Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Downs and Ups

Yesterday, I finally went to the dentist. The first time in 2 years! Terrible I know. I'm not afraid of the dentist, don't mind going but somehow our travel got in the way and well, you know how it is. Some things don't get the priority they should.  Most all was fine except a crown I thought might be loose was not. However, the crown next to it has decay underneath and I'm going back in Thurs to see if it can be dealt with or do I need a ...root canal. I'm praying for my teeth.

I was still pretty much ok with this but today, that tooth did not feel good. Never a bit of an obvious issue til today! It felt as if there were an infection in my jaw.  I was on antibiotics in less than an hour of my call to the dentist. That is a wonderful turn around time for the pharmacy at Target to fill a prescription and me taking the first pills.  So the down stuff worked out pretty darn good I'd say.

Now the ups. I've been taking Claudine Hellmuth's Collage Class at Big Picture Classes, and today finally got around to doing vignettes, the subject of lesson 3. I got behind with two lessons but was ok since the lessons are up on line - forEVAH.  Well as long as BPC is in existence which is a good enough guarantee for me.

Here's what I did. Yes, my funny bone was itchy today! I like humor in art and if I call it art, it's art. Right?? This one is "Venus on the Cabbage Leaf", an icon with a smile.

Now we have "Jack in the Beanstalk's Wife Maude" . The collage was going to be about Jack, but somehow Maude seemed to have her own thoughts on that.  I told Maude to get a realtor but she's still hoping in Jack's vines.

Are you having fun today? I hope so!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Saturday, June 25, 2011


A neurologist says that if he can get to a stroke victim within 3 hours he  can totally reverse the effects of a stroke...totally. He said the trick was getting a stroke recognized, diagnosed, and then getting the patient medically cared for within 3 hours, which is tough.

REMEMBER THE 3 STEPS  / STR   Now doctors say a bystander can recognize a stroke by  asking three simple  questions:  
1.  S *Ask the individual to SMILE.
2.  T *Ask the person to TALK and SPEAK A SIMPLE SENTENCE (Coherently)(i.e. It is sunny out today.)
3.  R *Ask him or her to RAISE BOTH ARMS.

                    If he or she has trouble with ANY ONE of these tasks, call emergency number
                    immediately and describe the symptoms to the dispatcher.

n.b. Another 'sign' of a stroke is this: Ask the person to 'stick' out his tongue. If the tongue is crooked or if it goes to one side or the other it is also an indication of a stroke.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Flahsback Friday 11 06 24

Ah...our deal old Sebastian. He almost never climbed up on the chair to sit, or at least the chairs at the table. I think some of the reason was that he instinctively knew he wasn't so good at jumping up any more and that he didn't have a lot of space to work with here. His favorites places were over near the Jotul, even when it wasn't on. I think he knew that was a source of heat and eventually, maybe in 6 months! it would come back on.

As much as I miss him, I don't miss the litter box or the need for a pet sitter every time we wanted to go somewhere. Dear little one, I hop you are happy on the other side. You were one special cat.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

365 Week 22

I have decided to skip the 365 weeks when we have been on trips.The photos of those weeks will go in vacation layouts. The vacation layouts will go right into my D ring album along with the occasional long journaler as well as some 4x6 prints with journaling cards. I hope to do some of that for a recent Pacific North West trip. But week 22 still had England on my mind so and Canada IS a close relation.

This page also gave me a chance to try out, yet again, using a gradient mask for that background paper. I'll have to practice on some pages again and see what else I can do with it. Work on the diagonal?

Monday, June 20, 2011

While I Dogsat

About two more days to scrap and then the two week 2011 England trip will be completed. I'm so glad this one is getting down fairly soon after it was taken. I think that is because I am a bit more proficient in the basic process of digital scrapbooking. I know I am finding it both easier and more enjoyable. It's only taken three years!!!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Reluctant Gardener

Some days, she looked out across the garden and wondered where to start.

That is me. I used to be quite a gardener. I am the daughter of a gardener. When I was young, my mother used to have me out there with her and I got to know the names of all the plants. Those were also the days when plants went by their Latin names as well as their English name. My mother told me what was good about each flower and  how to deadhead them. One of my earliest jobs was deadheading. I can still recall the scent/odor of marigolds and zinnias when I popped the spent flower off. Later, I also had the task  or was it a punishment? of taking all the Japanese beetles off the rosebushes and plunking them into a jar of kerosene. Hot, yucky and smelly work. I hated it.

But, once I had my own home, albeit one leased by the US government not owned by me, I was ready to garden. My first garden was in northern England, a land of temperate weather and  plentiful rain! I also learned that my soil was really rich because the houses had been built over land that had once been a pig farm. Rich, rich soil was what I had. From British magazines and books, I learned how to turn the soil, double dig, and learn what would grow in a climate so different from my native Maryland. The mainstays of summer, the zinnias and the marigolds, the portulacas were no longer part of my vocabulary. The roses that my mother fought to grow, despite those wretched Japanese beetles, flourished. England was my land of roses. I put them in and watched them thrive. I also never had to have the Peace rose which I had never liked. I could have the roses bred for looks and fragrance. I learned, despite my misgivings, to prune those roses nearly to the ground so they would come back the next spring happy and healthy. (I will admit it took one 'butchering' by my xh to convince me of that kind of pruning. There were a lot of tears and a lot of yelling. I was wrong.)

England also gave me wallflowers, primroses, lupins, etc.  The UK also gave me my first taste of homegrown new potatoes. I was stunned by the taste since I've never been a great fan of potatoes. But pulling the plant up, stripping off the ones of the right size, and then after replanting….having amazingly delicious little knobs of goodness to eat, dressed in butter of course.

I had seven years of good gardening in Yorkshire, and felt I really had learned the craft that my mother had nurtured in me as a child. Then I moved to Bangkok. Roses? no way. Spring bulbs and tender perennials? not likely. But there were orchids, orchids that were $2 a plant and hung from every tree and branch in my garden. And what kind of trees did I have? Rubber trees that were not potted plants but trees that grew two stories high. Mango trees that had to be seriously guarded from 'mango thieves' who would try and snatch the precious fruit. There were banana 'trees' that our maid's husband cut down. Once again, I did not know the reality of a plant. A banana plant cut down today will grow back by tomorrow - well it will in in a tropical climate! I also learned that all bananas are meant for human consumption. I learned about 'bird bananas' - small bananas filled with seed, not fruit. Next time you eat a banana, look at those tiny black spots in the center of the fruit. Imagine them as seeds filling the peel instead of fruit!

More moves and less gardening because I either lived in an apartment, or in a desert. I did have one period of time when I 'managed' my gardener who maintained a vegetable garden for us. He came with the house, was excellent except for his preference for DDT. There was no explaining to a man in east Africa that this spray that killed bugs was harmful to us too. Long term heath concerns were not clear to a person who faced hunger when the rains didn't come. What could I do? Some of my fellow Americans still believed that you could wash the DDT off. Fortunately, I had only two years of being a stern taskmaster regarding DDT.

Fast forward to the present. My dh and I are able to travel a good bit. Is the garden happy? not at all. Every gardener knows that there are seasonal windows that if missed put you behind for the whole year. Miss putting the garden 'to bed' in the early winter, and you'll regret it as you face the weeds in spring. Don't keep an eagle eye on the bamboo and you and your saw will get up close and personal for a lot longer than you like. So that is why I sometimes look like the woman in the picture. Wishing I had been home for that bamboo window. Wondering if I can ever get the weeds and the couch grass out of the driveway border. I'm no longer a real gardener. I'm a controller. I do my best to keep nature in check but right now nature is winning. "Now she wonders when she can quit". Anyone have an answer for me???

Monday, June 13, 2011

Scrappin' Fool

We have been on so many trips lately, I have a zillion photos to scrap. Thank goodness I have a spouse who doesn't always take very many on his own. In addition to our trips, he's had two other business ones of his own. The man needs to stay home. Here is one of the Oxford part of our recent UK trip. I expect to have that part of the trip done tomorrow and then there is just the London part to do. For some reason, I decided to do the 2nd half of the trip first! Probably because I had done more journaling in London and was afraid I'd forget the bits and pieces of Oxford. Who knows...

It's always fun to look at the photos again, and remember how good a trip was. However, right now it's good not to have another trip on the horizon for a while. I'm really enjoying my home time just as much.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Sunday Serenade 11 06 12

Since I got on the road again and traveled across 'the big water' of the Potomac, I am in Falls Church dog sitting. My family is heading down to South Carolin for a week at the beach. So for all of those going hither and yon today...

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Sunday Serenade 11 06 05

After seeing the atmosphere in Vancouver, I think this one fits pretty well for this gorgeous Sunday morning.

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