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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Ten Tasks in 10 Days

Well, I am a bit late to this party but that's ok. I didn't have a working computer since Monday night and missed reading my blogroll over the past couple of days. I'm glad that off-line life takes precedence but you never know what you missed till a bit later, do you? All in all, it's really how life should be imho.



Ok, back to the list. I have so many projects I'd like to get done before another vacation or two, and I really want to have more clearing up and clearing out on the 2nd floor. Getting all new windows on the front of the house had made a major improvement in both appearance and efficiency. Now I can deal with the interior, now that the dust and debris is gone. So...I have until July 9th to finish this list.

1. Finish planting annuals/herbs.
2. Wrap and take packages to post office.
3. Sweep deck.
4. Finish Italy mini-book.
5. Meet with trainer at gym again.
6. Find 10 books for recycling. (This is a minuscule amount considering the total #!)
7. Start online backup system
8. Make bread.
9. Take shutters and windows to Second Chance in Baltimore.
10.Find eBay trade assistant.

11. should try to remember how to do a strike thru in html!

Wordless Wedneseday

Monday, June 28, 2010

AAM Monday Playing with Ink

I took Dina Wakley's Art Journaling 101 class at GIS and I really liked it but never completed it. You see we went off to Italy and Malta, yeah, rough, I know...

Well last month, Debbie Hodge offered the 4 classes as a package WITH the videos and I grabbed that. I know how to gesso and play with that medium now from class one but don't always have the patience to let the pages dry. I also learned the hard way not to start with a small journal, 4x6", since it takes forever to prep those pages. My Italy book sits and waits for completion.

Art Journaling 102 starts off with spray paint! Yes! and it dries quickly. It took me much longer to cut out the silhouette of myself from way back when I was a volunteer at the dedication of the WWII memorial in Washington DC. As an aside, you cannot imagine how much security they had in place for that event, and how many hoops we had to jump through just to volunteer. Hours of training, but thank god it all went off smoothly, and no veteran needed medical assistance on MY watch. Well worth it but boy did I look like a dork in the uniform and baseball cap. But I got a good silhouette out of the photo of me looking sheepish in my cap.

Dina Wakley Art Journaling 102

I need to make myself some spray inks. I only have 4 purchased colors and I saw on line where CVS has some little bottles that look like the MiniMisters. Hope our SkeevyMess carries them. Actually, CVS is really clean and nice here, and not deserving of the old epithet.

So that's me today...playing with ink.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Unfinished Business

Sadly, we had a good many points about the interiors of our new window to discuss with our contractor.



We know our house is old and crooked. So did he. The windows are definitely level and straight but the inside has many bits that look crappy, half assed, whatever. This was one situation where dh and I were in total agreement that while functional, the look is not acceptable. There is one photo on the page below, bottom left, which shows how one of our other windwos was finished. Yes there's a lot of dirt but the after the gardening dust blew in, the house cleaners had to be delayed for a week, then two because of these windows.



One thing that will be nice as they redo a lot of the bits is that the window sills will be enlarged. There's nothing quite like deep window sills. And when will all this be done? tomorrow which is quick but another day with a lot going on in the house. That's how house projects are!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Flashback Friday


My Aunt Ruthie at her 1st Communion. She is the 3rd from the right in the front row.

What year? Well let's see. To the best of my knowledge, my Aunt was born in 1923, so if she was about 7, this photo is circa 1930.

One other interesting point is that the Catholic church is the Lithuanian church. Those were the days of Catholic churches for each immigrant community and god-forbid! that the churches should mix. They may have all been Roman Catholic but they were not catholic in spirit. But times have changed, these immigrants blended in, raised Lithuanian American children and American grandchildren. My Aunt was in the 2nd stage, the group like my mother who grew up speaking English and never learned Lithuanian. Interestingly, I was the 3rd generation, but because I was raised by my grandparents during WWII, I first spoke Lithuanian, and only learned English when I was 3 years old.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Windows on the World

We get new windows today! the whole front of the house is getting new ones, actual thermally sound windows! The ones downstairs are the original ones and I think 100 years is enough. The upstairs ones are children that are only about 60 years old!I can't wait to have windows that open and stay open, windows that don't have major drafts, windows that block some sound etc etc

During our earlier renovation we waffled about changing the front door to the side of the house and adding a side porch. We knew we'd never sit out there though, and after living with the house post renovation, there really is no point. So it was finally time to get the front windows done, deal with the aging shake siding, and get a new front door. Sadly the shakes didn't dry looking very good after being washed , too hard imho but ... So it was paint time.


The front door has been chosen but the color is still up in the air. I want to see the windows and the final look of the repainted shakes to make up my mind. With the front garden cleared and the tree trimmed it's looking like a new(er) house.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Happy Summer Solstice

The longest day of the year, and the shortest night. I have one blackout curtain to hang in our bedroom which gets a lot of a.m. light despite facing west. I realize the curtain is on the wrong side of the solstice but it will also help with the afternoon sun. "My" Target only had one of the correct size, so I will be heading out to another one this week for two more curtains, I hope.

found here

Now, the latter is from a much earlier post here, but it goes out to my net-friend Yaz and her family as they move 'back' to England after their time in the Netherlands.

This comes from the Facebook Group called You Know You Went To an International School... and it's how I felt in 1986 when I returned to the United States.

1) You can't answer the question: "Where are you from?"
2) You speak two (or more) languages but can't spell in any of them.
3) You flew before you could walk.
4) You have a passport, but no driver's license.
5) You run into someone you know at every airport
6) You have a time zone map next to your telephone.
7) Your life story uses the phrase "Then we went to..." five times (or six, or seven times...).
8) You speak with authority on the quality of airline travel.
9) National Geographic (OR THE TRAVEL CHANNEL) makes you homesick.
10) You read the international section before the comics.
11) You live at school, work in the tropics, and go home for vacation.
12) You don't know where home is.
13) You sort your friends by continent.
14) Your second major is in a foreign language you already speak.
15) You realize it really is a small world, after all.
16) You feel that multiple passports would be appropriate.
17) You watch a movie set in a 'foreign country', and you know what the nationals are really saying into the camera.
18) Rain on a tile patio - or a corrugated metal roof - is one of the most wonderful sounds in the world.
19) You haggle with the checkout clerk for a lower price.
20) Your wardrobe can only handle two seasons: wet and dry.
21) Your high school memories include those days that school was canceled due to tear gas, riots, demonstrations, or bomb threats.
22) You get back to the states and serously cannot remember the currency exchange
23) You think VISA is a document stamped in your passport, and not a plastic card you carry in your wallet.
24) You automatically take off your shoes as soon as you get home.
25) Your dorm room/apartment/living room looks a little like a museum with all the "exotic" things you have around.
26) Half of your phone calls are unintelligible to those around you.
27) You go to Pizza Hut or Wendy's and you wonder why there's no chili sauce.
28) You know the geography of the rest of the world, but you don't know the geography of your own country.
29) You have best friends in 5 different countries.
30) It takes 24 hours to reach home in a plane
31) You can only call your parents at 8am and 8pm
32) You never really use a seatbelt
33) School trips meant going to a different country
34) Your high school football team had to play against itself.. if it had one
35) When you were in middle school you could walk into a bar and order a drink without being questioned
36) You got sick a lot and often had food poisoning
37) It wasn't unusual to find a lizard or cockroach in your house
38) You got to go home twice a year ...thats if you're lucky
39) Home almost felt like a museum
40) You are a pro packer, or at least have done it many times
41) Living out of a suitcase, you find, has it pros
42) You bump into your old teachers all the time
43) Family photos you sent every year took months to arrive and often were in front of some exotic statue or endangered animal no one has heard of
44) Your check from your parents takes a month to reach you
45) Talking to your school office and getting signatures from your parents is a week-long event
46) When you return to the States you are overwhelmed with the number of choices in a grocery store ( I stood by the chocolate syrup for about 20 min. because there was a whole row)
47) You literally have real friends (not facebook friends) from different schools all over the nation on your friends list
48) Everyone had a 'staff'; maid, house cleaner, driver and babysitter
49) Most of the 1st graders have cell phones
50) You get excited when a relative sends a video tape of regular TV with commercials.. its in ENGLISH!
51) There was only one grocery store.. usually at the embassy that resembled the ones at home.
52) Once you get home you miss your adopted home and visa versa
53) You are never content in one place, be it city, state or country for long. You're a mover.
54) You never had a job until you reached college
55) Blackouts are quite common, yet after a while no one seemed to notice and sometimes you would find yourself doing homework to the light of your phone or flashlight
56) Class reunions.. are not at your old school.. not even close
57) Police, imported from a different country, guard your school...carrying machine guns
58) you know everyone else in this group, because he/she went to school with one of your friends
59) Your passport has more stamps than a post office
60) When the power cuts out and you sit there wondering when the generator is going to kick on... only then you realize there is no generator
61) When you carry converters because you actually realize there are different types of outlets
62) When people give you funny looks because you are a gold or platinum elite member of your airlines
63) When you constantly feel like you have to catch up with TV programs, actors and other people or songs you are not familiar with
64) You don't think its strange that you haven't talked to your best friend in a couple years, but you know you will always have a unique bond
65) You wake up in one country thinking you are in another
66) You don't feel at home at home anymore
67) When a friend talks about their dreams of traveling to across the world to a secluded country and you can give them all the best restaurants and places to visit. You're like the traveler guidebook.
68) You don't even bother to change your watch when traveling
69) You hate subtitles because you know there is someone that can make an accurate translation.. you!
70) When you have little or no contact with he locals but are best friends with people across the globe
71) When you think everyone else is a foreigner in a county foreign to you
72) When something unusual happens and it just doesn't seem to phase you as being something unordinary
73) When you speak many broken languages at once when you are drunk
74) When your friends take you to an 'ethnic' restaurant as a joke and you can read the menu, order food for them and actually stomach the meal
75) When you start introducing yourself followed by your country of origin....
76) Your yearbooks are all different; made of fabrics known to that area and have stuff like elephants on them. Its your favorite keepsake.
77) Famous people like Uma Thurman went to your school and you had no idea until you researched (AES)
78)You have to change your passport because it's full... not because it's expired... and this several times during your school years
79)Paying a cop is not considered a bribe
80)You've dated people from other countries
81)You start to keep your experiences overseas to yourself because people look at you as though you are spoiled for having the opportunity to indulge in a new culture.. sad
82) You are afraid to go back to visit your school because you know no one will be there that you used to know, they all moved
83) You have the opportunity to intern at your Embassy/Commission over summer without qualifications
84) When you have free accommodation in any city you travel to around the world because some friend from the old days lives there!
85) You're scared of going 'home' because you haven't been there in so long, and changed so much, that you think people might not like you anymore
87) You have more than one driver's license, none of which are valid at home, that, or in college, you still can't drive!
88) You always have to think which side of the road to drive on
89) When you greet someone you start bowing or kissing them on both cheeks.
90) When you you and your siblings know different languages or at least studied different ones

Friday, June 18, 2010

Flashback Friday


I start to think some of these pictures aren't old, then I look at the dates and realize...oh yeah, they are! Just because they are in the timeframe of my life, they can still be flashbacks. DH's mother , Edythe, is 2nd from left in the back. I never met her but am told it is with her AARP group.

Monday, June 14, 2010

AAM and PSE8

Today is going to be one of those days for quiet concentration. I have installed PSE 8 on my iMac but the actions, styles etc are still associated with the PSE6 version. aargh. I am going to the gym to get my body worn out so all my energy can go to my brain when I do this.(Do you think that will help??)


I now see one of the downsides of upgrades. But I know I'll be happier when it's finished. I do wish Adobe would make this process easier but perhaps that's their way of making a customer give in and buy the full PS?? I wonder. Anyhow, godwilling, it'll all be over before lunchtime.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Another day, hon'


I'm hoping it will be a quiet day. We had a very full day yesterday with two parties, one across the bay and the other nearer to Washington. It is rare, very very rare, that I ever nap. However after getting home betwixt events and feeding the cat, I totally conked out. I slept sound for a full hour, deep rem sleep! DH nearly had to wake me up to go out again.

So today, while I had planned to go up to the Farmers' Market in Baltimore, I realized I just needed to stay home and be still. Tho we have three markets today right here in Annapolis, so if the urge strikes, I can still get a market 'fix'. But Baltimore? not today, hon'.

Friday, June 11, 2010

6 days in June


6 days alone.

Well, not quite alone since I have Sebastian (the Siamese) who needs thyroid medication twice a day, feeding in periodic intervals during the day, and litter box emptying. But alone without my dh. He has taken a trip to Madison WI, a place I thoroughly enjoy but having gone on a short trip with him recently, I needed my alone time.


I have learned that while a natural extrovert, I am also seriously in need of time on my own in regular intervals. I'm an only child and I often forget how that time alone has really shaped me. More and more I also believe that a good bit of my need for interaction with other people is filled by the various social media and other net communities that are part of my life. Now that I am retired, I relish the time home in my own house. I need time alone in my own house, and bless his generous heart, my dh gets this now. We had those conversations in our early marriage that included the phrase "This isn't about you, it's about me!" It isn't that I want him gone, it's that I want to be alone. I need to be alone.



What do I do? Well, I've learned not to spend serious time cleaning because he never notices. Any cleaning that is done has to be a clean out project that I have either been avoiding or putting off because it would interfere with our daily life. If it's just me, I can cope a lot more easily with messes that don't get finished. (btw, this does not imply that my dh minds any mess. Far from it... but he wants his meals, and he wants them when the clock strikes.)


I also rarely cook, until just before he gets back so there is something ready and waiting. I often eat a lot of popcorn because I also watch a lot of movies. This week I saw "It's Complicated" , "Avatar", "Crazy Heart", 4 episodes of "House" season 1, and 6 episodes of "Mad Men" season 3. I also finished two Shutterfly books and got them printed! Whee!!! I gathered a big bag of clothes and some other housewares for the local charity shop, and also did some needed housekeeping on the computers. Pretty much I stayed home unless I had to go out. All in all, I had a great time!

Monday, June 7, 2010

AAM Monday

This is a short post, but it is all about me. Me on one of my first trips to the South West.

There was so much I wanted to see and so much I STILL want to see, but darn, those states are so big! Looking at a map in Maryland, which takes up one page on the atlas, one can get fooled easily when one looks at a page of Arizona or New Mexico, which each have a page. A page is not a page and it's hard to resist planning more than a person can easily do. Especially a not-so-young person. But I was still in my 50s then!



We took a week to drive around those two BIG states and one of the highlights for me was the Gila Cliff Dwellings. As it was late November, the weather was brisk and we were virtually alone there. It was wonderful! I wonder if my knees could still do it...cause I'd sure like to go back again.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

2 years Before D-Day

I could never forget my parents' wedding anniversary...it was June 6 1942. Here it is 2010, sixty eight year since they were married. However, their marriage only lasted 31 years because my father died in 1973.


The wedding was simple because my mother's family had very little money. Her father was a cola miner and has been sick for serveral years. No pension, no disability and no Social Security. My father's family was a bit better off but tight with money. They hadn't even been willing to pay for the photo of my father for his Senior yearbook.

Back in those days, my parents were considered to have had almost a 'mixed marriage.' My father's family went to the Irish Catholic church and my mother's family went to the Lithuanian Catholic church. The mixing of the two ethnic groups was frowned upon and my father's family were not overjoyed with the woman their son was marrying. I recall the veiled animosity between the two families, and I don't think there was a holiday where they were all together.

But two years later, my father and two of his brothers were in the Army and my mother's brother was in the Army Air Corps. My uncle Tommy, who was best man at the wedding, took part in the D-Day invasion. Of these 4 uncles, only my Uncle Joe, a navigator, was killed when his plane crashed into a mountain in India, shortly after V-J day. It took 4 years for the remains to come back to the United States for burial.

One thing I do know, is that my parents were very much in love when they married. Many many family members have told me that because, sadly, the love didn't last. But on June 6, 1942, love was in the air and they were happy newleyweds.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

I really want this!

I know it's summer, I know it's hot, and I know I certainly don't need a sugar filled bread. But I want this! Mostly, I want to do it. Once dh and I started watching our weight and sugar intake more, I cut back on making bread. Once he was willing to eat whole grain breads, it was easier to just get a couple of loaves at the store and keep the sliced bread in the freezer. It's the cutting of bread that is a pita and leaves us with crumbs everywhere. Let me refine that. One of us is a serious crumb maker and one of us is a serious crumb cleaner-upper, even though we have a bread board with a crumb grid. 'Nuff said.



But back to this bread. As soon as I saw the blog post Noon Rogani , I was sure it was a Middle Eastern bread of some sort, having eaten my share of naan over the years from Tehran, to Bahrain, to Langley Park MD. This bread is Azerbaijani though and even when I was living in Iran, the local people said Azerbaijanis were excellent cooks. For a Persian to say that is something.

Unless I can find people to eat this ...with me ...for me... I hesitate to make it, but doesn't it look like fun? Check the King Arthur link for a recipe that just makes me want to get the flour and yeast out! Let me know if you make it and how it worked out. Right now, I just plan to look at the pictures and dream.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Flashback Friday


Here is another one from my dh's past. This is a family shot taken...?....in the early 70s I'd guess. No one looks too happy except for my husband's father in the background and his son Rich in the foreground. I do believe that the woman holding Rich is my dh's Aunt Catherine who started the animal shelter in Leesburg VA and is still with us, STILL working for animals.

(No, I'm not in this one...I was then married to MY first spouse.)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Not much happenin'

Today has been one of those days that made me feel like I'd prefer to go back to bed and be left alone ...all...day. I just didn't feel like doing anything but I did.

The brake job on my car was not right, they were still not feeling tight, and so back the car went to the dealer. I did get a loaner of a lovely silver Jetta but once I drove it home, the summer drowsies hit. I got the laundry on the line, a meatloaf in the toaster over which I put outside, and then ....the time just went by.

I waited for the UPS man to come as dh walked over to pick up HIS car which got a new seat belt holder. That seems trivial, but when it doesn't work, it doesn't work and besides being against the law, a lack of seat belt is darn dangerous.

The UPS man came and he has a new Macbook and I got my Shutterfly book.

Beach at Tarifa

May I go to sleep now?

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Wonderful Freebies - PS/PSEScripts

PS/PSE Scripts?

I had no idea there were such things or even what they were, but Christy VanderWall , formerly a designer at Scrap Girls, had them listed at the bottom of her layouts there. I bought several of these scripts when they were still for sale at Scrap Girls, and have found them to be invaluable.

My favorite has been the File Save 1 which makes the tedious process of taking a .psd file and saving it as a full resolution .jpeg AND then one sized for the web. Get a layer, click the scipt and apply....and you have two correctly sized .jpegs sitting on your desktop. Just Like That.

I had planned to go back and buy a couple more of her scripts, but ...gasp...her products were no longer listed at SG. That is where the power of the net comes in. I found her and guess what???????

Now Christy is giving these babies away....right here. You know you can make a donation of course, and since you are saving yourself both time and money, why don't you!

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