Monday, January 31, 2011

I went to Canada

I went to Canada last year but never got to record that trip or scrap it. The trip was cut short with the death of our granddaughter Bekah. She had been suffering, and suffering it truly was, from aplastic anemia. In that strange to feel way, her death was a blessing. A hard loss nonetheless and one that has left us just coming out of that dark place I think.

But there were happy and fun memories of the trip. I am taking Ali Edwards' Yesterday and Today class and it has been good to have the reminder that one can have pages with a lot of journaling and pages with none, and any combo of the two. The photos and the journaling don't have to be combined or they can name it.

Here is the first page of the Canada 2010 saga. I like being able to be led outside my normal box like this.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Saturday, January 29, 2011

It was one of those days..

This happened recently and it was a funny but dangerous incident. The pictures almost tell the story.

I sit down to breakfast, mug of tea on hand, bowl of oatmeal ready, laptop done with, the newspapers to read.

I decide to light the nice red candle to the left of my placemat. Make it a nice breakfast atmosphere just for me.

While eating my oatmeal I read the newspaper,  and then slowly notice something.

The open page of the paper is right over the candle, and is slowly starting to burn. Fortunately that was all.  Could I blame it all on the night before???

It was that glorious full moon AND the eclipse. I say that's what it was and stick to that story, but I don't burn candles at the breakfast table any more.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Charcutepalooza and Me

As Gilda Ratner used to say.."it's always something...".  Ah my great intentions. First I thought I'd have to delay making my bacon until we got back from Seattle and Vancouver. Then we both got sick and didn't go to Seattle or Vancouver.

Then I wondered if I could get the Ruhlman book," Charcuterie. " That DID work out and I have a library copy.

Ok, I started looking for pork bellies. No success but I figured that the Asian market about 25 miles away would have some. Sadly, it snowed big time. Then each day after the snow that I considered going up I was kind of out of it - from antibiotics? Whatever it was, I knew I was 'not fit to handle machinery' much less a vehicle. No pork belly.

Today I finally felt better enough and went to the gym first. Aaaargh. Snow flurries, and a self-induced snafu with a Redbox pickup. No more trips out today for this whacko. I know when I'm on a downward roll.

Tomorrow? God willing, the creek don't rise, and the snow don't snow, I will test out my last hope. Well, the penultimate one.  Pork belly...I'm coming!

Flashback Friday 11 01 28

These are my cousins Johnny and Kathleen back in about 1944 outside my paternal grandparents' house. They were my eldest cousins and I didn't see nearly as much of them as I did of the three others who were also born in 1944. It was a bumper year for babies in our family as the war was drawing down. We were the ones conceived on our fathers' last leave before heading overseas to Germany.  Everyone lived in Pennsylvania so our mothers got together a good bit when they could. Sharing worries and pregnancy issues and baby talk.

Johnny and Kathleen's father had a good deal more money than my parents and their mother, my father's sister, and her husband were great favorites of my mother.  Sadly, my aunt died of alcoholism in her mid 30s and her children had their own issues growing up. I really can't recall if Uncle John ever remarried. I still have the bedroom set that Johnny and Kathleen's grandfather carved for my parents for their wedding. It was a gift from Uncle John and Aunt Kathleen (yes, both children were named for their parents).  Some things as well as memories last.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

All Sick on the Eastern Front

Nothing much happening chez nous except two sick people trying to feel better. Somehow today, after a visit to the doctor, an xray of my shoulder, and a stop at Target for a prescription, I feel even worse than yesterday. I do know I have 1. bronchitis and 2. a frozen shoulder.

The over the counter meds I had taken mad me feel better but were raising my blood pressure. The cough syrup the doctor suggested seemed to make me cough all the more. Fortunately, I slept sound through the night, on the downstairs sofabed and now at 9 a.m. would just like to go back to my real bed and sleep for the rest of the day. I just might.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Week Draws Down

It didn't seem to be much of a productive week, not that it really has to be when one is retired, but I think it was just because neither of us felt very good.  We have not had The Flu in quite a few years but whatever it is that comes around the greater DC area appears to be a yearly occurrence. It is mostly a respitory ailment which seems like sinus trouble but not quite. Lots of people I know have had it develop into pneumonia. It is also one of those bugs that seems to keep you just plain worn down and out for weeks.  The evolution of disease I guess.

But looking at the photos I took last week reminds me that a lot more than snot and aches occured. That is one great thing about making myself notice. Notice not just the omnipresent boxes of tissues, but notice the way the house looks so clean after the cleaning elves come. Knowing that they are coming every two weeks makes me deal with the odd messes I've left about. The gray overcast days never depress me as they make me think of good days when I lived in England but when the sun comes out again after a period of grayness it's WOW. I love the afternoon light on the front of the house and in the living room. I have to remind myself to turn on the fire and sit there at about 3:30 or so. Lay on the couch and be still.

I'm still headachey and short of breath but here are a few of the good moments of the week... Hope your weekend is wonderful. It will be if you notice the good.

the pile of crumbs that attracts some sweet fat little birds

the Costco Christmas wreath still going strong and redecorated for Valentine's Day

the comfy couch and mohair throw, perfect for watching a movie or just thinking

the start to two meatloaves - food insurance in the freezer

a solo dinner and a good one

I forgot to mention...did you see that MOON this week? Holy frijoles, it was spectacular!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

On My Cooking Agenda

Once I too finish more of the half jars cluttering the new fridge, this is on my agenda.

Sadly, many of the jars are nice jams that call out to be used in baking. One thing neither of us does is have jam or jelly on toast. He's a butter man and I'm a butter or peanut butter person. Butter if the toast is part of a bacon and egg type breakfast and peanut butter if it's an apple and toast breakfast. If I eat oatmeal for about 5 days this week, I can finish up the smaller jar of sour cherry preserves.

I'm thinking that in the future, not matter how tempting, a jar of jam or relish or whatever kind of non-standard food item that is over 4 or so ounces cannot come home with me. That will be a hard thought to put into action since bringing home food items is our favorite kind of souvenir on travel. Sigh.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Project 365 Week 2

Not happy with lack of journaling ability on this template. Maybe change the font, or maybe change template, or maybe be content with my choice.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Converted 1st, Cured 2nd

Well this has been tempting me all month, and actually since last month!

CHARCUTEPALOOZA. Say it loud, and say it proud. I have been converted, or at least I am in the conversion process as I don't have my supplies yet. I'm pretty sure the pork belly will not be an issue as they always have a good supply at the Asian supermarket. The cure might be an issue if I have to mail order it. I also know for sure that the process, chez nous, will not be able to start till the beginning of February.


That's ok, since the last time I made bacon was in Malawi and it was HOT. Food was hard to come by and when the Embassy was able to get pork, pork meant pigs. We and another family shared one. In addition to dealing with a fresh porker sliced down the middle, there was the issue of the head. Which family's servants would get the head. We dithered a bit and then I came out as the winner. I had convinced them that as we were the ones going to pick up the whole pig and deliver it to them, we'd get the head. Next pig, if god willing there were more pigs which you never knew, they could pick the beauty and thus let their servants have the head. I never knew what was done with the head but I know meat like that was extremely hard to come by and was greatly appreciated. I had more than enough on my hands with that pig in an un-airconditioned kitchen.

This bacon will not see me sitting on the floor, hot and sweaty with an aching back, trying to wrestle a carcass into submission, and sharpening, resharpening my best knives and Thai cleaver. Sometimes, a simple trip to the supermarket is so much better. It may not be locally sourced pork but it's also not an animal I have to cut up. I respect the animal that feeds me but today I'm not the 30something who tackled the non-existent butcher's job.

Converted? oh yes, I am. Now I just have to work on the curing. Why don't you try it out and enjoy some of the process.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Flashback Friday 11 01 14

The blond lad in the center, graduating from high school in Paris, will now turn 39 the end of this month. Happy Birthday early Iain! I look forward to seeing you on your day.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Truly Amazing

I'm sure many of you have seen this by now, but sometimes my blog also serves as a reference for me. the sheer number of negatives, photographs, and still undeveloped film astounds me. We often wonder if our writing, our scrapbooking, our work will survive us. Isn't it great that Vivian's was found and valued?

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Fruits of His Labor

Saturday we spent a lot of time in Ikea but then when doesn't a trip to Ikea take a long time?? Good time I think but it's a rare time that I don't walk out feeling really tired.

After the long time IN the store, we came home with two items to be assembled. But no, no not Saturday night. We have enough sense to not start a project when tired. (Just guess how we now know that...)

Sunday, I came downstairs and saw someone had put out a drill and hammer. Uh oh. He was ready to start! I still wasn't ready but praise be...he didn't need my help at first. ( I kind of hoped he wouldn't want my help at all and that's kind of selfish but that's how I felt. ) So I went back upstairs to do something or other and happily heard banging and hammering downstairs.  After the main part of the work was done, he did get to assemble the drawers on the current table. We got to talk while he put the bits together and it was fun.

A new table for the kitchen was assembled and will serve as an additional table when we have company. It's a modern pine drop leaf table. We had just the spot for it and he didn't have any assembly issues. Next came the Helmer metal cabinet. I worried that he'd ask for help now....

No he didn't, but he did bring it up to my studio to assemble since that's where it was to go. It was fun to watch, even tho my desk space kept getting smaller and smaller as he worked. Then it was finally finished and I had to move stuff around to fit it in and was ready and willing to get started. It's a big goal to get more things out so I can get a couch/bed in here. But now I have the little red cabinet that I have wanted for so long. It wasn't expensive - $39. - but it was the assembly bit and when he was willing I was so so grateful. I now have a dedicated space to place my printer giving me the needed real estate on my desk top. See that binder? It's my "Yesterday and Today" binder and now I have space for it while I'm on the computer. Yeah!! Thank you so much!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Project 365 Week 1

I am jumping into the deep end of the digital pool in attempting to do the Project 365 this year. I wonder how it bodes for me since I typed 356 first on the title, and 355 just above first. Maybe I had better go back to my number skills, ya think?

For those who have been living under rocks recently, Project 365, POTD (Photo of the Day), P52 and any other variation basically means you take at least 1 photo a day and share. If you do something with it, that's gravy.

Since I take most of my photos with my iPhone these days, the photos are ok or even good but that's not the main point for me. Doing something with the photo and recording day to day life is where it's at in my mind. I like to look back on life and say "Oh yeah...remember when we...". A photo jogs the memory but sometimes a few words help too.

Last week was a week when I didn't feel so great and had lingering sinus and cough issues.  But life still happened. Not a lot some days but no matter what the sun rises and meals are eaten and life goes on. Few of us have lives as dull as some of us imagine. It's the noticing that matters. Stopping to observe for a second or two and feel our existence. Every moment is observable and it becomes a lot of fun, and very good for the soul to do so.  So one week is done, and I enjoyed it. I hope to see you here most Sundays of the year with a page made from the prior week. Send me encouragement when I flag!  Are you doing anything like this in 2011? Just like your day, you can start or restart it any time. Play if you can!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

What a find!

You know, one of the great joys of blogland is being on a new blog or site, and seeing a link that sounds interesting, so you click and WOW!! You find yourself in a treasure trove of either beautiful images, great music or something you didn't imagine.

Tonight I clicked and found

Vintage Printable - Bringing Public Domain to the Public

If you like vintage images, ephemera, maps and all FREE, give this site a look. Nearly all images in the public domain. You can click the armadillo in this post or the one over on the right and knock yourself out - have fun!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Flashback Friday 11 01 07

Oh how far we've come. How about those 80s outfits! Me, Tracey and Stephanie at the house on German Street. Oh the things that went on there!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Blowin' My Fuse

Fortunately it wasn't mine per se, but the dryer's. It's one of those operations that when it happens, we both tend to forget half the process. The other part is that I cannot move the stacked machines on my own, and dh has a bit more strength than is needed so I have to be the one to steady the dryer so it doesn't fall off the washer. There are also two fuses to check, one on the back where that red wiring hangs down, and one on the back or side, depending on whether he's describing it or I am. Typical.

Of course it wasn't the fuse on the back in the somewhat easy location. It was on the side/back and dh told me one fuse location there was no good but he didn't remember which! This time I marked the 'bad' fuse location, as well as the 'good' one, and will write out the how-to and tape it to the side of the dryer where we keep the spare fuses. 2nd fuse was the one and now the dryer is functional again, and together we got it back into place. The other fortunate thing is I do pay attention to Flylady and keep the laundry up to date. Only some sheets had to go outside in the cold, and I'll deal with them tomorrow.  Like Gilda Ratner used to say...."It's always somethin'..."

So how was your day today??? Any appliances feeling the need to have a bit of a rest like ours did?

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Sunday, Sunday

Not a very productive Sunday chez nous. I am still filled with a bunch of congestion, tho my sinuses don't ache so much.  Resolved the ehd issue, meaning at least it works with the iMac, but I'm dubious about unplugging it again and not having it show up on the Macbook. I can check on that later.

Bless his dear husband heart, he asked if I wanted pizza tonight. Said he was afraid I'd fall into the posole! That's a good man. On such an overcast groggy day, we're neither one of us live wires right now.

Later peeps.

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