Tuesday, June 30, 2009

How Cool is This??

No not a way to beat hot weather but a great little web app. It's the best kind, the free kind! Shape Collage can give you collages of shapes, outlines of shapes and so much more. I was playing with it a bit and did a freehand mask that I then expanded and decided to save my work for my own reference.

Many thinks to tlrowley on Designer Digitals

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Taming the Jungle

Yesterday was spent doing more work in the garden. Crowd control. So many weeds sprang up in the month we were gone and then were well nourished in the week or more of daily heavy rain. It was daunting. However before we left we realized our weed whacker had died and so that was one of our first purchases upon return. I don't usually like to do the brick driveway that way but sometimes it's a necessity. When I first starting pulling the weeds about a week ago, my right thumb went slightly black and blue so hand pulling had to slow down.

Then there is the front yard. Very very small (~20x20)fortunately with a cover of pachysandra under the flowering cherry tree. Well the pachysandra is now being covered with ivy which is being covered with variegated vinca. And..the pin oaks are springing up in that density, and I have finally come to realize the two I had let grow have to be cut. There is no way they can survive there without doing damage to the sidewalks and the house foundation in time. They were to be moved to the back when they were smaller but we missed that window. Such is the nature of gardening.

Dick spent most of the day putting the icing on the cake together - a new grill to replace our older one which blew over in a wind and had also lost its auto ignition.
Dick also (!) cut the back grass when he was done and I got exhausted just watching him. By late afternoon we realized we would have to pass on a party on the Eastern Shore. A test of the new grill with hamburgers, As Time Goes By and our serious yawning set in shortly afterward. Bed really felt good - bed and the air conditioning.

And how has YOUR weekend been?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Working in Picasa

In addition to taking a on-line PSE class with Renee Pearson today, I did some playing with Picasa. They have released a MAC Beta version and I like the look of it. Collage making is very very easy in Picasa. This is Newcastle England, a city I didn't visit on our recent cruise but dh did.
Posted by Picasa

By the way, my eyeballs are plumb worn out. Tomorrow will be more of an off line day to compensate.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


I saw this on a couple of other blogs and I thought it would help me sort out some of my own thoughts.

Outside my window...
It's overcast and cloudy but NOT raining.

I am thinking... do I go to the hospital to visit a friend in the morning or afternoon?

I am thankful for... free time during the week to do so many of the things I want. Retirement is great.

From the kitchen...not a lot. I did manage to prep dh's dinner before I went out last night but only got High's hot dogs for myself.

I am wearing... turquoise and brown pjs

I am creating... a birthday gift card holder for my dear granddaughter

I am going... do some decluttering and offer some of my surplus on Freecycle

I am reading... The Saffron Kitchen

I am hoping... that I can get someone to come take the chair and coffee table from the living room. I want them gone before I reconsider.

I am hearing... birds and background road traffic which always sound like ocean waves to me

Around the house... is less cat hair and fewer slivery bamboo leaves about since I swiffered yesterday

One of my favorite things... tea, made for me each morning by my dh. I'd hate to say to him I'm almost happier with iced tea this time of year

A few plans for the rest of the week... dinner with a friend, more weeding, uploading of photos to Flickr, and sitting down for half a day to explore Picasa now that there's a MAC version

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Midsummer barrel fire

Midsummer barrel fire
Originally uploaded by Motive - / -Roy M. Home again and all is well :-)

Such a gorgeous night here in Annapolis, I hate to waste the long night. However, the week has been a hard one emotionally with my grandson having knee surgery - fortunately no torn ligaments but the removal of some cartilage. He's doing fine as one might expect a 14 yr old to do.

I also had a visit with a friend who had a heart transplant. She is in her 40s and received a heart after being on the list <3 weeks. The operation took place while I was on the cruise, and more than a month later she is still unconscious. Wanting her to wake up but not wanting her to wake up if she's not 'whole' is an emotional see-saw. I know she and her husband have discussed all of this before hand and she is a nurse who worked in the neurological unit at Johns Hopkins.

It's now one of those emotional hallways where one thing has finished, the operation, and the next thing, the final outcome, isn't clear yet. Unresolved issues. aaarrgh. So much of life is being patient with unresolved issues and not trying to force any outcome. I think many know full well how badly a forced outcome often is. I'm trying to be open to whatever happens.

So on this lovely Midsummer night, I wish you fireflies and fairies, but as for me, I think it will be an early night, hopefully with solstice sweet dreams.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

It needn't make you fat

I have had such a good time on line since getting home from the latest trip. As always, so much to look at despite no chance of catching up with some sites. I'm finally ok with that since it turns into mental greed.

I've really enjoyed looking at what seems to be an ever increasing # of food blogs. Such tempations as well as inspiring things to cook. I actually found this via a link to a link to a link...you know the way it is...but originally on a site called This is Why You're Fat found via Danny Seo @dannyjseo on Twitter. Got it?? Yes, most of those things are gag-inducing but this one seemed like one I'd like. Yeah, Elvis would too but hey! I present...The Bacone! A cone of cooked bacon (deep fried but why really?) filled with scrambled eggs and topped with a biscuit.

While the instructions call for deep frying, I don't see why the bacon couldn't be cooked in the oven. I also say that since I've never been able to bring myself to buy a deep fryer, mostly because of the oil storage issue and disposal. I had enough of deep frying with my ever present 'chip pan' at the ready during 7 years in England. Is that why Lipotor is part of my diet ya think?

Anyhow, while I might not be making these any time soon, I think you should, and you should invite me over. I would like to try one!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Thursday, June 18, 2009

There's a new Sketchbook Project starting!

Sketchbook 4 is starting at Art House in Atlanta. I am thinking about this one - seriously thinking.

Mir Hossein Mousavi

Mir Hossein Mousavi
Originally uploaded by .faramarz

I lived in Iran in 1978 when the people took to the streets and demaned Marg bar Shah. The government toppled. Another generation has learned the lessons it seems.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Art of Collage

Randel Plowman is having his collage workshop down in Kentucky. Yet again I missed this one but maybe you can go. Let me know if you do and what you think. I am marking my calendar for next year as I really would like to try this class.

Monday, June 15, 2009

He said what?

Yesterday, my dear dh came in to say he had planned a trip for my birthday (less than 90 days hence)- flying into Zurich and driving to Lithuania. The very thought made me feel so exhausted I then went for a 4 hour nap, even without the total blackness of our ship cabin. Sometimes I could use a hideyhole like the cat's.

Gone to a hideyhole

All talk of future vacations and trips have been put on an indefinite hold!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

I'm Home! I'm Home!

And that means I can:
  • Do laundry
  • Sweep up cat hair
  • Wonder how in the bloody hell can I manage the jungle growth around the house - before it gets unbearably hot?
  • Continue to ponder the relationship between the fit of my clothes and the food intake on the cruise.
  • Put off going to the store for groceries but at the same time wish I had an endless buffet of food choices to select from - In My Own House.
But mostly be glad to come home - to a home, to a cat that seems to have accepted us back, and hey hey! play on the internet as much as I like with no worry of the clock ticking off the expensive minutes.

Being home is good and I hope to spend a good bit of this upcoming week, which promises rain, sitting happily at my own Mac and surfing away, seeing what net-friends have been up to, and just enjoying home - even if no one is serving me all my meals.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Friday Flashback

No not a flashback to the distant past but to about a month ago. First I was packing the clothes to Get In The Car, and today I am packing the suitcases for the reverse trip home.

A rainy, rainy day here in Kiel, and then a day of travel to start sleeping in my own bed, and cooking my own meals, and getting back to real life. Actually this life seems very real us right now, and being taken care of is very very nice.

As everyone on ship is trying to use their last internet minutes, I can't get any photos uploaded for you to show the tantalizing dessert extravaganza we had last night. But another day when we get off this 'dam ship' as all the Holland America ships call themselves.

See you from home!

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