Monday, June 26, 2017

AAM Monday: Project Life Week 23



Another week 'put to bed' as we said in journalism class. Let me tell you, that was long long ago but one of my high school fellow students went on to be editor of her college newspaper or was it the yearly yearbook. Again, long long ago but it was impressive work.



Let me also say that it was a crazy crazy week. No doubt that it was the week of a full moon. Beautiful moon but people acting crazy. I left all that out because full moon and one photo tells me more than I need to remember.


Thursday, June 22, 2017

TBT: Thoughts of My Uncle

A couple of weeks ago, I saw that my cousin's daughter had posted a photo of her late grandfather on Facebook.



People often post photos of dead relatives who were Veterans on Memorial Day. I've seen this photo of my uncle who died just as WWII ended many times over the years. My Uncle Joe died in a plane crash September 5, 1945 in North East India. His son, my cousin Joe and I were both born in 1944. Joe was born in October and I was born in September.

I never met my uncle and my cousin Joe never knew his father but my mother always told me how handsome he was with his Lithuanian heritage good looks. Uncle Joe was blond and blue eyed or perhaps with green eyes as my mother had and I do. My two sons are blond but have the Irish blue eyes which has always pleased me.



This photo is of my Uncle Joe and his wife Aunt Florence before WWII started. Like my parents, my cousin Joe's heritage is half Lithuanian and half Irish.  I suspect that was pretty common in the small towns in Pennsylvania where they lived. Coal mining towns that had jobs for their immigrant fathers. Towns that most of my parents generation were glad to leave and never hear of coal mines again. My cousin Joe is the only family member who stayed and raised a family in the same neighborhood where his wife grew up.  Now these old coal mining towns are towns for the newest immigrants, those from Central America who are glad to do the harder jobs just as the Irish and Lithuanians did in the late 1800s.  It all goes in cycles.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Happy Faces All Around

I saw this photo of my daughter and two of her daughters on Facebook and really liked it. You never know what you'll find there. I saw a challenge to make one technique but I didn't have the new enough software to do it so...

I took this photo


and made this from it.



and finally here is the result. Not the ideal layout but sometimes you use what you have and see how it will turn out. I'm pretty happy with an hour's play time!

Monday, June 19, 2017

AAM Monday: Project Life Week 22

Here we are actually in week 25 and the heat has arrived. I'm not happy but I did go out and water my few plants at 06:30. The sun and the birds are waking me up around 5 a.m. but I do go back to sleep. I have to say I'm the one who looks forward to dark mornings. I did even when I was working but the sun will have its way, won't it!


I'm not so keen on these split month weeks and adding two calendars. Of course I don't HAVE to do that, I could just include the dates or just stick to the week. But...many times without the actual dates, I wonder what they were when I read the pages years later. I actually have gone back to 2010 or 2011 to look for something. PL can be useful in many ways.


Monday, June 12, 2017

AAM Monday: Project Life Week 21

Another week done, the week of the USNA graduation which to those of us who live here really means the stunning Blue Angels flying over our houses, shaking our houses and reminding us of the terror those sounds can inflict on those being bombed. It's the way of war and it's a sobering thought to me every year. As it should be.


Oh yes, it was also the week of such strong rains that our downstairs drain backed up. Fortunately, it was more like the compost one buys rather than sewage. VERY fortunately. The pipes still do need a good clean out, which god willing, will be soon.


Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Please Sit Up Straight, Dear


Click here to see more about straightening your wayward cushions
from the clever one at Thistlewood Farm

Monday, June 5, 2017

AAM Monday: Project Life Week 20



A sunny week with a lot of doctor visits for Dick. A bunch of the garden cleanup was done but oh so much more to do. It's beyond me, he doesn't want to do it so is paying the answer? I'm still debating this in my head. So instead of constant weeding, I read a lot.


Friday, June 2, 2017

Five on Friday: June 2, 2017



After all the rain, we have had two days of sun! It's amazing!  I think I could get used to this and then of course, I'll complain that it's too hot. Familiar?

1. This quote is just lovely but I'm afraid it is so so me. Books weren't meant to sit on shelves so I can stare at all those lovely spines and gloat over my possessing them.  said by Kate at Miss Mustard Seed

2. Iced coffee is back in my life and I'm afraid it could become dangerous. It's so terribly easy to drink. I make it with decaf coffee, French Press style, and chilled overnight. Sweetened with stevia, and made milky with whole milk. Easy to make and oh baby easy to drink. The gray cup is for tea and the brown one is for...coffee! That was the last of the hot coffee.



3.  There are some books that I  dole out to myself. The Louise  Penny ones fit into that category.  When I get one I do read it in about two days. I don't gobble it but I read it kind of straight through. Fortunately, I'm only up to the 5th book I think. The latest one of the Inspector Gamache mysteries I read was The Brutal Telling. Loved loved it. I always wondered how easy it was to fall in love with Gamache in these stories. Well this week I  read that Penny has based him on her husband who sadly and recently died.  Yes, the love comes through. While this is the one I just read, I seriously suggest you start at the beginning of the series and get to know the cast of characters who will become people you'll know well. Not all will be friends...


4. Today I am painting outside. No not Art but rather the back panels that are holding new lights outside our back door. I never liked the ones we put there when we renovated in...2004. However, there they were and so I just ignored them. However, eventually they started to look ratty so when I saw ones that had non-replaceable LED lights at Costco, in my cart they went. Photos next week.

5. There needs to be a grocery run today also. I'm not clear why he buys what he does when he goes for groceries himself but at least that does make my list a little shorter. Meaning I buy what he uses but it doesn't always seem to be reciprocated.  Ah marriage..

Have a great weekend and be sure to do something fun for yourself!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Project Life Continues: Week 19

I got myself on a roll last week and got caught up. Well not including week 21 and this being week 22.  I could have done 21 yesterday but it was a holiday. (As if a holiday makes much difference when you're retired!)  A friend also has some serious issues going on in her life and that occupied my mind a bit. In any case here's week 19.




I decided to keep May with a lot of blue, this week with pink to show that spring really arrived. Maybe I'll have blue and yellow colors for the Navy graduation last week. We'll see but soon we'll be half done with the year. How time does fly!



Monday, May 29, 2017

Never Forget

Ten years ago I went into Washington DC to the Vietnam Memorial. It was a horribly hot and humid day, so much like the weather in South East Asia.


This woman seemed to represent all of us. Sometimes you just can't cope with your emotion. Sometimes you need to let a photo or a memorial help you release the pain that's inside.


Later I walked back downtown and sat on the curb watching the Rolling Thunder. And yes, I cried.


Will we ever stop...

Friday, May 26, 2017

Five on Friday: May 26, 2017

Another week and a couple of things on my mind...

1. After a week of rain, I do hope that this Friday is mostly sunny. Today is the USNA graduation and while I would certainly like Pence to be as far away from my house as possible, I know having the graduation indoors is not ideal. You (the mids) wait 4 years for your day in the stadium after the last march from the Academy out Rowe Boulevard to your seats. But if weather makes it an indoors graduation? meh.

2. I am rather impressed with myself that I am actually au courant with my Project Life. I don't know how long that will last but I also don't care. It's kind of like seeing the number on the scale go down a pound or two. For me, that rarely lasts and I suspect it will be the same way with PL. No biggie but fun while it happens.

3. The rain this week has been pretty darn heavy at times. I could hear the sump pump in the cellar cycling on and off. Thanks to all that be, the French drains have been working a charm and I still tend to be surprised when I check the cellar and the floor is dry. However...it appears that all that water going where it should be has hit our old drains hard. We had this yesterday. Fortunately this was more coffee grounds type soil like than shit like. Time to have our drains snaked though.



4. I have been reading a blog that originates in Yorkshire England. The author's husband (The Farmer) died recently and it's been heartening to see how the village has stepped up to support her and keep her going. The death was not unexpected but still, it's death. If you want to read some simple posts on 'getting on with it' try The Weaver of Grass.

5. Because of that aforementioned graduation, I and many others are sticking to home today. When there's a big event, our waterfront city roads become totally blocked. Parents and family driving in are frantic to Get There and many have no idea where they are going. Street parking is off limits in the blocks closest and $20 a car is the standard price for the schools and residents who want to rent out their front lawn or driveway for the day. Naturally, many visitors today bypass all this and think they will find a free spot. If they do, you can usually spot them as Mom, Grandma and teenage daughters totter on new heels as Dad, Grandpa, and sons storm ahead from a good distance, usually in Maryland heat and humidity. Not the ideal start to what should be a good day. At least it's not horrendously hot and humid today - yet.  God bless them all!

Have a great weekend and do something fun!


Monday, May 22, 2017

AAM Monday: Project Life Week 18



A week that had gorgeous weather and a visit from two of Dick's cousins. When the ladies are in their 80s each visit is a blessing. Ginger has always been a hardy one and despite being in a wheelchair she drove from out Leesburg VA way to Annapolis. Beltway driving is a challenge for anyone but these two just keep on keepin' on.



Friday, May 19, 2017

The heat...oh the Heat!


All the rain we had, all the nights we had the gas fireplaces lit as we sat and read, each one of us getting chillier and chillier until one said...Turn the Jotul on.  I will never stop being grateful to Dick for talking me into gas fireplaces. Yes, I miss the scent of wood smoke but not as much as I love having instant heat. Well all that ended this week...and I'm counting the days til there's a chill in the air again!

But now we are in the 'install the last window a/c units'. Every year, there is a problem with one or the other or as it is this year with two. Putting the units in the cellar seems to bring issues with the effin accordion panels on the sides. Plus the unit installed in my studio does not seem to cool at all and Mr. Engineer has determined that the coolant may have leaked out somewhere, sometime. This room rarely gets below 80° now. Not good. Not good at all.

I am now tasked with checking Best Buy on line to see what units fit the profile he's given me. The trouble is I have to do this research in the hot humid room without working a/c. I'm trying to be grateful for such 1st world problems but right now it's not that easy. I'm getting there because I can laugh at the 'privilege' of it all.



And people wonder why I don't want to go to Costa Rica.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

It's That Time - To The Clothesline!

When I was a little girl and in the care of my grandmother, I spent my days observing her do the daily chores in a house in Pennsylvania and then later in Maryland. I remember some of the cooking, mainly the baking when she would let me pay with the bits of dough or even better scraps of pie crust. I could sprinkle sugar on those scraps and have my own little baked goods as a snack.

But surprisingly what I remember enjoying the most was the laundry. In the earliest years, I know she had a wringer washing machine that I was seriously warned against. Arms could be lost if they went through that wringer. Of course it was a fascinating thing to see the sopping wet cloths be fed through those cylinders. But the warnings were strong enough that I don't recall every getting too near the machine much less 'testing' it with my fingers.

But in later years, we had a regular washer but maybe not a dryer. I know we had one by the time I was in high school but it's the grade school years I remember. Nana would carry the laundry basket, already pre sorted, out to the back yard. I would often sit on the grass under the clothes line and hand her the clothes pins. The sheets would be shaken hard and make a snapping noise. I don't think the sheets were ever ironed because they came off that line smooth from a good snap and the wind that blew through them.  Like went with like. Sheets were hung with sheets, towels with towels, underpants with underpants etc. Just like with cooking, a little prep at the beginning made the rest of the process smooth and the later putting away was almost easy with that initial sorting.

Toda was the first day I hung towels and other whites out on the line. Towels and other heavies usually get 10 minutes in the dryer first to fluff them a bit before they go outside. I often think of my Nana when I do this although I have been less than a proper housewife because I  have not only left my clothespins on the line but have even left clothes out overnight. I often wonder if that overnight business became a taboo because of homes heated with coal and the resultant ash falling on those newly clean clothes. In any case, if the sun doesn't dry everything today, I can always pop them into the dryer for 10 minutes and still have the scent of line hung clothes all dried in a day. Old memories and modern solutions.

Monday, May 15, 2017

AAM Monday: Project Life Week



I always think the weather doesn't affect me much. Let it rain, let it rain. But of course I am as affected as the next person and lots of rain makes me really want to snuggle in and do very little. Well  read and watch movies. Maybe eat popcorn. Week 17 was nothing like that with the sun shining on my cherry blossoms. However, that would come to an end in week 18 when they became a soggy mess. I hate to sweep them up when they are so so pretty but more often than not I pay the price.


That wedding dress only had the beaded sash removed yesterday. I guess it was fitting that I did it on Mothers' Day. It's a mother kind of job, isn't it. And as much as I gripe about the heat, I was just about done with all the rain we had last week. I even watched a movie in bed. It was that kind of week. It just wasn't week 17 which says I'm a bit behind with this Project Life thing. Not that I care much. Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good I say and mostly I believe that.

Monday, May 8, 2017

AAM Monday: Project Life Week 15



Spring was heading in but not nearly as hot as it often is the week before the General Assembly ends. The cherry blossom season at my house did start and stayed with some crispy days. I have both summer and winter clothes hanging on the closet doors and all about my bedroom. I can never tell just what kind of clothes I'll need. So much for getting my clothes out the night before!

We also had a pre-Easter dinner with Maria on the prior Saturday. Warm enough to sit outside but only just. Great food and the kind of views that make Annapolis famous.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

TBT: Bound for Texas via Mississippi

I have not scanned photos or slides in many a day. It's not a process I enjoy so I can always find something else to occupy myself. However, I do try to make some effort on Thursdays to deal with my abundance of images. I really wish that my dh would scan another photo album for me!

These two slides were ones taken after my first marriage in April 1966.  Had we not divorced it would have been 51 years this year. Amazing... After a honeymoon in Quebec we drove back to Maryland and set off for his next duty station in the wilds of Texas. While my father had driven us to Florida in 1955 for a Christmas trip, we never had those long cross country trips that many other families did in the 50s. So my sight of the Mississippi River was a big deal to me and I managed this shot. Apparently it was the first shot on a roll of slide film and thus the yellow on one side.



Coming down from the north through Tennessee, I know we crossed at Memphis which I do not remember at all. I suspect we may have arrived at this point at night and just moved on in the morning.  In any case, I did ask my husband to let me take the next photo. Mississippi brought mental images of the horrors of the Civil Rights Movement to my mind. Murders, bombings and the power of the KKKlan were more representative of Mississippi than magnolias in 1966. I was really glad to get though that state and on to Texas.

Monday, May 1, 2017

AAM Monday: Project Life Week 14

Ah it was a weekend of hot humid days but then the temperature dropped so that the a/c wouldn't really kick in at night. At least we aren't in the MidWest with the terrible storms they're having. Kansas expecting a blizzard???

So what did week 14 look like? Like this.



A week where we had spring starting but my DIL had a 30° morning to go to work in Boston. It wasn't that long ago. Well, now that I look at the calendar, it was a month ago! Time flies so I must be having fun, right?  Right!

Friday, April 28, 2017

Five on Friday: April 28, 2017

Well it's been quite a while since I did a fiver. But right now I've had a good couple of weeks and am totally grateful for that. I can look beyond the utter clutter that fills my upstairs as I keep trying to sort out the fallout from adding another double bed. In time, in time...

1. The rain has finally ended! I think the rain doesn't bother me but as we've had the a/c on already this spring, to have chilly rainy days is upsetting. I had to turn the heat on once in a while during the day and my computer gloves have been used. I'm going to keep them on the desk...just in case.


2. All that overcast rain did lead to great great sleeping weather. Sadly I realize I can't sleep beyond 06:30 much anymore. Plus if I sleep in the studio bed I have the computer set to come on at that time. Actually, it's a good time to get up!

3. In Googling my old 1976 Leeds United-W.B. Albion 'programme' on eBay, I found a program from the 1974 Liverpool-Leeds game. The game that Steve Heighway scored the winning goal and the game where I won the pool. It is also where I got my Liverpool scarf that god willing my grandson still has. My programme wasn't listed and the other comparable ones were selling for $1. That Liverpool-Leeds one was going for £16. I guess I'll keep mine and let my descendants sort it out.

4. One serious downside to that week of rain was that the beautiful cherry blossoms got so soaked. It's often what happens. Gorgeous days of blossoms and then Bam! the rains come and it's a soggy mess. I did sweep away loads of them yesterday which is not easy once they're wet and clumpy. Another year, another mess. 

5. Today I'm finally taking myself up to Costco. It's a 20mile drive and I didn't need a lot so I've procrastinated on it. I can also get gas i.e. diesel fuel on my way at a station that has a diesel pump at EVERY island! I love love love that whereas so many stations only have 1 diesel pump and it's a nightmare navigating to snag that pump AND have the correct side of the car next to the pump. Now I just have to make sure to have a list so my round trip isn't wasted.

Have a great weekend and see you on Monday! Ciao!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Travel With Me Tuesday: York Minster


For outside of the Minster, we passed this garden. So enticing to me. Imagining what it would be like to live outside this magnificent cathedral.


The vast soaring arches above us at every spot. What would it be like to sit under these any time one wanted?


Oh the windows! Even on this dark dreary day, the light could shine through. These were windows that really ask for time to look often and look intently.




Our guide pointed out many things to Dick because he had never been here. How blessed I am to have had so many many visits. But really they are never enough. I could visit the Minster every day of my life. Maybe in another life time...




Monday, April 24, 2017

AAM Monday Project Life Week 13


The last of the wedding images I think but then you never know. And check out those eggs! Don't you wish they were at your house! Just a quick word today...rain, and then it's been more rain and I expect to have rain every day this week. Fortunately I don't have to go anywhere. So inside, with the heat on (seriously!) and books to read and tv to watch.


Thursday, April 20, 2017

TBT: 1967 The Dog and US



Despite the Dec 1967 tag on the photo, I know this one was taken earlier. We have summer warmish weather clothes on so I'm guessing it's October right after I flew from Texas home to MD. You have to know that when we were using film in those days, we waited until the roll was finished to have it developed and printed. No instant gratification in those pre-digital times.

But here we are with our newborn son and my faithful dog and perhaps she's wondering if she was being displaced. Her name was Mayda as her mother was a beagle who at some time 'made a mistake' in mating with an obviously hairy dog. She slept with me in my high school and college years and then really bonded to my mother when I got married. Ah Mayda...you have it right. You're no longer #1 in my life! This little boy has taken your place!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Wordy Wednesday: You Should Make This

Now I don't know if I'm up to this or really plan to do it but... when I saw this blogpost I thought it was the cleverest thing around. Especially if you have little girls! Now if you have a little boy and think he'd like it, I have no problems with that. Fun is fun!

In fact, I think this would be fun for an adult too! like me...LOL I'd say Holly is one clever woman!




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