Tuesday, May 31, 2005

smile! Posted by Hello

A new smile

My permanent veneers are now in place and no longer will my teeth fall out into my cereal. Well, it wasn't that bad, but it felt like it. The temporary veneers were just too temporary for me. Three times in two weeks I had to make an emergency visit to the dentist's office for a repair job. It was not good. Now I have the new permanent veneers and the bills to match. Whew. Expensive. More $$ than I thought. I'm going to be severely limiting my shopping for the summer. When I told my mom, she said, "Well, that's ok isn't it? How much stuff do you still need?" She's right. I will have to find a new hobby, like taking long walks. New teeth, new smile, new healthy hobby. My mom has always been a big supporter of taking care of one's teeth, and the dentist said that these new veneers will last the rest of my life. No more little gap on the side, and my teeth are nicer than they have ever been in my life.

I am going to make walking after work an obsession. Somehow it doesn't work for me unless I get really crazy for something. Crazy for purses, crazy for Noritake china, crazy for making crochet wire necklaces...you get the idea. So, now I'm going to be crazy for walking. I simply must!

Time to call it a day. Blogging in the morning is not possible tomorrow because I have an early morning meeting and a new resolve to get to work earlier as a general rule. Early to bed, early to rise.

Goodnight all. Have a great Wednesday.

Monday, May 30, 2005

Green grass Posted by Hello

Memorial Day weekend wrap-up

The weekend is almost over and I'm sorry to see it go. The wreaths are on the graves of my father, who served in the Army in World War II, and my brother, who died while serving in the Coast Guard. My mom sees that those wreaths are in place and this year Crystal helped her. The graves are in an Oklahoma cemetery, on a wind swept hill. I go there sometimes when I visit and I'm always amazed how far you can see in every direction.

George and I went back to Maine today to exchange the new shoes he bought which he decided did not fit. It was a sunny beautiful morning that was going to quickly turn into thunder showers, so I was ready and willing to go back the 50 miles to the Kittery Outlet Mall. While I was there I splurged on two more pair of shoes: black Teva sandals and a pair of heels to wear to the dinner party we are going to next Saturday night.

We finished planting the circular area around the dogwood tree in the back yard with orange impatiens and I planted two "over the rail" window boxes with pink geraniums, rosemary and tarragon. I also planted orange marigolds and purple petunias together in while planters. We don't spend a lot of money on planters, or plants, for that matter, but we do have a lot of colorful flowers on the deck and in front. They are just beginning to be pretty now, so pictures will have to wait. We put two rows of Snapdragons along the driveway. We have learned that snapdragons are one plant that Chuckie the woodchuck, who lives under our garage, will not eat. George called them snapdoodles and made me laugh. We have simple tastes in humor.

I wish Chuckie would find a new home, but I'm afraid it ain't going to be that easy. Dire measures include trapping him and transporting him, but I do not want that wild animal in my car, and killing him is just not an option. We have read that putting olive oil on a rag and stuffing it in the hole he uses as a door will make him not want to live there, but so far, that has not worked. I think he has several "back" doors to use. He is out there almost every morning and all the neighbors know him well.

It was a fun weekend of cooking, eating good meals, shopping and taking rides in the car to Maine and other places. The weather was glorious and even when the storms brought rain, it was a nice gentle rain that makes the grass even greener.

Sometimes the grass is greener right where you are, and for that we can be very grateful.

See you tomorrow.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Kitty Posted by Hello

What can I say? We live in New England! Posted by Hello

Blog It!

Pictures from our day in Maine.

The bleeding heart by the front door doing it's best to be the most beautiful plant I've ever seen. Posted by Hello

New shoes! Posted by Hello

Kane's flower shop where we got tomatoes and snapdragons. Posted by Hello

George after our picnic lunch in the car. Posted by Hello

Where we had our lunch. Posted by Hello

Maine estuary with the tide coming in Posted by Hello

George in Kittery, Maine today. Posted by Hello

Something we have not seen in a long time: the Sun! Posted by Hello

Hallelujah! The Sun!

My gosh what a beautiful morning! The sun is shining for the first time in 12 days! We have had a series of nor'easters over the ocean bringing in wind and rain and misery for those who want to wear flipflops and feel the sun on their faces. Memorial Day weekend is here! George and I went to bed early in anticipation! We are going to go to a tag sale this morning at the American Friends in Cambridge, and I hope to find some antique beads that I can cut apart and use for my necklaces. George will find more whatever. We always have fun at this sale, there is a lot of good stuff from the rather wealthy folks in Cambridge that give their stuff to the Quakers for this sale. They have beautiful old stuff, including jewelry, gowns and furs.

Then we are off to New Hampshire for a one-day road trip. There is a wonderful yarn store in Henniker, New Hampshire called the Fiber Studio, and I'm going to hunt for some cotton yarn to make a summer sweater. I don't have a knitting project going right now because of all the beading I've been doing...so it is time to get on the sticks. My favorite chinese restaurant is down the road and if we are there around lunchtime I'm sure we'll be there.

On the way back we will go to the Kittery, Maine outlets and shop at the Corning outlet where we find nice things to help us host parties and coffee hours. The last time we were there I found insulated zipper bags for casseroles for $1 each. Then we'll go to look at the beatiful china at the Vileroy and Boch store, my favorite, and then on to the Mikasa, Lenox, and Reed and Barton stores. Sometimes we stop for a bowl of chowder or a lobster sandwich at the outlet mall clam shack.

All round a wonderful morning to make plans for three days of fun and frolic. Have a great Memorial Day Holiday. God bless us all.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Goodbye old tree Posted by Hello

A vacation day

The fallen tree yesterday meant a vacation day for George and me. I made a new crocheted wire and turquoise necklace and learned how to make crochet wire earrings to match. We also took two short naps and watched a James Bond movie. Quite a quiet Thursday. In the meantime, we kept checking the street to see if the wire and tree would be moved so we could go to work, but at 2 p.m., we gave up and called in to our offices to say we would not be in. The workers came with two huge trucks to block the street as they cut and shredded the tree and they didn't leave until after 7:00 p.m. George and I hopped in the car and took a ride, since we had felt like prisoners all day.

It was an old tree, probably 150 years old, in front of a Victorian house this town is famous for. Actually, the neighborhood looks a little lighter without it and I don't think I'm going to miss it. George said that the roots were rotten and tha is why the tree went down in the first place. Sixty mile-an-hour gusts the night before were too much for the old thing. The same people have another old tree in their yard and I'm sure they are looking at taking that down before a disaster happens. This tree went through the neighbors roof and knocked off their front porch and a window where a young girl was sleeping. I bet she won't forget that night for awhile.

I'm rushing off to work this morning, feeling a little guilty about missing work yesterday, but looking forward to three days off for Memorial Day weekend. They say the sun may come out sometime on Saturday. Whoohoo.

Have a great day.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

George the lumberjack taking down a tree branch that split off in the storm last night. Posted by Hello

Last night's storm damage

Storm damage on a dark morning Posted by Hello

There is a house behind there somewhere that has no porch and a hole in the roof. Posted by Hello

Tree down Posted by Hello

What's that noise?

About 11:30 last night I woke George up and said that I heard a noise like a tree going down. He went downtairs and looked out front and went out on the deck and came back to the bedroom and told me he didn't see anything. He said, "What did it sound like?" I said, "Well, maybe it was just a garbage can blowing around, but it sounded like a roof being blown off next door." I had a glass of milk and went back to sleep.

This morning we are not going to be able to get out to go to work. A huge tree fell and hit the house next door to it, and smashed in their front porch, a bedroom window and part of their roof. The winds were really wicked last night. No one is hurt, and the neighbors are congregated down the street looking at the damage. There is a live-wire down, and yellow police tape. A pickup truck came by when George was there and the man with a chain saw said, "I can't do anything about this, it's on private property." The man who owns the tree is standing there looking worried and confused.

Quite a morning. I had to call in to my office to tell them I will miss the 9:00 meeting and will not be able to bring the coffee and doughnuts.

I'm just glad no one got hurt. And that my car isn't under the rubble. We have pictures in the news this morning of flooded coastlines and million dollar homes at risk because of crumbling sea walls and trees down onto cars in city neighborhoods. The storm is winding down now, and good riddance!

More to follow. Have a good morning.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

All things Cajun and why do I love it so?

I do not know when I became a Cajun fanatic. I just loved listening to the music, and I have learned quite a bit about it, have gone to the hinterlands of southern Louisiana twice to find it in real life, and I have bought about 10 CDs which I listen to all the time. Well, a lot. This week I received a book of recipes by Enola Prudhomme, "Low Calorie Cajun Cookin". She is one of 11 children, and sister of the more famous chef Paul Prudhomme. This came about because on one of our trips, leaving Lafayette to go to Eunice, Louisiana to a Saturday night show at the Liberty Music Theatre, I saw her restaurant on the side of the road. Since the web knows and sees all, now I know it is called Enolas and it is in Carenco, Lousiana. I'm not sure the restaurant is still open, I also read that is now closed due to her poor health. Too bad. I seem to always catch on to things when it is too late.

I decided that since I am such a fan of Cajun music and culture, I might as well learn a little about cooking Cajun. This book is great, the recipes are simple, easy to understand, and substitute some of the high fat ingredients so that the food doesn't kill you. I love the hot spicy crawfish and crab recipes, but she even has a good recipe for Rice Krispy Bars. This is not a snobby recipe collection. Her recipes for vegetables look unique and tasty. I can't wait to try them.

On the web I have found the name of a woman who teaches cajun dance here in Boston. I'm going to get in touch with her to see if she can help George and I learn the steps so we can get up and cut a rug the next time we go to Louisiana. It is fast paced music, with a repetitive two step or waltz step and you have to do it just so or make a complete fool of yourself. There is no room for improvisation, this is the real deal Cajun dancing and we need help learning it. George has a little trouble finding the "beat", and we both need a lot of practice. To watch the dancers in Lousiana at Mulates is to watch perfection. They don't make a wrong move, and the lady always dances backward and the steps are precise and fast. The man and the woman hardly move from the waist up as they shuffle around in a circle of dancers, so George commented the last time we were there, that it looked like the men were pushing grocery carts...there is no jumping around like other fast dancing. Our next trip to Louisiana to hear Cajun music is to the Festival Arcadienne in Lafayette next September. I've already booked the room.

On June 9th, here in Boston, we are going to hear Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys at a place called Jimmy D's. It is a tiny dance floor and hopelessly crowded with dancers who don't have a clue what they are doing, so I don't plan on even trying to dance. It is enough to be in the room and listening to someone who really knows how to play the Cajun accordian.

Fun fun.

See you later aligator!

New England's front yard Posted by Hello

A Nor'easter heah

The wind is blowing at 40 miles an hour. A rain storm has come to New England, blown out over the ocean, where it is circling back in on us--again and again. It is 42 degrees this morning and trees are toppling over from the wind and the excess rain. Flooding is a real possibility. They are predicting 65 mph gusts for tonight. We have a forecast that only a sea monster would love. The news this morning said that the warning is for seaweed in your front yard. I'm wearing a sweater that I dug back out of my winter bins. Only a week until the official start of summer and we are wearing coats and hoods.

I'm bringing my lunch today and going to Sparks to sit and read beading magazines. Being a member there, and having the place in the same building where I work has been a huge blessing. It is place to go on my breaks that I have mostly to myself during the day.

I watched American Idol for the first time last night. I switched back and forth to NCIS, which is a program that both George and I enjoy. A principle character - the pretty girl - got killed on NCIS last night and left us both aghast.

I watched American Idol last night because of a conversation yesterday with one of our board members who was very excited about the results of the finale last night. I wanted to know what all the buzz was about. My friend is a Bo lover. Carrie is from Oklahoma. What can I say? My first-timers opinion is that this is all about TV and not about the music. I was not very impressed. I didn't think that either of them were particularly musical or creative, but boy, you have to give it to them for guts. It is so hard to perform under such pressure in front of millions of people. It is a wonder they don't crumple to the stage in a heap. Carrie pulled off an terrific display of courage when she belted it to the end. I enjoyed watching it in bits. I am not a fan of American Idol. But, I am putting my vote out right here--Bo. Don't tell the folks in Oklahoma. Maybe it's a girl thing. [Thursday night edit: I have changed my mind...I like Carrie after all. I'm embarrassed about even having an opinion on this. But it's an Oklahoma thing *thang.]

If I really want to lose weight I'm going to have to stop eating ice cream and George's wonderful cookies. That's the whole truth and nothing but the truth. And I am going to have to stop TVing, computering, and beading when I get home at night and start going for long walks. I'm at the end of my coupon book at Weight Watchers and not ready to shell out another $135 right now. I'm in a quandary and undecided what to do. This the stage where I get discouraged. The scale is wavering and going back and forth over the same three pounds - round and round, just like the weather. Losing weight is no joke--it is really hard to do. I am not going to stop trying, that I know.

Have a great day.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Mike sent this picture of the Blue Ridge Mountains this weekend. Beautiful. Posted by Hello

A morning ride

Today I get to take a long drive all the way around Boston to the south, to Canton, to a meeting. I am the "tobacco coordinator" for my non-profit and this is a meeting to update us on the new rules about Department of Public Health and smoking cessation programs that must be in place. Since I am an avid non-smoker, and also the one at the office who has the time to go--I'm it.

It is raining and the trip is going to be a long one. I'm taking a banana and water, and it is likely to take me close to two hours in traffic. I'm taking along a Cajun music cd to brighten things up a little. The rain is on and off all week they say, so we might as well get used to it.

The cleaners come today, I am going to take some old glasses to have my new prescription put in, might as well use them, and life goes on. Another day, another bowl of Cheerios, and I'm thankful for that!

Have a great Tuesday. If you have sun, enjoy it!!!

Monday, May 23, 2005

Posted by Hello

Monday morning in the mist

Well, Sunday evening ended up pretty much the same as Sunday a week ago, with my front tooth veneer popping out again. I called the dentist this morning and she told me I can cement it in there with a little toothpaste...but I won't be able to eat. She said not to use super glue or any other glue since it would make it too hard to take off. I admit I had thought of that idea. Rather than fight the traffic to downtown Boston this morning, I decided not to eat. I will try to get there sometime today. This whole experience makes me wonder if veneers were a good idea, but I guess I will be happy when the permanent veneers are in there at the end of the month. "They" don't tell you all about the downsides. I keep thinking about people who elect to have plastic surgery on their breasts or their thighs. I would NEVER go through that kind of pain for that kind of gain. I'm not sure just because we "can", that we really "should".

The forecast for Boston is seven days of rain--just like last week. Actually we had a good weekend and it barely rained at all. Yesterday the sky was beautiful with both very dark and very light clouds rushing by and the sun streaking through. We took a little ride around the lake last night and stopped for ice cream.

Coffee hour at church was a success and everyone enjoyed the cakes and said that the coffee was epecially good. I made 80 cups of coffee and added one small package of coffee (for the pot). It made it just a wee bit stronger, and I think the real coffee drinkers among us like that. People also liked my three-page reading of Genesis 1:1-2:4. I really enjoyed reading this beautiful passage and I was not nervous at all. They said my voice was clear as a bell. It made me happy.

All in all, except for teeth popping out, it was a great weekend.
Have a great Monday.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Tulips in my new vase Posted by Hello

Kitty jumps from my chair to her favorite perch at the window. Posted by Hello

Yet another necklace I finished today. I'm a necklace factory. Posted by Hello

Lemon Grove bundt cake with lemon frosting.  Posted by Hello

Apricot almond bundt cake Posted by Hello