Wednesday, August 31, 2005

These are blue crystal earrings that I made last night and I'm not happy about the lighting. Improvements will be made. So, we're off to get some new lights and maybe a new setting for the camera. Posted by Picasa

When we need help, we ask for it

George and I have decided that we will visit the photography shop tonight and work on setting up a better photo studio here at home for my jewelry. Using the lights we have, a lot of my photos of jewelry are not coming out the way I want them to, and some are very disappointing. It may have only to do with better lighting, or it may have to do with some setting on the camera that I am not using right. I never really thought that it would make so much difference, but when taking pictures of these tiny sparkly earrings, with all the different stones, it really does make a huge difference. Right now the lighting is coming out "orangey" and some times, it just doesn't catch features at all. My black crystal earrings came out like little back holes in the photo, and my red glass earrings look dark and dull. The earrings are so pretty and sparkly and the photos are just very dull. Time for some re-thinking and re-working of this part of the Ebay process. They warn you in the beginning that good photos are 90% of it, and I do believe they are right. So,...we're off tonight to ask for help and get some lessons in photography.

We are sending some money to the Red Cross to help those poor people in the Gulf Coast. I can't help thinking about the thousands that are stuck in that hot superdome, surrounded by water and in need of clean bathrooms. They probably never drempt it would be so bad when they lined up to go in, and now most have no place to go home to. It is so sad. Those of us who have it so good need to help others who don't,...and I'm just very grateful this morning for all that I have, and the people in Louisiana and Mississippi are going to need help for a long long time to come. This really is out US Tsunami, and now we are all going to have to pitch in to help where we can.

On that cheerful note, have a great day, and we'll stick together and help each other and pray for those people who have lost everything.

Monday, August 29, 2005

New Orleans

I have written in this blog before about how much George and I love New Orleans. I had never been there before three years ago, but now I've grown to really like it there. The people are so nice, considerate and so friendly. It is a touristy kind of place, and yet people are just nice to be with. We spent Christmas there last year, and love to stay on St. Charles street by the trolley line. There are so many beautiful homes, interesting places to shop and browse, and really good restaurants. I can't even bear to think of what they look like now.

On Sunday afternoon, all George and I could do was watch the impending disaster of Katrina on the weather channel and CNN. It was awful to contemplate all those historial buildings and streets under water. On a good day, it looks like the buildings and stores in the French Quarter are held together with baling wire and chewing gum. I can't even imagine what has happend to them now. The hurricane has been there for 12 hours, and we will see on TV tonight what is left. I am so sorry for the folks who are huddled in the Super Dome, and those who chose not to leave their homes and are now are their roofs. I am here in Massachusetts hoping for the best in Louisiana.

Ebaying has taken up a lot of my time the past few days. I have sold a few pair of earrings and hope my jewelry catches on soon. It isn't a profitable venture, but I am happy if I can spread some of the glitter around.

God Bless New Orleans. See you tomorrow.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Shells from Hawaii

George brought me lots of goodies from Hawaii, and the bracelets and necklaces made with macrame and shells are just fascinating to me right now. I don't know why. This is my summer for shell jewelry I guess. I love the fact that they are very lightweight and easy to wear, and look great with summer shirts. I wear them to work and they don't interfere with typing either. He also brought dried pineapple, kona coffee and chocolate covered macadamia nuts which I will share with Michael later today. Oh, the calories.

We're off to the flying field in the salt marsh near Boston to watch George fly his remote control airplanes. Then we're off to Koreana, a favorite Korean restaurant in Cambridge for Bi Bim Bap.

What a fun weekend. I'm so happy that Mike is here.

Have a great day

Jewelry from Hawaii that I'm wearing this summer Posted by Picasa

Thursday, August 25, 2005

flowers at the front door, waiting for Michael Posted by Picasa

The new knitting bag that I am crazy about. Posted by Picasa

Michael arrives this morning!

We are going to have a very fun long weekend. Yesterday I made some earrings, and took photos of necklaces, and listed them all on Ebay. It is taking up a lot of my "free" time. When Mike gets here, he can help me make my web site a bit more interesting. Taking pictures that capture the fun and the sparkle isn't easy I've found. For now, I've cleaned up the "photo studio" so we can once again have dinner in the dining room!

We're going to have a mexican lunch, do some shopping and buy a new phone for George, go together to the grocery store to get things that look good to Michael, and then settle in for a long weekend of family togetherness. I hope that Michael gets to sit on the back deck and find time to rejuvenate a little. He needs to keep those creative juices flowing! And I have a lot of new semi-precious stones and beads to make into new jewelry.

Have a great day.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

The Whale Watching tour boat Posted by Picasa

This is the part of the whale you see the most. Posted by Picasa

Whale watching!

Michael is coming this weekend and the fun starts on Thursday morning when we pick him up at Logan at 11:00. We are planning to go to a Mexican place for an early dinner, and on Friday morning we will drive to Gloucester to take a whale watch cruise to Stellwagen bank. It is a three hour trip on the boat, and is lots of fun, and peaceful at the same time. I heard that the whales have been putting on quite a show this year, and I am looking forward to going. It has been at least three years since the last time George and I went on this boat trip.

Afterwards, we will go to Woodman's, home to delicious fresh seafood and lobster, and a glorified "lobster shack" that has been in Essex, MA since 1914. Gloucester was a much different place in 1914. The fishing industry has takean a huge hit and because of overfishing, we have to wait awhile to let the fish recover, if they ever do. But lobster is certainly not an endangered species and we don't have to feel bad about eating a few of those! At Woodman's, a nice size lobster will cost $25.00, so bring your wallet.

I have a short day at work today and look forward to coming home to do some beading and get some earrings ready to sell on Ebay. There is a little excitement brewing about the necklaces, and I have about five more ready to sell and will list them this weekend. Michael is going to helpme improve my new web site:

A great weekend ahead---tally ho!

Have a great day.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Ben and Jerry's in Waterbury, Vermont. A big happy place that is crowded every day. Posted by Picasa

Up early with the birdies

I'm off to the car dealer today to get an oil change, something that my car is begging for I'm afraid. George will follow me and take me in to work, and we will go at noon to pick it up. The drive from my office to Winchester, home to the car dealer, is very nice, and I even look forward to it. I have a new bumper sticker that I got at the Ben and Jerry's main "ice cream stand" in Waterbury, Vermont. It reads, "If it isn't fun, why do it?" In the past, I have never had a bumper sticker, but for some reason, this one hit me right, and I thought it was fun. Anyway, taking the car to the car dealer for an oil change CAN be fun, if you look at it the right way.

I have 14 necklaces and earrings listed on Ebay and I'm getting a few reponses now. It has not been a fast process, by any means, but it is catching on I think. I am going to make sterling silver earrings with semi precious stones and see how those go. I'm committed to getting my jewelry shown to others who might like it. My next "street fair" is in September. I have some new ideas. Last night was taken up with shipping, and I gift wrap everything that I sell to make it just a little special.

Have a great day and keep smiling.

Monday, August 22, 2005

George is home!

George arrived home from Hawaii on Sunday at noon. The cab pulled up and George popped out with his luggage full of souvenirs and gifts for me. We went upstairs and he pulled out all this fantastic stuff: dried pineapple, Kona coffee, chocolate covered Macadamia nuts (uh oh), four beautiful Japanese fans, 3 live orchids to plant, lovely 14K gold and carnelian earrings,a ceramic fish and a ceramic shell candle holder and about five shell bracelets and necklaces. Am I spoiled? You bet. I'm wearing a necklace and bracelet today. I have decided I really like shell and macrame bracelets because they are light and easy to wear and don't interfere with typing. I now have a lot of them. He also brought a pillow cover for me, and one for my mom, quilted in patterns of flowers, like iris and orchids. They are quite beautiful. George worked hard to make sure he didn't miss any shops I think, and he went to Hilo Hatties so many times they are probably on a first name basis: "Hi Hattie", "Hi George". Anyway, it was lots of fun.

I am very happy to have him home. It was a hot day and humid day here on Sunday and George had quite a "to do" list. High on the list was installing the new Vonage cable phone sytem. It was not an easy job, and tech support, of course, was in India, but finally after about 3 hours George finally got all the cables right and it worked. I used my cell phone while he is was in Hawaii, because our phone service had already been disconnected and I wasn't about to try to run those cables and wires by myself. I'm really glad I didn't try.

Anyway, George is home, the birds and Thunder and I are all happy to see him safe and home again. He had a good trip, left the Hawaiians restocking their shelves, and all is good.

Have a great day.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Blue necklace Posted by Picasa


I went to a store in Arlington, Massachusetts called Playtime today. You have to read my blog to understand what it is like to drive from my house to Arlington. I had to follow my nose, and meander through different towns and through multiple rotarys, but I got there is a relatively straight line, and was very pleased with myself. There is NO way I would be able to tell someone how to get there. Playtime is a store that has everything to do with hobbies. The only thing on my shopping list was sterling silver wire and leaf charms, but I ended up with a little bag full of beads and goodies, like I always do.

At Playtime, there are two floors, and the bottom floor is all about beads, ribbon, knitting, and who else knows what. While I was there I was able to help a very nice lady and her grand daughter pick out yarn and needles so the lady could teach her how to knit. We had a nice time picking out the right yarn for a beginner, in a color that she would like. I remember those days. It is fun to be able to help someone else learn something that has brought me so much pleasure. Knitting is my first love, but not my only love, by any means. I also found pretty tissue and ribbon to wrap the items that people buy from me: wishful thinking.

While I was there, George called from Hawaii to say it is time for him to pack up and say Aloha to his room of 10 days. He has one bed in his room at the Doubletree covered with souvenirs and gifts and it is going to be very fun to see all that he has picked out. We are both ready for each other's company. The house is too lonely and I am ready for a little ruckus around here. Thunder needs a steady hand to hold her while I brush her, and the birds outside need the tender loving care they get from George. They go through a whole liter bottle of sunflower seed every day, and are waiting for more in the afternoon. The pretty and delicate goldfinches eat much less, but I had to refill their tall bird feeder today as well. Right now, the doves are taking a bath and I'm going to watch a baseball game. We are all waiting for George to come home.

Have a great Saturday. See you tomorrow.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Earrings I made today Posted by Picasa

Hurry home George--it's Friday night and all I have to do is watch old Julia Child re-runs! Posted by Picasa

Yum yum! Posted by Picasa

Busy day

I have been so busy today I forgot to blog. I don't work on Fridays anymore, but I manage to find a lot to do around here. Today I hit a big sale at Filene's and bought new light-weight luggage for my trip to Oklahoma. I recently bought two pieces of maroon luggage that I liked a lot--until I tried to lift it. For some reason, when packed, even if I try to pack very lightly, it is way too heavy for me. I almost could not get that bag into the trunk of the rental car. So today I bought some American Tourister called I-Lite, which hopefully will weight a lot less and wasn't too heavy on the pocketbook either. George can throw his old suitcase away now and use the maroon one. He strong like ox.

George is coming home from Hawaii on Sunday morning. He stayed over to solve a problem that occured on his project, so Thunder and I have been doing our best to take care of things. Taking care of things around here mostly consists of cleaning up after myself (and Thunder, thanks to her long white hair) and trying to figure out what I want to eat for dinner. Days ago already, I decided that I really don't like to eat my own cooking alone--so I have been out to eat two nights in a row. Tonight? Chinese food?

George, it is time for you to come home now. This is the first ripe tomato. I went out to mosey around the property today and pull a few six feet high thistles near the front door (thing's growing like a weed!) and found one huge beautiful red tomato. I was shocked! The morning glories are still climbing but have yet to bloom.

I have spent most of my free time putting my jewelry up for sale on Ebay. I also have a new blog about beading projects. Today I made these chandelier earrings and immediately took a picture. These earrings were up for sale before they were an hour old! I hope they sell. If they don't, I already know what outfit I have to wear them with.

Take care all, and have a great day.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

The Sorcerer's Apprentice strikes my computer Posted by Picasa

The Sorcerer's Apprentice

Last night I was creating folders to store all the pictures I have saved on my computer. In the course of this, I found out that I have 1,549 pictures saved under "My Pictures". I was going along happily, filing them into categories like Flowers, Family and Jewelry. Then I had a few left that I really didn't need anymore, so I highlighted them with the mouse, and scrolled down and hit "delete". I thought. Evidently, in the deleting process of holding down the mouse and clicking on lots of pictures, I was actually copying them. And copied. And copied. Then, I noticed that I had Copy #50 of one shot. I was frantic. But it was very late. Oh dear.

I worked for 30 minutes to try to correct this mistake and finally had to give up and just go to bed. I wish George was here. He would know what to do.

And then, it struck me. This is just like Walt Disney's Fantasia and the Sorcerer's Apprentice. Instead of brooms and buckets of water, my gremlin is making copies of my pictures, and they just flood in. I have now made about 50 copies of each of these pictures. Something I am doing with the scroll and right click is actually making copies instead of waiting for me to delete.

It is a problem for another day. Come home, George, before I flood myself in pictures!

Have a great day.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Making the jewelry is easier than making a photograph that really shows it's true colors. Posted by Picasa

A day without George....

is like a day without sunshine. The house is quiet and I have all kinds of things I want to do when George returns from Hawaii. The thing that has been bugging me the most is photographing my jewelry for Ebay. It isn't easy to get the full effect of these little stones and beads, and they are much prettier than the pictures suggest. When the "engineer" gets home, I'm sure he can help me set up a light box and help with settings on the camera that will make this easier.

If you asked me last night, I would have said that another things I really need is a steak dinner, but I don't think it is the steak I really want. It is the company. I am going out to dinner with a friend tonight, to a favorite restarant, Bertucci's, for some grilled pizza or ravioli. I am really looking forward to NOT eating alone.

George, we miss you. Kitty wakes me up every morning to tell me that you aren't home yet. Have a great day, in Hawaii, or wherever you are.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Driving to work

On my way to work today, I realized that I am proud of the fact that I can drive to work in Boston. Boston is unique. There are certain unwritten traffic rules that you need to know. I feel sorry for folks who rent cars when they visit Boston. You might as well learn to swim in a shark tank.

For instance, there are a number of rotarys on my way to work. These are circular intersections, where the streets branch out in all directions, and each driver must yield to all others who are already in the rotary, then cautiously enter the rotary, and then move very quickly into their correct lane to either stay in the rotary or exit on one of the streets. There is a rhythm to this motion in the rotary and you have to match your speed with the other drivers or the rhythm gets all messed up and there is a veritable chorus of honking. Make a mistake and the only way to correct it is to stay in the rotary and go round and round at the right speed until you figure out where you are going. First-timers do this all the time. There are thousands of rotarys in Masssachusetts, so no matter how long you have lived here, sometimes you are a "first-timer".

One intersection on my way in to work has its own special rule that only the regulars know. Three lanes approach the intersection. But the left lane is not really for going straight, it is only for turning left. But that is not marked. In order to make everyone happy, the left turners stay to the left, the straights in the left lane and the center lane jog a bit to the right and go straight, and the right turners stay way to the right. This creates four lanes, when the white lines clearly state that there are only three, and by ignoring all rules of traffic, everyone gets to breeze right through. It sounds complicated. It is. From the right-center lane, you have to veer quickly to the right as you go through, trusting that the guy squeezed in next to you is going to make a right turn. If he went straight too, there would be a pile-up. God forbid the neophyte Boston driver who might want to stay in their own lane. That is not permitted at this corner. Try, and guess what, yep, the chorus of honking, or worse.

But that does not mean that all Boston drivers are jerks. At least not every day. Yesterday I had to stop all the traffic in a rotary to let a gaggle of geese cross the road. Lucky for them they were abiding the pedestrian rules and were crossing in the crosswalk. If there is one thing you must do in Boston, it is abide by the pedestrian cross walks and signals. Trust me, when they say "don't walk", they mean it. Boston drivers will run you down. But they do brake for ducks.

I am proud of my ability to drive in Boston. It is a skill that does not come easily. Only in Boston do left turners have the right of way. This is an informal "Boston thing". It means that if the car coming toward you at an intersection is signaling to turn left, you let him turn in front of you, and then you go. This is Boston etiquette. It means that the people behind the left turner get to go much sooner. It is polite, in a very weird way. I have seen that in no other city.

Another thing, all Boston roads are circular, winding around following the paths of the old Pilgrim carts. There is no rhyme or reason, or anything like Chicago's vast grid system. Boston roads circle around in a maze and meander through hills and vales. Cross streets do not have street signs that show which road you are on, so you never really know if the road has changed names, which happens often. Oh, and streets all have the same names. They name the streets after towns, so you have Arlington Road in Cambridge, and Cambridge Street in Arlington. Then there is Waltham Road and Waltham Street, neither in the town of Waltham, both in Lexington. The key road is Massachusetts Avenue, which is the only straight road around, and will cross through all those towns. I know. I didn't get off Massachusetts Avenue for the first three years I lived here.

So, if you visit Boston, do yourself a favor: take a cab.

Have a great day.

*Postscript: Allstate Insurance has pulled out of Massachusetts. They don't even sell insurance here anymore. That should tell you something.


George is staying in Hawaii and extra few days. I'm happy that he is staying, because it is a long flight, and he might as well stay a little while. The big news here is that the weather looks like Fall has arrived. This morning it is 63 degrees, and downright chilly. What a difference from last weekend, when we were all hunkered down in our houses in front of the air conditioners. Central air isn't someone that most houses have in this part of the world. The neighborhood seems to be very quiet lately, and maybe not having George around just makes everything seem very quiet. The housecleaners come today. Just a normal dull day in the neighborhood I guess!

I'm off to work in my cardigan sweater. Have a great day.

Monday, August 15, 2005

My buddy, Thunder Posted by Picasa

Home Alone

I had three days to do whatever I wanted, and I managed to mess up and clean up the house about three times. I'm happy that George is on his way home today and will arrive on Tuesday. The weather was humid and hot, and it was difficult staying cool this weekend. I went shopping, managed to back into someone in the parking lot of Barnes and Noble (no damage to the other car thank gooodness and only a scratch on my bumper), and went to see War of the Worlds. I'm not a movie critic, but it was ok. Not great, but ok. I made dinner for myself yesterday, but didn't really enjoy eating it alone. I'd rather cook for someone else, frankly. Eating good meals while one is alone is a challenge I find. My mother lives alone, and always manages to make herself very good meals--and she is 95 years old. That should tell us something about eating right.

Yesterday I made a necklace and talked to friends on the computer. George is having a good time in Hawaii, and is shopping for all of us at the mall near his hotel near Waikiki Beach. I will be happy to have him home. Taking care of this house is a lot of work! A storm blew through yesterday afternoon, with a big display of thunder and lightning, cooling things off by 20 degrees, and taking care of watering the lawn.

I'm up early this morning and getting my head wrapped around the idea of going back to work. I photographed jewelry this weekend and put it up for sale on Ebay. We will see what happens. This is just the beginning of a profitable venture I hope. I love making jewelry and have a lot more than I can wear, so it is time to offer it to others.

Have a great day.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

My photo studio and some earrings that will be listed on Ebay soon. Whew. Not easy being a closeup photographer. Posted by Picasa

My photo studio

I have now made a complete mess of the diningroom, turning it into a photo studio for my listings on Ebay. It took many hours to get pictures of five pairs of earrings and get them listed on Ebay. They are availale at if you want to visit there. This was quite a production, and I have a lot more respect for the lighting engineers on movies, and photographers. Getting the sparkle and light from my earring is very difficult, and I'm not sure I succeeded, but I will get better as I go. Like anything, practice makes perfect. They always say on Ebay that the picture is the important part of the listing.

I've been working on this for two hours this morning and am ready to call it a day for Ebay I think. But, it is an accomplishment to get started with my Ebay business and something I have been talking about doing for a long time.

Saturday is here and I'm going to go out an enjoy it. I hope you do too. Have a great day!

Friday, August 12, 2005

Tomatoes coming soon! Posted by Picasa

Bright spot on the deck Posted by Picasa


I am feeling very luxurious and grateful this morning. I have the whole day in front of me to do whatever I want. I like having Friday's off, and I enjoy not having a lot of plans for those Fridays. Actually, I probably have a lot of plans swimming around in my head, but it is all pleasant things that I love to do. I'm even thinking of catching an afternoon movie this afternoon. The weather is much cooler, with a high of 80 degrees, and it even rained a little. I'm on my way out to the estate now to check on the flowers and the tomatoes.

George emailed from Hawaii that his laptop has email and an internect connection and so he is all set. It is fun to be able to talk about the small stuff. He has visited Hilo Hatties, the famous souvenir shop, and says he gets a shell lei and a free glass of orange juice every time he goes there. I gave him a list of things he might look for: baskets, shell bracelets, a gift for son and daughterinlaw, tea pots, Kona coffee, and dried pineapple. We enjoy the small stuff. Of course, if he buys the Kona coffee, that will probably wipe out the souvenir fund, since it costs $27 a pound or something atrocious like that. But, boy it is delicious! George doesn't even drink coffee, the poor dear.

So the day stretches out before me like an untraveled road and I'm happy as a clam here in my house. George is happy in Hawaii, the work is going well, and his trip may be extended another week. I told him to go for it, and enjoy himself. "Slurp a couple of Mai Tais" I wrote, "just don't venture far from your room while you drink them."

Things are just fine here at home. Have a great day.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

See George, I'm wearing my Hawaiian shirt today in your honor! Posted by Picasa

Living alone

George has only been gone a day and a night and already I have learned some things about living alone. First, no one cares what time you go to bed. I managed to get into bed by eleven, which George would call "Oh Dark Hundred". Also, no one cares if you lie in bed watching the Sox game until 10:30 eating gummy bears. And earlier, I had learned that you can have dinner without eating your vegetables: all I had was baked salmon. No rice, no potatoes, no vegetables. And because I was too lazy to get out the ice cream (that's lazy!), I had a banana for dessert.

George called at ten and said that he was in Hawaii, standing by his rental car at Avis. He said the temperature was 89 degrees and it was windy. He said it was so windy that the plane on final approach was rather slammed to earth, after it had already landed, like it was picked up by a gust and then put down again. But all it well, his luggage got there. He had only forty minutes in Dallas and his plane had a delay because there was no gate ready. He said he ran down the 20 gates or so to his connecting flight with the loudspeaker announcing, "If you are flying to Honolulu, you should be on board now, this is the final boarding call." He ran. He made it. He was the last one on. And then, he said the pilot announced, "well folks, we'll be leaving the gate shortly, it seems we have to wait for some luggage." George said he knew who that luggage belonged to!

This morning I made the bed, fed the birds, put water in the bird baths, had my breakfast and I'm off to work. I wonder what flavor of gummy bears I should have tonight for dinner?

Have a great day.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Happy Hawaii

George left for Hawaii this morning. A rather rushed departure, since the alarm clock was set to the wrong station and he overslept and had only 20 minutes before the taxi came. But, we made it. Since he's flying first class, we didn't pack a lot of snacks, only two bottles of water. He always carries an extra set of clothes in his carry on bag in case they lose his luggage.

I have a funny story about that. When we went to New Orleans for Christmas, I was watching him pack his carry on bag with extra clothes, etc. and I was adamant that he didn't need all that, and to make his life simpler, he should limit what he carrys on the plane to a book and little else. We got to New Orleans. Guess what. His luggage was lost. They found it before the day was out, but we laughed about that for the whole trip. Needless to say I don't interfere any more when he packs his bags.

He's only been gone five minutes and the house already seems quiet.

My goal today is to put two necklaces up for sale on Ebay, link them to my web site, and see how it goes. Taking pictures is the fun part. I know there is nothing like them being offered for sale, and even the woman who works at Bedazzled, a huge bead store in Washington DC had never seen anything like them. She told me to write an article for a bead magazine about how to make them. I'm not too interested in teaching, but I love making them. I have two art fairs coming up and need to get my inventory ready. Have a great time in Hawaii, George, boy oh boy do I wish I was there!

Have a great day!

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

The Czarina necklace in blue and gold with a few pearls scattered in. Posted by Picasa

Coral and amber wirewrapped in gold bracelet Posted by Picasa

Black, copper, and white beads on crocheted gold wire Posted by Picasa

Crocheted wire necklaces

I decided to put a few of my designs on this blog until the new web site is finished.

Ribbon and glass beads Posted by Picasa

Turquoise glass and pearlized beads  Posted by Picasa

Antique coral beads and turquoise pieces Posted by Picasa

Amethyst and black pearls Posted by Picasa