Monday, October 29, 2012

Taking a Hurricane Break!

While we don't expect to be hit hard by Sandy, I'm going to take a bit of a break. I'll just watch the rain and wind, drink tea and be grateful I'm safe and dry.

Downtown may not be so fortunate, so preparations have been made.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Sunday Serenade: Winds of 1967

Maybe Hurricane Sandy will hit us with Wild, Windy, Weather; maybe s/he won't. But this is song I fondly remember from 1967. I was newly married to my first husband, living in the wilds of west Texas. Ian and Sylvia were a duo we had heard in Washington DC and we had most all their albums during those days.

Yes, those northers did come down our way, passing through Amarillo to the north and on to San Angelo. But hurricane rains? Nope. Not in West Texas and godwilling, maybe not in Maryland tonight.

If you're in the path, be prepared, and be safe.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Hold Onto Your Hats!

If Hurricane Sandy reaches us, those little bits of orange in the projection centers mean 7-12 inches of rain.  Get the ark out now! I said the heck with bread but got ice cream. I know what works for us! Decadent affogatos. That kind of thing is the benefit of having a gas cooktop.

Please - stay safe and secure if you are on the eastern seaboard in the path of Sandy. Prepare but don't panic. If you have a gas range or cooktop, think about an affogato!

Friday, October 26, 2012

5 Fact Friday - October 26, 2012

Here it is Friday and that means 5 Facts! I've never been short on either opinion or fact. "Fact" of course is often just a subjective view, but inside my big noodle, as my children called the brain, they tend to behave as facts. This, of course, is more the reader or listener's problem rather than mine! However, here I speaketh the truth.

This meme comes from

1. Chocolate for me is milk chocolate, period, and I absolutely adore the 1lb Belgian chocolate bar sold at Trader Jo's. Don't ask how often I buy one. You really don't want to know.

2. In high school, I loved debate and my specialty was extemp - Extemporaneous Speaking. See sentence 2 in the first paragraph of this blogpost.

3. The meniscus in my right knee is not only torn but pushed out of place. Shockingly so.  I now have bone hitting bone there but the surgeon and I agree that surgery is not called for - yet. Periodic cortisone shots seem to help a lot. That and Aleve may buy me time.

4. Years ago when I lived in damp, cool, northern England, I grew roses, beautiful, healthy roses. I grew them by putting them in the ground. My house was built on an old pig farm. I had soil, oh did I have great soil.  When I lived in Thailand I had orchid plants up the gazoo. Anywhere you walked, you were in danger of banging your head on an orchid.  Beautiful orchids, all very cheap, like under $5.  The moral is - garden with native plants and you'll do just fine.

5. I've started a new volunteer position, as a Student Coordinator. I'm not sure if I need my brains examined as I have learned that working with volunteers is often like 'herding cats.'  Time will tell.

If you click on that little banner in this post, you'll see some more Friday Facts from other bloggers.  Join in when you can!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

AAM: The Saddest Short Story

Periodically, the subject of tweaking a scrapbook layout almost to death comes up on some of the forums I frequent. For many reasons, I don't feel compelled to keep going back and making this or that improvement. I'm not on a creative team, I don't feel pressure to be 'as good as' this person or that person who I can see IS a lot better, more creative, whatever than I am.

It makes me sad to hear so many women feeling that they can get this one aspect of their busy lives - just perfect. Work, marriage, children, family...they are all like plates we juggle trying to be the woman we imagine we can be and, often, naturally failing. But this scrapbook layout - or whatever it may be in your life - well, I WILL get it Just Right! I suspect that for you or for me, it just won't happen whether we're talking about a layout or having our children be what we imagine they should be or just having clean kitchen counters for more than an hour.

original from the Washington Post - date unknown

Was I always this way? Oh no... in fact that evil habit of believing the perfect is possible still comes up now and then. Marriage helped me cure some of it because when two 'mature' adults marry, they are both fairly set in their ways, and it's not likely that one (moi) is going to really change the other one. I still try sometimes because I am sure that my way is the best way. What can I say???  I don't imagine you have any of this delusional thinking, do you????

But today, in looking for a missing Crop-a-dile, I came across this old cartoon I had clipped. Now I know I clipped it as a reminder for myself, so I must need to see it again. That Crop-a-dile is still missing but I apparently found what I really needed today.  Perfectionism is truly insidious.

Maybe this will help you with some part of your own life today!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Wordless Wedsnesday: Better with Candles

It's that time of year, and I'm burning this candle down this year. Kind of hard to do but it's time.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Tuesday Tutorial: Reducing Noise in PSE

This tutorial is taken straight from The Texas Chicks, who I tend to call the Dixie Chicks but they're not! There is a lot more info on the blogpost in different ways to reduce the noise.

Here is how it looked on my computer. I'm working in PSE10 on a Mac.

First, with an image open, go to Filter, Noise, then Reduce Noise.

Using the setting that the Texas Chicks used, gave me this variation.

This was too blury for me so I fiddled with the setting, especially the preserve details.

I liked this one a lot better. By the way, this photo had a considerable amount (for me) of work on the lighting before even getting to the basic image. I did not take it and the only light appeared to be the cake. That's my granddaughter at her 9th or 10th birthday dinner.

Many thanks to The Texas Chicks for giving me a new technique to use. Hope this helps you with your editing!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Monday Memory: Don't Open This Door!

I don't even know if this London building still exists, but I sure wouldn't open that door this close to Halloween! Would you?

It really is amazing to think of buildings so ancient standing in the present day. I know when I first moved to England, I could not get over the fact that there was a pub not too far away that dated to the 1100s. Can you believe it??? A lot of my 'old' only went back to Revolutionary days in the United States, or perhaps seeing Jamestown as a child. What I recall most of all about Jamestown is the incredible heat and humidity down there that summer. It was even worse than the Washington DC area where I lived. Heat and humidity have never been my friends. Still aren't.

But this building? I doubt that heat has ever crossed that threshold. Cold and damp? Oh yes! I have no doubt. In fact just looking at the image gives me chills. But my advice? Don't open a door like that, should you ever find one. Just sayin'. I'm just sayin'.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Sunday Serenade: Talk About an Ear Worm

I have just recently watched HBO's Season 1 and 2 of Treme back to back. Now I'm keeping up with Season 3 as it airs and let me tell you, the Treme theme song is certainly one of the best ear worm songs ever. I wake up with it in my head! Here's a version of John Boutte performing his song in LA.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Not What I Had Imagined

When the arrival of a new granddaughter came, I had visions of scrapping lovely photos. Gentle, sweet images. Alas, that does not seem to be the case, and I'm glad I didn't purchase a bunch of pink, girly supplies to gather dust and clutter up my hard drive! I can probably make do with my two sheets of pink paper, and recolor any others that I might need. Oh, expectations!

My first two children were boys, and despite my (2nd) husband's feeling that this is how boys are, it isn't how my boys were. Perhaps spending their earliest years in England was part of it, but even when they were royally spoiled by Thai maids, they were not rowdy or hellions. But times change and all children are different. This little man is as smart as a whip and seems to have the brains of his PhD dad to balance his high energy level.

So, sometimes, you just go with what you've got as opposed to what you thought you might get, and make the best of it. Not just in scrapping, but in life. Seems like a good way to avoid regrets. It works for me!

5 Fact Friday - October 19, 2012

Sometime you just have to change things about, and this is one of them.  I think I will always be able to find five facts for Friday to share with you but sometimes the easy can be the hardest. So Flashback Friday is morphing into another title. (Check back with me on Monday to see what it becomes!)

This meme comes from

Will I add any images? I don't know. Maybe I will and maybe I won't. But this first Friday, I won't. btw, I used to do a lot of memes with some very talented Australian bloggers. As much fun as it was, I learned after a while that their craft work was much more handmade - think 'softies' - and most of mine was becoming strictly digital. But it was a lot of fun! So onto the subject at hand.

  1. October is probably my favorite month, but it seems I am almost always traveling in September, October or November, and I never seem to have the time to really enjoy this month.
  2. When I lived abroad, Halloween wasn't celebrated almost anywhere, so my children didn't have quite the 'American' experience now available nearly round the world.
  3. My son, the chef, taught me how to make gnocchi but I have come to realize I really don't like the potato version all that much. Oh well.
  4. I really don't care if my daily tea gets cold before I drink it but then again, it rarely gets cold unless it's the last cup of a 6 cup pot.
  5. The sound of wind going through a stand of bamboo is almost as soothing as ocean waves. Well, to me it is.

If you click on that little banner in this post, you'll see some more Friday Facts from other bloggers.  Join in when you can!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: If the Shoe Fits

Sadly, this was the title that could have been applied to my late cat. The vet, diplomatically, called him "a poor groomer". But he was rather sickly and old so he had his excuses. I still miss him.

seen in LA

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Tuesday Tutorial: Just Japonize It!

I love this design - Art Deco in a classic form? Japanese design? You decide. You can have it your way and in your own colors. It's Japonizer which I saw on Pugley Pixel.

Click here. You'll figure it out!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Sale Time is Coming!

I have printed my digital layouts at various sites along the years, but the one that works best for me is Persnickety Prints. The prints come back from Utah quickly and in great condition. PLUS, they have sales! Good sales. Even better, you don't have to pull your hair out trying to get all your layouts uploaded during the sale time. You can buy credits to use at your leisure. That's what I do. In fact I just uploaded 50 layouts last week, using older credits. Of course I could ...could...have done them a bit earlier but you know how it is. Uploading usually  seems to be the thing I'm going to do...tomorrow.  Persnickety also has real live friendly human beings who will talk to you on the phone  or answer your email quickly, like in real time!

Anyway, get your credits now and print in November! Trust me, you'll have your layouts in a few days. Amazing, huh? and a really good price. Persnickety Prints.

( No, I have no association with Persnickety nor do I get anything other than the same great service and price you'll get. I just think they are worth plugging.)

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Sunday Serenade: No Stasis, No Way

David Bowie rocking it out in 1973 with Changes. Today we really can see the change of seasons here in the mid-Atlantic and fall is gorgeous.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Oh Them Bones

Not a Halloween post but rather one about my dh's achy bones. He has had pain in his neck off and on recently and today it appears to hurt a lot. I suspect that while I am out on a prospective high school visit with my granddaughter, he will be spending the day with a heating pad.

 As for me, it would be pretty hard for my bones to get in this position. My one knee does not like to kneel at all, so I'll have to say my prayers for him sitting down.  I imagine that will work just fine.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Flashback Friday: Who's Scared of Santa

1975 in Bangkok, my Thai daughter had never seen Santa. While all our friends were waiting to see her reaction, they didn't expect her horror at his appearance.  Obviously, in her whole life in a hospital crib, there was nothing similar to this vision. She wanted nothing to do with him! and there was not changing that on her 'first' Christmas.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Tuesday Tutorial:Finding the Original Pin on Pinterest

I'm sure you have been as frustrated as I've been to click on a Pinterest pin, only to find that the poster did not link to the original link. Maybe it was just a 'hurry up and repin' or maybe the pinner didn't know how to link to a specific post rather than a whole blog or ... who knows. But I let out a deep sigh when it happens to me. Clicking back to oblivion can be a real pita or perhaps you go back to Tumblr and hit that brick wall. I cannot fathom why some people still use Tumblr but that's another issue...

Karen, aka The Graphics Fairy, put this post up on a clever way to find that original image without clicking into the next century. Click here!

You DO know that The Graphics Fairy has oooodles of free, vintage images don't you? Well, you do now, so do take time to have a good, long at Karen's site. She's really got a treasure trove for you.

Monday, October 8, 2012

AAM - Beach Week

Not very long after we got back from SoCal it was time to take the drive south to Myrtle Beach. The trip to LA was planned around my grandson's schedule so it made for a travel heavy month for us! No problem, I said I just wanted to do NOTHING at the beach and it pretty much worked out that way.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Flashback Friday: I Had a Kitchen in Tehran

Sadly, that big kitchen was mine for a very short time. From September to December 1978. Despite my misgivings upon arrival in the summer of 1978, I came to love living in a city neighborhood that had all the amenities within a block or two. But 1978 brought a major upheaval to Iran, and after the big Thanksgiving meal that year, I did very little cooking. Day by day, revolution was controlling my daily life.

Soon I was on an airplane never to see Iran again and I  suspect I never will get a chance to go back. I should have bought that kilo of caviar at the airport when I had the chance!

Blog Archive

Popular Posts