Monday, December 30, 2013

AAM Monday: Project Life 13 Week 50

Yes, we're getting there. Where? The end of 2013. Hard to believe how the year just goes by week by week, and then suddenly (?) it's almost the end of one and we move into the next. This was certainly a week focused on food and my one shopping excursion of the season. We did have some snow though!



Sunday, December 29, 2013

AAM Sunday: Project Life 13 Week 47 (belated)

Sometimes you realize you had half a post done but never quite finished it...That was  this one. Better late than never. LOL So this is a Monday post on a Sunday. Blogger's prerogative. :-)

Week 47 was mostly about our week in Hilton Head. This was the week I realized I had not uploaded the PSE11 software after uninstalling the PSE10. In other words, no scrapping got done and a lot of books were read as well as a lot of Netflix was watched.  We didn't make as many trips as we often did bypassing Savannah and Charleston on this trip. Very relaxing for both of us.





Friday, December 27, 2013

Flashback Friday: December 27, 2013

End of years tend to be a bit of a wrap up and for me a tidy up and out of extraneous things, like the flotsam that floats around in my mind. Mostly worthless bits like things that have amused me or irritated me. 

1. Bowed shoes. Around here, back in my day, slingback shoes were called "Fuck me" shoes. Shoes with a bow at the heel were...Fuck me NOW!  I believe these certainly qualify.




2. This week it was in the 70s one day and then in the 30s the next day. As for me, I was much happier with the latter and managed to get a whole day of little chores done, the kind that mean driving hither and yon for one item/chore per place. If it's cold, I can do it. If it's warm or warm and muggy, there's not much chance of me getting more than one or two done. Yes, I have a great a/c in my car but still... And yes, 70 is not at all suitable for December weather in Maryland.

4. Amongst my many stops on that great run-about to shops in the cold day, I had to go into Target because HE forgot he was running out of vitamins. Being the (occasional) loving wife, I went for him.  There in Target were printed, I mean printed like I told you to write  X and run off 25 copies, and scotch tape them around the store, flyers announcing 10% off this week I think. 10%???   10% and there were even items excepted from that great bargain, like all electronics. Yes, I am one of those shoppers who almost never buys anything not on sale and if you want to lure me to your sale, it had better be at least 30%-50%. I am a dutiful cutter of Michaels and AC Moore coupons, but usually wait for the 50% ones, though I have been know to use the 40% off ones also.

Digi stores that want you to do a boatload of challenges to win a coupon for what...5% off  a purchase? That just makes me shake my head and wonder why I'd bother spending hours making all those layouts for at best $1.20 off a $24. template. Would you?

3. Julianne Kost has this great idea for an end of year slideshow with iPhone images. Clean and rather inrospective, much like the photographer.  I thought about making a similar slide show with our food photos but decided I'd end up getting hungry when I don't need to. And who wants to look at more food after a good or at least filling meal?

4. Does it happen to you? the expanding amaryllis? Each year I wonder about these bulbs. I hadn't had one for  a long time and then dh's sister sent us a bulb set a couple of years ago. Well that gives me an obligation to deal with it. After that year, I waited a bit and occasionally managed to buy my paper white bulbs early enough to have them blooming at Christmas. Mostly because of my tardiness, they bloomed sometime in January or February. Fine with me.  Many years I waffled about getting an amaryllis because they seem to be so demanding. They take up more space, you need a place where an 18" stalk can be showcased, and then they bloom. They are the kid in the Christmas pageant silently screaming "Look at me! Look at me!" Well, I got one at the grocery store this year, already in a good bloom for $9.99.  Great look, great price. After stalk one died, stalk two took over and got about 2 ft tall, bloomed its heart out and fell over during the night. That stalk is now a cut flower. Silly plants.


5. btw, I took the dialect quiz on the New York Times website. I came out as true southerner from New Orleans to Arkansas. Uh...not quite my locale but maybe I've been hanging out with more true southerners than I know.

See you in the New Year!



Monday, December 23, 2013

AAM Monday: Project Life 13 Week 49

Yeah for December! I decided I didn't have time to do justice to the December Daily, so the weekly Project Life pages are pretty much my only shot at using all the lovely Christmas goodies. I held off on buying almost anything new this year, which was hard. However, now that I can see my stuff clearly in Lightroom, I hate to say....I really don't need much more of anything!


This was the first time we had one of our dinners on a Saturday night. The oldest guest, outside of my dh, has a hard time going out after work during the week. The Saturday dinner turned out to be a great idea, but there were moments when I wondered if the men WOULD go home!  Really, that's a good feeling.


Sunday, December 22, 2013

Super Quiet Sunday

We considered going out to dinner tonight. We passed. We considered getting a pizza. We passed.  Basically, other than reading the newspaper, and looking at Pinterest and watching more of Spiral on Netflix it was that kind of Sunday. With lots of rain that could have been a LOT of snow. I'm kind of glad it wasn't snow.




Oh I forgot, he went out and replaced his printer ink!  It's been a very good Sunday. Hope your last Sunday before Christmas was half as calm!


Friday, December 20, 2013

Five on Friday: December 20, 2013

The cold comes and goes here. The sky is sunny or it's that certain gray the makes me think SNOW!! But I'm married to a man who used to work for the National Weather Service. No, he's not a meteorologist but he plays one. When he says precip, I used to say...Say rain, if you mean rain!  I stopped saying that because then I got the 'precipitation lecture'. Like I give a rat's ass... Anyhow, our one bit of snow cum sleet cum icy cold just kind of made a mess with patches of thick pebbled ice that lingered for a couple of days. A long couple of days. But I am digressing... on to The Five.

1. Our Cypriot neighbor gave us cookies and one type is covered in powdered sugar. He's eating those and leaving a trail of white powder hither and yon. But then I bought a German (marzipan! num num num) stollen at Trader Jo's and it's covered with...yep, powdered sugar. However, I cut a slice and mostly just shove the whole thing into my mouth. Unladylike but in the privacy of my own home it means no mess for me. Sneaky, huh...

2. Each day I look at the clutter in my studio, I think of things I'm willing to give away. However, that means boxing/bagging the bits and pieces up and taking them somewhere. I know most people and charities are not really interested in being bombarded with donations right now. I'm not looking for a donation receipt - esp with the end of year rush - so I suppose I'll just have to live with it til....2014. One batch did go out on Monday. Bit by bit.



3. It's been soup time again. Last Saturday I made Dutch pea soup with a hunk of ham bone I had in the freezer. I had to leave out the leek and substitute green split peas for the yellow. That bone had very little ham but I didn't care. I used the container of turkey broth my daughter in law gave me after the T-day dinner. Man,was that good stock! My dh had a look on his face when he saw dinner but said he never liked his mother's pea soup but that it didn't taste like this one. How did it taste? I asked. Not like this he said. That was about all I got out of him but I suspect he'd have liked a lot more ham and probably prefer if he never got this soup again. Actually, I found the spices a little odd. Perhaps they were just old. I can't think of the last time I've used allspice!

4. A funny line I heard on Joy The Baker podcast, a podcast about cussing and some ways to shortcut that habit, just use initials..."If your stuff is S, then F it!"  Podcasts are great for car drives I've found. (btw, check Joy's blog for some baking porn. I think I need to wait til February to consider baking again.)

5. I also had a chance to drive through some neighborhoods that are not far from me but in a  rather different world. How can you spot that at night?  The volume of Christmas lights goes way up! Sadly, the traffic was too heavy to pull over anywhere without some truck hitting me so there are no photos.  There were more colored lights, more flashing lights, more lawn decorations (lit of course), more mixtures of colored lights with blue lights and one of the strangest ones, to me, all green lights. Again, lots of lights and white lights rarely in sight. I suspect that if you were high in any way it would be quite the experience.

original
However, nothing quite compares to 34th Street in Hampden, Baltimore for glitz though! I hope we get up to see it again this year. And may your Christmas be as flashy as you like!



Thursday, December 19, 2013

Today Was a Good Day

I had no doubt that I would enjoy my retirement. There were many things that I wanted time for and things I wanted to explore. One of the main things that called to me was very simple. I wanted to be in my own home in the daytime, not just in the evening, kind of tired from work. I have been blessed that for the most part my jobs have not been overly stressful, nor highly paid I might add since all things come with a price. However, in the earlier years of my adult life I really did have a lot of the material things of life and learned that 'more' was not the path to happiness. While I certainly do not want these days, my wants are fairly simple.


The drive to and from my hospice work gives me time to clear my mind and subsequently reflect. Today I thought about how much of a blessing it is to feel fairly stress-less, to enjoy the natural flow of time and not worry that I'm running out of time each day even though at my age, I certainly AM running out of time when you look at the big picture.  Most things feel right and those that don't are mostly of my own making.  Boo hiss on that! It's always so much more satisfying to think others cause my irritation or are The Problem.  Sadly, not at all true...I say sadly, because I can only laugh at myself for still clinging to that bit of fantasy.

While this photo is not in the daytime, it captures a feeling for me.  A good feeling.  Just sitting and reading. No urgency, no rush...just taking time to do something I enjoy. Contentment. Today was a good day. I hope your was too!

Monday, December 16, 2013

AAM: Project Life 13 Week 48

The end of November in these pages. That is a good feeling knowing that I did stick with it for the whole year so far. It's unlikely that there will be a reason to not finish. The majority of my pages are printed and ready to go into the album...one quiet afternoon before Christmas.


I tend to wonder if this is one of the last photographs I'll have where I am not the shortest one in the group. I am 5'7 and my grandchildren inherited my 6'4 father's tall genes. Right now I'm only taller than 11 year old Hannah!



Friday, December 13, 2013

Five on Friday: December 13, 2013

Yes, Friday the 13th!  Some good things first...

1. My dear maternal Nana was born on the 13th so to me that's a good number whether it's on a Friday or any other day of the week.  Only Nana could say if she felt lucky or not. Considering the things that most working class women of her day endured, I'll say no.  I have a friend whose grandmother was of the same generation as my Nana. My friend talked of her grandmother sailing to Europe on the original Queen Mum and dating some young man from 'one of THOSE families', families with names that are known round the world. By contrast, my Nana had to drop out of school in the 4th grade(about 1910) to go work in a silk factory and help support the family. Anyhow 13 always makes me think of Nana.

2. Another good feeling? How about that feeling when you pull out of a gas station with a full tank of gas and know you're good to go for ...500+ miles!

3. I also feel good when I see the more than generous attitudes of drivers letting other people have the right of way, especially when the shopping centers are packed with drivers hunting a parking space. It makes up for the lunatic who runs the red lights and seems to be going 20mph at least over the speed limit. Me? I try not to judge the lunatic and say a prayer in case s/he has a real emergency that makes that behavior seem important.

4. We had predictions of a snow/ice storm day last week and my dh put plastic over our windshields so we wouldn't have to scrape in case we needed to go out. It looked like we had two broken windshields but it did make de-icing almost a snap. Just yank the plastic off and I was done! Thank you Mr. R!

5. Finally one that I say FAIL to...the next Pantone Color of the Year.  Yes, it goes with all those grays and yellows but not in my house or on my bod.  At least it's a warm color but still...not for me.




Thursday, December 12, 2013

What Do You See

I saw this photo of one of my granddaughters on Facebook and found it haunting.

She usually is a ham in front of the camera. She has also learned how to put on a happy face in public. But in this photo she has a serious look, a somber look... one where she is looking at the photographer or looking right through that person.  Looking into the soul. Seven year olds see and know so much more than they say, don't they.

all Anna Aspnes products

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Trevel With Me Tuesday: Boston Goodbye

Yes, this short week of pages from my February 2013 trip is done. I don't think I'll make another trip to Boston in 2014 for snow. Always good to skip a year!  We'll see if I go anywhere by myself or just enjoy the stay at home when he decides to go south with his bicycle.


And then I decided to miss The BIG Snow! Wise move but I know I would have stayed if I were younger. I like my creature comforts too much now.


Monday, December 9, 2013

AAM Monday: Project Life Week 46

I am determined to get the rest of the year's weeks done before January, or at least darn close. I have all my photos up to this week sorted in iPhoto using Cathy Zielske's wonderful tip. Yes, how was it that I didn't know about this either!?!?  But now I do, and it's made my life a lot easier.

The next step is exporting those images to the appropriate weekly folder in my 2013 Project Life Folder and then importing them into Lightroom for the culling and editing, exporting as an edited sub-folder. If you know an easier way for that process, I'm all ears. Actually, Lightroom is pretty darn swift so I'm not stressed about that now that I have a good flow. Right now I'm doing the minimum of editing because good enough done is better than perfect not done. kwim?





Friday, December 6, 2013

Five on Friday: December 6, 2013

The weather is playing games with us. We've had temperatures in the 60s which is good for more garden cleanup but not conducive to serious thoughts of winter. It's also the issue of clothes again. I have my winter clothes out in the closet but by afternoon it's not-quite-summer clothes but... Mama Nature, please make up your mind!

And so onto thoughts...

1. Having seen an obituary about a 50ish woman who died from cancer of the appendix, I am grateful that I had my appendix out when I was about 4. But, have you ever heard of cancer of the appendix???

2. Another bit of gratitude.  DH talked to an old buddy for the first time in many, many years, and the man said his adult daughter called asking him which states were ok for her to go through carrying her Glock. WTF? Uh, fortunately, none of our children have ever raised this issue. We suspect we are poles apart from this man politically. Sad, because it would have been nice for dh to connect to someone he was very close too when they were in their teens and 20s. Different paths...

3. Need a good laugh? Thank you Pinterest.



4. Things you learn on the internet. Sometimes they are things you still cannot quite grasp. I saw the word "verucca" and needed to google it. Veruccas are warts. Now, I quote...A wart is a small, rough growth resembling a cauliflower or a solid blister. It typically occurs on humans' hands or feet but often in other locations."  A cauliflower!?!?!?  I will never see that vegetable without imagining it growing in places it shouldn't be growing, especially those 'other' locations.

5. Last but not least, also from Pinterest, a photo described as 'porn pants'. Sadly or fortunately, depending on your tastes, it was just a man in a pair of rather stylish and expensive looking leather trousers. Chacun a son gout.

Yes, this week could certainly have been subtitled News of the Weird.  Just lucky I guess!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

About This Tree

For all the years of our marriage, all 12 of them, The Tree has been an issue. I married a Christmas curmdgeon who felt it was all too much, a result of being married in round 1 to a woman who loved excess I am told. More! More! More! Never again, he said.

I am not like that but after years of living in countries where Christmas was just another day, and it was usually hot as ...well worse than Florida or Hawaii... I loved being able to go back to my childhood love of Christmas. As a single woman I did what I could for those years between marriages and never got caught up in the Shoulds or Gottas because I knew both my money & my time were limited.  Also, my children were teenagers and somewhat jaded.

Our first year of marriage was a battle for a live tree. Now I had someone to cut a tree again!  God Forbid! he cried, and so I went with friends. We all got trees and I came home to a sullen husband. But I had my tree. He deigned to put it up and you'd think the Eiffel Tower was being constructed. I asked if I could help, occasionally, but mostly left the room. One doesn't encourage bad behavior or language. I don't and I knew it wouldn't help if I laughed.

That year we said No Presents, which to me meant no big presents. I mean, stockings have to have some little things in them or so I thought. The stockings were hung well before Christmas and he had a new one from me. Come Christmas morning, there was a man having a hissy fit because I had bought little things for his stocking while he got me Nothing. Absolutely nothing. It was an early lesson in how each of heard different things from the same words. His sulk lasted a long time despite or because  many of our male friends said "You did WHAT?"  He stopped mentioning it.


In some subsequent years we had an artificial tree, ones that were unlit and required yards of lights. Other trees were pre-lit and half the lights wouldn't work for year two. One artificial tree drowned in a basement flood ....don't ask! 


One year during our house renovation we had a funky tree of lights but no furniture or finished anything. I don't believe I asked for a live tree again even though the offer was made. Once bitten, twice shy.

There were years we had presents. Mostly we didn't and were both ok with that. The stockings don't get hung.



This year, I was going to pass on doing a tree but he looked a bit unsure. Did I really mean it or was I going to regret the decision? Finally I said, Ok, see if we have a tree in the cellar and we'll use it.

He found the skinny tree and it was put up with no complaints, nor any reminders. The lights worked! I decided to continue the use of cookie cutters on the tree and just a few more ornaments since the tree is in the kitchen.  I finished up and saw looks of...well, not quite disapproval but certainly not satisfaction. I should have known. This man likes bling and excess whether he knows it or not.  Simple and/or elegant don't quite do it for him. Yes, we have the tree up - just as he once said he never wanted at all - and now he thinks it should have more decorations, LOTS more! Sorry luv, I just don't have the energy for putting them on AND taking them all down and packing them away. That woman no longer lives in our house.

Perhaps next year we'll celebrate Hanukkah? Potato latkes and bags of gelt. Sounds perfect!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: December 4, 2013

Seriously, wouldn't any military member love this?

no link to original on Pinterest

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Travel With Me Tuesday...Where Ever I May Go

No, no post about the never-seems-to-be finished trip down the Rhine and Danube. The trip of November 2012.  I'll get back to it some time but as I missed the week of scrapping while on vacation last month I have to let that 2012 trip go for a bit. I'll finish my Project Life for this year and then see what 2014 brings.

So where am I not going this December?



Well, I've decided I'm not doing a December Daily this year. I'll do some pages of old Christmas memories but nothing day by day. I just can't deal with that. Not this year. We are doing a minimal amount of decoration for Christmas and both of us are content that way. It leaves me more energy to go places at the drop of the hat and socialize with people and cook for them. I'm not sure what I have less of...physical or emotional energy for the whole Christmas to-do but I suspect it's probably both. Focusing on Hospice work also gives me a different way of looking at what I think is important. Important for me right now.

Where else am I not going? Well for much the same reason, I'm not going to be taking the Adobe offer of Photoshop CC and LR5 for $9.99 a month for a year. I have LR5 already and really, when I look at all the things I want to do and really need to do, dealing with a new software program that I truly don't need isn't something I want to add to my plate. It wasn't easy saying No, but it feels right. Somehow it was one of those things just like seeing something at the Mall, like winter boots with a 5in heel,  that all the 'cool kids' have and almost buying them but stepping back and thinking ....I really don't want them and they sure don't suit me but still being pulled to get them.

But I am traveling, and expect to travel weekly. I will be off today crossing the Bay for my first 'real' session at Hospice. They are going to train me to write condolence letters. I feel that it won't be a great struggle as I'm rarely at a loss for words  but getting back on a PC has me a bit spooked. Uh...I love my Macs and when I've had to use a PC keyboard my fingers balk and my mind says...For chrissake, this is a clumsy bit of gear! and a tethered mouse??? so 1990s.  But, I'm hoping that I may be able to bring one of the resident Macbooks over and work on that with templates perhaps? We'll see, and if I do have to work with a PC, it will help me get back to being 'bi-lingual' i.e able to work on two platforms, even if one is 2nd rate in my prejudiced opinion.

Anything else? Well, I'm going to take some time and do easy things like those canning jars with the rosemary and candles. Simple, using things I have and restful to the spirit. A peaceful December I hope.  I hope your December journey fits your soul just fine.

Monday, December 2, 2013

AAM Monday: Project Life Week 45

Vacations get me a bit behind especially when I've uninstalled one version of PSE and forget to install the newer one.  Nothing like seeing that the laptop is missing something for scrapping....something important like software! This is the downside to insisting on hard disc versions.

But looking back pre-vacation we have....





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