Friday, February 27, 2015

Five on Friday: February 28, 2015

Goodbye February! After many years of mild winters, I am so not used to cold and snow and especially COLD cold.  We used to think just below freezing was cold. Not anymore.  I'm done with it.  I'm not sure if Mama Nature hears me.

1. Totally addicted to spy and crime type shows especially those new ones with female leads. I watch 'on  demand' so I don't have to start a show at 10pm. The latest episode of  'State of Affairs' had me gasp. I knew it would happen but still... I really hope this series is picked up again. If not, I have my own ending.

2. There is this great ad/film on creativity for iPad. If you watched the Oscars, you probably saw it. I watched Downton Abbey so I only saw it this Monday.

Now don't you wish this had been your high school???

3. I saw this on a blog and thought it would be ideal for a friend of mine. Now I wish I had a cat again so I could make one of these. Well almost want ta cat again. Our late Siamese Sebastian was a darn hard act to follow.

click here

4. Long ago, when my chicks were in their 20s, I told them to get new passports. They had had ones via their father's job most of their lives and two of them were born outside the US. Only the adopted is a naturalized citizen; the other has citizenship as the child of two US citizens.  I told them several times during the 90s etc but now years after 9/11, one has an 'prove it' issue.  Oh well, Mama said...

5. Did you know the Easter Bunny is bringing something for the grownups this year? Oh yeah, save some chocolate for 10pm because this crowd is coming back. Perhaps some of you would prefer a snifter of brandy?

With the snow flurries of this a.m. hopefully over, I look forward to my dh's return from a week in Boulder CO. Snow here, snow there. I guess February deserves its winter reputation. Have a great weekend wherever you are!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

TBT: Cousins 1973

At a gathering at Aunt Phyllis and Uncle Tom's house, young Kevin apparently planned to test out his future role as a comedian.  Cousin Iain says that kind of behavior is not allowed in England!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Travel With Me Tuesday: Italy On My Mind

We always want to go to Italy.  So far we haven't planned any trip this year but it's still doable. I hope.

Truthfully, there has never been a place in Italy we didn't like. I was not overjoyed in Turin last April but even while we were there, I knew a lot of that was my increasing discomfort with my knee.  I truly could not walk much without pain so that colored my feeling. I'd go back there again because we had driven through the city on an earlier trip to Orta San Guilio and it was sunny and warm and the city was enticing. Sadly for me, even the sun last April wasn't enough. I suspect more  ups of Ciccolata Calda would have helped.

click for recipe

Now if you think that cup of ciccolata seems like the thickness of pudding, you are right.  Hot chocolate you eat with a spoon.

But where to go next in Italy. I looked at air fares today and if you want to have a 9-12 hour layover somewhere in Europe, you can get a flight for under $800 round trip. Somehow I don't think himself would buy that. I suspect we would more likely drive from our midpoint city but then how much more would that add in cost? Non-stop flights hover around $1,200.  And still where in Italy....

Places I'm pondering...Trieste, Venice again, Rome again, Naples in the fall or even as far 'away' as Sicily.  I'm also wondering if we should test out another tour and see a few places and make a decision on 1 for next year.  I would certainly have to learn to wear ear plugs to deal with Mr. Snorer. Last time I tried those plugs, I had very sore ears. The snoring has been a serious issue if I don't have a 2nd bed to retreat to.  Renting an apartment has been our salvation.

But in any case on these cold winter days I enjoy thinking of Italy the way some gardeners dream and plan with seed catalogs. I know what gets me through winter chills and it is not thoughts of the work of gardening. Those days are long gone in my mind. Sitting in a cafe with an espresso and perhaps a that's worth daydreaming about!

Monday, February 23, 2015

AAM Monday: PL wks 1 & 2

The start of 2015 was a slow one mostly made up of more of the same as 2014. Still focusing on healing the knee and working on progress.  There really wasn't a lot of need for two page layouts. It all works which is one of the reasons this project is so enjoyable.  No rules, no musts. And as these were done at the same time, they have the same base, which helps my bit of ocd'ness. 

Friday, February 20, 2015

Five on Friday: February 20, 2015

Well a few things have come to my attention this week.  I have even remembered a few to share with you.

1. What is this Year of the Goat? Goat? I learned a smattering of Chinese Astrology, even before my life in South East Asia. Goat??? It's the Year of the Sheep! I know because I married a sheep the first time! and he just turned 72 which makes this one of his years. Cycles of 12 you know.  But  goats? do the Chinese even have goats?

2.  Last night we had kugelis or koshi, as it was called in my home and with a long O,  for dinner. That's a Friday night special from my childhood that I refused to eat. Years pass and it's a comfort food for me now. Decidedly good with sausages and with bacon in the koshi mixture. However, it then is not a Friday, meat fasting dish, but I'm not a Friday meat faster anymore either.  I'm also lazy and did not squeeze the food processor grated potatoes in a towel. I just shoved them hard into the sides of a large, fine strainer. It works for me!

3. Often when I go off dogsitting, my husband (this one not the sheep one) will have a fish curry dinner for some of his friends. This week he had two and the men each usually bring something so it's really become a bit of a guided pot luck.  One man brought ice cream and cookies from a fairly new kinda fancy grocery store. I rarely go there because I learned some bad practices from a friend who worked there.  Rebagging the bread with current dates???  Well in any case, one man said the meat there was really good and another agreed. My dh had been in there looking for his Pataks Curry Paste and bought a bag of oranges. They turned out to be not very good and one already rotten. Both men who praised the meat said the produce was lousy.  Strange to have such ups and downs in one store, isn't it.

4. My reading has had a bunch of books that were meh for me lately but while across the Potomac, I read two psychological thrillers. Veddy veddy good. I recommend them both.

4. Today's temperature when I went out to the gym was 5º. I live so close that the heat doesn't kick in before I get there and my fingertips, in gloves, were numb. We so rarely get this kind of cold that I am reluctant to get other gloves. However, this fall I may look for ones that are fully insulated, good for driving AND have finger touch ability for my phone. Any suggestions?

Well that's it for me this week. Have a good weekend, keep warm if it's cold, and keep dry if you are out in OZ experiencing a cyclone.  Everything passes.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

TBT: Texas 1966

This lad, my former husband, here relaxing just before a wedding down in San Angelo Texas, just had a birthday this week. Birthday boy is now 72. Time does pass, doesn't it. Funnily enough, I now have yellow chairs just like those in the photo.  I bought mine on Craigs List a couple of years ago because they really appealed to me. Now I see why. Yellow metal chairs mean a happy time and I didn't even realize it til today!

Monday, February 16, 2015

AMM Monday: Silly at Starbucks

Last Friday, dh had a coupon for a pre-Valentine's Day treat at Starbucks. Coffee and a pastry for $5. Not necessarily the greatest bargain but a nice idea. So off we went when the clock struck 2pm. (That must be a slow time at Starbucks...) I was enticed by the one special...a Flat White with a chocolate croissant (warmed!).  He decided to get the other special ...a Raspberry Chocolate Latte with a shortbread cookie.

Mine was just right but as I suspected his choice was way too sweet for him.  This is a man who drinks Sumatran, black no sugar. (ugh...) But we enjoyed our treats, perused the new mugs and tumblers, and the types of coffee pods that fit the old Keurig passed on to us by our grandson. Nothing we needed but I would like one of those stainless straws!

While we were there I saw two couples come in but no one else sat at our table or played with the props. Maybe you have to be young enough or old enough to have fun being silly. Put me in the latter category!

 Just think...this wasn't even Valentine's Day. It was Friday the 13th, and a good one it was.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Five on Friday: February 13, 2015

Wow, this month is going fast!  I think my time in New York and then an 'almost-week' of dogsitting last week put me mentally behind. Plus I have another upcoming dog sitting 'gig'. Sadly, all these times with the dog are because of a death and a funeral. But that's life.

1. My ongoing clean out project seems to have stalled. I realized I was doing anything I could to avoid the sorting and purging so yesterday I finally got some things shuffled around so I could put the final bits into the red Christmas box that sits up on a shelf of other 'stuff'. That did make me feel good because those Advent wreaths were getting to me mentally. One small weight is off my shoulders.

2. I have only seen one of the Oscar movies, Grand Budapest Hotel which I found weird. I hope to see a couple others and hope they come out on Redbox soon because I think there are one or two that dh and I would enjoy. I am too cheap to see them in the theater and he always wants popcorn AND a drink which of course necessitates a bathroom break. At home there is the beauty of pause but not in the theater.  These are my top two. You can tell what kind of film I like!

3. Every other week or so, I try to send a postcard to my granddaughter. She is just at the age to enjoy getting mail Just For Her. It's a good way to use my postcard collection rather than just let it sit and age. Do any of you do something like this?

4. I finished up one book that I took with me for the dogsitting stay.  "Some Luck" by Jane Smiley. While I did finish it, all in all it was meh.  Ok, I don't have any interest in farming, the heartland etc but darn if even the parts of WWII and Washington DC, spies and the cold war were pretty flat. I cannot imagine two more volumes of this trilogy. ymmv.

5. One good bit of clutter and excess that is NOT growing is my digi stash. I give much of the credit to Lightroom which allows me to see just how much I have. I have also become tired of some styles and while there are other stores and designers who have caught my attention, I also realize I can make a lot of what I like.  Just like too many clothes in the closet, too many digi supplies leads to choice exhaustion. 

Today being Friday the 13th, I hope you have a super GOOD luck day and an even better weekend.  We're going out to lunch and then it's off dog sitting for me.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Travel With Me Tuesday: Goodbye to Italy, Once Again

It was fun wrapping up this trip in scrapping land which is not always the case. But making the pages reminded me of how many good things did happen and that not all the days were hard. I still could recall how difficult the walking was and how much I realized I needed surgery. We all have to learn things at our own pace.

This one was going to be two long journalers but that map took more space than I realized so a full page it became.

One just for pretty. His espresso and my ciocalatti.

Then came the true last day and our trip back to Malpensa airport in Milan.  All those cities on the Departures board were fascinating. There were some places I'd never even heard of and I thought I knew the world! Ha!

Once we got to NYC we had a hell of a time getting back to our own home but that was a lesson we learned. A cheap flight out of JFK is not always a good deal. Time = money or exhaustion. Bed never looked so good as early morning we got home.

Monday, February 9, 2015

AAM Monday: Farewell December 2014

This week I plan to start on my 2015 Project Life or whatever I am going to call it this year. I see that a lot of digi scrappers are ready to break out of the traditional PL format and either go minimal or very free form. Of course a lot of the 'free formers' are Creative Team members who have to push product. I don't have to do that so I'm  going to see what goes this year. I do like the PL formats because they are variable and I can use different patterned papers as backgrounds. The project will evolve I know so I'm just going to start and see where it takes me. Just be open to the process.

December 2014?

It was a good end to the year. How about you? are you done with 2014 Project Life?

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Gone Gone Gone

Not here, not now because a family member needed me to dogsit.  So....see you when I get back!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Travel With Me Tuesday: Across the River and UP the Hill

The trip was winding down at this point and we were blessed by the sun.  We went across the Po and took a bus ride up the hill. That sounds simple but the trip was not. It was a heart stopping trip up the hill/mountain with a crazy bus driver on switchback curves. The trip back was calm and a good end to our little adventure.

Monday, February 2, 2015

AAM Monday: That's Where November Went

So much of that month back in 2014 involved my knee replacement and all the rehab and follow up.  I was still in the knee rehab for Thanksgiving so even that holiday was just a blip for me. No work, just a midday meal, and then back to PT! But I went home the next day! That was my grateful Thanksgiving.

So,  November is not week by week. It's just a month on it's own. Not a lot to comment on while making the pages or make them more decorated than they are. Pretty Simple..that was November for me.

That was November from packing for the hospital to sitting at home warm and cozy, with my wonderful ice machine.

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