Saturday, December 31, 2005

Happy New Year!

Another four days off from work, and I am thoroughly enjoying another long weekend. Our plans for a big New Years Eve centers around being together here at home, and George went to the grocery for some fresh fish and baker potatoes for dinner, and surprised me with a tray of bacon wrapped scallops ready to cook. Yum! New Years Ever is a good night to stay home and count our blessings.

My mother is coming home from the hospital today, and I am so grateful. Pneumonia bad enough for hospitalization is no picnic at age 96. I am thrilled that she is getting better, and there could be no better good news for me to round out 2005.

Best wishes to all and have a very healthy New Years Eve.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Christmas at our house

This Christmas, I really wanted to be relaxed, and not hectic and hurried. I think I almost accomplished that. Mike arrived on Thursday, and we had an easy dinner out. Friday was last minute Christmas shopping until the stores got crowded and the parking lots were filling up. We retreated to our house, and I made a turkey dinner with all the trimmings so that we would have yummy leftovers and I wouldn't need to cook on Christmas Eve day. George and I made two batches of cookies: spritz with color sugars, and a new recipe for date/pecan refrigerator cookies. Both were delicious. We ran out of time before we got to the sugar cookes and the gingerbread boys. Frankly, since I also made an apple pie, we didn't need any more cookies for three people!!!

We went out for a Chinese dinner on Christmas Eve and then to church for the 10:00 service where I played in the bell choir. We stayed up until after midnight! That is a big deal for George and I...the early to bedders.

Christmas Eve day I had a chance to knit on a new stole, and I continued with that relaxing project all through the weekend. I'm halfway done. Christmas Day, George went to church, and Mike and I had a leisurely breakfast, and then we opened some really beautiful gifts. George got a new digital camera, we got lots of wonderful movies and books, and I got a strand of beautiful pearls. There is more. The list is long. I knew I had accomplished my goal of a relaxing weekend, when I found myself lying on the couch reading my new book that Mike gave me, The Six Wives of Henry VIII, on Christmas afternoon. Bliss.

Christmas Day was a nice Honey Baked Ham dinner with cinnamon apples, tossed salad, baked potatoes, and Honey Baked beans, with a friend invited to help us eat it, and all enjoyed another day that seemed well-planned and not hectic at all. Christmas was like clockwork this year.

The whole Christmas weekend was like that. The weather was mild, the presents were plentiful and wrapped well before Christmas morning (unlike some years), and the food was planned to be delicious but not to keep a cook in the kitchen the whole time.

Tonight we have company invited for turkey and ham sandwiches, Baked Beans, Christmas cookies, leftover cheesecake and apple pie. We even have efficient plans for the leftovers.

Have a merry day.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Thunder found a warm spot. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, December 22, 2005

My favorite Christmas decoration. I like it so much, I leave it out all year. Posted by Picasa

Christmas arrived on the 6:30 Delta Flight from Washington

Michael is here! Christmas has begun. He has been here for five hours and we have already cleaned out my computer files, wrapped packages, gone out for dinner, shopped at Best Buy and the supermarket and watched half a movie (Good Morning Vietnam). It is so much fun to have him here. Tomorrow is coffee at Barnes and Noble, along with some last minute Christmas shopping and cookie baking. Lots of recipes up my sleeve, and I can't wait to get started.

Have a great day.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Let 'em eat cake! Posted by Picasa

Spilled Milk

I got up early this Monday morning, to work on my to do list for Christmas, and think about what needed to be done for our office open house tomorrow morning. I lit the candles, made myself coffee, turned on the Christmas tree lights, and was quietly enjoying dawn's early light. In a few minutes, George joined me, went to the kitchen to get his cereal, came back to the livingroom and spilled milk all over the cat. Thunder just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. After leaving a trail of milk drops across the floor, she is now in the kitchen busily trying to take a kitty milk bath.

It is a busy time of year. Yesterday I taught Sunday School, and the time I'm with the kids just flies. Looking at those pretty little faces looking up at me, and seeing how industrious they are about looking up the Bible verses and doing the puzzles and crafts, really brings to me the true meaning of Christmas. The last of the Advent candles are lit, and next week Christmas is here.

We are almost done with the wrapping and giving part and now we move on to cookies. My mother is not well, and is alone this year, so I especially want to get a pannetone bread and a box of cookies off to her. Micheal arrives on Thursday, and will help with the cookie baking part. (Right, Mike? hehe.)

Tomorrow is my office open house, and I have lots to do to pick up the platters of fruit, cheese and baked goods and prepare the coffee and punch and have it all set up by 8:00 a.m. It was my idea to have an open house, so I do it willingly and George will be there to help me do the schlepping.

It is hard to realize that Christmas Day is only one day, and a quiet one at that. All this bustle is the real "fun" of Christmas, and we might as well enjoy ourselvs in the process.

Have a great day.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

A new cookbook! Posted by Picasa

Christmas Cookies

George and I bought a new cookbook. I haven't bought a new cookbook in years I don't think. Now that you can get every recipe known to man on, cookbooks just weren't necessary. But we saw this beautiful cookbook at Barnes and Noble when we were shopping for Christmas presents and couldn't resist.

The book is called A Bakers Field Guide to Christmas Cookies by Dede Wilson, and has ALL the classic cookies, like Gingerbread, Sugar cookies, Springerle, Spritz, Pfeffernusse, Thumbprint cookies, Vanilla Crescents and Moravian Ginger Cookies. It is a wonderful little book and as George said this morning, "We gotta get going on them". We have the butter, the sugar, the flour, and the spices. Cookies are amazing little critters, since they are all just a variation on a wonderfuly sweet theme.

George and I were still Christmas shopping last night in a Kohls store at 10:30 p.m. It was midnight madness sale and we had a $20 Cash Coupon to use. We went to a Christmas Party first, and had dinner and cokes, and then people started smoking and the music (kareoke) got loud, so we said our goodbyes and and went shopping. We had fun at the party, but staying a long time at parties is not our scene. We'd much rather be up early making cookies and wrapping Christmas presents.

It is the Saturday before Christmas and there is lots to do.

Have a great day!

Cookies! Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Our Christmas Tree at night, with peachy pink poinsettias, white hydrangea blossoms, red roses, white snowflakes, lavender & pale green balls and big maroon and gold bows. This is NOT your traditional Christmas tree! Posted by Picasa

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

George and I worked our little patooties off this weekend getting the house ready for Christmas. First on our list was some early Saturday morning Christmas shopping. We hit the stores at the right time and found many things that we think our family and friends will like. We had coffee and cocoa at Barnes and Nobel and I bought a fun book of Christmas cookie recipes that I just HAD to have. I plan on making candy cane cookies this weekend.

We went to the storage unit that we rent to get out the pre-lighted Christmas tree that we bought last year. It was big and beautiful in the store, and we set it up last year and really loved it. Then...reality struck when we had to take it down and put it away. These trees will NEVER again fit in the box they came in, so we wrapped it in three large black bags. As we were taking it out of storage on Saturday, we were amazed!! at how heavy it was. Somehow, when you are smiling up at these beautiful trees on display, you don't even consider whether you will be able to lift them or fit them in your car. But we got home with it, set it up and I decorated until my back hurt. We worked really hard on it, and I love my Southern Christmas Tree.

George put up lights outside to my "grand design". We decided that each year it is a little harder because I always come up with something different I want to do. This year we put two small trees on either side of the door, and a garland that frames the door, hanging on the posts. We have a big lighted wreath and I'm going to put small red bows on the trees--something I liked in a Martha Stewart magazine. We are going to skip the icicle lights this year.

Each year, when Michael comes, we have a "tradition" of driving around looking for droopy drawer lights. This may sound silly. It IS very silly. It just started when I was appalled at how many people put up icicle lights and drape them off their houses in a scallop pattern. Have you ever seen icicles hanging in a loosely draped pattern off a roofline? Not. Icicles hang hard, cold and straight across. So, now we drive around looking for these "droopy drawer" lights and have even though of surrepticiously leaving little flyers on doors that say, "You have Droopy Drawer Lights. Merry Christmas."

We are not finished decorating, and haven't even begun the wrapping and packing, but...Christmas is definitely here!

Have a great day.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Christmas Preparation Day

George and I went shopping this morning, and by 9:00 we were in the store with our list. We managed to get most of what we needed in three separate stores and had time to stop for hot chocolate, coffee and scones at Barnes & Nobel while we shopped there. We had a good time. I usually don't have problems with Christmas shopping. Maybe it is because I go with an idea of what I want for each person, but I'm open to suggestions. If the store puts out something that I like,...then why quibble. I buy what I see rather than shop for hours for something that I can't find. I think people on our list will like our presents, and we had fun doing it.

Afterwards, we made a trip to the storage unit to get our big Christmas tree. It is artificial, and suits us fine. I spent the afternoon putting on ornaments, and adding my special "southern" touch of silk and flocked poinsettias, roses and hydrangeas. I add the big maroon and gold bows, and...voila...a very pretty tree! I came up with this idea two years ago when we visited New Orleans and Mississippi, and saw the trees there that were decorated with flowers instead of tinsel. I loved it then, and came up with our own version. At a hotel in New Orleans, they had a white flocked tree decorated with huge navy blue bows and gold ornaments. It was a knockout.

Tomorrow we will decorate the porch, put up the new candy cane lights on the lawn, and make a batch of cookies.


Have a good day.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Let it snow!!! Posted by Picasa

Snow Day!

Today is one of those days that you dream about. A snowy day, and both George and I have the day off! We had planned to put the Christmas tree up this morning, but George reminded me that it is in its big box in the storage unit, which is a long snowy drive from here. We think the roads will be plowed by this afternoon and we will be able to do errands and some Christmas shopping.

This morning I made a pair of chandelier earrings before I even had my first cup of coffee. I have a lot of beads waiting, and today seems like a good time to get to it. We also plan to decorate the front porch railings. I bought artificial greens, large sparkly poinsettas and tiny red lights. The Christmas Tree will be in our southern tree again this year, which is covered with huge flowers and bows. I can't wait to get started!

God is good. Today is truly a blessed day, full of decorating, jewelry making, and cookie baking. What could be nicer.

Have a great day.

A view from the front porch. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Holidays are here already!

The to-do list is getting longer, which means that Christmas is almost here. Besides the lights to be strung, the tree to be decorated, and the cookies to be baked, there is an open house at our new office, a Christmas luncheon, and special Christmas practices for the bell choir. At home, at work, and at church, things are very busy.

It is also "gift" time, and besides buying things for my family, I am making jewelry for other people to buy to give to THEIR families. Wow. Things get heated up aruond this time of year.

Michael made his reservations and gets here on the Thursday before Christmas. We have already bought the turkey for Christmas dinner, and I'm going to get a spiral baked ham as well. Time to invite someone else over to help us eat it.

Time to get started....

Have a great day.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Teaching the little ones. Posted by Picasa

Sunday School Teacher added to the list

Today was my first day as Sunday School Teacher. I like it! I had four young people in the class this morning and we had a great time. They were eager to read and study the Isaiah verses and were wonderful at figuring out the puzzle in the workbook. We talked about darkness and light, and the promise of the Messiah and what that meant to a dark world. We strung Christmas lights on our table, and had a great time getting to know one another.

It was a good hour and I'm happy that they have accepted me as their new teacher. Sometimes blessings come to us when we are least expecting it. I never intended to teach, but answered a call to come in for two months, and today I asked to make it permanent. I love it and I'm sure I will learn as much as I teach.

Have a great day!

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Breakfast at our house! Posted by Picasa

Don't let the turkeys get you down!

George and I were leaving for work this morning, both of us going out the door at the same time. We came to a sudden stop. There, going down the front walk, were 24 wild turkeys. They looked like they were taking a leisurely stroll in the neighborhood.

I came back in the house to get something, since there was no way we were going to be pulling our cars out into a gaggle of turkeys. I went out later, and both the turkeys and George were no where to be found. As I got into my car, I see George standing in his white shirt and tie, pouring seed from a liter jar onto the driveway, surrounded by all 24 turkeys! He looked like he was feeding the ducks. He looked at me in wonder, and I had to laugh out loud. What a great sight to see as I was pulling out of the driveway.

We are wondering where on earth these turkeys go during the weeks when we do not see them. There is a small woods near our house, but development has carved away at it until it is almost non-existant. We talked about the fact that wild turkeys live in trees. They live somewhere nearby, that is for sure. And then, George was wondering why they don't come back more, since we are obviously soft touches, as we scramble to get another liter jug of bird seed every time they come to visit.

I have had a busy week, and there is another craft show on Saturday. I need to hurry and make more jewelry, since Ebay sales have been good, and my inventory is way down.

Too busy to talk more turkey.

Have a great day!

Monday, November 28, 2005

Long Drive Home

George and I left Michael's house in Alexandria at 8 a.m. on Saturday, and drove 519 miles to our house and arrived at 6:30 p.m. A very fast drive considering that it is one of the most heavily traveled days of the year. We came to a complete stop twice on the dreaded New Jersey Turnpike, but then the traffic cleared and we zoomed through the tolls with our new EZPass, and we zoomed down the Garden State Parkway, across Connecticut and into Massachusetts. Even the Mass Pike was no problem. During one of the rest stops, I had to wait in a long line of women to get to the ladie's room, but the line moved relatively quickly, we grabbed a Starbucks and were off again.

We didn't stop for dinner, but had a snack of cheese and crackers in the car. I'll be cleaning up the crumbs for days.

We had a great Thanksgiving Dinner, made some new friends, and had a wonderful time in Washington. On the day after Thanksgiving, George and I braved the crowds and went to Tyson's Mall in Arlington VA, and even there, we didn't have any problems. As we left the mall at noon, the crowds were coming, and we were having trouble walking the mall, so we went to the car the got out of Dodge.

We are very grateful that our ride there and home was so easy. One year, we got to the New Jersey Turnpike on Saturday, and found that it was stop and go all the way, adding at least two hours to our trip. This year, maybe because of EZPass, we made it there and home without any trouble at all: 519 miles exactly.

Now it's a downhill slide to Christmas!

Have a great day.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Thanksgiving Trip to Washington

George and I left on Monday afternoon for Washington DC, and I am writing this blog entry from my son Michael's house in Alexandria, VA. We had a good trip, after a rather rocky start. There seemed to be a lot to do to get ready, and I had several packages to get into the mail. It is my mother's 96th Birthday on November 30th, and I had several birthday presents, as well as Ebay shipments to get out to the post office. I had to go to work on Monday, because our office had just moved, and that was stressful. The house had to be ready for the house cleaners, the bags needed to be packed, and to top it all off, George had a toothache.

George called for an emergency appointment with his dentist for Monday noon, and when I called him later in the day, he was home. Guess what. He'd had a root canal! I thought that would lay one up for weeks, but George is a trooper. He and the dentist both decided that he was fine, and it would be no problem to leave on a long car trip, so that is what we did! What a guy!

We packed up the car, and left at 4:00, drove to Fishkill, NY and stayed at a nice Hampton Inn where we had made reservations, and then drove through New Jersey and Delaware yesterday and got to Mike's house at 3:30. It rained a lot both days of driving, but it didn't seem to dampen our spirits one bit. We were shaved, showered and breakfasted and on the road by 7:15 on Tuesday morning. It was a very nice drive and we enjoyed seeing all the ducks in the fields in Deleware. I hope they have a good Thanksgiving too, but they sure looked like cannon fodder to me. It must be hunting season there, and I've never seen so many low flying ducks and geese.

We drove into Mike's parking are, just as he came home from work to meet us. We always have a great time here. We went for Japanese food last night, and tonight will meet Michelle for dinner and have Thanksgiving dinner at her parents house in Maryland. I have not met them and I'm really excited! We stopped at an outlet mall and went to Pfaltzcraft for a gift. I bought a cheese tray and knife, and we bought several nice cheeses to go with it. Today we will go to Panera for bread and crackers. A visit to the flower store will be on the "to do" list for today for flowers for Michelle's mom.

I'm also baking an apple pie to take tomorrow and brought along the beautiful huge gold Mutsu apples form New Hampshire to make a pie that is really special!


Sparkle and Charm goes to the Craft Fair

The craft fair on Saturday was a success! It was not a great success for my friend who makes jewelry, and had a table across the room from me. But, people like the necklaces and earrings I make, and I sold as much as I could have expected to, and was very pleased. I had set my goal high for this one, and realized afterwards that I didn't even have enough inventry to meet that high goal. I sold at least 10 necklace and pairs of earrings, and people liked the beaded gold swirl ribbon bookmarks too. Some of my items I marked down at the end of the day, and that was fine too.

Craft fairs are not really all about the vendors. They are really all about getting the customers to come in a shop, but organizers don't know that yet. I think they put so much effort into the vendor side of things, that advertising gets second place and the crowds that we expected at this recent fair never materialized.

I have a lot of fun talking to everyone. Lots of people stop to stare at my necklaces, since they have never seen anything like them before. Then I tell them how they are made, and some people move on, and others love them too and want to buy one or two. I have even had some teenage girls buy them, which REALLY pleases me, since they are very sophisticated shoppers these days.

After the fair, George and I packed up the lamps, tables, cloths, inventory that was left, and baskets, and went home to a pizza and bedtime at 8:30 p.m. We were exhausted and happy. A good day.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

A busy week

My office is moving this week to a new building, and all the packing was up to the seven of us. They brought in big orange bins, which are stackable, and are on wheeled carts, and we just put everything in the carts. It hasn't been hard at all, but it is still hard for me to leave the old office with the huge windows that I have enjoyed so much.

George is going to his flying club meeting tonight where he will be nominated for President of the club. That is exciting and I hope everything goes well. Go George!

Saturday is the craft show in Wakefield, and I have been making jewelry like a madwoman, and putting it in the "box" to go. I have about 30 necklaces and 200 pair of earrings, as well as 20 bookmarks, which I will sell for $4 each. My feeling is that not everyone brings a lot of money, and sometimes you just want to buy something that won't break the bank.

We are busy at every turn, and enjoying thinking about our drive to Washington DC on Monday for Thanksgiving. I went to a sale and bought five new sweaters in pretty colors, so I'm all ready for the fun week with Michael.

Have a great day!

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Mug Shots

George and I had our picture taken yesterday at the church for the new church directory. Before we got there, we drove to New Hampshire to buy apples and squash. We stopped at a few stores, and then on to the church for our 5:15 appointment. When we walked in the door, we knew something was up. Everyone there had a dour expression and looked pretty unhappy. Turns out, the photographers were more than an hour behind, and everyone had nothing to do but sit there in their pretty dress-up clothes and visit. It was enforced visiting.

We drove off to a hobby store, and I looked at beads for thirty minutes, and then we went back to the church and I changed out of my Red Sox sweatshirt, and into a jacket and scarf. George changed in to a tie, shirt and jacket. We both were wearing jeans from the waist down, but the photo wouldn't show that.

Everyone laughed about being dressed from the top up.

They took our picture and we went into the room where the saleslady was. Turns out, they took lovely photos of us, and now all we had to do was choke down that the cost of the "lowest package" cost about $200. We didn't want to pay anything. In the end, the good pictures of me, and of us, spoke to us, and we ordered three 5x7's of one and one 5x7 of the other. We had already stood up to go when she offered us a lower price. She said it would be $90, but by the time she added shipping and handling and insurance, the cost flew up to $140. By that time, George and I had already invested about two and a half hours of our Veterans Day holiday evening into this production, and he handed her his credit card. We felt a little ripped off, but we also saw that the pictures were really beautiful and framable, and would be nice for...Christmas presents?

Get ready Mom and Mike. Santa's coming.

Have a great day.

Friday, November 11, 2005

A holiday on Friday, woohoo!

Today is Veteran's Day, and I am very happy. Even though I always have Fridays off, I found out yesterday that for every holiday that I am already off, I get a floating holiday, which means I can use that time any other working day. That seems like a pretty good deal to me. Of course, I'm not getting rich, but I do have a lot more time now to do the things I love to do, like make jewelry and list it on Ebay.

George is home today and we have no plans at all. He is going to work outside on the garden and I am going to clean out the pots on the deck and get ready for winter. We have a lot of bulbs to plant today, both here and at church.

Time to get started.

Have a great day!

Monday, November 07, 2005

Thanksgiving Plans

November is here. The trees in New England are not nearly so colorful this year, but most have changed now to a deep orange rust color. The air is crisp and people have gotten out their LL Bean velour I've noticed. The sky today is a white, cloudy sky that looks like winter.

For some reason, my calendar for November is filling up with appointments, dinners, and meetings. It is a busy time. Then, Thankgiving comes, and it all seems to start a fast slide into the hoiday rush. I am very excited about our Thanksgiving car trip to Washington DC for Thanksgiving. It is a crowded time on the highways, but we have decided to go anyway, and will make a stop in Atlantic City to put a few quarters into the slot machines. One year we did that, made a haul of quarters at one machine, and used those quarters for tolls all the way home. It was fun. I always have a box of goodies to cook with and a few extra pots and pans that I need at Michael's house. The doorman in Atlantic City that year didn't seem to mind at all when we had him park our car, and I said, "don't let anyone steal my turkey that is in the back".

We enjoy the drive through Deleware, and don't enjoy at al the drive home on the New Jersey Turnpike, but...we will allow for 2 days for a 1 day ride, and we will make it home fine I'm sure. No matter what, it will be worth it to see Mike at Thanksgiving!

Have a great day.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

A little busier than I like it

Time to let my blogging audience, (if I have one), know what is going on. I have been very busy with my jewelry business. Over the past two months I have worn a path from the diningroom photo studio to the computer to list hundreds of pictures on Ebay. I do not have this down to a science. Each photo is labored over, edited, color balanced, thought about, and each description is hand written with a lot of thought. Ebay told me that when you open a store, it is best to sell items that are the same, so that you can write one description and then just keep relisting. I'm not doing that yet. All my jewelry is different. Each piece comes right from the heart, and I take a lot of interest in making each piece different. I am a jewelry designer and creater, not a robot.

Will this worn out patch of carpeting between the two rooms lead to anything? George said this morning, "well, you are having fun with it." "Trying to make money on your hobby is a little different". I'm not making money, of course, but I am making just enough to pay my Ebay bills. Urg. Not enough money to pay for the beads yet.

But my life has taken another turn I think, and I am committed to making jewelry and getting it out to people who love to wear it. I make far more than I could ever wear, and I love making something that someone else likes enough to pay for it. I lay awake and think about new designs, and I love shopping for beads, of course. Doesn't everybody?

My prices are low. My hopes are high. I feel like the hours that I spend doing what I really love to do are worth the effort. My favorite times are working quietly at the jewelry bench with a cup of herb tea and some classical music. Oh, and of course, when I do that happy dance when something sells!

Have a great day.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Friday, November 04, 2005

Photo editing for hours and hours

Today I worked on new logos for my jewelry business on Ebay. I have Corel Paintshop for another two days from my free 30 day trial. It is a complicated program and gives me a headache. This morning Michael told me about another program that is free, called I downloaded that and started playing with it. It took hours. I don't know what I'm doing, but...this is what I have to show for about two hours work tonight.

See Mike?

Thursday, November 03, 2005

"More caffeine?" "Yes, please."

My mother took me aside when I was at her house in Oklahoma. Taking me by the shoulders, and looking at me square in the eyes, she said, "Yvonne, you are drinking too much caffeine." She really took exception to my preference for dark coffee. She likes her coffee rather caramel colored, so you can see thought it. I like mine so you can stand a spoon up straight in it, as they said in cowboy times.

I know that everyone in Massachusetts is addicted to Dunkin' Donuts coffee. It is not hard to tell that, since there is a Dunkin on every corner. I got used to having a medium tall coffee every morning, and now that is a very hard habit to break. Today I went until 10 without coffee, and then broke down and walked to the convenience store for a coffee. Aha! They had run out of regular roast, and had Pumpkin. It was GREAT! I now have a new addiction--pumpkin flavored coffee.

I take mine with a little real half and half. That too, is probably not a good thing, since that little bit of cream every day adds up in unneeded calories. But, that too is something I like which I am not ready to give up.

My mother is much better at giving up things than I am. Hence, she is going to celebrate her 96th birthday at the end of this month. She gave up sugar in her tea and cream in her coffee years ago. Now she uses plain iced tea, with nothing in it, a habit I can hardly think about. She gave up desserts recently when they started monitoring her blood sugar. "No thank you" are her favorite three words I guess. Mine are "Bring it on!"

Have a great day!

Monday, October 31, 2005

Have a great Halloween! Posted by Picasa

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Turkeys, turkeys, Posted by Picasa

and more turkeys Posted by Picasa

Posted by Picasa


This morning I was struck speechless. I looked out the kitchen window as I was making the coffee, and there were wild turkeys in the back yard. A LOT of wild turkeys. I wanted to call to George and I was so excited I was struck speechless. I didn't want to yell, for fear of scaring them off. As it turns out, that was not a problem. George counted 21 wild turkeys, and as we watched and whispered, they went from our driveway across to the neighbors yard and were finally stopped by a high fence. As they meandered back, we got brave. I went out on the porch and they didn't seem to mind me or my camera at all. Then George went out onto the driveway with a liter of sunflower seed, and as he dumped the seeds on the ground, the turkeys came running! Just like wild ducks.

Anyway, we had a fun time watching this gaggle of turkeys and thinking about Thanksgiving!

Have a great day. Gobble gobble.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Poor George

Today we will have a "poor George" day. He had a wisdom tooth taken out this afternoon, and I got busy making peach jello and chicken soup. He is on the couch with an ice pack and I am being very kind and gentle. I made a killer chicken soup, with home made broth and an array of veggies like parsnips, potatos, spinach, cabbage, carrots, turnips, tomatoes and onions. This soup will cure what ails ya. It is delicious, and we hope George feels a lot better tomorrow.

Have a great day tomorrow!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Hurricane Wilma bends into a Nor'Easter

Hurrican Wilma raced up the eastern seaboard and is now twirling around our heads as a classic Nor'Easter. It is amazing to me, coming from the midwest, that weather can go out over the ocean, and then circle around and come back again, and again, and again. A classic Nor'Easter means that you have over your head weather that you have had over your head yesterday. It just keeps coming back round. Today is gray, windy and rainy, and tomorrow will be the same. But, trees are not blowing down, and it is not flooding--yet. It just looks miserable out there, but it could be worse.

My calendar for November is filling up and there is lots to do before my office moves to new space on November 19th. After that I will no longer have a window from which to see the weather---not sure if that is bad or good.

Have a great day!

Monday, October 24, 2005

Halloween in coming! Posted by Picasa

Fall in New England fell with a thud

The whole country seems to be rolling with the punches this year, with all the hurricanes, catastrophes of floods, fires, and wind. New England in the fall is a beautiful place to be, but this year is a dud. The sugar maples, which turn a scarlet red have lost their leaves due to eight days solid of rain two weeks ago, and the rest of the trees are a rather mousy shade of brown and gold. My recent trip to Minnesota was very nice because I got to see fall colors there, but Massachusetts is not competing that well this year.

Now the forecast this week is for more wind and rain due to Hurricane Wilma which is going to race up the eastern seaboard and get here tomorrow. Not much we can do about the weather, but hope for a easy winter and a pretty spring. At least we have our homes, and hopefully Lousiana and Mississippi and Florida will be back on their feet and in their homes soon.

I have pictures on my desk at home of beautiful trees in yellows, oranges and reds that I took in previous years. I'll just have to use those to remember what fall in New England is supposed to be. Lets hope Hurrican Wilma doesn't blow Florida away today--so we have somewhere to go to escape the New England winter.

Have a great day!

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Yesterday's craft show

George and I bundled up the car with crates, rugs, tables, tablecovers, and my fabric covered boxes of necklaces and earrings and we were at the Congregational Church in Medford for the craft sale. I had talked to some of my jewelry making friends online and they suggested that all tables for selling should be waist high. George cut PVC pipe into 10" lengths to put under the table legs. I had two tables set in a L shape, and when we raised our tables and put that pipe under them, people stared. It was a great thing! I covered the two tables (one rented from them, one mine) with taupe fabric and purple tableclothes and put two lamps at either end, laid out all the jewelry and sold a necklace five minutes after I was set up. Having the jewelry waist high meant people could examine it without reaching down, and it worked like a charm.

It was a fun day and I sold several necklaces and several pair of earrings. I didn't exactly deplete my inventory, but people had a lot of choose from, and that always helps. Selling out is not the goal, selling anything is the goal. Keeping my goals within reach, and having fun meeting people and spending the day showing my jewelry is my only goal. Several people commented on my striking color combinations, and it was nice to hear what they had to say. Getting out into the public with your art is a great way to get feedback and ideas. Indoor craft shows are a lot easier than out door. We were there from 8:30 until 4:00, and it was fun talking to everyone who came.

The advertising for the show was good, but there could have been more customers. There is going to be a first ever craft show at my church next Spring, and I am on the committee. We are going to have to make sure that people come out for it, since without shoppers there isn't much point. Getting good crafters and artists to display their work is one part, but getting people to come see it is just as important. Happy customers and happy crafters make for a successful show.

The next show for me is November 19th for Hallmark Health Hospice in Wakefield, Mass, and this one is going to be big, so it's off to the jewelry bench again to make more.

Have a great Sunday.

Friday, October 21, 2005

A few pictures from my trip to Lake City and Red Wing Minnesota early this week

Me, next to one of the special boots that were all over town, since Red Wing Shoes is a historic local company.  Posted by Picasa

My rented PT Cruiser. A spiffy little car I think. I liked it more than I thought I would. Cute huh. Posted by Picasa

I loved this old truck at the cheese factory in Wabasha, Minnesota. The bittersweet was beautiful and lush and bright orange. Too bad I couldn't get it in my suitcase. Posted by Picasa

Visiting the UffDa Shop in Red Wing, Minnesota Posted by Picasa

A view of Lake Pepin, in Lake City, a really beautiful place Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Home Sweet Home Posted by Picasa

Home safe and snug

It must be me, but I thought that getting from Hastings to the Minneapolis Airport was a little tricky. Thank goodness my gracious and kind relative was helpful enough to give me a "dry run". George and I often do dry runs if we have a morning meeting, or an event to go to, and we don't know where it is or how long it will take to get there. She gave me all the directions several times, a map, and a sticky note. I only missed one exit, uffda. I missed the 149 Exit right before 494, but, no matter, I went west, just as I was supposed to, and pretty soon, there was the airport. Following signs once I got there was no problem. It did seem like a rubik's cube of roads right around the airport and I'm not surprised that I got really bungled up when I picked up the car. Budget rental car did a great job of letting me turn the car in fast and I was at the gate with plenty of time. The church ladies preparing the luncheon for after the funeral packed me a nice lunch of two ham on roll sandwiches and two delicious homemade bars. I ate them in the airport, not even waiting to get on the plane.

I had a silver tricked out PTCruiser for a rental car and enjoyed it a lot. George asked if it was big enough to fit a model airplane in. I said sure. (It is not.) But I was hoping he may want to take one for a test drive some day, I was that impressed.

Minnesota has always been beautiful, and still is, and the towns of Red Wing and Lake City are even more beautiful and prosperous than before. I will go back and take George there too. I really enjoyed seeing the cousins, if only for a short time, and the hospitality could not have been better. I'm not unpacked, but it is time to go to work and back to reality.

Have a great day.

Monday, October 17, 2005

The Uff Da Shop

"Uff Da" is the Norwegian exclamation when something untoward happens. Like taking two wrong turns getting out of the airport, or having a wet fish drop in your lap, or taking a minor slip on the ice. "Uff Da".

There is an Uff Da Shop in Red Wing, Minnesota and I veered off the road (Uff Da) to find a parking place as soon as I saw it yesterday. I remember this shop from when I was here 25 years ago and I was happy to look around. The prices are much higher than then, but it is fun to see all the Scandanavian design Christmas ornaments and candle holders, the hand knitted Norwegian sweaters ($385) and they had a plate of lefsa on the counter to snack on. Lefsa is a Norwegian potato pancake like a potato tortilla, and we always had it on Christmas Eve. Yesterday I wasn't hungry enough for even a taste since I had just stopped at MacDonalds. Uff Da.

I bought an Uff Da magnet for my mom's refrigerator, and some pretty napkins for my cousin for a housewarming gift (small) and will probably go back today for another treat or two. It is a beautiful shop. I saw they are selling knitted mohair tams for $42.50. I am in the wrong business. Uff Da.

The bluffs along the Mississippi River in Red Wing are in fall regalia and are gorgeous and I just have to see more of them. This part of the country is really God's country. From the airplane window yesterday, on a clear sunshiny day, Minneapolis was beautiful, with those 1,000 lakes sparkling in the sun. It looked like heaven.

Today is the visitation for my Aunt Laddie and I'm looking forward to joining the crowds of people who called her best friend and favorite aunt.

She was an angel in God's country!

Have a great day.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

A busy day far away

This morning I got up at 3:00, took a 6 a.m. flight out of Boston to Chicago, had a nice Starbucks coffee and a cinnamon scone, took a shuttle plane to Minneapolis, and then the troubles began. I went to the rental counter, got my PT Cruiser, and asked the lady how to get to Hastings. I think there is a plot by whoever designs the rental car maps. They are really useless. The lady said to veer left after leaving the airport, stay left, take highway 5, which went well. Then, I didn't know what to do next. I made three wrong decisions in quick succession and a couple of u-turns. I finally realized that 55 East really meant South, and I was in Hastings in about an hour. Trouble is I don't know how to get back and my timing from the funeral service to the flight going home is going to be tight.

I will try not to worry. I had a very very good day today catching up with cousins who I havent seen in years. It is family that I hardly ever get to see. It is good to be with them, even for a sad occasion. We have a lot of stories about Aunt Lad to share and more tomorrow.

Have a great day.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

My Aunt Lad

I found out yesterday that my Aunt Lad died. She was in her eighties and had suffered with leukemia and she had a heart attack because of the stress of her disease. My whole family is very sad. Aunt Lad was a fun, funny, energetic and delightful woman who was the "glue" who held our extended family together. No matter how far we roamed, or how much our lives changed over the years, we could always call Aunt Lad and get all the news about everyone.

My Aunt Lad was perhaps the best card player I ever "seen or heard of". She loved to play cards and often had a game going with someone. She rarely went a day without a game, or three or four, of cards. She also made beautiful quilts and was very generous with giving them away. We all have wonderful Laddie stories, and I'm looking forward to hearing more of them.

She lived in Hastings, Minnesota, and I am going there tomorrow to attend her funeral. My mother is very sad, and said that Laddie and she were like twins while they were growing up. Being part of a family with nine children, meant that the kids paired up and helped each other as they grew up. When I called my mother to tell her the sad news yesterday, she said that she had just had a long telephone conversation with Laddie that day, and they were both happy and laughing. God works in miraculous ways.

I am not stretching it to say that Lad was everyone's favorite person. We all love each other, but Lad was really a special person to everyone who knew her. She was the only person I know who went to clown school when she was in her sixties so that she could entertain at nursing homes and local events. She was funny and although I never saw her in a clown suit, I sure remember a lot of clowning around. She was great at practical jokes and would go a long way out of her way to make others laugh. People like that are very rare.

We are all sad and I am also busy getting the arrangements made so I can go to Minneapolis very early tomorrow morning. Like my mother said, "You HAVE to go!". We just all feel that if we can walk and have a credit card, we have to be there for Laddie. She was always there for us.

Have a good day.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Laughter is the best medicine

I think there is a Reader's Digest column called "Laughter is the Best Medicine". I can vouch for that. I have had this cold for two weeks, and just doing what I need to do at work, and then going to my meetings at church two nights, seemed like almost too much. Last night I cut my bell choir practice short, but I was there to rehearse our piece for Sunday, and I had so much fun laughing with the others at the silly antics, that I think it was just good for my soul. At one point I had tears streaming down my face, overcome by giggles, only because someone's page clip had shot across the space during a particularly fast page turn. It was funny. You had to be there.

Today is a day for me to look for other ways to laugh, since I'm sure that is something I need more than antibiotics. My doctor does not prescribe antibiotics for colds, which she says are viruses, and don't respond. She thinks we should save the antibiotic for when we really need it. Maybe she is right. I hope. But, I am getting better, and life is looking up.

Have a great day.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Water-logged in Boston. Send canoe.

It has rained for three days, and we are expecting five more days of rain here. I'm not talking about a little sprinkle either, but the whole banana. Rain, rain and more rain. New Hampshire has had floods that have washed cars and homes away. They had eleven inches of rain in one day in places. This was the weekend of the Wool Tour, where sheep farmers and wool stores open their businesses to people who travel from one farm to the other. There are seven farms and stores, and it is fun to go and visit old friends on that day. I have never missed a Wool Tour in several years, but it rained too hard this year. Now it looks like some of those country roads we used to travel from farm to farm are washed out. It is bad for those cottage industries there, since they are small stores and this is a big weekend of sales for them.

Three more days of rain are predicted, and the gutters are running with water. A big vacuuming truck is outside clearing the street drains. Not sure whether there was a problem or whether it is just serendipity, but it is a good thing to have the drains clear when it rains for seven days straight. Low lying houses will be sopping up their basements, that is for sure.

I'm still coughing, but my cold seems to be going away slowly. Way too slowly. It will be nice to have a whole night's sleep one of these nights.

Have a good evening. I'm off to a church meeting.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

These are the cultured pearls that George brought back from Hawaii for me. In the center is a bracelet. There is one strand of coin peals and three strands of round pearls. I am going to make a beautiful necklace for myself, but first I'm going to stare at them for a few weeks. They are so gorgeous! Posted by Picasa

Home Sweet Home

George's plane should have landed at Logan by now. It is early morning, and I'm up already to see him in the front door. The welcome lamps are lit. He had a good trip, and in a way I am glad that he was somewhere safe when I was in the throes of my bad cold. In another way, I missed him even more than usual.

I feel better today. I called the doctor's office and they told me to get Musalix, which I took yesterday and it seemed to have helped the coughing a lot. I slept all night for the first time in a week. I'm on the upswing, and very happy about it. I usually get one cold a year, and they are always pretty severe, sometimes going into bronchitis. I don't get a cold that I can travel around with, like some people. Either my colds are worse than most, or I'm just a sissy. Not sure which.

Today George will be tired, and I plan to make jewelry while he is napping. When he wakes up I would like to take a drive to the apple orchard and get some apples, and maybe stop for dinner out. When he is gone, I really miss eating out, since I don't really enjoy eating at a restaurant by myself. I had a lot of chicken caesar salad while he was gone, so that is one thing I don't think I will order for awhile.

Oh it is going to be so good to have him home!

Have a great day, stay safe.Image hosted by

Friday, October 07, 2005

Waiting for my Friskies. Posted by Picasa

The Good, The Bad and The Not Ugly

The good is that mom is better. The "cocktail" of half a cup of white antibiotic fluid which the doctor gave her on Monday seemed to have worked it's magic, and when I called her on Wednesday night, she was much better, stronger, and said, "Hi!" with a clear voice full of optimism. It was a gift from God to hear her strong and getting better. The bad is that I, on the other hand, did not get such a cocktail, and have been fighing this cough/cold/bronchial infection by myself. I did not go to the doctor when I should have, and every day I think that I am going to be ok, and every night I suffer through with lots of wakeful periods of coughing and a box of kleenex. Today I am some better, but not well.

The hopefully Not Ugly is that I have twenty items listed on Ebay and sales have been slow this week. I'm hopeful that my jewelry is pretty enough to attract some attention soon. I do know, from selling at craft shows, that people either like it or not. Some think that it is too showy I think. But I have analysed this, and feel that I simply must make what I love making, and find an audience that appreciates it. Making jewelry that I don't love sounds way too much like work. I want this to be fun.

George is home Saturday morning from Hawaii. He shopped and bought three strands of freshwater pearls for me to string for myself. I can't wait to see them. He said they are beautiful, and it was fun listening to him talk about all the things he looked at. The website is:, if you feel like doing some shopping.

This morning my goal is to get kitty to understand that we have run out of Friskies canned food, and that the bit of tuna I gave her is going to have to make do until I get out to the store. She gets Science diet dry food and has plenty of that, but her half teaspoon of wet food is what she seems to live for. Somehow, she is not getting the whole picture, and if cats can badger, then that is what she is doing. Meow, Meow, MEOW!!!

Off to go get cat food.
Have a great day.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Another day another necklace

Today was a day to get through. I am still in the throes of a bad cold, and coughing hard enough to give me a headache. Here it is 8:30 p.m., and I'm just sitting down to blog. Life just seems a little duller when one has a cold. To top it off, I had to go to the dentist today. I warned them that I might cough, and they wanted me to come in anyway, so I did. I managed to contain my coughing while I was in the dentist chair, and that in itself was a small miracle. Thank goodness for Robitussen DM. But now the Advils have worn off and I'm hurting again. Seems like an early bedtime might be just the ticket. George is off in Hawaii shopping for pearls and coral, God Bless His Pea-pickin' Heart!!!

I managed to make a necklace tonight out of sparkly pink beads and rose quartz, (see my other blog: which made me feel some better. Now I think it is time to make like the Red Sox and go hide. They lost today, with bells on. It was a horrible sight. It made my cold seem all that much worse. Oh well. It is the Red Sox, and tomorrow is another day.

Have a good night.

Monday, October 03, 2005

I have a bad code

I have collapsed under the weight of a bad cold that hit me friday night, left me shivering with fever on Saturday night, and home with a cup of tea on Monday morning. I called mother on Sunday night, and found out she has it too, which is somewhat more scary when you are 96 years old and prone to pneumonia. I did a lot of praying last night, and George and Mike both called so I had a chance to share some of my burden of worry. When I called mom this morning, she said that she had a doctor's appointment this afternoon. I finally figured out that my basis for calling the paramedics for mother is if she is unable to get out of bed. That means that she is not drinking or eating, and it is time for the experts. Otherwise, I try not to disrupt her, and just call to make sure she is ok. Other people are on call too, so she does have some help there. I just worry, and I can't help it!

Today I am rearranging all my beading supplies and putting little things in this container and that. I have two color coded boxes for semi-precious, one box for Swarovski crystals, one box for sterling earring findings, one box for not precious stones and beads, one box for sterling and gold, and one box for base metal. Then, I have my boxes for wires, tools, crimps, and the two important boxes: necklaces on currently sale, and earrings currently on sale. Taking care of these little details is just about all I'm good for today.

Aloha (is that hello or goodbye in Hawaiian?) to George in Hawaii. I hope he is having a great time there in the sunshine, and welcome back to Mike, who had an exhaustingly fun trip to San Diego to see the Everquest folks and ubah player.

It is back to my box of kleenex for me.

Have a great day!

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Thunder says Hi. Posted by Picasa