Thursday, December 24, 2009

Time to choose the classes

My friend and I are going to Milwaukee in June to the Bead and Button Show, the largest consumer bead show on the planet. This will be the fourth year for me, and I'm really excited. She and I will choose different classes and then teach each other later what we have learned. I'm planning to take this class in Ginko peyote stitch from Diane Fitzgerald. Is this beautiful or what?

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Selling mom's house

Today we sold my mothers home. This was "home" to me, and the house where I was born. My mom and dad bought the house in l944 and lived happily there through World War II, and the birth of two more children, me and my little brother, Bernie Frank. My older brother, Gerald, was 4 when mom and dad bought that house. It has always been home to us.

My mother always loved the house and she took very good care of it. Even in her 90's she had people coming over to fix things, paint things, mow the lawn, landscape the back yard and repair storm and hail damage. She had a lovely home and she got out of two stints in the nursing home and was able to go back to home. Living in that house kept my mother happy until her very last day. It is a blessing to be able to live to 99 in your own beloved and beautiful home.

Today the lawyer attended the close for my brother and I, and the house now belongs to someone else. I am sad, and yet I am happy. I can't take care of a vacant house that is thousands of miles away, in a climate that is stormy and changeable. I feared every ice storm and tornado that came our way. It wasn't a home without mom there.

God bless my mom, and her lovely home, and may someone enjoy it as much as she did for the last 65 years!

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Things are going well with my after hours jewelry business. The other day I said that there are four words to describe my jewelry endeavors: My Cup Runneth Over. It is truly wonderful to be able to make jewelry that other people love to wear as much as I love making it. I never dreamed that I would have so many customers.

Days turn to weeks, turn to months, and time starts to rush by. It is incredible to me that Christmas is almost here. This year our plan is to keep it simple. We are going to put up our beautiful tree and buy a few gifts for close family, and the rest of the holiday I plan to spend time enjoying each day and not obsessing about what I didn't get done.

Have a great day.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Coffee Hour

Right in the middle of our Thanksgiving preparations, George and I are coffee hosts at church today. Yesterday he baked oatmeal cookies and rice crispy bars, and we both baked chocolate cake and a pumpkin spice bundt cake. We bought New England crumb cake and powdered sugar donuts for the kids and will serve all of the above after church today with apple cider and coffee.


Have a good day.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Old fashioned Thanksgiving

I love all these recipes that are in the newspapers and on TV around Thanksgiving time. It is great to see all this interest in cooking. There are lots of hints and ideas about preparing turkey and hotlines, etc. I read all the hints. One year, it was all the rage to deep fry the turkey. I pass on that. Sounds like way too much dangerous hot oil to me. This year, the rage seems to be about brining the turkey with dry salt. Sounds like a pretty salty turkey to me. This year, I'll make the turkey as I always do. Thanksgiving is one of those meals where I don't need a recipe card. I have done it way too many times to need recipes. Still, I'm always interested to see what they come up with to talk about.

Yesterday we went to Trader Joes. If I never cooked at all, I think I could manage a Thanksgiving meal at Trader Joes. They were handing out cornbread stuffing made from a box, and the stuff was pretty darn good. Add some fresh sauteed onions and celery and I think you'd have it. They had mashed garlic potatoes from a box and gravy mix that didn't look too bad either. The cranberries were from Wisconsin. Living in Massachusetts, I'm not going to eat Wisconsin cranberries. Eat local must not be one of their mottoes.

So, Thanksgiving dinner for me has already started. We bought the brie and crackers, we bought the potatoes, squash, and 3 kinds of apples for the pie. We have three turkeys in the freezer and now only have to decide on which one will be crowned Thanksgiving king. (I always make those white paper crowns for the turkey me old fashioned.)

Here's the menu: [spoiler alert for Michael and Michelle]
Brie and crackers, bacon-wrapped teriyaki shrimp, roast turkey with cornbread stuffing, (yes, we do brine our turkey in salt water for a few hours) pear & strawberry fruit salad, cranberry sauce with orange slices, crispy rolls & cold butter, sweet potatoes with pecans, roasted squash with rosemary, real mashed potatoes, steamed broccoli and George's wonderful gravy. For dessert we are having pumpkin pie and apple pie with ice cream or whipped cream.

The mad scramble in the kitchen right before we serve is nothing new either, but it will all come to the table fine and it's going to be one really tasty Thanksgiving!

Have a great day.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

My Dining Room Table

Don't get me wrong, I'm very happy to live in a nice house that George has known and loved for over 37 years. But I knew I was in trouble right away when I saw the size of the rooms. We have rather small rooms and I have lots and lots of stuff. My creativity gets me in all kinds of jams, and one of them is that I have way more things than most people.

The dining room table is my catch all. I haven't figured out what to do about that. The dining room table is used for bills, letters, work bags, calendars, cameras, sunglasses, scissors and get the idea. All my important paperwork is done at the dining room table. If I move something, I usually lose something. There is no room in this house for an office, and I know if I made a little office upstairs in the small bedroom, I would never find all my paperwork again. I also run my jewelry business from the dining room. My light box is there, my camera set up, my tissue, bags, and packing materials. I want to keep all that stuff handy and not worry about losing things or having to sift through boxes to find things.

So, having guests for dinner tonight is a really good thing. It forced me to move my things and set the table. I managed to do all that by 9:00 this morning, so that I can spend the day making jewelry, writing letters, wrapping a birthday present....uh oh. Now where am I going to do that?

So, enjoy with me as I look at my dining room table ready for what it is intended for...dining!

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Cowboy Hall of Fame

George and I were pretty tired, but we managed to get to the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City on Sunday afternoon. I still call it by the old name--Cowboy Hall of Fame. I enjoyed looking at the authentic Indian bead work and pottery and George took pictures of the famous sculptures and enjoyed the Cowboy exhibit of famous movie star Cowboys like Tom Mix and John Wayne. It was great as always.

Coming Through the Rye is Frederic Remington's most ambitious bronze sculpture. A contemporary of the artist wrote of Remington's sculpture: "Here are four cowboys, wild, harum-scarum devils, shooting up a town from the mere joy of a healthy existence, plus the exhilaration produced by frontier rum! They are dashing down the street, the ponies at top speed, spurning the ground beneath their feet -- only six of those pattering hooves touch the earth!" The technical feat of creating a sculpture in which the outer horses do not even touch the ground pleased Remington greatly, as he pushed the limits of bronze casting and imbued his subjects with a naturalistic energy.

End of the Trail by James Earle Fraser

It was for the Panama-Pacific International Exposition held in San Francisco in 1915 that Fraser produced his most recognized work, the doleful "End of the Trail." While intended to be cast in bronze, material shortages due to the war prevented this, and the original plaster statue slowly deteriorated until it was obtained by the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in 1968 and restored. The restored statue is currently on display in the entryway of the Oklahoma City museum, and the original that sat in Visalia, CA, was replaced with a bronze replica.[2]

Fraser was later to remark that he should have copyrighted the image and that many people, painters, print and calendar makers and even other sculptors, made more profit from this work than he did.

Auction at mom's house

Dale Chihuly glass scuptures at the Oklahoma Museum of Art

Two months and a few days

It has been two months since I posted anything here on my blog. In those two months we have had a couple more Nor'easters, I've knit more socks, got new responsibilities at work, arranged to auction and sell my mother's home and contents, taken a trip to Oklahoma to attend the sale, and made lots of pretty jewelry. That's about it I think.

The hard freeze came last night and our plants and peppers on the back porch are frozen and limp and the grass is covered with frozen leaves. Fall fell hard this year. Summer actually didn't amount to much, and everyone feels robbed. It's like looking forward to a European vacation only to find out that someone swiped your passport. Summer was rainy and cold until August, and by then everyone was back at work, or at least I was.

Our trip to Oklahoma last week was very bitter sweet. It is very good to sell a house that can't stay vacant, and we found some wonderful people to handle it all. There were three auctioneers all working at once and two hundred people came to buy what we could no longer use. The house is all clean and ready for the close. George and I are very aware that we had a lot of help from angels. Things just fell into place for us. Like when we had two large paintings in card table boxes to get to the post office to send to my brother, and they wouldn't fit into our rental car and mom's good friend pulled up right then with a pick up truck. Stuff like that just kept happening, and it all went smooth as ice. I had a few tears, but I was resigned that the stuff needed to go to a better home than mine. Many people came to bid on specific items, like my mother's very good friend who came to bid on her silver, and did, and in the end had to go get her pickup because she had bought so much stuff. It was nice to see things go to people who will cherish the things my mother loved so much.

Now we look forward to Thanksgiving and Mike and Michelle's visit, and to Christmas, when George and I will not be traveling but will stay home with our kitties. No need for further excitement we think. I plan to spend some time decorating and setting up a tree and making our home very festive. We'll invite friends in for dessert and cider and enjoy a Christmas without airports and train stations.

If you haven't looked at the blog on the New York Times called Bitten, try that. It is a great foodie blog and very short and sweet. This morning I'm clipping recipes for Thanksgiving, and enjoying an early Saturday morning in my favorite chair.

Have a great day.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

The real deal!

Today, just as tropical storm Danny was throttling the East Coast with rain and some winds, the hummingbird decided to come back for a visit. George went out in the rain to move the hummingbird feeder back to it's original position close to the house, and a hummingbird came very near him and just hovered and stared at him. It was a hummingbird showdown and the hummingbird won!

We quickly ran in to boil and cool the sugar water, refilled the feeder, and the hummingbird came over and over this afternoon to work his way around the feeder. He was ferocious!

We spent the rest of the day piddling around the house, with our eyes turned to the outside to see if he was there. Then one of us would shout from whatever room we were in..."George!" or "Yvonne, he's there!"

It was all a lot of fun. Every once in awhile we'd look at each other and say, "oh I'm so excited about the hummingbird."

He's back, and we can't wait for first light tomorrow to start looking out there again.

Silly us.

Have a great evening.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Hummingbird Update

This is NOT the scene at our hummingbird feeder. We keep boiling, cooling, and adding the sugar solution, and we have seen two hummingbirds come on Saturday morning, but since then...nothing.

The sugar solution is down about an inch today, so either the hummingbirds are coming all day when we don't see them or we have a leak!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Mr. Turkey

We have a wild turkey that has been hanging about our house for a week or more. He has decided that our sunflower seeds are better than food he gets elsewhere. He comes outside the window and clicks at us, which is sort of a light gentle clucking sound. That means, come out here with that jar of birdseed!

Yesterday he hung around all day and finally just settled down under the apple tree and took a long nap. It was a hot day, and he was tired.

Yesterday we had two hummingbirds that came to our feeder, which is a real treat for us (and hopefully for them.) They are so tiny they look like bugs. The are quiet and fleeting, and we hardly ever see them. We take a lot of trouble to boil sugar and cool it and put it out every two days so there is fresh sugar syrup for them. We were on hummingbird watch all day.

And then we had this rather large Mr. Turkey hanging about. Two opposites in the bird world!

Have a great day.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

NOLA here we come!

George and I are going to New Orleans again for Labor Day. I'm really looking forward to spending three days in one of our favorite cities. I really love the restaurants and the music, but I also love to walk along the Mississippi and go on the Natchez river cruise and wave at the calliope player. It is just a lighthearted and fun city that knows the value of a good tourist!

When the heat gets to us (and it often does), we head for the casino and almost always make a little money, and seldom lose our shirts (which is any loss over $40.)

This trip we are going back to Commander's Palace for Saturday night dinner. We went for lunch on our last trip in May, and it was a memorable experience and one we can't wait to have again. Then we are going to head over to the Mid-City Rock and Bowl, to hear The Boogie Men, a group of 9 local musicians with a big band sound. The group starts at 10:00 p.m. and that is late for us, but...hey,'s New Orleans!

Monday morning is Labor Day and our flight leaves early - 9:00 a.m. That is sort of a bummer, but we had free air line tickets that George won at the United Way Raffle last year, and...that's the flight they had. We'll be home early enough to feed the kitties and recoup a little before going back to work. Not a bad thing at our age.

So, here we come again! Our sixth trip to New Orleans. Who knew we would love this city so much!

Have a great day.

Monday, August 17, 2009

My grand-nephew Devin

This is my grand-nephew Devin who calls me "Grandmaw Shea". He is the eldest of my mom's great grandchildren and a real honey! His father is serving in Afghanistan right now, and we think of him every day. I am sending a package of snacks and coffee today. God bless our troops who are over there trying to figure out how to end this war!

Devin and his mom and sisters went to the Bayside Festival near the base in Hawaii where they live and took pictures for us. It is great to see the kids having fun on a sunny day with other kids who daddy's are serving in the military. All I can say is God Bless Our Troops....and their children!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Simple farmstand with wonderful vegetables.

Everyone was enjoying the sunny Saturday morning.

George looking over the tomato fields.

Verrill Farms had a fire last year and are rebuilding a beautiful new store.

A trip to Concord

This morning we took a drive to a place called Verrill Farm in Concord. It was a beautiful sunny morning, and it seemed to me that we should try to get their early. Everyone in Massachusetts was on the road today and I wanted to beat the traffic. We got there at 9:30 and had coffee and the most wonderful cranberry scone. We bought beautiful purple carrots and long radishes and fresh corn and lettuce. We thought we were going to buy heirloom tomatoes, but they weren't on display. I think they were saving them for the tomato and corn festival which was to start at noon. They were setting up tents and getting the hotdog stand ready. I didn't want to pay the $8 admission, and I didn't feel like being in a crowd, so some lovely veggies on a beautiful morning suited me just fine.

We drove past the fields of vegetables and sunflowers and into the dark woods of that part of the world. I always imagine what it was like to live there in the 1600s when the early settlers moved in and fought for American independence. The area is beautiful and the fields must look similar. Some of the clapboard houses from the 1600s are still there!

We were home by noon with our bags full of beautiful vegetables and plants for our deck--a really nice Saturday morning!

We had dinner tonight of lettuce with tomatoes and peppers from our own garden and corn from the fields with baked cod. I love simple meals cooked at home.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Just because you can

Tonight I made these earrings. I saw this design on the web, and just had to try it. They are really long, and really fun! I didn't feel like putting up my photo studio to take a picture, so this will have to do. I will take them to work and show them around for fun, and then wear them in New Orleans over Labor Day! Fun fun fun.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Welcome to Saturday!

I have a bad habit. I get up at 5:30 on Saturdays. I never get up that early when I have to go to work, but for some reason, I wake up and I have so many things I want to do; organize something, knit something, bead something, clean something, pet get the idea.

This morning the temperature is 58 degrees. It is sunny and still and beautiful. No one is up yet except me and the scampering kitties. Oh, and a backyard visitor. Mr. Turkey likes our birdseed. He has been here almost every morning this week. Our resident night time visitor in our backyard is a friendly skunk, who digs a little, skulks around and I think discourages the family of woodchucks under the garage and makes them find a new home. One of the teenager woodchucks was out there yesterday morning, but the whole family seems to have moved on for now. No damage to our garden lately,'s hoping.

We like our sweet potato vines hanging from a window box on the deck, and our patio tomatoes are turning red. Patio tomatoes placed up on the table are our answer to woodchucks. Take that, Chucky!

Simba and Safari are so happy to have me up and drinking coffee with them that it is hard to stay in bed on such a beautiful morning. Everyone is hungry for a new day!

Have a good one.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

My Yellow Swallowtail

Three years ago I bought a butterfly bush. Lacking a better place to put it, I planted it in the garden. Without really thinking about it, I could not have chosen a better place. It was a small little plant, and I thought it would take root there, and I may have to move it. Not so. It has grown to be a nice large and happy bush, right outside my kitchen window. Now, what better place to view passing butterflies than right outside the kitchen where your spend time standing at the sink!

Today I was thrilled to see a Yellow Swallowtail butterfly. I have long loved these butterflies, and I don't see very many of them. One time I was sitting outside at our old place in Woburn, and a huge one landed near me and hovered for a few minutes. I thought it was an angel! The second time I saw one was in Kentucky. We were driving down a lonely country road and there were a whole flock of small yellow swallowtails, also on the same road, for reasons only they knew! I was very excited.

The third time I have seen one is today, right outside my kitchen window. These butterflies are not rare, and are not endangered, and most likely all of us have seen them from time to time, but I have seen them only a few times. What a treat to see one so close today!

Have a great day!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The quarry in Barre, Vermont.

Barre, Vermont

I am in the process of choosing a memorial stone for my mother's grave. She died on March 3, 2009 and it is time for me to do this next step. In many ways, learning about granite, and planning this memorial stone has been very comforting to me in the past week. I haven't been planning this for a long time, but it just came to me that it was now time to do something about this. I have found what I want, and I am very happy. If that sounds maudlin, I'm sorry, but creating something that is meant to last forever has its happy moments.

I am going to order a memorial stone from a company called Rock of Ages, which is a big public corporation that is known for quality, durability, history and reputation. I have searched the web, and learned about granite and quarries and it is all really interesting!

Several years ago, I visited the Barre, Vermont quarry that is owned by Rock of Ages, where the granite is quarried. You can take tours, and there are huge beautiful cemeteries nearby where the Italian rock cutters from a hundred years ago practiced their craft on beautiful mausoleums and memorial stones in fantastic array. It is an incredible place. Next month, George and I are going to travel to Barre again, to see the quarry and take a tour and visit the cemeteries again for a weekend. It really truly is a beautiful part of the country...Vermont.

There are many varieties of granite, from very interesting places, and there are different grades, colors, etc., but the granite from Barre, Vermont, which is called Barre Gray, is one of the finest. Here is what they say about it on their website: "Recognized around the world as the finest quality gray granite available, Barre Gray is the ultimate long-lasting choice in any finish. Its unique proportions of quartz and feldspar make it unusually durable, moisture resistant and thermally stable." I am choosing this stone for my mother's marker because it is the finest available. To me, it is not the size in this matter, but the quality that is most comforting.

Many years ago, I spent a lot of time with two of my aunts, my mother's sisters, of which there were six. (My mother died at the age of 99 and was the last survivor of her nine brothers and sisters.) They were very interested in the graves of their husbands, and their family, and spent lots of time each month taking flowers to the graves to celebrate holidays, anniversaries, birthdays, etc. I am not able to go to my mother's grave often because I live so far away, but the least I can do is spend some time designing and purchasing the best memorial marker of it's type.

I have chosen Barre Gray, which is a beautiful medium gray stone. I am going to have this engraved with irises, in memory of my mother's love of her iris garden. She loved her irises and had many kinds and varieties of color and was never happier than we they were all in bloom and she could show them off to her friends and spend time admiring, weeding and dividing them for the next year.

I have talked to the only Rock of Ages dealer in Oklahoma, whose office happens to be across the street from the cemetery where my mother is buried, and he is helping me design and create the memorial with a two dimensional carving of irises. This memorial will be finished in September and George and I plan to take a trip to El Reno to be there to take pictures to share with faraway family. We will invite mother's friends and family who are still there to lunch to celebrate her long life.

If you had talked to me several years ago, I would never have dreamed that the process of choosing a grave marker could be a happy one, or that I would enjoy learning about granite and thinking of color and design of a memorial. Hopefully, it isn't often that we are required to think of buying a memorial, but I've decided to enjoy this process, and to look forward to seeing a beautiful and meaningful memorial stone on my mother's grave.

Have a great day.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Summer fizzles instead of sizzles

We have had very cool and damp weather all summer. Here it is almost the end of July, and it is 60 degrees and cloudy outside. We put an air conditioner in the bedroom window, but we only really needed it one night. I looked at the shelves of summer things at Rite-Aid tonight as I was walking through. Shelves of sand pails and shovels, hats, flipflops, picnic containers and plastic cups. They looked so forlorn. I'm sure no one is buying and there is going to be a lot of summer inventory left at the end of the season. Kids are already thinking about going to school. Many vacations were rained out, and when people wanted to be baking in the sun on the beach, they were huddled in sweatshirts at the crab shacks.

Oh well. Weather is a funny thing. You can't change it. I need to visit Oklahoma soon, and it has been 100 degrees there, with bright sun almost every day. Everwhere else in the country has been rainy. Oklahoma is the center and all the bad weather is circling around.

George and I are going to defy the rain and go to the Lowell Spinners Triple A farm team baseball game on Friday night. It is fun to go to Lowell and sit on the bleachers and look out at the green field and the dark night sky. We used to be able to buy tickets and walk in, but no more. Since Red Sox baseball tickets are $100+ for two people, lots of people are enjoying Triple A ball. I hope the rain stays away for just a little while.

Have a great day & night.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

A thousand games of Cribbage

We had a great time with the week long Cribbage tournament. We played from early to late (well, not that late actually)....and had a great time at a lot of different picnic tables.

First Connecticut Lake, Pittsburg, New Hampshire

Fishing off the pier.

Another view from the cabin.

The view of the lake from our cabin was changing constantly.

Loons on a misty cool day.

The fisherman.

A little Scotty dog I fell in love with.

The trout pond.

Our vacation pictures

We had a great time on our vacation. We fished, cooked on the grill, took rides to Vermont to the cheese factory when it rained, and played lots and lots of cribbage!

The weather was a little iffy at the beginning. We didn't have pouring down rain, but we had cool misty days in the 60s. I bought a new navy velour jacket that says Pittsburgh, NH on the front. It is very cuddly and warm and just what I needed for those first few days. The cabin had a nice heater, and was very homey and cute. On the rainier days, we did lots of reading and I really got into a book called Vicksburg 1863 by Winston Groom. It was a wonderful book and George also read it, so we discussed the Civil War a lot, and talked about George's two trips to Vicksburg.

We caught three little fish and threw them back. We seemed to be on a vacation from fishing as well, and just didn't work very hard at it. We didn't work very hard at anything, frankly, and had just a very nice relaxing week!

Have a great day. Its good to be back.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Fish like cloudy days!

George, two years ago at the lake.

A dock on First Connecticut Lake.

At last: Vacation time begins!

Our vacation starts tonight. They tried to kill us with work at our respective offices today, but we managed to survive and get out at 4:30 to breathe a huge sigh of relief. We spend the first vacation day tomorrow packing for the trip, making chili, mowing the lawn and getting the house ready to be home to two kittens alone.

Our plan is to leave very early on Saturday, the 4th of July, to try to beat some of the traffic fleeing the city. It is a shame, but we won't be in Colebrook, New Hampshire this year in time for the Boy Scouts wonderful pancake breakfast.

We are very ready for this vacation. On our way home we stopped and got seven library books. The weather looks like it is going to be moderately crappy, so instead of only shorts and t-shirts, we are also packing rain jackets, jeans and sweatshirts. The low in the evening is going to be 50 something, and the high may be 70. There are going to be peeks of sunshine, but it looks like it will not be a full blown summer sunny hot week like last year. Lots of thunderstorms passing by, and a few clouds. We hope for a little sun.

We actually don't mind. We are used to the changeable weather in the Northwoods, and it is fine to stay in the cabin and play Cribbage once in a while. Too much sun is bad for us, right?

So, adios, see you soon, wish me luck, and let's give a high five to George and Yvonne when they catch the big one!

Have a great week!

Happy 3rd of July!

George and I are really looking forward to have the 3rd of July off. It is a great new holiday! It gives us time to pack for our week trip to the cabin (see previous post) and to get the lawn mowed in between rain showers.

The weather in the Northeast has been atrocious, and everyone is complaining about it. Dawn looks like dusk and the sun never shines. It is mostly rainy, with a few showers. It has everyone talking about canceled trips to the Cape and long days with their toddlers indoors.

We are packing our rain coats and our good attitude. We are obsessive about checking and to see if there is any sun coming out for our week at the cabin. is gloomy, and is mostly cheerful with orange sun graphics, so we look at that site most often! Our zip code up there is 03592, in case you want to see our weather at the cabin.

The list is now four pages single spaced, and I have been cutting it frequently. I did find a china teapot this morning that I think I can't live without. But we are taking only one fan, and only two chairs. (I wanted two fans, but now the weather doesn't look that warm. I wanted special smaller fishing chairs, but George says there is no room in the car.)

Anyway, vacation is coming, and we are very hopeful!

Have a great 3rd of July!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Cabin List

Every year we go to First Connecticut Lake in northern New Hampshire for a week at the cabin. I think half the fun of going is planning for the trip. It is peaceful and beautiful and our cabin this year is very close to the lake, and off by itself a little near the woods. The cabins have everything you need to live, including pots and pans and dishes. But, that doesn't deter me from making a long cabin list of things I want to take. I am not really happy eating on cheap ceramic plates, and drinking out of old bar glasses. So, I bring plates, lucite glasses and silverware. I also bring a nice griddle, mixing bowl, wooden spoon, spatula, spaghetti server, and china cups and a teapot. I know this gets a little silly. I call it "Martha Stewart goes camping."

This year my cabin list is three typewritten pages. And I am trying really hard to keep it down. If I take too much stuff, we have to lug it all out to the car and into the cabin, and it makes the return trip that much harder. I'm really trying this year to cut out anything that isn't necessary. But that doesn't include leaving home the things we need to make life livable. I buy new Yankee Candles every year; one for the porch and one for the table, so that the cabin looks friendly and smells nice. I bring a fluffy bathroom rug, because I like stepping out onto a nice fluffy rug, don't you? I bring a big pot so I can make chili or spaghetti and don't have to rely on their old rattly pots and pans.

The rest of the list is things like clothes (I REALLY try not to bring too many clothes!) and fishing poles and tackle box, chairs, a cooler, the croquet set, books, hats (I limit myself to three), and boxes of food.

The food list includes butter, margarine,flour, salt and pepper, coffee, eggs, bread, cereal, fruit, hot dogs, steaks, cheese, crackers, greek olives, caviar, good olive oil....well, you get the idea. We won't starve. I also make home made chili and barbecue sauce and bring that.

I love my hobbies, and what better time to work on them than a long week at a rustic cabin. That part of the list includes yarn, needles, scissors, beading mat, beading lamp and a box of beads and thread. Oh, and the patterns.

Every year my birthday falls during our week at the cabin. That means that I bring the ingredients for a birthday cake, cake pans, frosting mix and candles. I mean, a girl has to have a birthday cake, right?

And every year George says the same thing: "I think we need a car carrier."

Have a great day!

Sunday, June 21, 2009