Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Travel With Me Tuesday: Bawlmer, Hon

It wasn't far, but it had been a long time since I went north to Baltimore. As my dh reminded me, I had been to Baltimore quite recently, but he was counting the train station at BWI. That's not the city, hon.  Driving up to meet him at Gertrudes for brunch, I had to rely on GPS since the way to get there did not seem to be in my brain any more. I had a general idea but oh surprise! there was a game at Camden Yards. Yes, I thought.... How 'bout the Oooos, hon...but that didn't get my  past the happy crowds.  GPS did.

Here I am in one of those images that appear in your camera as a surprise. No. I wasn't going incognito, I just appeared!

Then this one is not me. Just someone waiting for a friend no doubt or tired of the walk from the parking lot. You never know, do you.

Most of the point of the visit. We have, from top to bottom, his Eggs Benedict with Crabcake, our friend's Shrimp Po-Boy, and my Eggs Benedict with Smoked Salmon and Cheesy Hominy. Not grits, hominy.  All dishes were pronounced quite good but I will say that grits would have been a better potato substitute for me, but now I know. Those cheesy hominy bits were a tad heavy.

We didn't visit the Museum as our CA friend had a flight to catch to take him home back home for a few days. He crosses the country A LOT. We did have a stroll round the gift shop and while I didn't buy anything, I fell in love with this old fashioned dress. Embroidery on the blouse and the jumper. Totally adorable and while I have two granddaughters who could wear this neither of them have mothers that would bother. Totally foreign to their life styles. So I just enjoyed looking at it and imagined a different little girl wearing this as she went out to brunch with her Mommy and Nana. Brunch where you sit down and display your well taught manners. I have two who did this and it was a great treat.

Wasn't it a beautiful day?  One of those gems that seem to pop up between our still chilly April. A day to luxuriate in friends, food and warm sunshine. A perfect Sunday.

And yes, I had fun playing around with different frames for this post!

Monday, April 28, 2014

AAM Monday: Project Life Catchup

It wasn't that I was behind on Project Life, it's that two of those weeks were in Italy, and that made me feel like I was not current because those weeks are not done. I hope to get some more of those pages done this week...maybe all...but you never know when the inspiration has a hiatus.

So without further ado -Week 11 

 and Week 12 - the first part.

and that takes us right into Italy which is a project of its own. A slowly going project.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

ThrowBack Thursday - Oh Those 70s

Yes, I know many of you were not even born in the 70s. Many of you. But these two lads of mine were.  Here they are, their very first time in California - mine too - in the desert near 29 Palms. I have always supposed that is a Joshua Tree but what did I know? I had spent most of my life on the East Coast, and the prior 7 years in England. I'll stick to this story until corrected.

These boys of mine have grown up to be men older than I was in this 1975 photo. The 8 year old knew how to look cool but the almost 4 year old may have been embarrassed by the non matching pattern of his trousers or did he know the future was so bright he had to wear shades! Fortunately, they no longer wear trousers like these. But then again, I've seen these plaids come back. What's old is new, over and over. I bet there are houses in this barren landscape now! A lot happens in almost 40 years.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

AAM Tuesday: It's His Birthday

My dear husband turns 75 today!! What a milestone.  He already got his Nespresso machine so here is a page for him. The caption under the image of the King and family (daughter Princess Elizabeth and Queen (Mum) Elizabeth says they were amused at a play they saw the night my dh was born. I'm sure there is a connection, don't you think?

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Cat or Easter Bunny

Ah Sebastian, you still have a secure place in our hearts. I saw this photo on my ehd and it was called Easter Cat. I don't know what year I took this but it was over 5+ years ago and I felt he needed a little page of his own. His memory can be my Easter Bunny.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Five on Friday: April 18, 2014

Spring, spring, spring. Once again, despite pollen, high winds etc etc, I am so so glad this winter is nearly over.  Spring has been especially welcome this year.

1. Those of us who are closely attached to our computers, and you know who you are!, get all giddy when new EHDs are announced. For years, the term has been smokin' hot. But now LaCie announces that the new Thunderbolt drives   have "Shocking speeds up to 420MB/s". Obviously, customers will be dropping at their desktops.

2.  Dog sitting is something I always enjoy doing for my son and family. It's like a mini stay-cation where I can have the house to myself (their house) with no real responsibilities except to love and care for the aging but alert dog. I can eat what and when I want and explore different neighborhoods and shopping areas. Mostly I just enjoy the feeling of a week with no one but myself to care for. A true vacation.

3. Each year as I put the seasonal decorations out, more and more of them get downsized out. This feels very liberating and light. The one thing I suspect I'll keep forever is the set of blown out eggs my friend Anne and I did about 20 years ago. Blowing them out was a chore for sure but then we realized neither of us really knew how to marble with oils. It was a test and learn but we did it. I think of that fun day every Easter. Thank you Anne for your patience and lung power!

4. A recent article in the Washington Post Home section showed an idea for LED ceiling lights on a covered outside deck. I really like that idea and one day would like to do something like that...inside or out. The company is Wiedamark.com  I wonder if any of you have installed something like this.

5. The house next to my son is a new one being built on a lot where the older one was seriously neglected to the point of bats living inside! A new house is good but the construction work leaves much to be desired. The workers cut the french drains on the other side and flooded the area, fortunately not my son's house.  Long ago, before a major road was built nearby, there was a creek coming through this area. Water knows its path....as flooded yards and waterlogged basements attest to.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Tuesday Tutorial: Coloring Doodles

Christine, the Listgirl of the Fabulous Adventures of Listgirl, had a great video tutorial on how to color digital doodles over at Write.Click.Scrapbook. I love seeing how things are done as opposed to just reading them. I believe I tend to forget the 'check contiguous' when I try to do this and then wonder why my whole page has changed color! Maybe seeing it this way will make it stick in my cluttered brain.

click here to get to Write.Click.Scrapbook tutorial

Thanks to Christine, and Write.Click.Scrapbook for this video. We are so blessed in digiland to have so many generous people willing to teach us all these simple and wonderful techniques.

Monday, April 14, 2014

AAM Monday: I'm Not in Class

My senior center offered a Mixed-Media class this semester, and going against my rule of Schedule NOTHING on Monday, I signed up.  I missed the first class and was over an hour late to the 2nd. (Are these Red Flags already??)

What I gathered from the part of the class I managed to attend was that people bring their own projects in and work on them there with guidance and little exercises from the teacher. Last week they, well many of them, were sketching a blue hydrangea. I have no interest in sketching, really don't want to paint that way but stayed open to the idea. I sat and watched while some did wonderfully accurate sketches and one just painted one of her canvases with oils. No relation to the hydrangea. It also didn't seem to me that it had any relation to what I consider mixed media. I suspect that is a very nebulous term.

As the week has passed, I've thought it over and I don't want to spend 2+ hours of my day doing something I'm not really interested in. Yes, I might learn to sketch but I'd rather have those hours in my own studio to do what strikes my fancy.  And so...I'm not in class.  I've withdrawn so that if someone else wants my place it's available.

It it doesn't fit, I don't need to wear it. Many things are learned in life and I've just realized I know this lesson - for today at least. Do you know when to say...not this isn't me? It's not what I need. Sooner this is learned the happier you'll be.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Five on Friday: April 11, 2014

Dessert the other night at Hospice was banana pudding, a dessert I've never chosen to eat but one that many people rave about. I cooked, they liked.

1. Great advice from Elise Blaha Cripe  "...there is not enough money in the world to sacrifice sleep to stress."

2. My beef with broccoli for the hospice guests tasted quite good I must say. One guest did say..."I hope it tastes better than it looks." They don't like their veggies crunchy but they want them green. What's a cook to do... advice welcome!

3. The Casual Vacancy,  J.K. Rowling's new book that is not a Harry Potter book. I have slowly plodded my way through it but don't recommend it. I know British dialect but enough already. I also have decided that I really don't like almost any of the characters. In real life we all have our issues but this book seemed to be more about the issues and a whole flock of people with their warts ooozing out was not a great deal of fun. ymmv.

4. Wednesday I spent a good amount of time with a friend and asked her to listen to my complaints/issues about/with our recent Italian trip. It was a good way for me to think of the things that bugged me and see very clearly which ones were out of my control, e.g. shit happens, and which ones I could address. As women nearing 70, we both are very clear that when our sleep is disturbed we are not physically or emotionally well. You don't want to be around during those times!

5. All the air conditioners are in and it has been done before it got hot with a capital H.  A good feeling and good work done by a good husband. I'm enjoying this warm but not hot weather a lot. aCHOO! aCHOO! No real allergy issues here but pollen is shooting out from most every living thing.

Armed with tissues, I hope you have a great weekend! I have no plans which I hope stays that way. Easy catch up with a lot of little-to-do ease. 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Green Grow the Fields

In the months making my drive across the bay and into the Eastern Shore, I have loved seeing nature change through the many farmed fields I pass. When I first went, the corn was still there and but nearing harvest. I believe much of it may be animal corn as opposed to the corn we humans relish so much. Not sure but I'll have to enquire as this year progresses.

Later in the fall, the fields were cut and went into a dormant stage for the winter. Some had been cleared and some still had the corn stalk stubble. It was a peaceful sight under a lot of gray autumn and winter skies.

Last week I saw this! It was still an overcast sky with threatening rain, but the green! Oh the green!

Spring has definitely come to the shore. It has also come on the western shore but these vast fields or green made my heart sing. The lovely time between the bitter cold of our recent winter and the hot, humid summer that we usually have. Carpe diem!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Travel With Me Tueday: Say What?

I love this little app - Collect - and how it nicely asks you at the end of the day if you have taken your Collect image. Well, I took this image back on March 17th in NYC's Penn Station. However, I suspect I  made the card a day or two later. Why else would the message have been auto corrected from"It's cold and there are lots of diesel smells..." to "It's colds and Guillermo of diesel smells..."

Just one of those travel, iPhone, computer, whatever mysteries of life. I could go back and either remake this card or correct it but it's a travel memory all on its own. btw, that's my dh standing next to the pillar in the center, watching our luggage while I went outside and had my rendezvous with Guillermo.  Good man to stooge around a bit while I get a city fix.

Monday, April 7, 2014

AAM Monday: I Like a Routine

At various times I've talked about my mugs for my morning tea. Let me tell you that just going to mugs back in the 80s was a big deal for me as I'd always been a cup and saucer woman. But a move back to the United States, a divorce and loss of my servant included way of life changed things. Forsaking the cup and saucer was a very hard habit to change but given that a cup of tea didn't hold that much, and I now had family responsibilities and a job and a house to deal with, the cup and saucer leisurely filled,  gave way to a more practical mug. The teapot remained. Some things are a given.

I soon learned that I did not like chunky mugs and definitely not those hand thrown ones that often seemed to drip down my face when drinking. Just as a teapot has to have a functional spout, and all don't, let me tell you..., a cup has to have the right lip so your tea or coffee gets where it's supposed to go. Inside the mouth and not down the chest.

I also have found, while on vacation when so much is out of synch and new, that I truly miss my china mugs. The kitchen on our last trip had a teapot but up on a shelf which made me wonder if it was decorative or one to be used. It also had a bunch of gold on it which made me think it was 'for show' as my mother used to say. I made my tea in an aluminum bowl. Sigh. The mugs were also thick pottery, nice enough but too heavy for my hand's taste.

It certainly is the small things that make a day go easily and comfortably. For me, some of it starts with that china mug of the day. My dh mentally rolls his eyes at this kind of thing but he has one old, scratched glass mug, heavy as all get out that he uses every day he can. It goes in the dishwasher on occasion but comes out looking just as gross grungy as ever. He loves that mug and complains that mugs elsewhere are too small, don't fit his hand etc etc We're the same, just with different tastes. But we each like our own familiar.

Do you have something small like this that makes your life 'comfortable'?

Friday, April 4, 2014

Five on Friday: April 4, 2014

Thing for this Friday; some I found and some my little brain just thought. Lots of times, the found things are ones that I want in my little brain even though I do rely on Contacts in my iPhone or screen shots I've saved on that phone.  Do you do that too?

1. While I just came from a trip, a favorite kind of trip is a road trip - total roadtrip freedom - with the radio rockin'. I have a friend or two who used to do this with me. Yes, we missed exits but we stopped to see a Calder exhibit in DC on the way to a Florida wedding and we laughed the almost-wet-your-pants kinda laugh on the NJ turnpike when we saw a beat up clunker with the immortal words, "If it's too loud, you're too fuckin old!"

Here's a post I found that has a great list of Road Trip Music. I need most of it and I need to take a road trip. Not with dh. He likes silence in the car. :(

2. On this recent trip to Italy, I noticed more and more of the little restaurants that serve fixed price menus now offer options of a primo (pasta) only or a secondi e contorni (meat and veggies) only in addition to or instead of the whole schmear. Not always cheaper but optional. I suspect more of those Italians are eating less and/or spending less time eating especially midday.

Tall Tales from Kansas

3. If you want to do embroidery like the photo above, then there is this little tutorial that tells you how to get those pesky French knots done. One of these days, I may even venture into this. I know I have some embroidery thread round here...somewhere. Trouble is I don't' know where that somewhere just might be.

4. Yesterday was my first day cooking at Hospice. It went well as I went about an hour early to get the layout of the kitchen. Where are the mixing bowls? where is the flour? where are the measuring spoons? etc etc  I also know that standing as one does in cooking outside the home is exhausting on the legs.  At home, I can sit down while some things are simmering away. I'll have to figure this one out AND wear better shoes.

5. Today I'm going to the service for someone I met 28 years ago. He is a peer of mine but as the obit says, he died from a lengthy battle with the disease of alcoholism.  So so sad.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Throwback Thursday: 1950

Every time I see this photo I recall how much I loved that dress. My mother and nana made all my clothes and I think I had more than one dress from this pattern.  Loved it and years later, I had one in a very similar style that I wore to the USNA graduation with a big straw hat. I met President Clinton that day and shook his hand and spoke to him. The dress was a winner!

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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Wearin' Out the Eyeballs

While I griped about our airport issues yesterday, I will say that Emirates has more leg room, feeds you better and has loads of entertainment. On the flight home I saw

After that I saw

And finally I saw

I liked them all but think I liked Philomena the best. My eyeballs were exhausted but the time passed pretty well. I suppose this is binge movie watching. I really don't recommend it but if you have to sit in a confined space for a long time, it's not too bad.

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