Friday, February 28, 2014

Five on Friday: February 28, 2014

1. Of course February goes quickly. It's the shortest month but the persistent snow has made it a month of staying in with one day seeming very much like the prior one and the next ones. Scratch most Marylanders these days and the prevailing opinion is that we are so over this winter, so over it. That's not a normal complaint round here where most years we long for a good snowfall. Enough already. When the snow thaws in places I see the tips of daffodils and yesterday I cut some forsythia branches to force. March 21 is officially spring and in a normal year, we think about turning the a/c on by the first week or two of April. We'll see what this year brings.

2. I finally started watching the current version of "House of Cards". So so good.  I'm only 2/3 done with season 1 and I may wait a bit to start season 2.  Relish it a bit. Having watched the original British version, I know what season two could bring. There was shocking badness in that original version and I can imagine it repeated in the American version.

3. Suddenly my days seem to be filled with doctors' appointments. That tends to happen at certain times of the year, and I am so grateful to have medical insurance even beyond Medicare but still. Sometimes I wistfully remember the days when a doctor's visit rarely happened in my life. I still don't get 'sick' but old age has brought more issues that need periodic checks. C'est la vie.

4.I was cooking something the other day that called for thyme. I don't have dried thyme in the house anymore but my several feet of thyme plants were deep under the snow. Today, I went through my dried spices and found I DID have one small container of my thyme, dried.  This winter has been a reminder to dry some of all my herbs AND label the containers. Yes, you would think I know better but I don't.

5. It's Feast time again! Feast from the library that is. Don't you wonder how certain books can be #1 on your hold list for months, and then suddenly a flock of them come in? Well, my ship of books came in and I'm really torn between gobbling them or binge watch more of some of the tv shows I want to see on Netflix.  I sure am prepared for any more snow. Toilet paper stocked up weeks ago and I have all the makings for bread. Milk I can do without as I drink my tea black.

Have a great weekend! I have no plans which sounds just right to me.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Snow ....Again?

Just a quick one to say I started off the morning with my first visit to a Chiropractor. Very good appointment and yes, my x-rays explain a lot of the why of my various tears in seemingly random joints. I knew from my JinShinJyutsu work that the spiral pattern of my aches and tears meant something, I just didn't quite get it - yet.

But while I was there this a.m., it started to snow...again. A truly beautiful snow and one that left us with about 1.5-2 inches but fortunately, none stuck to the street! The sun is now out and the temperature had risen so I believe I will try and start watching "House of Cards".  A good afternoon for taking it easy, especially as I have no snow to shovel.

Monday, February 24, 2014

AAM Monday: Antsy

Sometimes, I just can't wait to do something so I rush in without doing the things that might have been better done first. I wasn't like this when I was young. I read the manuals, checked the instructions, researched things. I suspect it took years of living to realize that you can't just keep preparing for any and all contingencies. That's fear based living.

I am constantly reminded of this as I use my Lightroom5 as a cataloging software for my digital supplies. I was soooo anxious to get this started that I ignored the sound advice to clean out my supplies before I imported them into Lightroom. Clean them out???? discard some??? God forbid!

On one hand, I can see a reason for not doing this. I really didn't know what I did have. But I was also just plain greedy I think. I wanted it all. Period. In the end, I did import it all and bit by bit I am going back and discarding things I really don't like all that much. Some of my taste has changed since I started buying in 2008 and some of the things that were free or that I bought are really not as well done as current products. Some things are classic and some are just outdated trends.

As I was doing a steady purge last weekend, I picked a couple of items as I was going along and used them to make a layout of my grandson. He was totally worn out his 1st semester in college. He pledged a fraternity, had a heavy load and in the end survived with very good grades. He is a really hard worker when he knows what he wants and I admire him for that. What I liked about doing this layout was that I had no Digi Store requirements to worry about. I could just play with what I felt like and enjoy the process in a different way. I also had a lot of digital trash at the end of the day! Good feelings all around.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Five on Friday: February 21, 2014

Yesterday was a very  busy day but good busy. I was out of the house a lot of the time and feel as if a lot of things jelled.

1. A great quote for those of us who drink the leaves of the tea plant.  "Teabags hold the cure to life." I don't know where I found it but I like it. Just think...after you drink your tea, you can dry the bags and make art with them!

2.  I usually feel that if I hear about something twice in one week, it's a sign that I am meant to take action. If I hear about something 3 times, I feel that time #3 is God's two by four! Two people mentioned the same chiropractor with glowing terms, so I made the decision. When I made the phone call, I noticed that he is in the same building where I used to work. How true that we tread a circular path in life. My appointment is for next Tuesday!

3. When I was looking for some oyster festivals at the beginning of the year I spotted one on Maryland's Eastern Shore for a time when my dh would be off riding his bicycle in Florida. I put it on the calendar and bought my ticket. I hope to gobble bivalves like these to my heart's content on Sunday. And if they have roast oysters I may just faint with delight!

4. What to  buy a 12 year old girl? I've been stumped by this child for the past couple of years, and while I know from her parents that what she really wants is money, I'm trying to think of a little thing to add to the cash. I need divine inspiration today!

5. Over the past couple of months I have wondered how my volunteer activities will fit together and will fit me. Yesterday, I was asked to do cooking at Hospice. First I was asked if I knew how to cook. (Is the Pope Catholic?) Yes, I said. Do I like to cook? Oh I love to cook! Would I be willing to cook dinners for the hospice guests. Of course! When I looked at the cooking calendar, Thursdays were blank. I got the picture  - on the material and spiritual level. 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Travel With Me Tuesday; Baltimore Newark Paris & More

I have put the Rivercruise trip on hold because I find I have already done a lot of the work for the 2008, yes...2008! trip to Spain and Portugal. Back in those days I was more diligent about blogging about the trips and even got some of it done while ON the trip. Now I just stay more in the moment but that means a whole lotta catchup upon return or more likely - someday.

This trip started in February 2008, only 6 years ago! I am going to alternate or mix a bunch of artsy pages along with the clean and simple pages. God willing it will all get done in a reasonable amount of time that way. But as long as I enjoy it, I'll do it. It feels like it's time.

Monday, February 17, 2014

AAM Monday: February 17, 2014

It seems strange that this is a holiday because I think of President's Day as Feb 22nd. That shows my age but the other thing is that when you are retired, all days are holidays! And on the other hand, while I was still working for the General Assembly here in MD, holidays didn't happen for us. The General Assembly meets for 90 days and while we didn't work Saturday or Sunday, it sometimes felt like we did.  But that's the past and today I'm sharing a page from an All About Me challenge at Designer Digitals.

I was pretty worried about making my appointment with my knee doctor with all the snow we've had. The appointment I had earlier was cancelled due to the first big snowfall that seems to have lingered in one way or another, usually with just more snow. MD doesn't cope with snow the way states who get it on a regular basis do.

Worry also extended to what my future options might be. I was not in an upbeat mood that day so the page came at a perfect time to scrap the emotion out! Art Therapy. It works.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Five on Friday: February 14, 2014

Yes, this post has to start out with the Valentine's Day message but baby it's cold outside! We actually have a special lunch to go to compliments of our financial adviser. He does this every year and it's a nice treat. We'll see if the weather makes it possible.

1. Are you thinking about Project Life? Here's a link to a freebie from the source...Becky Higgins. A free Project Life Starter Kit. You will certainly see how easy it can be if you're ready for the digi version.

2. I had my first experience of working directly with the guests in Hospice and loved it. I'm so glad they call the people in probably their last days of life guests, and not clients or patients. It represents a whole different attitude. btw, beat the hell out of any place that calls the people in that institution as beds. People are not beds. Beds hold people. People with names.

3.I'm thinking these little albums might make a great gift for the grandchicks. I suspect they will be or are now in some independent scrapping stores. Aren't the colors dreamy?

4. I finally got round to making the slow roast beef recipe my dil gave me, saying my son and grandson devoured it. That's a good recommendation any time. 2.5 hrs per pound at 200 degrees means 10 hours cooking for a 4lb eye of round. I had to plan that pretty well since I'm not up early and functional enough to get it in for a 6 pm dinner. So I got it prepped and my dh put it in as he gets up in the dark a.m. Nice to have the oven on all day in this cold.

5. I'm seriously thinking about finding this pattern and even considering making this tunic top. It would be so nice for the summer in a linen. I love it and looking at a lot of similar items on Etsy etc, they are usually over $100. and more often sold out. I have a machine and once could sew fairly well. This looks sooo comfortable and covers a multitude of 'sins'.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Apps....You are Addictive

This week my dh and I talked about how many apps we have on our phones that we don't use that much or even at all any more. I don't know if he did any clearing out but I did. Then my dear enablers at Designer Digitals had to mention a few one might like. aaaargh!  The only one I succumbed to was Mobile Monet. I think I'll like this one. I really only just gave it a second or two on this image but was happy enough to scrap it. I'm so bad about taking the time to practice with these apps and have to go back and forth to remember what you do in which one.  We need NIST standards for app techniques!

Anyhow ....try this one. It's fun but it's also one you can use and modify for some interesting results. Only $1.99.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

What Will Happen on Downton Abbey I Ask (SPOILER ALERT)


Since we only have, what...2 or 3... more episodes, what will they do to wind up a few of the BIG issues. No, I haven't seen or read any reports from the UK people who do know.

This is just what my friend and I are wondering....

Oh Edith...we could have told you there would be Issues. Now that she has a chance to tell Mama while Papa is away, we only have to wonder about her Michael. Is he just a man who has trifled with her? Is he a Nazi sympathizer who is going to do bad things? or is he a true British hero who has gone undercover and will later be found to be working for His Majesty's Service?

Mr. Bates...temper, temper. Oh that look you gave the dastardly bastard who raped your lovely Anna. Stay calm and deal with getting Anna healthy again. But who will take action and see that just desserts are given? Will Bates risk all? or will it be the ladies who take action, mainly a combo of Mary and the spine of steel Mrs. Hughes. Or will the new seamstress, who observes and deduces all play a part?

Barrow...will we see his return or will he find the man of his dreams in America and rise from the ranks of servant to become the beloved of a man who can keep him in the Upstairs Style?

And many men, so many choices but pigs are on her mind. What is a rich widow to do...

Regarding pigs, how about a future relationship between Tom Branson and little Daisy? They were both once equals and Daisy does have the farm inheritance in her future. A possibility there.

I'm sure there are many other threads dangling right now but these are the ones my friend and I had a few giggles over.  What do you think?

Monday, February 10, 2014

AAM Monday: Project Life Week 4 and 5

I'm caught up and feel good about it. It's ok to not be current - getting behind sounds so discouraging, doesn't it? But I want to focus on some other things too, like travel albums and getting a bunch of my images downloaded from Flickr. I believe my relationship with Flickr is on rocky ground.

This was the week that I had to reinvent the wheel because I saved my journaling 6x12 as a merged .psd. Haste makes many mistakes, doesn't it!

Week 5 went back to 2 page spreads.

I found that I have a lot of journaling if I am diligent about using the  DayOne app.  And yes, I'm mixing rounded images with square corner Collect cards. I'm ok with that but want to get a bit more journaling on those Collect cards. I just have to test it out some time.

Do you have rules for your Project Life?

Friday, February 7, 2014

Five on Friday: February 7, 2014

I've never considered myself a trend-follower though once in a while I eventually do get with the bandwagon once I've seen the color long enough to decide, Yes, I can wear that. Other times, I see a trend and figure out a way to make it, get it cheaper. Re food? if it's something I've never liked, it's unlikely you'll see it on my plate or  in my kitchen. If it's a time consuming technique to produce a result that seems a right bit pretentious, well...not in my kitchen nor on the bill when we eat out.

Today, I'm giving you five trends that I won't be following. I don't hate them,  or think they're stupid but they're just not me. Nor are they things you'll see and say...I've never seen that before!!! Well, unless your rock is bigger than you realized, these are all out there being enjoyed by many. Maybe one will strike your fancy as a great idea.  Feel free!

1. Calligraphy. No, my name is not being called. Not in this lifetime. I'm quite happy to have pretty fonts on my computer if a want a bit of this kind of stuff. But me doing it with pen, nib and ink? That's reinventing the wheel in my world.

2. Neon. I may end up with some small thing like a pair of cheap sandals in a neon color but otherwise, my blinders are on for this trend.

3. Maxi dresses and/or skirts. I'm talking about daytime outfits. Nighttime is made for long and flowly.  I recall these way back in the 70s and they were awkward to walk in and the only great thing about them seemed to be that we went a big longer in shaving our legs. Nope, too bulky for me. I'm bulky enough as it is!
pretty but ankle twisting dangerous

4. Animal innards. Offal? yes awful. I can eat some sausage, I've learned to love scrapple, I adored chicken live pate but otherwise, I'll pass. Yes, eating these things is healthy and respectful of the animal but I'll still pass.

5. Pantone Radiant Orchid. No, it's not my color for Spring 2014, though I can see doing something with this for Easter. My grandson had purple and white as his school colors for 4 years. Deep purple. I got really really tired of it. Violet, lavender, orchid, purple....they've never been in my color family.  I will think about this Dazzling Blue all the way on the right though. With Fresia, Sand or Paloma, I think it's gorgeous. Actually Radiant Orchid IS really pretty too I must admit. Maybe with a pair of khackis in the summer???

Thursday, February 6, 2014

What Am I Watching

Well in the am, when I come down to get my tea, I often stop and look at the little birds that come up onto our deck for bread crumbs or sips of liquid via the snow.  Later in the day, I can occasionally watch some of the brain damaged cardinals fling themselves at our glass doors. The doors have a reflective coating to reflect heat outwards and so the cardinals see themselves and either want to mate or kill 'that other bird'. They don't tell me what's on their minds.  For two years I've put up images of owls which is supposed to scare them and they ignore the images. Or maybe they have never seen a real owl round here. I sure haven't.

But other than these few birds, I've not watched a lot of telly lately.

Redbox had specials so he and I watched Captain Phillips. Very good especially for $1.27. The next day I had a free offer so I got Blue Jasmine. Woody was mean spirited here but again, it was free and Cate Blanchette did a great job.  So far, that's probably all I'll see of the nominees for Academy Awards unless Redbox comes through with another one or two.

I got two videos from the library. A Single Man with Colin Firth and Julianne Moore.  Much more of a downer than I realized but a wonderful period piece of LA in the early 60s. Mr. and Mrs. Bridge I never watched so I can't comment on that one. I may get it back again.

I nearly had a conniption Super Bowl Sunday, when after watching the Super Bowl, I went over to PBS for the latest Downton  Abbey. Ack! I thought it would play twice that evening but no, it was Sherlock Holmes.  Scrambling to find PBS on Demand, the newest episode wasn't there yet on Sunday night. Fortunately for my sanity, it was available Monday.

I'm finishing up the final episode, of the final season of Treme. I'm still enjoying it now that I accept that 1/3 of the show at least is going to be music. There's a lot to be resolved in this last show...which I'm sure will not be resolved but left for me to 'write' the next episode as I'd have it.

Finally, I've seen so many of the Doc Martin shows at random, I plan to start the series from the git go and watch them in order.  Maybe a day or so of binge tv later this month.

I'm also watching Girls which is better now that they are maturing a bit. I might get sucked back into 24 and Sherlock Holmes is also on my list. If you have any suggestions of shows that can be watched On Demand (I cannot deal with commercials any more.) let me know what you're enjoying lately on the Tube, Netflix or Redbox.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Two Weeks Ago

Today I have another JinShinJyutsu session with my friend Janie. 

2 weeks ago, I had a session, and the day changed a lot while I was there.

That snowfall looked lovely at the start but we still have remnants here and there as the weather was well below freezing for longer than normal. A long bitter cold spell that is rare for our area. Yesterday's rain cleared most of it away and also finally washed the omnipresent salt away. Sadly, here, most of that goes right into the Chesapeake Bay. Salt and many other chemicals I'm sure are involved in keeping our roads clear.

I'm hoping that at least the cold will have made a dent on the 'bad' bugs and froze their little souls. However, I did find a living stinkbug in the house yesterday. He was dispatched to stinkbug hell ...

Monday, February 3, 2014

AAM Monday: Project Life Week 3

I still have a few odds and ends to wrap up on the California trip but  I'll get to them in time. I like the feeling of being caught up on the more current weeks so today you get week 3. Later today I'll start my work on week 5 and be current.  I can always find the odd bit of time to go back to ones that are finito in my mind, but I like to make sure I remember what I wanted to remember from the week that just ended. 

Week 3

Week 3 also had a journaling card that I repeated for Week 4. I don't know if I'll do this all the time but I was in the mood for a clean layout. So far I've been diligent about using Day 1, which is a big big help.

I did play a bit with some challenges on line and got a page or two other than Project Life done. This is one of them.

Are you doing anything like Project Life or a monthly thing? It gives me as much time in the creative world as I'm needing right now.

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