Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Meet Crystal

I have really enjoying going to visit my friend Connie to talk shop about jewelry, swap beads and drink her good coffee. She has a charming cat named Crystal...who found this nice place to sit while we were visiting one day. We tried not to let on how funny she looked!

Monday, January 29, 2007


I am really tired of forgetting my passwords. Who knew that along with globalization and the internet would come such a problem of trying to remember our passwords? I shop at dozens of stores and have signed up for hundreds of internet sites. Yahoo, Google, Hotmail, Penneys, LL Bean, a dozen online bead stores, Ebay-- all of them have passwords. And even reading the NY Times online, or writing a blog or posting a picture requires a password. I can just hear Mike and George say, "Why don't you use one password and then you won't forget it." Ha! Well, I do have one password that is a favorite and I use it most of the time. But you can't use that same generic password for anything important like online banking, or Paypal or anyplace that has your real money!

Every time I sign on to something new they want me to create a password. The chances of me remembering that password are almost nil. Some want you to use numbers, some won't allow spaces, some have other obscure parameters like a certain number of characters...just to make life a little more difficult.

I must have about 20 favorite passwords that I keep track of. Today I signed up online for the Mass/Gov/Jobsearch hotline, and...they would not let me use my real name (a favorite trick of mine)...I had to add a number. So, without wanting to, I have another username AND another password to remember.

Even George forgot a password the other day too, so I have company I know. This can't just be a problem for me!

I have not found a solution. "They" won't let you use one password for everything--not going to happen. If you write down your passwords in a little book, you always fear that the robbers to come will find your little book and...pffft, there goes all your passwords. If you give up and just try to log on to something using a new password, that will not work either, because they still have your email on the account. Ok, ok, email it to me once again.

I really don't have the answer. I just try to keep the list of active passwords to about 10. That way, by going the list and trying them all, it should take a half hour or so to get into a site. Just long enough to drive me crazy!!

Have a great day.

Friday, January 26, 2007

No Temperature At All Today

I have a new habit of listening to the talk radio station when I wake up in the morning. Maybe that means I'm getting old. This morning when I woke, the guy announced that the temperature was He was right. It took me two tries with the thermostat to get the temperature in the house somewhat livable. They relished announcing that when the wind is whistling at zero, it means the "wind chill" temperature is something like 30 below. Well, I have news for them. I have lived in Minneapolis when it really WAS 30 below, and it is shockingly cold. Today was nothing compared to that!

I remember when I was living in Minneapolis, at 18 years old, and walking out onto the porch in the morning and feeling like my lungs would go into shock. It hurt to breathe! The air was so cold it just froze in your mouth. We used to wear big fur collars and fur hats and I would tuck my chin into my collar so I could breathe the warm furry air while I walked to the bus stop on the corner. We also regularly wore pants under our dresses, as well as a couple pair of socks, and boots and hats and gloves and ... well, we wore a lot of clothes. Getting out of all those clothes so we could work at our desk for the day was quite an undertaking. I remember the ladies room at the ad agency having a big closet space for all our clothing. It took forever to get dressed again to go to the bus stop and home.

I also remember having to walk down tunnels of snow instead of sidewalks, and having to peer around the corners of the snowbanks so you wouldn't run into someone coming from the other direction. That sounds like a tall tale, but I swear it is true. I'm not sure we have snowfalls that high anymore! Minneapolis is beautiful, but wow, is it cold!

Memories of Minneapolis in the winter make Boston seem positively balmy.

Have a great day.

Monday, January 22, 2007

The Girls Next Door

I am a big fan of the E television show The Girls Next Door about three of Hugh Hefner's girlfriends who live at the mansion. Since I worked for Playboy in the early 1970's, I have been to the Chicago mansion and was at some of the wild parties that they had there. We often went to the Sunday night movie at Hef's house...complete with a fabulous buffet.

Since the bigger parties didn't start until eleven at night, and usually they were on a work night, it was rather hard to attend them without thinking of how tired I would be the next day. I still had a desk and a job to do in the morning. I met my husband, Bob Shea, while I worked at Playboy and even though I was there only a year, I met a lot of friends during that period. I was hired to work in the art department, and worked at the reception desk for a few weeks before that. I met Bob because I was sitting there reading a book of Ibsen plays, which he thought was rather remarkable. I was 21, young, blond and pretty. It was great fun. The Playboy art department was a wild and fun place to work and I have a lot of good memories.

This TV show is fascinating. First, I think it is just great PR for the Playboy empire, and they have had little success in the past with TV shows. These three girls are funny, cute, and rather charmingly pathetic, in a drop dead gorgeous kind of way. It is a strange life, but...Hollywood is pretty strange too. I love the quick cuts and quips and the way the editing is done on this show. It makes fun of the subject without being mean spirited.

Who needs to be mean? As long as there is a Playboy magazine, there will be pretty young girls who are ready to be a part of it--and why not? These three young blond and perky girls are more fun to watch than a lot of stuff on TV these days.

And George likes to watch too --probably for very different reasons.

Have a great day.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Fly fishing on vacation. I wouldn't want to get my feet wet!

Turquoise, pearls, cats eyes, silver flowers, jasper and jade

The Bead Show Adventure

Yesterday George and I drove to Marlborough to go to a bead expo. This is a big hotel, with suites down a long hallway and in each suite there are one or two or three vendors selling beads and all things about beads. George stayed in the car to do some church work, and take a nap. I ventured in and spent a happy hour looking and buying some beautiful new beads. As I was shopping in one store, another shopper reminded me that there were even better prices at "the bead show down the road." I had been there before on another trip, and even though I hadn't planned to go to another show, I thought...why not. I put some things down and went to look for George.

Then the adventure started. I went to the big doors and looked out into the parking lot. No George. I waited. I didn't have my coat, and it was about 7 degrees with the windchill, but I ventured out to the parking lot and looked around. No George. So I shopped a little more. I tried to find a chair so I could rest a little, but there were no chairs. I waited at the door under the heater. I shopped a little more. I waited some more. Finally, George came walking up the walk and I was saved.

We got into the car. The lights had been left on and the car wouldn't start. George pushed us out of the parking place and the car started nicely as we rolled down a small incline. We decided to go to the other bead show.

We pulled up to the big expo center at another hotel down the road and George said that he needed to get gas, so he would just drop me off. I left my coat in the car again. He drove away and I happily walked into the big hall. There was a big sign that said, "Fly Fishing Expo, Tickets here." I was in a big hall with a bunch of men, all shopping for flies and rods!! I couldn't even get in to wait, because I didn't want to buy a ticket. So, coatless, I had to stand outside the front of the hall and wait for George again! Luckily, the sun was shining and it was relatively warm, but I had had more than my share of waiting in the cold already. Fishing! I couldn't believe it.

When we go to New Hampshire I take my fly fishing rod. I know little about it, but I swipe it back and forth a few times just to see if I can avoid the bushes and trees. Here I was surrounded by men who knew a lot more about it than I did. I stood in the sun and hoped that some of their expertise would rub off. But I wanted beads!

George wasn't long, I flagged him down before he turned for the huge parking lot, and we treated ourselves to a coke and a hamburger. I told him that I wasn't leaving his side again that day!

Have a wonderful Sunday. Go Pats!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

The "going away" bouquet.

A beautiful new day

My new job ended yesterday. I am not sad. They presented me with a bouquet of flowers and a card signed by everybody. I thought that was very nice of them. I also liked hearing how "gracious" I was and that not everyone would have taken this job change so gracefully.

I like to be called gracious and graceful. There are worse things to be called.

Today is a new day. I am going to rest this weekend and start the job hunt process again on Monday. As enforced changes go, this is a good change, and I look forward to finding another job. I have some ideas and I have a new commitment. I have learned things and I look at this as a learning experience and an opportunity to find a job that is manageable, fun, and healthy.

Today I get my hair done. The best part about getting my hair done is not that I look better afterward, but that I get to read fashion magazines in peace for 45 minutes while the color sets. It is fun to sit and watch all the goings on at the hair salon. People scurry around and customers gossip and I find it just a fascinating place.

George and I and Connie are going to a bead show in Marlborough this afternoon. It is a big exhibit hall kind of bead show, and there are TONS of new beads to be oohed over and a few to be bought and brought home. I took down my Ebay Store for renovation and am going to hang up a lot of new pretties in the next week. It was time to make a change, and this week I have more time to make some new jewelry to show there. I love selling on Ebay. It is the camaraderie of the place that makes it fun. Who knew that online selling would lead to so many wonderful new friends! And I mean real friends!

Tomorrow is Sunday School, hopefully a long peaceful afternoon, and THEN the Patriot's play the Colts in an exciting playoff. People in Massachusetts have seen it before, have heard it before and have felt it before. We are sophisticated when it comes to our sports teams. We are natural born cynics. It is not that we don't WANT the Patriots to win, it is just that we are not blissfully optimistic. We don't walk around in funny hats and yell "Go Pats" at the grocery store. We run our errands as if nothing is happening and then we quietly GLUE ourselves to the TV and PRAY! We are afraid of being let down so we keep our optimism safely under control and go about stoically hopeful. Tom Brady is such a great guy, so easy to like, and someone we can all be proud of. GO PATS!!

Have a great weekend!

Friday, January 19, 2007

All's well, and it is FRIDAY!

The ice and snow that they predicted is one degree from getting here. It is 34 degrees outside, which makes things wet, not too slick. I hate ice. One time I was getting into my car in my driveway and as I scraped off the windshield and walked around the car, I fell--twice! It is humiliating enough to be lying on your driveway flat out, but to do it twice is awful! I also fell once on the walkway going out to the street. There is drainage that runs across the sidewalk in one spot, and it ices over. One minute I was happily walking down the sidewalk with my purse and my totebag and the next I was laying flat out looking up at the blue sky. My arms were spread out like a snow angel. That time I hurt my neck and it was a year before I could raise my head up from the washing station at the hair salon without help.

Today I am going to work, to do the best I can, and to come home elated. It is good. It is Friday. The Patriots are playing on Sunday. I have the popcorn bowls ready. Go Pats!

Have a great Friday.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Monday, January 15, 2007

Rainy holiday at work

Everyone had a holiday except George and me today. I had to work, so George and I carpooled, and he went to his office for a day of extra work. My place of business was one of the few open today, so traffic was light and it was a good thing too, since the morning was a very rainy Boston traffic-stopper.

I have been working very hard and have had little time to do jewelry things. I made three crocheted necklaces while watching the Patriots game yesterday. Go Pats! It was fun to use my hands to make something pretty, and I will take them to the art store on Tuesday. They are selling out of my necklaces, which is a great feeling. I like making them and people like wearing them.

Four more days and I will have lots more time to make jewelry.

Have a great day.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Marie Antoinette by Antonia Fraser

I am reading a biography of Marie Antoinette that Michael bought me for Christmas. It is a very good read and I am enjoying it. Marie Antoinette didn't have a chance. Life at Versailles was all pomp and circumstance, and no heed was paid to the real world outside the stifling gold walls of royalty. I recommend it. During this time of upheaval in my own life it is good to read a well researched book.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Saturday morning-up up up!

Today is Saturday. I have one more week to do my new job, and then I am on the job hunt once again. Things fell apart, promises were broken, the original job offer was changed and then they gave the job to someone else from inside the company who they said didn't need training. They offered me a 20 hour work-week job, and I said no. I was utterly shocked. Not heartbroken, just shocked. All is going to be well. I am going to re-start the job search and this time I have a lot more experience. I actually enjoy job interviews which is a good thing. And I had three job offers the last time, and unfortunately, made the wrong choice about where to go to work. So,...I will forge ahead and not look back.

Saturday is a good day to do a lot of things that have been put aside this busy and terrible week. I am paying bills, writing thank you notes, mailing presents, baking a cake for a friend, shopping for crafts for Sunday school and reading a new book that I bought yesterday. I also have a new pink scarf started in a very fun 16 row pattern.

I was up and writing in my journal this morning. Flipping back through the pages, I noticed that my entry for January 12 last year was about my mother. Last year my mom was very ill and she had a long recovery time--almost the whole year. This year she is much better. I am so grateful for that, that any other bad news is tempered by the good news. Mom was able to play bridge at the senior center last week. She is 97. How's that for good news!

Have a great weekend.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Stuff Happens

I'm not going to go into it here, but things have not worked out exactly as I planned and I've had to do a lot of mental maneuvering lately. Bad stuff happens to good people, and that is the truth. Tonight, after a long tedious commute home, I walked in to a view of these beautiful amaryllis blooms, which were the most beautiful thing I'd seen all day. Bad things happen, but good things happen too, and sometimes we have to count our blessings.

Years ago, when I was in turns a little more flighty and a little more often furious than I am now, I learned to handle bad things or emotional upsets by going into the bathroom, locking myself in there, and making a top 10 GRATEFUL LIST in my head. By naming to yourself the ten things in your life that you are most grateful for, almost any case of the mads or the blues immediately gets better. This has been a week for the grateful list.

Top Ten:
My family
George, my love, my buddy, and the man who makes my dinner when I'm getting home late
My 97 year old marvel of a mom
My wonderful and loyal friends
My nice red Ford Focus
My ability to mix colors together that makes dressing in the morning a lot more fun
My online jewelry and Ebay friends, who hardly know me, and like me anyway
My jewelry studio in the kitchen filled with beautiful beads and silver and gold
My cute kitty
The fact that I am relatively free of big problems
That I am not addicted to anything and my health is good
Oh,...and the fact that ten good things leads to eleven.

So, with all that to be grateful for, who cares what happened this week~!
Have a lovely day.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Once again - an old friend

Once again my blog has resulted in hearing from an old good friend. (Good ol' friend?). Hi Tim! I am happy to hear from people who I have lost touch with!

Busy week, new job, learning again how to go to bed at 9:30 and get up at 5:30. More later!

Have a good day.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Blogging along through January

I have really enjoyed blogging over the years. I can hardly believe how many posts I have, and how much I have written. I write and someone reads and that is enough. I am happy with simple things. My blog is called flowers and fiber, because that is what I thought I would write about. But that is not the case. I just write about my life. It is enough.

January is like the day after Marti Gras. I like to watch the parade cams that are set up on the parade routes and Bourbon Street in New Orleans on the day after Marti Gras. You can see that the minute it turns midnight the trucks sweep and wash down the streets. All the glitter and romance are gone, and the grit and crud are soon gone too. Good.

The month of January is a time for housecleaning. We have packed up our Christmas tree, and put the ribbon and paper away for next year, and are just sweeping up the little things that said Christmas at our house. The fudge that we got as a gift is gone, thank God, and now we can move on to lettuce and carrot sticks. The house cleaners were here yesterday and our living room looks twice as large without the big tree at one end.

Christmas was fun, and I loved every minute of it, and I'm glad that it is over. It is good to be home, to be warm, and to be busy at work again.

Have a great day.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year everyone! Posted by Picasa