Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Pretty tulips

George went out this morning, unbeknownst to me, and took these early morning pictures of our tulips. The day was very bright and hot today, almost breaking a record. It was close to 90 this afternoon. The tulips were enjoying the first bright summer day of the season. It isn't summer yet, but its a'commin.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

We saw a lot of mountain ski trails, but these are actually called mountain scars, and are caused by rock slides and avalanches.

Mt. Washington from the southeast

Our weekend trip

We had a great time on our weekend in the White Mountains. It was peaceful and beautiful, and unusually warm and sunny. We had a great time looking at the beautiful early Spring scenery. And no crowds. The B&B was empty except for one other couple that were never there, and we had the run of a beautiful home in the mountains with all the amenities. It was a great trip. Here's some pictures. I'm going to go unpack.

Have a great day.

Our pictures from the white mountains

fast running mountain streams were everywhere

The Mount Washington Hotel

Our mountain home - notice the satellite dish

Friday, April 24, 2009

White Mountains B&B

Today after work we leave to go to a bed and breakfast called Sunny Grange in Compton, New Hampshire. This is at the southern end of the White Mountains. I always love driving up there because the mountain scenery is so wonderful, and being able to stay a couple of nights at a nice place and be close to the Kangamangus Highway is going to be a special treat.

We are packing a fan. The weather is supposed to be in the eighties, although we are having trouble believing that it will actually get that warm. I am packing a light sweater and a sweatshirt just in case. Sunny weather has been a rarity around here, and the weekend is supposed to be really delightful. Few people on the roads because it is school vacation week here and about every third desk at work is empty.

Sun in the White Mountains is something you can hardly even dream about when you make a reservation two months early. I fully expected to try to have fun in the rain, and we are bringing our books, my knitting, our Cribbage board and my beading. No reason not to bring the stuff I love. My overpacking is always a little more rampant when we go on a car trip and there is always room for one last thing. Do I bring a hat? I think so!

Off to work, but with high hopes for a wonderful weekend! See you Monday.

Have a great day.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

My Heart

I am always looking to see what other fiber artists are doing. I found a lady on Etsy who makes lampwork beads and fiber dolls and hearts. I don't know what else she can create, but I bet it is a lot. I opened the package and found this heart, which I had bought from her on Etsy.com. It is really beautiful and so inspiring. I wrote her a thank you note and hope to meet her someday since she lives in Madison, Wisconsin. Maybe she will be at Bead and Button. One of the fun things about being in the creative community called Etsy is getting to know people who just can't help but make beautiful and creative things.

Have a great day.

Sunday, April 19, 2009


Yesterday my friend Connie and I went downtown to Boston. Connie and I have a secret vice: Neiman Marcus. A couple of times a year, she and I go to Copley Square to walk around the fancy stores and get ideas. Both of us make jewelry, and there is one good way to look for ideas, and that is to watch the crowds of people who have the money to shop at Neiman Marcus. Walking through the cosmetic department is a little daunting. Women want to hand me little cards with fragrance on them to entice me to spend $300 on something that smells really good. It occurs to me that these women have a lot in common with the homeless people who hang out in front of the White House in Washington DC. Both have their own smells, and both are a little scary.

On the drive through Boston, it quickly became apparent that we had forgotten about one key detail when planning our outing. This is Boston Marathon weekend, and there were millions of people milling about, walking the streets, eating in the outdoor cafes and trying to avoid the perfume ladies at Neiman Marcus. I'm not afraid of crowds, but I was pretty daunted by all these people. First, I knew that they were mostly runners and their families. You could tell the runners because they were proudly wearing their yellow plastic bag with shoulder straps that said John Hancock, Inc. on one side and The Boston Marathon on the other. Those yellow bags, which probably cost the companies fifty cents each. were worn at great cost to the runners in sweat and tears. They were very proud of these bags. I also noticed that a lot of people looked like they were no stranger to Neiman Marcus. There were a lot of fashion forward people in that crowd. Traffic was horrible, but the people watching was really great.

We went to California Pizza Kitchen for lunch. Getting a table was too long a wait, so we sat at the bar and watched the delicious puffy pizzas going into the huge ovens. It was fun to eat our delicious salads along side runners who looked like they had lived on lettuce for most of their life, and who were no stranger to rough roads in rough weather. Something about marathon running makes people very lean and hungry looking. I think I could take a lesson from them, I need to be more hungry! Everyone was in a festive mood, and it was unusual for me to be in that place, since I usually avoid crowds and downtown Boston like the plague.

So, today I will take a little inspiration from all those lean and hungry looking runners and spend a little time walking around the block.

Have a great day.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Sanity Socks

My hobbies keep me sane

I can tell I am feeling better because my little feeble mind is brimming over with creative ideas. I have so many projects that I am having to write them down in a special notebook. I can't stop making socks! This new yarn is hand dyed merino and tencel (which I guess is like a nylon, which helps things keep their shape), and it is my favorite color of spring green. The yarn has a shine to it that most don't, and I'm really enjoying it. This yarn is made by a woman who owns Minds Eye Yarns right here near Boston. I need another skein! The price is $22.00 per skein, and if I drive over there, I can save the $5 shipping. She sells on Etsy, and the site is Mindseyeyarns.etsy.com. Pretty stuff!

I have started a Knitting Group at my workplace. Yesterday we had seven people come to the hour long lunch time meeting. People bring their projects or their interest in learning how to knit. Yesterday the mail room guy came. I tried to show his large basketball-adept hands how to hold knitting needles. I showed him the basics. He fumbled some, but said he would be back next week ready to try again. After the meeting, I had four other people ask if they could join. so now we have 16 people on the list. It is nice to get together for something other than work discussions, and people are really enjoying getting to know each other. I think the group is going to take off. I bring knitting patterns, books about knitting, yarn and needles for beginners and people are enjoying it.

I have eight jewelry orders to work on this weekend, included two repairs of hand-knotted pearls. I need to stop knitting socks and get on it. My great friend Connie and I signed up for our jewelry classes at Bead and Button in Milwaukee this year. We will be there for four days and I can't wait. There are hundreds of jewelry classes taught by the best jewelry designers and teachers. The classes cost between $115-$250 and up, and we each signed up for two, so it is no small decision to make. They are all wonderful classes, and the teachers are world renowned. People come from all over the world to this mecca of American jewelry shows. We leave on June 4th on my favorite airline - Midwest. This year one of my classes is in metal clay, and I will learn how to make silver leaf elements for earrings and a pendant in metal clay. I have to bone up a little before hand, and get my hands on some good metal clay tools. Oh, it is so exciting!

I can tell that I am coming out of the dumper, as I say. I still think about my mom all the time, but underlying all my thoughts about her, I can feel my energy level bubbling up. I don't want to stop thinking, I just want to stop feeling bad. If all these projects keep me sane and healthy, then it is a wonderful thing. Anyone need a pair of socks?

Have a great day!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Finished my socks

One thing about having a long wait at the endoscopy department yesterday is that I finished these socks in record time; two weeks.

These are hand dyed merino yarn. It is kinda funny - strange, not haha - that it costs $22 for a skein of this yarn and takes many hours to make them, and you can buy a pair at K-Mart for $2. But...look at 'em. Anyway, knitting keeps me sane, and you can't put a price on that!

Have another great day.

We are coffee hour hosts tomorrow....and I'm baking today!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Easter Tulips and my waiting room sock

Survived to tell the tale

Today I had my Colonoscopy. George drove me to the Harvard Vanguard office at 11:00 this morning. I was content and calm, and I had time to knit the heel of a sock while I waited to be called in. I was early, and they were a little late.

It was a very nice assembly line of nurses and doctors, treating five patients at a time. They draw the curtains and give you your own space to change in the gown. Then they hook you up with an IV of saline solution to help with dehydration, which I was very happy for. Even three hours without a sip of water is a long time for me.

I was able to chat with the nurses a little and tell them how much I appreciated them, and that I thought this was a very important screening. They were as nice as could be. I explained to the nurses that in my opinion, this screening takes a lot of preparation and study. I had to make it a priority for a whole week in order to get the thing done right. One nurse said "it is nice to hear that, some people don't even read the letter."

I must have read the six page letter they sent to me fifty times. Five days before your procedure you must...., then four days....then the day before...no food, only Gatorade and yellow jello and clear liquids. No Advil, no iron pills, all kinds of little rules hidden in the paragraphs. I told George that if I had to follow all these rules, I wanted to do it right. I really didn't want to be refused the day of the operation because I had had a sip of coke that morning, or something stupid.

To made sure I didn't take anything by mouth, I pretty much stayed in the bedroom upstairs from the time I got home from work. The Magnesium Citrate you have to drink is awful stuff, salty, carbonated, and burns your throat going down. I had to drink 15 oz. last night and 15 oz of this horrible stuff first thing this morning at six. Lest you think you will get away with NOT doing this, they check every single detail, and I told them I wanted the gold star. I had done everything just right. Drinking that stuff was the worst part, and down right impossible without taking a slug of lemon Gatorade with it. Right now I feel like I'd rather die in the desert than drink another bottle of Gatorade.

So, with a little help from the happy juice in the IV, the procedure when down fine and then it was over. I was warm, covered up, lazily lying on my bed in my nice little curtained room. I got to stay there for 20 minutes reflecting on the rather fascinating florescent light fixture.

After a few minutes they brought me four soda crackers and my choice of drinks, which was apple juice -- both really delicious. Then they said the nicest thing, "George is outside waiting for you." Oh, heavens, thank God for George!

I feel a sense of accomplishment and I am very happy it is all over. I'm writing about this because I think Colonscopies are important screenings, and because it was a big part of my life last week. I even went without food for a day and a half, and lived to see the scale drop five pounds. Not an easy way to lose, but necessary. And they liked me so much, they want to see me again in three years. Oh, no!

Have a great day.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Medical Procedure Looming

On Friday I have a colonoscopy scheduled for 12:15. I have been on a bland diet consisting of fish, potatoes, white bread and food without seeds, nuts, fruits or fresh vegetables for a week now. I call it the Twinky Diet. Anything that you aren't supposed to eat, like doughnuts, cake, cookies,....all that is good, and what is bad is what they tell you is good for you; grains, rice, beans, red meat, fruit and vegetables. It is a crazy diet and has me turned all upside down.

This week I have been eating fish and potatoes every night for dinner. They didn't say anything about chocolate Easter Bunnies, so I split one of those with George last night. I stole it right out of the kid's Easter Basket. This has been one of those weeks.

Tomorrow is Thursday and starting at the moment I get up (although I don't really see anything to get up for) I can't have any solid food at all, and none until my procedure is over at 2:15 on Friday afternoon. I am going to be one mean and hungry junk yard dog by that time! Last night I made a special trip to the store to stock up on what I CAN have; clear soup, yellow jello, Gatorade and flavored water. Yummy! I don't even want to think of what it will be like working at my office for a whole day without food. And I really don't see what clear broth is going to bring to the equasion anyway...who needs it?

I have decided that I am going to pretend that I am a movie star and that I am paying a thousand dollars a day to go to a fancy "cleaning and rejuvinating" spa, where they limit your food and work on doing exactly what I will be doing as I prepare for this colonoscopy. Maybe I'll even have a manicure at lunch time. Can't hurt.

I haven't gone without meals very often in my life. Even when I had a baby, I had lunch, then had a baby, and then had dinner. I didn't even miss a meal!

No wonder people don't want to have these procedures. This is no picnic...literally. Wish me luck!

Have a great day.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

I have a thing about Lavender

When I think of Spring, and think of sunshiny says and warm mornings drinking coffee on the deck, I often think of Lavender. Over the years, Lavender has become my favorite plant. There are many different kinds, and it is hearty, it grows well in pots, it's big and impressive, and it's a lovely shade of blue. Besides that it smells heavenly.

I have a pot of lavender that I am over-wintering here in the window behind my computer. It isn't the prettiest plant in the world after a season indoors, but it is doing fine, and will be beautiful once again when it gets outdoors to bloom.

Last year I had a pot of lavender under the porch, which over-wintered by it self, through snowstorms and ice, and still survived to enjoy the Spring breezes and when I repotted it, the plant was as beautiful as any.

When George and I go to the plant stores in the Spring to choose what we will plant, the first thing I go for is herbs: Rosemary, Thyme, Sage and Lavender. They look beautiful in pots with other flowers, and they last inside throughout the year. I make lavender pillows to add to my yarn baskets to keep the critters away. I can't WAIT until Spring!

Have a great day.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Fun little bee bracelets

I bought these charming hand-made poly clay beads this week and couldn't resist making these cute little girl bee bracelets.

People at work really liked them....and I have plans to make many more in other colors.


Thursday, April 02, 2009

Fast and furious

Seems to me that the world is going at an almighty fast pace. Today the headlines are that the Global leaders have found a solution (a trillion dollars) and that we may have hit the bottom of the recession. Things will go up from here. Seems to me it was only weeks ago that the whole thing became major news.

Fast; we want our computers fast, our fast food fast, and our banking fast. I was struck today by the biggest smile on the face of President Obama. He seems to really relish standing there with all those heads of state. I mean, that is pretty fast company he is keeping! I don't remember such a big smile on any recent president; well, maybe Reagan. He seemed to have a big smile on his face.

I am struck sometimes by how fast people buy big items and dispose of them. Everyone I know has a newer phone than I do and a faster and smaller computer. Most people have thrown three or four of those away in the time that I have had mine. It just seems that we go through stuff very fast. I have food in my refrigerator that is older than my son's computer!

I don't know, I guess it is the way of the world to have things fast. My head spins. We are told it is the end of the world, and then, oops, bam, no that's all solved, the market is going up, and things are on their way up again.

Of course, if I was given a trillion dollars, I guess I could solve things pretty fast too.

Have a great day.