Sunday, August 30, 2009

Get Out The Celery

Need something special for your new fall look??? well cut your hair and get out the celery. As many things as I've done to my hair, this is not going to be one of them. But it might be what YOU need! Send me a picture if you decide to go Leopard to match that new Snow Leopard on your Mac

Friday, August 28, 2009

Flashback Friday

Seriously dorky but it give you a good idea of how tall my father was. I too was already taller than my 5'6 mother who had heels while I had flats. I was about to start senior year of high school at age 15. So so young...

Thursday, August 27, 2009

T!m Holtz and Me

Ok, there were a few others around, like 70+ others but I have to say, I felt like I really got personal attention from T!m. When I saw that he was teaching at The Queens Ink in Savage, I really didn't care what he was teaching. I had seen his energy on videos and thought this is a fun guy and I want to feel some of that vibe.

I had hoped it would be some kind of stamping/inky class but there weren't any of those. When I saw the classes available - a metal jewelry making one was filled - I really couldn't tell what they were really about, so I picked one by time. Let's start mid afternoon, rather than early am. I suspected I'd be the klutz in the class but fortunately I'm old enough, and generally confident enough to know that it's ok. I can make the others feel downright gifted that way! Thanks to Father Terry in CA, and a lot of others, I no longer have to be in the 98th percentile. Well usually.

I got over to Savage, and prayed for a good parking space. I haven't done this for a loooong time but Patti always says bring your kit of tools, and with that and my lunch, and my drink, and my purse, I was in need of a sherpa. Since they don't have any on hand in Savage MD that I've seen, I prayed...and someone was leaving the am class as I cruised the more convenient parking lot. Phew!

Everything was all set up and other than a bit of a snafu when I picked a seat I was told was empty by the woman sitting next to it, only to be vehemently told it was TAKEN by another woman when I cam back after looking about. Fortunately, I found my bag of supplies which she swore she never saw anywhere. (In hindsight, I should have prayed for a seat too...) But I found myself next to one helpful woman, and one who seemed to have no intention of speaking the entire 3 hours. Very strange. We also played check my Iphone out with T!m.

So what were we doing? turned out to be a book with a metal covered canvas cover. Part of me laughed my head off internally thinking What Have I Gotten Into?!?!? but the idea of making a book appealed to me. So T!m turned on the video, and off we went. He kept walking up and down the aisles as did his Tonto, aka Mario. No surprise that this girl made a few mistakes early on... and when he said it's basic sewing, I understood why. Sewing??? Uh, that was 40 years ago T!m.

We laid out our pierced 'signatures' and then started the process.

T!m swore he'd help the slugs finish up their books with some fatal or minor flaws and so we went on to the metal. The hammering and embossing and coloring were ok, but all in all this is not me. For others in the class it was the main point so no size fits all. I got it all ready, the woman on my left helped me with some of my errors since she had made the same, and then T!m came back and helped me deal with some of my sewing issues.

I wrapped up my book project as T!m went around and helped a few other people out. He really has a great teaching style and is so very very patient in getting you to where you need to be. I'd love to take another class with him and you know, I don't think he stopped talking the entire time! But it was always on task, and with a lot of humor. He's just the kind of teacher you'd want for your own child starting out in school.

The class was sadly over, night was finally falling so I packed up my gear, headed to the bathroom and a look round The Queens Ink. A good day in all, and I have a book that looks pretty much like the example on T!m's website. Well it does if you don't look TOO closely!!!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Shifting Seasons

Yesterday, we never turned the a/c on downstairs. It's changing, slowly but surely and I couldn't be happier. I do love the food bounty of summer but otherwise, it's my least favorite season. These cool mornings are just terrific, and if I could just get myself out of bed in the dark, I'd be fine. But 6am is dark now, and I didn't wake up till 7am. That makes me feel as tho I have lost a good part of the day, which I have! Perhaps a bit more efficient use of my time today will balance it all.

friends' Maine driveway -Stonehenge north

I even noticed last night that when I went out after dinner, the light was more like I 'see' 8pm but it was 7pm. Strange how it happens so gradually but there is one day or one night that it becomes an Aha! moment. I often stop what I've been doing to go and read downstairs at 4pm. I have usually had the outside shade down in the kitchen by midday, but yesterday I saw Sebastian on the couch just basking in the sunlight...preparing for winter?...and so I left it up.

How the seasons of our life shift too. I was looking at some shots of our trip to Vienna in 2006, and despite the gray hair I had then, we both looked so much younger. Was it the cold? the delight we found in that trip? or is the aging process going as fast as it seems. Probably all of the above. But not to really complain I think, as I always say...A day above ground is a good day. Now if I could just deal with the pull of gravity. It isn't the wrinkles, it's that so much of us is heading south. But again, we're still above ground with lots of good things in our lives so let the seasons shift. Let me accept what is as it is and I'll be content.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Hazy Hot and Humid

Then add to that a potential thunderstorm. This is my least favorite kind of weather and I have no desire to leave the house again, no desire to go far from the blast of an air/conditioner but I must. The cat's drugs are ready and it looks as if it's up to me to go fetch them.

You lookin' at me?

I have tomatoes to finish up for freezing, not canning on such a hot day and then I think it will be ice cream, popcorn and a video. All in all, I just plan to wait for this weather to pass and ride it out. Fall will be here eventually ...I pray. Thinking about Dulce de Leche ice cream. Oh yeah...

Friday, August 21, 2009

Flashback Friday

Saying Grace Before the Barbeque, Pie Town, New Mexico
This one isn't mine, but it is of 'my era.' The Library of Congress has a tremendous free image collection on Flickr and the connection is that my mother worked at the Library and I worked for Congress, so I could take out books for free! That is quite a privilege.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Corn Moon is a coming

I do love a full moon tho the wispy crescent moons are my absolute favorites. I don't know if I loved that crescent before I lived in the Middle East but seeing that ubiquitous symbol in so many places certainly imprinted it on my psyche. By the 90s, my friends would call and say...Oh I saw a Maureen moon tonight and thought of you. It's not often I see the crescent moon and star in our hazy sky, but when I do I know it's special.

Back to this new moon. Today Jamie Ridler has a post on the casting of our wishes for the Corn Moon. From my experience, all religious and spiritual traditions have the concept of actually naming our hearts desires in some way whether you call it prayer or wishing or casting. I believe it is part of our own process that we must take ownership of our wants, state them in some way, and then release them to the universe, to God, to ... and wait. And accept the answer and the method of achievement.

almost full

It's taken me many moons to understand and appreciate that last part. Answering Einstein's question, I do believe the universe is a friendly place, and that all of our welfares are noted. So when I acknowledge a need, a want, it is important for me to understand that how the answer, the fulfillment will come is not necessarily up to me. I think that is why many of us remember being told "Be careful what you wish for." We don't always recognize the gift because of the packaging.

So I am going to go along with Jamie and start envisioning what I want to manifest for a September Corn Moon dreamboard. “How would I like to shine?” That's an especially nice one for a Virgo with a Leo rising. I really am no shy violet. Think about this for your own life. How do you want to shine and are you willing to participate in making it happen? If so, Go For IT!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

I'm Printing Again

Wow, a bit of a slog but I'm printing again with better color than I've ever had on this machine. Now I just have to migrate all of my files, and programs... A good selective housecleaning of the computer started before the erase disc and will continue as I work through the migration.

I'd rather be looking at this... but that's how life goes.

Day at Tate Modern

Monday, August 17, 2009

Not My 1st Choice

Ah the joys of a computer... I have had issues with printing color on my Imac since day one but resolved it in a back handed way. I still had my old MacMini so I would put the finished item on a flash, take it to the other computer, and print. Quick, good color and no wasted ink. I have switched printers on my Imac and still no resolution to the issue. But I could print photos, or digital layouts via the Mini. Then I gave the Mini to my seriously ill granddaughter.

Uh oh... no backup system to rely on. DH said why don't you get this resolved, and I finally called Apple. We tried this, we tried that, and finally it was suggested...that I erase the disk and start with a total new install. Ugh. I backed up all my stuff on an EHD that my dear dear husband didn't let me know he had! Goodbye his classical music, hello my files! I also have my TimeMachine backups on My Book and so now I wait to make that call.

Why am I waiting other than not just being thrilled about this? Because FedEx attempted to deliver my dh's MacBookPro to the wrong address!!!! It was to be at our house before 8am today, and when dh called FedEx they said they had made an attempt but no one was home. I'm glad no one WAS home at the wrong address.... We now wait for them to deliver or call if they can't find our house. We have a seriously easy house to find but this is not the first time we have had this experience with FedEx. Did my dh give them his cell phone as he always does? No....for once he gave the home phone.

Mine is bigger!! but his is portable

So I wait, not wanting to tie up the line. 15 more minutes, and I use my cell to call Apple and sit down for the process. I may need pecan pie before I start as there's no chocolate around. I need pecan pie and patience.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Flashback Friday

Christmas 1950

I see by the cage that it was the Christmas I got the named-by-me "Mr. Pembroke", a blue parakeet. I was still young enough - 6 - to want to play with my doll Rosebud, and she had a new skating outfit crocheted for her by my grandmother. It was red with a white mohair trim! However, there were very few opportunities for ice skating down it Maryland where we had moved to from Pennsylvania and so I never had a matching outfit! I did have that spiffy dress that my mother made...taffeta with a solid navy? dark green? bottom and the striped top. I loved how that material rustled. The noise was almost the best part. I suspect that teddy bear was from my father who always had a knack for getting me something I had outgrown by then. Our years in that apartment were not the best but I had no way of knowing that then. Christmas was still magic!

Thursday, August 13, 2009


I loved making this yesterday from a PSE brush I made from a piece of trash I found outside. Amazing that I'd find an Italian legal document on my sidewalk. It was already aged, and so I made the brush from the stamps/seals on the sheet. I am quite impressed with myself! Once I had the little Italian seal the rest sort of came together quickly in my head. I also love that da Vinci brush, which is an online freebie. Fun fun.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Worded Wednesday

Doesn't always take much to amuse me, does it... This post is usually Wordless Wednesday but I decided to do words, ergo the post Title. I had quite a chuckle thinking about it...I guess I'll be the one who's happy when she ends up in The Home. (Feel free to wonder about my mental state, but just don't tell me you are.)

Well anyway, some of you may know that I tutor reading at one of our local detention centers. The modern, well run, low-risk inmates one. I had taken the literacy training years ago, and a two day slog THAT was. Ugh. It almost put me off tutoring. In the end, I was told I needed to make a year commitment to my student, with a weekly lesson. That seemed hard to do with the hours I was keeping at work, and fortunately for me, the assigned student never showed up. I figured that was A Sign.

Some time later, the AAUW contact at the detention centers said they needed people to teach Life Skills. Great I thought - I was alive, and was perfectly fluent in such things as checkbook, tax forms, calling utility companies etc so I thought it would be a perfect fit. (I have since learned that perfect fits in jobs etc often turn out to only seem perfect. There's usually at least 1 major flaw that makes you wonder WTF.) The fly in this Life Skills ointment turned out to be the hours. Weekdays from about 9-11 a.m. Hmmm...that didn't quite work with my paid employement and there was the mortgage etc. to consider. Again, no tutoring. The Signs were $$ signs this time.

Fast forward to last year. I am now retired and see that the Literacy training is being held again, it is only 1 day and I think I can get through that without screaming. I take it, it's fun, and they mention that there is a need for tutors at the Detention Centers. Most everyone in our group of ~30 blanches, but I have been up there for other volunteer work, and can see myself tutoring some foolish 20yr old check forger who 'only' did it to help her drug dealing boyfriend. So I go thru another orientation and get a badge. I am becoming very familiar with the volunteer coordinator and we are email pen pals. I finally go up for my first of the twice-weekly 9-11 sessions. There is light!

But where are the women!??!? All the students are men! I'm told most women in jail already know how to read. Oh...silly me. It's the men who started being the class clowns in grade school, ended up in Special Ed, and feel they will be on the short bus for the rest of their life. I am usually looking at repeat offenders, tho not necessarily 'hard' crime, and they range from very early 20s to nearly 70! But they are all volunteering for this tutoring, and receive no 'time off credit' for the 4 hrs a week they attend. About 85% of my students have been interested and interesting, and the occasional slug who is only warming a chair reminds me of how lucky I am to usually have students who are motivated. Except when it's slug time or I have a student who cannot give up the "oh I'm so dumb" habit, the two hours really go by fast. And then once in a while I get a real character who is FUN to teach and seems to have a chance at not finding himself back 'inside' when he's released. However, that's tomorrow's story. See you back here then, ok?

Monday, August 10, 2009

Same as it Ever Was

I have seiously loved the Talking Heads song"Once in a Lifetime" which I never heard till the late 80s, having been out of the US when it first came out. For me it means that no matter what is going on on the surface (of my life) there is water underground. There is a flow to life that exists and manages the process but it is invisible to me.

Now that our friend Gloria has finished this earthly segment, we are still mentally and emotionally involved in the long term prospects for our granddaughter Bekah. My dh has finally said that he feels she is likely to succumb to an infection at some point. I know that was really really hard for him to come to grips with. With her continuing ups and downs, it made me realize we have never known anyone, especially a child, who has a chronic, life threatening illness. (I am excluding active addiction here.) We don't know what it means to go thru this day after day, month after month...year after year?

Looking at Bekah trying to have a normal life and yet have her temperature taken every hour boggles my mind. When I said to my dh that I thought that might be excessive, he finally told me what he had been thinking. I've watched so many of my friends suffer as they tried to maintain hope for Gloria that it leaves me in a dilemma. Do I continue to have hope for Bekah? and encourage my dh to? only to make a possible sudden decline seem all the worse? Or expect the worst and hope for the best?

Each time I think I have come to grips with the concept of letting go, I find there is another deeper level of acceptance to master. It reminds me of the wonderful discussions we had in sophomore hs Religion class with Mother Helen. How do you balance an omniscient God with human free will? I know I have had those times of complete understanding, but right now is not one of them. At least I do have a history of 'getting it' and that gives me strength thru these murky days.

So, my dh dives more deeply into reading and bike riding, and I find solace in the digital. Maybe that's all I really need today. That and a phone call from a friend that helps me understand I truly do believe what I say to her. There is a plan and it's ok if I don't know the details right now. It really is ok.

Sunday, August 9, 2009


Our friend Gloria White died early in the hours of Saturday morning after an apparently successful heart transplant. It's very hard to imagine that I will never see her again on this plane but at the same time I know she has found peace. Thank you Gloria for the parts of you that you shared with me. I am truly grateful.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Flashback Friday

This is my paternal grandfather for whom I am named indirectly. His name was Maurice as was my father's (French pronunciation NOT Morris). Not being boy, I became Maureen. I don't have his blue eyes or his white white hair but I am his and he was my PopPop. Sadly he died when I was in grade school and I no longer had any living grandfathers.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Oh I've been Creating!

Taking a Brushes on-line class with Jessica Sprague. Lots of fun, but boy do I need to write down the 'directions'. I am having a good time but every once in a while, it's back to the video to see which step I am forgetting or not using correctly. She has us making our own note cards which I haven't done yet, but it sure seems to be a good idea! Each of us needs our own info and for me there is no TMI!

A text-edged frame for this one.

Finally from the class, a grunged up frame for Bekah.

Then there were these pages that showcase the food of the summer. Oh yum oh yum oh yum!

Loved the retro way this one came out.

So that's what's been going on round her. Fun and lots of time at the computer learning new things.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Still in Limbo

Well, days go by and nothing has been resolved with our friend who is dying but hasn't yet, nor with our granddaughter who keeps getting infections and fevers but not well. It's really hard to keep mentally and emotionally in the moment and not wish, want, Expect! things to be resolved.

It seems so cold to wish a dying person was finished with this transition, but it's hard for friends to not be able to visit any more while family keeps this vigil that 'they' said would be a couple of days. It's over a week, and people have gone back to their out of state homes, and yet... And yet, we know she'll never come back as she was, that her death is what she chose in her Advance Directive, but when?

Our granddaughter seems to be having a brief day of being ...ok is not the word...but at least home. Then after about 24hrs, she gets a fever or an infection and it may be back to the hospital for another week or ten days. The updates go on, but there is a pattern of briefly out of the hospital but for what purpose it seems? As soon as she comes home, her immune system gets hit by something/anything. We are grandparents almost the whole country away so if we are frustrated, what is it like for her parents? What kind of plans can they make for their lives and how can they parent a little brother when this child needs so much time and attention? I know she isn't the only one in this kind of situation but she is the only one in our family.

I could pray for patience. I could...and yet, the ego says "I want it resolved now." I can deal with the known, it's the unknown, and waiting on a timetable that isn't mine that's the killer. I guess I better pray. That decision is mine, so I'll make it.

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