Saturday, October 31, 2009

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Red is now Yellow

Having the ability to get a few projects done in the house has been a good feeling. There was one red wall in the dining room that emphasized the crookedness of our house. I like having character and all but each time I looked at that one was oh no.

Well, that wall is now yellow, the same color as the wall behind it on the stairs. The rest of the room is still red. It certainly changed the apparent size of the room, actually making it seem smaller I think but it did let that crooked bit fade away. Everything has its price and I was glad to pay for this one.

Now onto clearing out furniture before dh gets back...

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Old Friends are Best Friends

I had a chance to catch up with one of my oldest friends in the US...22 years. She now lives in CA and I live in MD and there's a lotta miles between those two places. But there's also a lot of shared history and now we get a chance to catch up every year or every half year. As my daughter once said, the friendship will always last because we love each other.

us in Sonoma CA 2007

It was a good day and a good catchup.

Monday, October 26, 2009



This is a sport I never envisaged watching, tho I learned about it when I met someone here in Annapolis who coached it. He was a CA transplant and picked up the sport in those balmy climates. Well years passed and my eldest grandchild is quite an athlete. He loves swimming and soccer. When he started high school this year, he decided on water polo rather than soccer.

So, I suddenly started watching water polo! The good points are that the pools are indoors and warm in winter. The bad points are, yet again, that the matches are two a day but with times like 10:10 and 3:30. That can be a lot of hanging about for family in between. Fortunately, this past weekend the games were in Annapolis so we could go home betwixt matches. I can't always make the earlier on because of distance or other commitments on weekends but I try.

Fortunately, it's enough like soccer for me, and enough like hockey for dh, so we can both follow enough to get the gist. And despite the hot steamy chlorine hour or so, it's a lot better than standing on a windy hill, on frozen ground during those weekend soccer matches. The only thing good about that memory is the trip to some great outlets between the soccer matches. Oh well, there are stores everywhere...

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Dishing the Week 10-25-09

OUTSIDE MY WINDOW - there is sun and cooler weather. I'm so glad because the humid weather gives me headaches and makes me cranky.

I AM HEARING - the sound of silence. Peace and calm are abundant.

I AM WEARING - black slacks and a white long sleeved t-shirt. I think this day is going to be warmer then colder as October should be.

I AM THINKING - that I'm pretty darn lucky - blessed - to have a husband who understands when my energy level has gone way way down.

I AM THANKFUL FOR - for the gift of time alone. I know he wishes we were going on this trip west together but he understood my needs before I expressed them. He reads my heart.

I AM CREATING - the pages for the Ali Edwards on line class. I do love these teachers who come in via my inbox!

I AM GOING - to Costco and to speak in Pasadena tonight. I pray for some wisdom, and lacking that, just plain clear speaking.

I AM READING - magazines right now as I want to clear this batch out this week.

I AM HOPING - that neither Jake nor I have the flu. I'm also hoping that the coming week will be easier for the Mesa Reynolds.

FROM THE KITCHEN - the meatloaf winds down and there is a batch of chili-mac for Dick for tonight. Nothing seems that attractive to me except popcorn.

ONE OF MY FAVORITE THINGS - has been seeing Jake play water polo. I could not believe how he has filled out and has the broadest shoulders. A lot of swimming power in that boy.

A FEW PLANS FOR THE REST OF THE WEEK - visit with Anne, getting painting estimates, haul more to the charity shops, and Take It Easy.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Flashback Friday

String...aka Maurice, my father. Look at the length of those legs! He was born in 1920 and grew to be 6'5. I imagine that these high school years were when he had a lot of that growth. He was always slim and had trouble finding clothes and shoes. I am told that his mother was 6' which is a remarkable height for a woman of those days. He had that same beautiful penmanship until his death at 53 of ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease).

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Quiet Day. Nice Night.

Not a lot to say today. I have suddenly started feeling kind of run down.

This a.m. I had a nice visit with a good friend that I haven't seen for a couple of months. She's been there and I've been to other 'theres' but we haven't been back home at the same time. Strange how that can happen. We got caught up in just about an hour and it's so nice to make those connections again.

I had other plans for doing this and that but after a lot of schlepping of stuff to charity shops etc yesterday I was just glad to get rid of two weeks worth of newspapers today. A woman who raises rabbits collects them every other week for the bunny cages. That's nice to think of!

Later in the day I made a big dinner for dh and a group for "Boys Night In". Funny how the men respond when they hear Meatloaf! Methinks men are easier to please than women. It was a big casserole of meatloaf, a big one of mac and cheese and a slightly smaller one of roast carrots with black olives. One of the men brought coffee ice cream and a good dinner and conversation was had. But, this night was a bit different. I ate with them! I suddenly realized I needed conversation more than another night on the net or something. I usually give them 'man time' but tonight I needed some human interaction.

So no pictures, but an evening well spent. Sometimes one just needs a people fix.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Memory Installed

And I did it all myself...almost. After the simple installation, I had a awful sound when I turned the Mac back on. However, after my trying all configurations with the new and old memory, dh and I did the same. It was only when he really shoved it in, and we finally heard a bit of a click, that it worked. My fingers were dented from my shoving but it apparently wasn't enough.

I'm now on 4G of memory and purring happily.

Monday, October 19, 2009

My Memory Has Arrived

Aha! now to just clear the table so I can turn the Mac over and install. Woohoooooo!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Dishing the Week

OUTSIDE MY WINDOW - The rain has just about let up tho the sky is still overcast but so much brighter.

I AM HEARING - It's very quiet. Almost no traffic, almost no breeze, so just the occasional rustle of the bamboo.

I AM WEARING - my orange Halloween socks and a Halloween scarf. It's good to go out early in the a.m. so I get more dressed up.

I AM THINKING - that our lives are so full but what a blessing that is. We still have choices in it all and how often I forget that.

I AM THANKFUL FOR - the wisdom and humor I heard this am. Appreciate it all and then it all flows.

I AM CREATING - a couple of pages a day to really get into the swing of some of the digital techniques I'm learning. I think the postcards may have a hiatus.

I AM GOING - to start planning a Chicago wardrobe. Just HOW cold will it be???

I AM READING - a couple more of the 'book stash'. "Queen of the Road" looks like a light before sleeping read, and "An Unexpected Light: Travels in Afghanistan" is my new downstairs afternoon book. Dick just finished it and passed it on.

I AM HOPING - that Bekah continues on her upward recovery. I know there will be down times and setbacks but please God we do want her with us longer and well.

FROM THE KITCHEN - good things should happen this week because I bought a boatload of things to cook, including a lot of pork. Seems the time of year, doesn't it?

ONE OF MY FAVORITE THINGS - is having the company of Sebastian the cat in my studio, even if I know it's the heated cushion, not me, that keeps him here. I take what I can get.

A FEW PLANS FOR THE REST OF THE WEEK - Take the cat's climbing frame to the SPCA as he is past jumping up on it; make a couple of pork meals and one humongous meatloaf; fill two more bags of craft supplies for the Boys and Girls club drive; walk <-- and get new shoes to do this; remain grateful

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Trip to the Trains

Last week, before the daily rains came, I met up with some Artist Way peeps to visit the B&O Railroad Museum. Now we here know what that is...Baltimore and Ohio. The museum, which is in the old round house, is normally a pricey one ($14 for adults) but last Tuesday it was Free. That's the best price.

Even better was seeing the museum through a toddler's eyes. Little Ben reminded us all of the joy in seeing the new and wondersome in all. He ventured across the tracks and taught himself the way to take his tiny feet across the gaps. He liked the sounds in the exhibits of whistles, and toots but even better in his mind were the stones and the bits of bark outside.

Anyone who thinks a little one is high maintenance just hasn't let that child BE a child.

We watched a couple of hovering, rule imposing parents and grandparents that day. Us? we let Ben be Ben and had a good hour or more of just sit in the sun chat time. That's a great treat for any adult, especially a Mom.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Flashback Friday

So very vintage 70s. On our way from MD to CA, we stopped to take this desert picture of my two sons with a Joshua Tree. From CA we would fly to Bangkok Thailand to start a new phase of our lives.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Seattle to Seaside

My three adult children are scattered far and wide. Ditto dh's 3. Only his daughter is nearby and she is actually the eldest while my daughter is not too far away and she is the youngest. Four men are in between.

I rarely get to WA to see my 2nd son, but that's why God invented Face Book. I saw this photo on their page from a trip he and his girlfriend took from Seattle to Seaside OR. I really liked it so I made this page for Stephanie. Ya gotta love digital scrapping!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Back to the Trough

We each had a long day elsewhere, and by the time we each got home it was nearly 4pm. No dinner was simmering away - not even the dreaded cream of mushroom crockpot stews. Both of us had been outside for a period of time and I had finished up my day by shopping at Target. I got Purple stuff! Now I just had to try it all on and make my mind up on what to keep and what to return. He felt he needed a new shower curtain with weights on the bottom.

Ok, back to Target. I return my returns and he got to look through the shower curtains and see that there was nary a one with weights. A discussion of a modification of his bathroom with tile and a glass door followed as I hoped it would. To be continued if I can make the closing arguments.

With a fractured week ahead, I said...Back to the Cheesecake Factory. Caramel Chicken for me.

I am always pleased with what I have and the servers couldn't be nicer. How about this massive serving of meatloaf.

He thinks the servers are all underage (!) but I know what youth looks like.It's just that we no longer have it! It's all a trade off, and I'm content and have lunch leftovers - even half a slice of pumpkin cheesecake. We each had a very good day and a yummy dinner of choice. Tomorrow I cook.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Dishing the Week

Last week. Somehow a lot of nothing got done yesterday, and that made it a damn good day. I feel so totally relieved not to be tutoring till January - maybe. As much as I love it, and I really do, it just got tiring. I think my student's constant yawning greatly contributed to that feeling. But enough about jails.

OUTSIDE MY WINDOW - the sky is overcast and the bamboo is drooping.

I AM HEARING - the tick tick tick of the clock and the click of the keyboard.

I AM WEARING - my first Halloween socks of the season!! Oh yeah, other clothes too. Like black pants and the tan long sleeved t-shirt. It's almost a uniform.

I AM THINKING - that I should finish up the picture sorting today while I have the kitchen table free. The man has gone to the dentist and then has a meeting.

I AM THANKFUL FOR - all of it.

I AM CREATING - order, or at least I'm trying.

I AM GOING - try and catch up with my digital classes today.

I AM READING - The Children's Book. This was a slow start and boy does she love detail.

I AM HOPING - that all goes will this week for Bekah's BMT (bone marrow transplant).

FROM THE KITCHEN - there are good leftovers from last night's dinner and a halibut soup to be made.

ONE OF MY FAVORITE THINGS - lately is having Sebastian keeping me company in the studio. I know it's not me; it's the heated cushion but I'll take what I can get from this boy.

A FEW PLANS FOR THE REST OF THE WEEK - keep on keeping on with the classes, pack up the scrapping things for my trips to Baltimore, visit the Railroad Museum in Baltimore with Artist Way peeeps. Get myself to Target before the purple stuff is gone.

Cosy with Tea and a Cozy

I've written about this company DEVOTEA ,in Minnesota, once before, but never got around to getting that one special tea cozy. Now I see that they have the teapots I lusted over in England. They had them at the Tate in London (and in Liverpool)

Day at Tate Modern

and they had them at a gorgeous cafe in Oxford. DH was all set to buy one for me but carrying it back, and then the exchange rate, and did I really need another tea pot??? Well I gave two ordinary teapots away to the charity shops recently so perhaps there's at least space if not a need. And wouldn't my house really look like the Tate if I had those pots??? Dream on Maureen...

I know they pour well, they have a flush strainer inside and they stack. (not that I plan to buy a collection but it would be nice...) As you can tell I'm weakening.

I even saw a cozy that someone is going to get as a gift! I love this company, I really do, and if you are a tea drinker in a climate that has winter, you won't find a better cozy anywhere. Seriously. btw, they also carry cozies for French Presses for those of you who prefer your brew a s coffee!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Time for Reading

I'm more than one quarter through this book and had two weeks to finish it. I have 11 more days to go but it's feeling like a marathon. I may just pay the fine and take my time with the 624 pages.

What am I reading? The Children's Book shortlisted for the Man Booker prize.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Souper Saturday

Fall is my favorite time of the year and I love the idea of soups. Souper saturday began in my mind when I started making a hearty soup for Saturday supper. We usually watch "As Time Goes By"reruns Saturday night so the soup makes an easy segue into an early night with our old friends, Jean and Lionel. We have watched these shows for most of the 8 years of our marriage and still laugh at so much because they are so like us.

I have some favorite recipes for soup now but I also like ad hoc soups. Whenever I cook meat I save the juice and turn it into a stock that I freeze in those quart yoghurt containers. Sometimes I'll brown more meat than I need for a dinner and freeze that as well.

Turkish Beef Soup started out this way. I had a quart of shin beef already cooked up, a quart of pork stock, a half can of fire roasted tomatoes and a bunch of fresh spinach that was getting sad looking. Why Turkish? because I had the dregs of a bag of Penzeys' Turkish Seasoning. Into the pot!

Combine the beef, the pork stock, the tomatoes, and about 3T of the Turkish Seasoning. Bring to the boil and simmer a bit. Taste for salt, see if it needs some more liquid and then add 1/2 to 1 cup of raw rice. Cook about 15 minutes and taste again. Chop up the raw spinach and add it and cook about 5 more minutes. There you go. The house smells great while you simmer it and if you have some leftovers, someone's got a great lunch. I added some chopped chives when serving, and some powdered sumac to mine. A squirt of lemon can substitute for that sumac if you like the tart extra taste.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Flashback Friday

The memory that usually comes back sometime in October. We were evacuated from Iran in December 1979.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

End of Semester

Again? you might ask. Yes, again, I come to the end of a semester of tutoring. This one seems to have gone on longer, despite having a fairly good, i.e. willing, student. One of his quirks has been to yawn constantly, and I do mean those huge almost fall back out of the chair yawns. Each session, he got me feeling tired as the two hours wore on. As we got into our final weeks, he started becoming a clock watcher too. Each time he looked up at the clock, I found myself looking up with him. It tells a lot about him that he would ask..."Do we have 15 more minutes?" when the clock clearly showed 10:15am. Class always started at 9 a.m. and ended at 11 a.m. "No, we have 45 more minutes." and those 45minutes started to loom over me as I too wanted to leave.

I also made the major mistake of thinking our class ended last week, and I happily said good-bye to him, wished him well, and said I hoped I'd never see him back here! In a detention center, no one looks forward to a returning pupil but it happens.

It took me the weekend to realize that I had focused on October 7th with our granddaughter's upcoming move to the Tucson hospital for her bone marrow transplant. I had ended him one week too soon. Sigh.

Bless his heart, he came back on Tuesday with almost no yawns for one hour, but then he was mentally done. We reviewed and I wondered if he had mastered the difference in the -ing, and -ed endings. He seemed to understand the 1-1-1 rule for a lot of words in English. One beat (syllable is not a familiar term to most of these students), one vowel, and one consonant at the end..then double that final consonant. Doing it together he got it. Doing it immediately on his own, not a clue. Then there was -s or -es for the plural. Uh, uh. The only way many of these students can master some of these spelling is to write the words so many times it registers visually. The trouble is when a student then writes it incorrectly, s/he knows it's wrong, and gets very frustrated, very fast when the correct answer doesn't come. There's not a lot of patience with working it out.

Well, Thursday's class has come and gone, and He PASSED!! 101 out of a possible 117. 87 is the grade that is needed for a certificate, so the last thing I did up at the detention center today was fill in a certificate. Maybe it will encourage him to do some more literacy work when he's out. Maybe and maybe not, but we can hope.

My slate is clear for a while.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

To Everything There is a Season....or 2

Yesterday I started another class. How foolish is that or is it all supposed to fit together?? I don’t know but I know it felt right and I’ll manage. I really don’t have much planned till the trip out west the end of the month but right now, right her, writing and documenting seems to where it’s at, and what I’m willing to do. Fall and winter are the time for reflection, so reflecting glass, polish yourself up cause I’m a-lookin’ in.

That’s where the internal clock is and so much of the external is in that mode also. I’m looking round this house, which is in that extended between-seasons timeframe. It seems to go on so long here in MD with the back and forth between late summer and early fall. I suppose it’s normal, yet it surprises me every year, and more than surprises me, it irritates me as I want to shift the clothes and the bedding and be Done with it. So much for wanting a quick resolution to life’s issues, eh?

Yesterday was a great example. I was fine under the covers in the cool (he’d say chilly) bedroom, and then came down to a too warm (he’d say cozy) kitchen. The Jotul was on and the cat lounged smugly in front of it. I, of course, turned the thermostat down about 5 degrees and off it went. The cat went off in a huff, and even hid when it was time for his morning pill. “I’ll show her!” I got dressed with socks and two t-shirts, one long sleeved, one short. By noon, the studio was warm enough from the sun to make me think about taking off one shirt. Instead I took off my shoes.

Shoes…that’’s typical. Do I want sandals or mules with socks? Do I want a long sleeved shirt, a short-sleeved shirt or both? Do I want cropped pants or long ones? Do we want the a/c on at night or the windows open or the windows open AND the fan on? Geeze Louise, nothing is writ in stone, and I realize I’m not a fan of this kind of variation. C’mon Mama Nature, make up your leaf strewn mind.

Ok, I’m thinking my next cuppa hot pumpkin spiced coffee may be an iced one. Maybe it’s good to have variety in life, right??? Maybe I just need to chill.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Water Polo...who knew?

I never really planned to see a water polo game but my dgs is playing on one of his school teams. It's a different sport but very soccer like and easy to follow. The best parts are that it's indoors (warm!) and the games have 4 eleven minute quarters. Quick. Unfortunately, his team lost but there's always next week.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

I did it!

Oh I do many things but right now I'm talking about the Blogtoberfest I joined over at TinnieGirl's blog. You can see the button over there on the right of this page. Click it! g'wan.

I've committed to writing a blogpost a day for this month. It isn't as hard as it sounds, cause I've done it before. Just takes some thought, some planning and then Just Doing It. There is also a great group of worldwide blogging souls to read. As TinnieGirl says, don't eat the whole candy bowl at once or you may get an overdose of blogdom in your tummy.

But think about joining in, there are also going to be some giveaways. Mainly though, for me, is the opportunity to see what else is being said out there in blogdom, and remake that commitment to sharing my own life here. Sometimes it's for you, sometimes it's just a reminder for me. Trust me, I do forget what happens in my own life! I plan to have fun!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Flashback Friday

Ah the GoodGirl picture, taken at my confirmation at age 10? 11? So serious, so knowing. Way too old for my age as I recall. When did I stop being a child??

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Just May Do This One

Via Dispatch from LA, I saw this link and thought hmmmm..... punkins' are on sale at all the craft stores this week.

One thing I WILL do is get the doily cut first and take it with me in selecting a pumpkin to make sure it fits the shape of the punkin'. Nothing like having to try to fiddle with the shape. I hope the dollar store has doilies!

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