. The only thing we missed was snow.



I loved the cold, brisk weather, and we both loved the food and even more so the people. They seemed a bit closer to the 'harder, old days' than say Prague but we agreed...Budapest was on its way to being the 'new Prague.' Communism's scars ran deep. The old skin hadn't been totally shed in Dec 2006, but I bet today there is less and less of the old mentality.



And what did we learn? We learned that we could travel well together on a vacation that called for three languages, none of which I spoke, three currencies, three metro systems and a long overnight flight for a man who doesn't usually sleep on airplanes. Thank you Ambien. And when I had travel overload, and brain burnout, he was clear and certain. We found in each other a good balance in travel, which isn't always the case at home... ;-) And so? we try to travel a lot!!! Here's more to see more of this trip.

And if you want more good vacation memories check Three Buttons who maintains the looong list of players.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Pies for both Hemispheres


I know for us here in the northern hemisphere, it's getting hot and hotter. But that does hold the promise of summer fruit and all those yummy cherry and peach desserts. To me the peach is THE fruit. I love mangoes, but I get Real, Ripe peaches round here and oh...I can almost smell them now. For those of you going into winter, well there's apples. I tend to think of apples as almost the most utilitarian of all fruits. Brush your teeth, eat an apple, make the bed... To me apples are fine, sure, whatever...And yes, I have had gems over the years, but thems not peaches.

So why do I say any of this? Well, Not Martha has a wonderful trick (is it truc en francaise?) about baking the little goodies in the short canning jars. Look see!

I can't wait to test this one out and she references other ideas...cakes, frozen desserts. Oh yes....

(REMEMBER THERE IS A GIVEAWAY BELOW...JUST MAKE A POST AND YOU'LL BE ENTERED)

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Post 100!!! Giveaway Below at End of Post

I know that this dear woman wasn't the one who invented this game, but I saw it on her blog. Interesting , isn't it! thank you Poppalina!

My creation


1. Maureen Lines, 2. Pizza-----Douglas Adams The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul, 3. Regina, Saskatchewan, 4. Green Womble House, 5. Ceasefire, 6. Tea Corner..., 7. Temple monkey (macaque), Khao Takiab near Hua Hin, Thailand, 8. cheesecake for Lianna!, 9. i_heart_lawyers-1110623, 10. Contentment, 11. Clear and Concise, 12. Pots and Pans

(rats to the spaceball for Regina...)

To PLAY...

a. Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr Search.
b. Using only the first page, pick an image.
c. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into fd's mosaic maker.

1. What is your first name?
2. What is your favorite food?
3. What high school did you go to?
4. What is your favorite color?
5. Who is your celebrity crush?
6. Favorite drink?
7. Dream vacation?
8. Favorite dessert?
9. What you want to be when you grow up?
10. What do you love most in life?
11. One Word to describe you.
12. Your flickr name



And since this is #100, check back Monday to see if you get a giveaway, not the mess, the Easy Organization mag



to a randomly selected poster. Leave a comment and I will pick one of you on Monday am. And yes, I will send internationally. Thanks for reading me!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

On my desk...June 4



We have had a lot, a LOT, of ip trouble this week, making dh tense, terse, and fed up. While we had a half day without the net, I decided to redo my room. So...on my desk looks in a different direction.



The page in the center is the basis for the 6 element ATC swap I'm doing. I have moved the elements around and around and am not very happy with them. I think I may have to look for 'smaller shoes' to paste on the card. The orange was just for sizing. The cards will be white so I can print the Olympic Rings. I have an idea for altering that element to express some of my feelings about the location.

Now that you've seen my desk, I'm sure you want to see more desks . Kirsty is the keeper of the desk-list.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

How about them O's, hon?


How about them O's, hon?
Originally uploaded by redazadi

I was driving up to Bawl'mer last Friday, and forgot to check about a game at Camden Yards. While stuck in traffic, I suddenly remembered I had my camera in my purse on the floor. By the time I reached waaaay down there, got it out, tried to get a photo angle by the side of the stadium, the moment had passed.

They finished the National Anthem, the crowd roared and the light changed. So up the hill at the next light I took this thru the sunroof!

This is for my friend Carol in Maine who may never see another O's game in the summer. Win or lose, how bout them O's!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

This is ...my pet

This week's theme comes from Two Peas in a Pod.

In reality, this is the one who owns us, but if you have a pet you already know that. If you don't have a pet, then consider who owns who....carefully. This is Sebastian, our Lilacpoint Siamese. He's "mature", 16 I think.



He was one of a pair of brothers we got from a family who were giving the two away. the couple had had 3 boys in 5 yrs, and were expecting boy #4. The cats didn't stand a chance...tho the couple had doted on them for 5 years pre children.



The two boys were inseperable, i.e. Felix would not leave Sebastian alone, and was always grooming him and fussing over him. The vet told us Sebastian was a ...gasp!..poor groomer. Well, he might have been less than diligent about his grooming but it turned out he was diabetic. Sigh. Felix flew away to live with another catlover who was desperate for a cat, and we began the twice daily insulin shots.



He was not happy when we renovated the kitchen - 14 months of bedlam.




Sebastian has now 'outgrown' his diabetes, but I believe it was the energy work I did on him. Whatever, the shots are history, and he is a happily aging cat who tolerates me and loves my dh.

This is most of his life these days.He is happiest asleep on dh's lap while dh reads. Not a shabby way of life...



There are more pets to see on Threebuttons list. Have a look at the blogroll of This is...

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