Monday, December 31, 2007

The Health Club

I joined the Boston Sports Club. It is a swanky health club that is one block from my office. My company subsidizes the cost to $150 a year. The club costs $50 a month. My trainer costs another $75 for three sessions, and after that he will cost $89 an hour. That is probably off the charts for me, but I can dream, can't I? I would like to imagine getting stronger and leaner, if not younger. I can imagine doing a high dive off the diving board in their beautiful pool. But, first things first. Right now, I am dreaming that some day it won't hurt so bad.

The trainer started me off by showing me the eight different exercise machines that do leg pushes and pulls, arm pushes and pulls and other devices of torture that are so good for you. I have to adjust the weights on the machines and the height of the seat and after all that, I only get to do 12 reps to start off. But...I am a beginner and this WILL get easier. Right?

Then he moved me on to the cardio cycle, where you adjust the settings for five minutes of warm up, do twenty five minutes of cycling to get your heart rate up to 120 beats a minute...any more than that, he says, and your body goes into panic mode and starts burning muscle. So, for twenty five minutes I watch TV with the earphones and try to ignore the fact that my feet don't fit the stirrups, that my right knee hurts with every push and that I'm sweating. The sweating is actually the fun part. I was amazed how much I enjoyed getting sweaty. My body heats up and it feels good! I really am amazed. But, my knee still hurts. He said that will go away, when the muscle builds up and my knee begins to learn that blood flow is good. He said that arthritis isn't cured by anything, but that a good supply of blood to the area is a very good thing. I believe him.

My doctor is all for my joining the health club. She says that 90% of my health problems would go away if I wasn't carrying around extra weight. It is a tough nut to handle. No more pudding, apple pie and creme brulee. It is time to crack down and drink water and enjoy sweating. It is time to do what everyone knows is the right thing to do: exercise!

I am going to blog it while I flog it. I have a new motto, "It feels great to lose weight in 2008". And I told George tonight - this is a VERY big deal. I am happy when I make a resolution and stick to it. I am happy when I make a choice that I know is a good one and stick to it. And right now, seeing how much work it is to burn 150 calories, you couldn't force me to eat a creme brulee.

Have a healthy and safe New Years Eve. See you at the health club tomorrow!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Michelle, Mike and Myself at Thanksgiving TIme


A new leaf

Isn't January just a great time to turn over new leaves? I had a very interesting 2007, culminating with finding a job that I really love. What a blessing it is to look forward to going to work in the mornings!

We had a great time at Michael and Michelle's house at Christmas time. Spending Christmas Day with her family in Maryland is always fun. A lovely turkey dinner cooked by someone else was a real treat!

Yesterday I joined the Boston Sports Club that is one block from my office. I met with my trainer, Brian, who I will meet with on Sunday afternoon for my first session. He will help me get started at a pace that is comfortable, and we will ratchet it up a few notches each week as I go along. I can use the exercise. I want to build up my strength and endurance, and strengthen my bones. Losing weight, of course, is also a goal, and to that end, I will start Weight Watchers on January 11. See what I mean about new leaves?

I packed my new Eddie Bauer pack with my Ipod, my Ipod Shuffle, my cell phone, my new Sennheiser earphones that Michael got me for Christmas, my phone cords, my Ipod chargers, my camera, sunglasses and my health club key card. I gave one of these packs away as my Yankee gift swap at work, and I don't think the person who got it saw the possibilities. They are really great for organizing the stuff you don't want to live without that doesn't fit into your handbag. I love it. To each his own.

Christmas is over and we have very little undecorating to do. We didn't put up a tree this year, and I held down the centerpieces and the decorations as well. We have a live wreath on the door that can stay there until it goes to compost. Easy. I like decorating, but I do not like UNdecorating, so this is an easy year. I talked to a friend at church about this, and she said the NEVER decorate for Christmas anymore because it just keeps things much simpler. Maybe she had a point. Maybe it is Bah Humbug, but....we'll wait until next year to see what we think. I had a great time selling jewelry this year to friends at my office. It was fun to show them what I made and see what they wanted to buy for themselves and for friends. I used a lot of my inventory of sterling silver and crystals, and ordered more with the proceeds!

Wish me luck on the new health club leaf!

Have a great day.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas, Boys

Merry Christmas Day!

George and I are in Vienna, Virginia, visiting Michael and Michelle. We have had a lot of fun baking 6 kinds of cookies and bars. We watched movies and went out for Korean food on Christmas Eve. It was delicious! Korean restaurants here are a lot better than the ones we have near our home. We baked lemon bars, date bars, sugar cookies, chocolate surprise cookies, gingersnaps and something called Knock You Naked Brownies, which are made with caramels and chocolate chips and are rich enough to be called candy. They didn't knock me naked, and I am letting others enjoy their gooey richness. Give me my coffee black and a small sugar cookies please.

The Christmas packages are wrapped and ready. We will take Panera bread and all our home baked cookies to the Christmas dinner. This morning we will have to do some sugar cookies and piped frosting. I love making sugar cookies on Christmas morning. When you don't have little ones about, you have time for stuff like that!

This morning I awoke thinking about all the blessings I have. My mom is home and enjoying her Christmas, making cookies and baking a roast beef for her dinner. She will have a few visitors. She got her Christmas packages all ready, and is safe and sound and happy in her home. She sent $100 money orders around to members of the family, and I am so grateful that she is still so generous and able to think about others and still take care of her self. She likes her helper, Ruth, who is like another daughter to her, and we are very grateful that Ruth is there to help her each day.

Mom got new carpeting recently, and a new light in the kitchen. She handled the landscapers who came and cleaned up her lawn after the flood. She had the plumbers and the painters in. She is handling all this. And she is 98 years old! Now, that is a blessing!

I am blessed with a wonderful, loving, son, and his beautiful and kind and patient wife, Michelle. It is such a blessing to have a whole new family to visit and enjoy. Her parents and family are lovely people, and we are comfortable and happy in their presence. And what a blessing I have in George, who takes care of me, loves me and is so gallant and charming and honorable. He is honest and kind and sensitive and a rocket scientist to boot! Now, that's a blessing!

So, have a wonderful Merry Christmas. Blessed be!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Santa's Sleigh goes to Washington

We are leaving in fifteen minutes to go to Logan to catch the sleigh to Michael's house for Christmas. I can't wait. A big treat is going to be meeting Jebu for the first time. Mike says he is anxious for us to get there so they can throw the ball. Their arms hurt.

We have packed the luggage with presents and lounging pants. Ready to lay back and have a great time. I love going to Maryland for Christmas Day with Michelle's family, where the rolling hills are so beautiful.

On Christmas Eve we are going to go to the National Cathedral for services. I love Washington DC. The weather is going to be rainy, but no snow storms, so we are happy. Boston has had 27 inches of snow already this year, which is close to the record. We are tired of the white hard icy stuff.

The taxi is here.

Have a WONDERFUL Christmas Day, and a happy and healthy NEW YEAR!

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

A pretty snow scene to top off a lousy snow day.

A pretty lousy snow day

George's birthday is today. I had planned to make us a nice Birthday breakfast with muffins and bacon and eggs. Instead, I realized the I had to fast this morning to prepare for my annual physical and blood tests. Bummer! Then, I found out by going to the dermatologist that I have a tiny pre-cancerous bing on my a little raw spot that won't heal...and that doesn't do much for raising one's spirits.

We both had a busy day at work. My day included a very nice Christmas dinner out with co-workers and George's day included a Chinese dinner at work to celebrate with his department. When George picked me up at the restaurant tonight to take me home, I noticed that there was a large banged up dark spot on the left side of his car. He had been hit by a snow plow earlier in the afternoon. A plow came around a bend in the road too fast and took his back door off. George saw it coming and leaned over the passenger seat trying not to get killed. It must have been horrifying. The crash gave him quite a scare, and he went to MIT medical to be checked out. Through all this, I was typing like crazy at my office trying to finish a project. He was shaken up and ripped his pants from the knee down on what was left of the door of his car. More bummer! Oh well. George is ok, the car can be fixed, and we have another car to drive to work tomorrow.

Tonight we are having a pajama party and looking at recipes for cookies. Sometimes making cookies is just too much on top of a relatively challenging day. So, we talked about making cookies instead and made plans for better days ahead. Now, time for bed. I hope the roof doesn't cave in.

Have a great evening.

Snow scenes

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Get out of Dodge

The forecast today in Boston is for six to ten inches of snow starting at 1:00 this afternoon. Everyone dreads that kind of a storm, and no one is ever prepared. I feel fortunate because I do not have to drive home. The trusty subway and the trusty (sorta) bus, will make sure that I get home. The bus stop is one block from my house, so even with piles of snow, I should be able to navigate that.

The best thing about this storm is the speed at which it will move over us. Tomorrow is supposed to be 40 degrees. Yes, it will dump snow on us, then leave for a couple of days, but another storm is on its way to us on Saturday evening to dump more snow.

Lucky George left this morning for West Palm Beach on a business trip. Sounds like a good thing to do on the afternoon when six inches of snow is predicted. I hope he has fun. I hope the beaches are warm and beautiful and that the stone crab soup is delicious and that the sun is bright and shiny.

Forecast for Miami? Rain and thunderstorms.

Have a great day.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Calamity Jane in Deadwood

Robin Weigert, the actress


George and I have been renting Deadwood from Netflix. We have seen seven episodes in a row, and are waiting for the next CD to appear in the mail on Monday. We watch two or three episodes every week, and look forward to the next. Sometimes we think that we should order a movie to break the routine...but Deadwood has us by the throat.

Deadwood is wonderful. It is full of some really harsh language, and a lot of really harsh characters. The Director says that he suspects in a town where there was no law, people would talk like this. Maybe so. All I know is that my mother wouldn't let me watch Archie Bunker and All In The Family because she didn't like the way he talked to his family. My gosh, what would she doe if she knew about Deadwood? I am afraid to even tell people I love it, because a lot of people have children in the household, and it is definitely NOT a show for children. Oh, the blood, mud and gore. Oh the whores and the thieves and the violence. If I had a kid, I'd much rather they watch Girls Next Door with me than watch Deadwood. But, I don't have a kid at home, so let 'er rip.

Calamity Jane is my favorite character. The director says that historically Calamity Jane was so nasty and drunk and harsh, that true alcoholics would leave the bar when she walked in. There isn't anything pretty about Calamity Jane, but I love her all the same. It is a wonderful character. Then I looked at the HBO site, and saw these pictures of the actress who plays her. Incredible. Calamity Jane is such a calamity!

So, as George watches the beloved Patriots play football this Sunday evening, I look forward to Monday night, and another great episode of Deadwood. Bring it on!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Come back any time, Lucy!

An evening with Lucy

George and I got to babysit for his granddaughter Lucy, while her parents went out to dinner. It was a great way to spend a Saturday evening. Lucy wasn't all that happy when she arrived. She had been sleeping happily in the car, and then had the rude awakening of a cold night, a strange house, and the fact that her parent's were leaving. Triple threat!

She didn't cry exactly, but she wasn't that thrilled to be here either. George took her and walked her all around the house. He said he wanted to show her all the rooms so she would know where she was. I went into the kitchen to finish our dinner, and the house became silent. I came into the den, and George was watching TV, a children's cartoon program (which he hated), and Lucy was laying back on his lap. She was still as a mouse, and never moved. She looked all around, but she was quiet and resting.

They both stayed that way for a long time, and then Lucy saw the cat! That was the end of laying back. She sat up as if a mountain lion had come into the room. Thunder wasn't that curious about her (she had been here before), but Lucy's eyes because wide as saucers. She loved it and started to gurgle little sounds. "Kitty, Kitty", we said over and over.

Then we had our bottle, and our squash, and a few peas off my plate. She ate and gurgled and talked her own sweet language, and stayed right there on the couch nestled in with George. I brought her toys and she stayed right there and played. It was a sweet evening.

No roaming around. No fussing. She was a perfect little lady, and George was the perfect grampa.

Here's a few imperfect pictures.

Have a great day.

Thanksgiving leaf raking

Mike, Michelle and George....hard at work.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Tending her beloved flowers

Happy Birthday Omie

Today is my mother's 98th birthday. It is amazing to think that my mom is as vibrant and smart as she is and that old! 98 years! I feel old, and she is years and years older than me. She rolls with the punches. She takes life as it comes. She is open-minded and flexible. And she minds her doctors.

I don't know what her secret is. She said today that she went to visit the doctor on Tuesday, and at the end of their visit, she asked him if he thought it would be okay for her to eat an egg every day. He looked at her over the tops of his glasses and laughed. She can eat anything she darn well wants!

Well, that isn't quite true. She watches her diet very carefully and does not each much sugar, and hardly any salt. She does what the doctor says. She monitors her pills, her health, and her food. She exercises as much as she is able to, and she does puzzles, reads hard books and reads the dictionary to "exercise her mind".

I wish I was HALF the woman my mother is. God Bless her. Happy 98th Birthday to the loveliest woman I know. She is my flower and I am her butterfly.

Have a great day!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

The new furnace

Recently George paid $8,000 for a new furnace. The old one was a behemoth that came with the house in the 1930's, and although it was a trusty old thing for the most part, it needed to be replaced. No time like the present. So, the men came, and for two days they had to do asbestos removal, and then take out the old furnace. For two days we didn't have hot water, and one morning, we showered at the neighbor's house before going to work. We thought our problems were over.


The new furnace does exactly what it is supposed to do. It has a good thermostat, and it comes on when the house reaches the coldest temp allowed. The fact that it is so efficient, and heats up so much faster than the old one has strained our steam pipes in the basement to the max. What happens when cold pipes are asked to become hot pipes? Bang! Bang!

The pipes make a horrible racket. It sounds like a madman in the cellar banging on the pipes with a crowbar. It sounds like Napoleon's army coming through with their cannon wagons. It sounds like a parade of garbage trucks on the 4th of July.

George has talked to plumpers, to engineers, and to rocket scientists at work. No none seems to know what the answer is. He thought of insulating the pipes, putting them at a different angle, replaceing them...everything. No one can think of anything. I can tell he is worried. The sound makes you feel that it can't be good for the pipes, or the house itself.

Somehow, this too shall pass. I know that we will find an answer. And, in the meantime, no need for an alarm clock. Every morning: 5:30 a.m.: Bang! Bang!

Have a great day.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Just some pictures....

George, all dressed up

James, Ann & Lucy on Thanksgiving Day

Devin and Alyssa as a baby

My mom

My life in 5000 pictures

Michael cleaned up my computer yesterday. He asked me what web sites I visit regularly. I only have a few. My blog. Google Reader, which really DOES have all the news that's fit to print, Ebay, iTunes, and JC Penney. He also helped me clean up my pictures. I have about 30 folders, titled Family, Christmas, Flowers, Bracelets, Old designs, Turkeys (back yard visitors), etc etc. In those folders I have over 5000 pictures.

I have taken a picture of almost every piece of jewelry I ever made. These pictures are my archive of creativity, and besides showing me what kind of designs I have made, it also shows me how much better I have gotten at making jewelry, and especially how much better I am at taking pictures. My old jewelry is nice, but simple, and the pictures are dark and unappealing. It is amazing to me that anyone purchased jewelry from me with pictures like these, but they did. God Bless them.

My pictures are the most important thing I have on my computer. I look at them often, and I use them to illustrate my blog, which is also a huge important thing that I use my computer for. Everyone is different. I don't do My Space, or chat with friends. I don't tell jokes or receive them. I don't do a lot of emailing. But, boy howdy, do I ever love my pictures, the record of my life in the last seven years.

We have had a great Thanksgiving so far. Michael and Michelle arrived late after a pretty bad experience at the airports, and we started off our weekend together by having dinner at 11:00 p.m. I got up at six to make the stuffing and a pumpkin pie, and all of us were pretty tired on Thanksgiving Day. We all took naps and rested and ate a lot of really good food, and finished off a pumpkin pie. We got to see Lucy and James and Ann in the morning, and my apple walnut bundt cake was a big success.

It was a great day. I need more pictures!

Happy Day After.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Thanksgiving Preparation

Michael and Michelle arrive this evening. I can hardly wait. I couldn't sleep this morning, so I got up at 5:00 and had my coffee while I reorganized my beading studio in the kitchen. There is always something to be done there, and this morning I looked through the silver order from Bali that came last week. Beautiful silver that I'm just aching to make into something gorgeous.

George and I made a cake last night. I got the recipe out of the Boston Globe. It is apple walnut bundt cake and it turned out perfectly. It was a well crafted recipe and not to be taken lightly. Toasted nuts, melted butter, beating for specific times between additions, but we followed the recipe exactly and had a great time. The cake is beautiful, and once the glaze is on it, I'm going to love serving it tonight with dinner. We are going out to Harrow's to pick up their famous chicken pot pie for dinner. A little time-saving is needed when one works all day on Thanksgiving Eve.

I have decided to put the recipe here, even though it is rather long. I hope someone else makes it and enjoys the process as much as George and I did last night.
Spiced and Glazed Apple Cake

Cake Batter

3 c. flour
1 t. baking soda
¾ t. salt
1 t. baking soda
¾ t. baking powder
¾ t. salt
2 T. ground cinnamon
½ t. nutmeg
½ t. ground cardamom
1 ¼ c. chopped walnuts
Lightly toasted and cooled
1 c. unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3 T. canola oil
2 c. sugar
4 eggs
2 ¼ c. lightly packed, peeled and shredded apples

Set oven for 350 degrees.

In a bowl, sift the flour baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom

In a bowl, toss the walnuts with 2 T. flour mixture

In electric mixer, blend the butter on oil on med. Low speed for 1 minute. Add the sugar and beat on medium low speed for 1 minute. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, mixing for 45 seconds after each addition. Increase the speed to medium high and beat for 2 minutes. This beating is crucial to the texture and volume of the finished cake.

Blend in the vanilla. On low speed, add the flour mixture in 3 additions, scraping down the sides of the bowl often with a rubber spatula.

Blend in the apples. Remove the bowl from the mixer and add the walnuts. Spoon the batter into the pan and smooth the top with a rubber spatula.

Bake the cake for 60 – 65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake is clean. The cake will pull away slightly from the sides of the pan. Set the cake on a rack to cool for 15 minutes. (Use a timer!) Turn it out of the pan. Place a sheet of waxed paper under the rack to catch drips of the glaze.


1 ½ c. confectioner’s sugar
½ t. cinnamon
Pinch of salt
1 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter, softened and cut into 4 pieces
3 T. apple cider.

In a bowl, mix the sugar. Add butter and apple cider and mix with a hand mixer. Beat at low speed. Put a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the glaze and let stand for 30 minutes.

While the cake is still warm, spoon and spread the glaze on the top of the cake, letting it flow down the sides. Let the cake stand 1 hour before cutting with a serrated knife.


Have a great day.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

My cranberry sauce

Add a package of washed cranberries to one cup of water in a saucepan. Cranberries don't really need a lot of water. Add 1 1/2 cups sugar, 1/4 c. fresh squeezed orange juice and the zest of one orange. Cook over low heat until the berries pop and look creamy and nice. This doesn't take long at all, about 10 minutes. Pour into a pretty bowl, cover with saran wrap and put into the refrigerator.

Then, don't forget to bring them to the table, like I did one Thanksgiving!

Have a great night.

Thanksgiving Day: From this...

To this....

Keeping it Simple

George and I are preparing the house for Thanksgiving. Michael and Michelle will be here on Wednesday evening. By the time they arrive, the house and some of the dinner should be ready. While I plan the menu, shop for the food, and make their bed with crispy sheets and fluffy comforters, I keep in mind that I would like the Thanksgiving holiday to be simple and fun. No rush, no fuss.

While this is my goal, I'm also busy planning the menu: Artichoke Dip and Crudities with Greek olives, turkey and dressing, mashed potatoes & gravy, green beans almondine, homemade cranberry sauce, jellied cranberry sauce out of the can (for George), mashed rutabagas, butternut squash, rolls, Texas Slaw, which is a recipe my mother sent me from the Oklahoma Journal and has two types of cabbage and jalepeno peppers to spice it up...sounds perky..., spiced cider, apple pie, pumpkin pie with whipped cream and an apple walnut bundt cake.


Okay, so Thanksgiving isn't so simple, it will still be fun. I am not daunted by the fact that I don't get out of work until 5:00 on Wednesday. I am not daunted by the fact that my grocery list is two pages, single-spaced. I am not daunted by the fact that my dining room is also "jewelry central" and needs to be reamed out of all things jewelry. I am not daunted by the fact that our bedroom needs to be converted into a temporary quiet space with desk for Michael, so he can work on his book. I'm, I'm not. Somehow it will all get done, and it will all be fun too! Actually, Thanksgiving dinner is one dinner that I have made so often I don't need any recipes. I have done it all before, many times, and with great success. No worries!

Thanksgiving is going to be loaded with fun and friends, loaded with really good home-made food, loaded with laughter and good times. And there's nothing simple about it!

Have a great day.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Our Sunday Drive to Chatham

Chatham, Mass

Yesterday George and I took a drive to the Cape and went to Chatham. Chatham is interesting because of the barrier beach which keeps the big ocean away from the expensive ocean front homes. There is a breach on the beach, and that spells big trouble for Chatham. A recent spring storm created abreach in the barrier peninsula which threatens expensive homes along the shore.

The Chatham breach is old news, but Mother Nature does what she likes. A recent storm last Thanksgiving deposited sand which helped heal the breach, and the Boston Globe announced, "Mother Nature gives back." George thinks that the latest breach on the sand bar is going to reconnect itself, and the town recently voted not to spend the eight million dollars necessary to have the Army Corps of Engineers come in to try to fill the breach.

As you peer out over the peninsula from the shore, you can just see the big white ocean breakers offshore. It is a wonderful, expansive Cape Cod beach.

The day was beautiful and sunny. I took pictures of the ocean and the sand bar, including a large fishing boat that was blown away from it's moorings in the recent storm two weeks ago caused by the remnants of Hurricane Noel. The shops and stores are picturesque and the fall season brings lots of sales as the stores start boarding up for winter. It is a summer community mostly, but the big hotel, the Chatham Bars Inn, would be a beautiful place to visit during Christmas.

We had a lovely lunch of clam chowder and fish and chips at a little cafe and tavern called the Impudent Oyster and took a walk through several galleries and stores. I think I need to charge more for my jewelry. A silver bracelet there, without artist lampwork, cost $190.00. Whew. But the galleries are full of beautiful glass and knickknacks and the shopping is good if you bring a full wallet. For $45 I could have bought a charming pepper mill in the shape of a painted red lighthouse. I said, "That is really cute,", and George replied, "and they know it!".

Driving the mid-Cape Highway is like driving through a tunnel of low cranberry colored trees and white pine, until you get to the road you want to lead down to the shore area. Chatham is the "elbow" of the Cape. The traffic was fine at this time of year, and we need to go there more often. The scenery is beautiful and the clam chowder is great! No wonder so many people want to live or vacation on the Cape.

Have a great day.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Lucy's Scarf and Thunder's old mouse

I finished this scarf for Lucy for her first birthday which is today. It is made with a fluffy Mohair and Wool Blend Yukon Print by Plymouth Yarn. The yarn gauge is 2 stitches to the inch, so it works well on a big needle. After making scores of pairs of socks with tiny needles, this was a big switch.

Lucy's Birthday Party is today, and George and I will take her presents to her house, along with extra tables and chairs for their guests. Whether we go or not depends of whether George gets over his cold by noon, which is highly unlikely. It doesn't seem fair to spread germs around a birthday party, so more than likely, we are going to miss it.

Thunder's old mouse wanted to get into the picture too.

Tomorrow George and I are going to take an afternoon trip to Chatham on the Cape to see the sights and eat some fried clams. It should be fun. We don't go to the Cape often because of the traffic, but tomorrow will be an easy day there and back. I'm going to take my knitting and work on some Christmas presents while he drives.

And maybe today I'll go buy some more of this pretty yarn and make someone else a scarf for Christmas. Sounds like a plan.

Have a great day.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Jebu, the wonder "tennis ball" doggie

Dog-gone crazy!

We have all gone crazy for Jebu. I call every night to hear more about his antics. Michael and Michelle adopted this wonder dog from an animal shelter, and he is just about the prettiest dog I've ever seen. I really love seeing pictures of him and can't wait to meet him in person.

He looks to me like he has a big secret and knows a lot about life, and he isn't telling! But he is only about a year old, so how much can he really know?

Michael tells me that he is big on tennis balls and hell on the local tennis courts, where he loves to pick up the occasional stray ball and make away with it. His twice daily walk goes right by the courts. He loves to play ball and plays for hours, or until Mike's arm gives way. It is so much fun to hear about his antics.

So, we are crazy nuts for Jebu and his beautiful coat and face.


Have a great day.

Monday, November 05, 2007

A "Vonna" bracelet

Fed Ex from Bali

I just placed my first order for sterling silver beads shipped directly from Bali. These will arrive FedEx this week. It is a big step for me to order such beautiful beads directly from their source. In the past I have been the recipient of very generous friends who have shared beads with me, and taught me what I know about them. My friend Connie buys beads from Bali and I have always been amazed at her awesome inventory of beautiful silver. Vonna, who is a wonderful friend and designer, also sent me some beautiful Bali beads when I first started making jewelry and listing it on Ebay, and by having her show me what really GREAT beads are...she singlehandedly brought me up several notches as a jewelry designer. I collected several "Vonna" bracelets, and they are among my treasures! Besides being fun to wear, having her bracelets taught me what really beautiful high quality jewelry is all about.

My shipment from Bali will arrive this week and will include some gorgeous Bali beads, silver wire, pins, chain and spacers. I can't wait to see them. And, because of my generous friends who helped and taught me when I was a little beader...I'm a big girl now!

Thanks, Vonna. Thanks, Connie.

Have a great day!

Saturday, November 03, 2007

The Hurricane Fizzle

"Tropical Storm Noel has killed at least sixty people in the Caribbean from mudslides and floods as the intense storm approaches Florida with wind gusts of more than 50 mph." said the headlines last week, and the remnants came washing up the East Coast this weekend.

Last night the western sky was awash with beautiful flames and plumes of extraordinary yellows and reds. George and I were trying to decide whether red sails at night were a warning or not. Yes, we decided it was a warning, and today we took our air conditioners out of the windows and put down the storm windows. In the process I found that curtains needed to be washed so we did that too. Thanks to Noel it was a busy morning.

The wind came up and spun the whirlygigs in the back yard and blew some leaves around. There was a mild rain, nothing much, and it was dreary, with gray plumes of clouds in the sky. But weather doesn't keep us down, and we found a good sale at Penney's and we ran some errands for office supplies and a new beading book for me at Barnes and Nobel.

Tonight Mike reconnected with a friend of his who lives in San Francisco, who he has known since he was three years old, and in the process, I got reconnected with his friend's mother, who happens to live close by, and we will probably get to see each other before the holidays. Fun to find old friends!

Tomorrow is Sunday School in the morning and then more beading for me. The hurricane fizzled and the sun will be out again tomorrow. So much for Noel.

Have a lovely evening.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Rolling Rally

George and his friend went down to see the Rolling Rally of the World Series Champion Boston Red Sox! Wow! He braved the crowds and got to mingle with thousands of fans who cheered and waved and did the Pappelbom jig. He had a great time and I got to see pictures and share them in my blog.

I love the Red Sox sky writing! You can just make it out in this picture.

Go Sox,...and they did!


Monday, October 29, 2007

Sox Win the World Series and I get a new Coffeepot!

It just happens this morning, that I want to talk about my new coffeepot, but that the Sox WON the World Series last night, so now my coffeepot seems less important. But there are lots of wonderful sports writers who will tell you all about the World Series, and I doubt that anyone will tell you about my coffeepot, so...Yay Sox...Go Coffeepot!

My old coffeepot wasn't that old. I bought it within this year. It was a Braum, and within five days of bringing it home form the store, the lid broke off. I hate that. It made ok, not great, coffee, but that lid really bothered me. The lid would fall inside the water area, or fall behind the pot, or disappear all together. With a broken lid, even the Salvation Army wouldn't want such a pot.

Yesterday I went out to look for a new one. We went to several stores and had coupons and resolve to find a pot I would really like. We looked at pots that cost $175, and pots that cost $19.00. It seemed silly to spend more than $50 on a coffeepot, since I am the only one that drinks coffee around here, George doesn't even want to TALK about coffee. He gamely went with me from store to store (God Bless George) and we found this nice Mr. Coffee 20 feet up in the air at a Linens and Things.

I had a coupon. 20% off. The coffeepot was on sale from $59.00 to $39.00. Cheap! And the best thing about this coffeepot, other than the secure lid, is that it tells you when the coffee is done.

There isn't a voice, thank goodness, but a little beep...a polite little beep, when the coffee is finished brewing. That little beep got me. I love my little beep in the morning.

But the greatest feature is that it has a timer, so I can make the coffee the night before and have it ready at six in the morning. No more rinsing, dumping grinds, opening cans, filling water reservoirs, or spilling coffee grounds or water in the I can do all that the night before!

I love my coffeepot. I love the Red Sox.

What a great day! Have a good one!

Friday, October 26, 2007

@$$ over Teakettle

Today I had a wipe-out at work. I was packing up a box to send it out UPS and I ran out of tape. I was working at the desk in the reception area. I turned to go to the mailroom for more tape and forgot that the big red mail cart was behind me. I fell forward and went sailing right over the cart and landed splayed out like an upside down snow angel.

I skinned my hand. I laid there for a few minutes trying to figure out whether to be mortally embarrassed or just to lay there and take stock of whether my arm was broken. I was too hurt to be embarrassed, and as I struggled to my feet, I just wanted to feel better!

I went to the bathroom and washed off the bloody skinned part on my hand, and took stock of the situation. I was sent home soon after. George came by and got me and we went to the employee health clinic, where they gave me a tetanus shot and wrapped up my sore hand. Tylenol and Advil will take care of the rest of it. I feel a little like this tea pot. Battered up but still useful.

Have a great weekend. Go Sox.

Meet Jebu

Sox win again and Mike and Michelle get a new doggie.

Meet Jebu, Michael and Michelle's new doggie that they adopted from an animal shelter. If ever a dog had nice eyes, this one does. He just looks like he has a lot of heart.

And speaking of heart, we will all have to hope that the Red Sox do well in Colorado. I may even be able to stay up late to see them play.

Go Sox! Welcome, Jebu!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Sox...what else?

The Red Sox are playing in the World Series. That, in itself, is great victory! What a show, what fun to be in Boston right now, and how exciting it is. We can hardly believe it. It is fun to see national TV coverage of the WB Mason sign and see the lights on the big green wall that Manny works so well. I am thrilled that we are playing in the World Series, and even if we don't win, what a long, strange trip it has been!

And we are going to win. I know it!

I am a little worried about the rain that is on it's way tonight, and whether that will cause a rain delay or a cancellation of the game. Doesn't seem fair to have come this far just to get our best pitcher sopping wet, but...we'll take what comes. Baseball in October is full of fraught and danger.

I am also a little worried about sending anyone to play baseball in Colorado, where the mile high altitude can make you cry. I once got off a plane in Denver and took a short ride to the mountains, where, within a day, I was gasping for air and feeling downright horrible.

The Red Sox are going to pull another miracle and win the World Series...come wind, rain, or high altitude!

Have a great night. Go Sox.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Pictures from my back yard

I enjoy seeing the mature colors of my yard and garden on this beautiful sunny Sunday.
The garden is old and seasoned by now, and the tomatoes are almost gone, and a few scorching hot Habanero peppers are still dangling on the vine waiting for their next victim.

A bee is settled into George's purple dahlias.

We drove to Maine and New Hampshire today to see the trees and they are beautiful, but maybe just as beautiful at home.

Have a great day. Go Sox.

Saturday, October 20, 2007