Thursday, April 30, 2015

TBT: Back in Bangkok

This postcard of the Siam Intercontinental was from our last days in Bangkok. After we cleared out our house, we stayed here for a few days.  This was a fantastic place especially at that time. What I recall most is that there was a mini zoo in the back with a lot of monkeys. I was fascinated by them, they looked so human. What they mostly did was sit and pick bugs, nits whatever from each others' heads.  But the way they looked at us, me, was quite unsettling.  I don't like zoos and this is probably where that bias came from

The hotel is, er was, advertised on the back of the postcard as being in the center of 26 acres of tropical gardens. No address was given so you can tell it was so well known that everyone knew where it was! It appears from looking at the current website that the hotel has kept those grounds but the city has grown around it.

I would love to go back one day but then I think about the heat and humidity and I tend to say...stick to your memories Maureen. But then I think of the food....omg it's tempting to go!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Tip for Tuesday: April 28, 2015

I am a bit behind in my travel  stuff so I decided to make a new category for Tuesday. Every once in a while I see something on line that is not quite a tutorial but more of a tip.

Linda classifies the blend modes that she uses the most for digital scrappinga into three categories after Normal. Normal is normal, no change at all.

Darken - Color Burn and Multiply

Lighten - Screen, Color Dodge

Contrast - Overlay, Soft Light and Hard Light

This one came from Linda Davis a CT member for Anna Aspnes.  I can't believe I never heard this in eight years of using Photoshop Elements. You can watch Linda's video over on the Anna Aspnes YouTube channel.

Another take on this whole business of Blend Modes is at PhotoshopElements.  There are more thorough explanations of the different modes in that post if you really want to get into blends. Here's how they color code them!

Hope this gets you into seeing what each of these blend modes is set up to do without too much effort. Blending really takes you to a new level with your Photoshop or PSE.

Monday, April 27, 2015

AAM Monday: Project Life Week 15

Not the usual pocket scrapping for this week but then again it wasn't the usual kind of week. It included a very early Easter and a  departure for a short week in Boston.  Boston will be done on it's own but I wanted this week's pages to flow in my D ring binder. So...

The left page has all the shots in a template design style that I will probably use for Boston. I've been there a lot and I was on my own with a very sore heel. Not a lot of exciting things but that's just how it was. It was good but I'm getting ahead of myself here. Back to these pages.

Not much in the way of embellishments but with all those images I think there's enough visual excitement!

There was more playing around with this page, just enough to keep the creative side of me happy. I'm not one to want to spend hours on a page nor do I have to be a saleswoman as part of a CT so this bit of creating with my stash was what I wanted. btw, week 15, for me, included soft shell crabs for Easter dinner AND a crab cake mid week. That's just how we roll in Maryland!

Here's how the two page will look in the binder. I don't DO pages as a 24"x12" but I often put the two pages into a blank 24"x12" file just to see how they balance. This final image is just for the web and I usually delete it after posting here and there.

The use of simple pocket pages with other more 'artistic' ones gives me a good balance and keeps me enjoying what I'm doing. If a hobby isn't fun, then, really, what's the point?

Friday, April 24, 2015

Five on Friday: April 24, 2015

It's good to be back blogging again. Sometimes I need a break and then I come back with a renewed interest. Does it work for you that way?

1. Since my son started on, I am becoming aware of things that are associated with genealogy and memory making.  This use of PicMonkey seemed really cool to decipher old gravestones. I'm going to try to visit graveyards out of state as the weather warms up.

2. Have your used this kind of thing? Target has it on sale this week and want to give it a go.
3.  Lately I've been looking for a 'style' for PSE that gives a gold surface. I finally saw one and think I will buy it. I just have to be sure that I didn't already buy one like it in the past. Sometimes there are things hanging out in computer that are gathering virtual dust. I know I have a folder called "actions and styles to install" and I know that folder doesn't have all the bits I've bought! I hope you know what I mean...

4.  Yesterday was my husband's birthday. Somehow when you get to a certain age it just doesn't seem as interesting or something as it once was. I made him some shortbread but it would have been better had I read the instructions thoroughly.  I'm really no baker. Dorie Greenspan's recipes are ones I trust. I just am too hasty some times. Here it is and I'll definitely make it again.

5.  Then there is my new footwear. I am back to wearing the boot on my left heel. You can see it in the photo above. The bone spur is really killing me after such a great recovery from the right knee replacement. The doctor told me that basically she could help me with pain relief and management. I am supposed to wear a mini boot during the night. That's been ordered and until it comes, I'll wear the boot during the day. I think I'll be able to get about 3-4k steps a day but not a lot more.  Considering the problems I could be having, it's not unbearable. It's just frustrating.

That's about it for me. May we all have a great weekend! See you on Monday.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

TBT: Do You Save These?

In making the shortbread for my husband, I gathered up the butter wrappers I've saved and put them in one baggie - finally. I then got to thinking, do other people still do this? I learned it from my Nana about 65 years ago!

There's always something left on the wrapper and I usually find two wrappers are more than enough. I just need to do some more baking!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Travel With Me Tuesday: Auf Wiederschaun Durnstein

The non visible sun was getting lower on the horizon so we headed back to our river cruise boat. We asked the boat tender to take our photo, and he took about 5 or so. First, he didn't get the name Durnstein in the image and then we weren't sure he was still taking pictures - thus my wondering look in the 2nd image - but in the end we had a couple of good ones.

Back on the boat, the afternoon tea had many a dessert for us. There would be no way to diet on a trip like this and I wasn't trying. But I did want to fit into my clothes for the trip home! It was getting  a bit iffy.

But of course, TWO chocolate fountains.

We DID have dinner that night as usual, mushroom soup made with real mushrooms &  a rack of lamb. I had the grace to pass on the apple strudel though. A bit of a cheese plate always sufficed. Later we stayed up for the entertainment, a tradition on most cruises with the Crew Show. It's always a lot of silly humor but when you add some of the German takes on that there were a lot of groans amidst the laughing. God bless 'em though they did clown it up!

Next day - a BIG city, Vienna.

Monday, April 20, 2015

AAM Monday: If it's not one thing...

The 6 months after my right knee replacement have been going remarkably well. I was really happy and was ready to plan more trips after my mid-week journey to NYC where I did as much walking as I wanted.  More really.

Then about month seven, I noticed the pain in my left heel had returned.  Well before the knee replacement I'd had a torn achilles tendon and a bone spur on the left leg/foot. This resulted in a summer of wearing 'the boot'. That issue seemed resolved....but sadly, it just seemed to be dormant and I now have an appointment with a foot specialist in the same practice as my knee surgeon. I really want a holistic look at what I can do so that it's not left side, right side, left side with issues.

Then on Friday, just after I got back from a trip to Boston where walking was painful and limited, another thing occurred! A toenail fell off! this was the straw that made me sigh with frustration.

Amidst the wires and cables of my computer land, I now have one foot with only 4 toenails, all of which are green. I suppose I could always paint my skin grew while I wait for the new nail. It's always something, isn't it....

Friday, April 10, 2015

Spring Break Time

Yes, it kinda sorta seems like Spring round here. At least with lovely bits of yellow and pink and purple scattered about people's yards. The temperatures? well that's actually spring like too but for us in Maryland, spring often means a day or two before it's 70º.

In any case, spring break for me means a break from a lot of normal things. See y'all in a week or so!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

TBT: Bahrain 1986

During our last days in Bahrain, Vice-President George Bush arrived in April on a 3 day visit. We all gathered in the Embassy courtyard, getting warmer by the minute. It wasn't long before the VP took his jacket off. Snipers on the roof - just in case - made us hope that they'd miss us if they started shooting. My children had their photos taken and the VP then pulled me over to have my photo taken. I could have passed on that one but... Now it seems that  only the photo of my daughter , center child of the three girls, is the only one that has survived the passage of time.

One of my children liked to deface photos back in the day. Thus the VP has a few more wrinkles than he actually had back then.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Travel With Me Tuesday: Durnstein Austria Part 2

As we had had our lunch on board the ship, our main event in Durnstein was the Organ Concert.  I really had enjoyed the walk along the river to this small town and we ended up at the  beautiful Durnstein Abbey. 

As always, we went in group by group, never in the same order so that we never felt we were getting unfair treatment! The Abbey was originally established in 1410 but renovated in the 1700s. Thus it was as Baroque as you can imagine! While we had a bit of time to look about, we quickly had to find seats. I certainly didn't mind crowding as it was really cold inside. 

Baroque is not my thing and as we had chairs in one of the aisles in the back, I rather counted the minutes until I could get up. The ceilings were more my style as opposed to the altars with more gold than I could take.

Back outside, it was time for us to split up - the wine tasters on their way and those of us not tasting had free time to walk round some more. Again, as it was not the main tourist season the town was very quiet but a few shops were open. I got a ski cap for one grandson but that was about it.

We walked down to the end of the main street and got these views of the Danube. The afternoon was drawing down, and the mists were rising. This is weather that I really like, I suspect because it reminds me of my days in England so much.

We were going back to a special Tea Time aboard ship, so we passed on this place for a coffee and walked on. High above the city was the Castle. Maybe we'd have time to walk up?

Durnstein is well known for its Rieslings and apricot brandy, and we passed these smaller vineyards on our way towards the castle.

We walked up a path but soon realized we didn't have the time or energy to continue all the way up. Perhaps another trip or another lifetime. I bet Richard the Lionhearted did not relish his time imprisoned here on such days as this.

Back past some ordinary life, trucks parked by homes and views of kitchens getting ready for dinner.  We had a trek along the river to get back to our ship. I'd be ready for something hot!

Monday, April 6, 2015

AAM Monday: Project Life Week 11

The weeks go on and it's a bit of a surprise to realize a quarter of the year has gone by. God help us, I believe winter is over and the spring flowers are starting to show. I'm so ready for that change.

A few good things masked for privacy on the first page. I have been pretty happy making a 2nd page of a story specific to the week. Some days ahead, I know I will have two pages that are more straight PL but it all works!

Friday, April 3, 2015

Five on Friday: April 3, 2015

Where was my brain last week, I don't know. Five on Friday came and went and I was not on Friday.  As I've said with the Daylight Savings change, my mind has been scrambled. I think the brain cells are settling a bit now though! Here goes.

1. Elise has this terrific new daily planner for pre-order. Check it out. Seriously, it's really good looking and goes from mid July onward.

click image to get details

2. The flowers are finally blooming, both indoors and out. With some good sunshine as well as not 'too' warm temperatures, I may have a chance at getting the garden clean up done before the 'below the surface' weeds start to sprout. I really no longer like garden work but it's the price one pays for having a house.

3. With family scattered and the only nearby daughter vegetarian, I had to disappoint my dh with his wish for an Easter ham. "There's nothing like a good ham..." he said wistfully. But with just one person eating the leftover ham, it can hang around for a long, long time. The last ham had to be tossed when the portion not frozen had come to the end of its edible time. This is what I'd really have liked on the menu...

That's a Maryland Stuffed Ham - click for more information

4. Back to my tv watching. I picked up a dvd of The Borgias at the library earlier this week. When I put it into our old dvd player/recorder, it loaded but would not play. Just as well as I then saw that while it was Season1, it was the 2nd dvd in the series. I'll have to check Netflix one of these days for it as I think our dvd player is almost toast.

5. My friend permanently loaned me her popover pan recently. This is the kind of thing where one of you keeps it until the other one wants to use it and then it changes home. There are many great kitchen items that benefit from this kind of status. Another friend has my raclette maker which I should have borrowed back this past winter. It was a good winter for raclette but alas I didn't think of it during the days of sub zero temperatures. Perhaps I should put it on the calendar for a November pickup this fall. Maybe that will guarantee a milder winter. I only wish.

For those of you celebrating Easter, have a wonderful holiday!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

TBT: 1974 How Dumb We Were

Two pages from Glamour magazine February 1974,

Oh yeah, baby, you've won the RIGHT to smoke. I wonder if baby now has lined gray skin or lung cancer or COPD... Just think of the wording too.  Marketing to adult women and addressing the as 'baby'.  Sadly many of my peers bought this foolishness and now are dying from it.

I actually saved this piece of paper for the recipe on the back. Back then I did make this chicken dish and served it at some dinner parties.  When I saw it while cleaning out old recipe folders, what also hit me was the ad for the nursing outfits.  GIRL power for nurses and this isn't even in the era of Mad Men. This is 1974! I will admit I wore my dresses a LOT shorter than this but I lived in England and did not have to bend and stretch in a hospital world. But you can tell she's a "girl' with that cute little bow under her neck. I'm sure it will advance her career!

Some aspects of the 'good old days' weren't all that good. However, if you want to try the recipe, here it is.

Bon Appétit!

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