Sunday, May 31, 2009


It is hard to get a picture of Safari (we sometimes call her Safron). She is elusive and turns away when the light flashes. She is our smart and curious kitty, one year old. She knows everything and often helps George read the Sunday paper. He suspects, however, that she is only looking at the pictures.

Have a great day.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Wire Lace Dragonfly pins

Last year at the Bead and Button show I bought some kits from Alacart Clasps to make Dragonfly pins. I never made them all year and I really wanted to try them before the next show. They are made with wire lace, wire and Swarovski crystals, and I got up at 5:30 this morning and made these. They are fun to make and rather pretty, don't ya think? I'm off to my local bead store to show the owner and see if she wants me to pick up some kits for her.

Have a great day.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Some of the things I'll be making at the Bead and Button Show. I cannot wait!!!

Just kitties and me

George is at a church Synod conference in Sturbridge for three days, and here it all about the kitties. I don't have to worry about an alarm clock. They hear someone rustle in the bed, and they are on it! They usually wait until about 5:30 for their big group hug however. Simba is always first. He angles himself over my body so his head is laying upside down and dangling off my side, and his belly is sticking up in the air ready for rubbing. I hold his head in my left hand and stroke with my right. I told George that petting Simba is like playing a guitar. This is entirely Simba. He loves to be petted upside down. He stretches out like the limber athlete he is. No matter if he slides off the bed, he just hops right up again.

Safari brings her string toys up and starts rattling the bells. Time to wake up, mom! She plays with anything she finds, and last night was having a gay old time with a plastic wrapper from a scarf that Mike bought me at the British Museum. Nice and crackly. Safari comes up on the bed in the morning, and squeaks just once, just to say hello. This is the only time she makes that particular squeak sound. And then, being the curious kitty that she is, she's off to look out the window, or find a bell toy, or wander to the top of the stairs to wait for me to get up.

I am driving to work instead of carpooling with George. That is a big deal. My car gets so little use these days that the brakes aren't getting enough lubrication and the brake light comes on. And they are new brakes! We really do have to take my car more often. Since George got his new Honda, my car drives like a haywagon in comparison.

Off to work. Thank Goodness It's Friday!

Have a great day. (Kitties, I'll be home again soon.)

Monday, May 25, 2009

Isabella de Medici (1542-1576)

A short trip to Maine

George and I decided to go on a short trip to Maine today to get some clams. It is a beautiful, cool, sunny day, and it seemed impossible not to get out there in it. The weather has been beautiful all weekend, and the sun is bright and the sky is blue. I have decided that my ideal temperature is somewhere between 67 and 72. Any hotter than 72 and I start complaining, any cooler and I'm still complaining! I get harder to please as I get older.

No trip to Maine is complete without a stop at a clam shack. We went just into York Beach to find this one, and it was homey and nice. The clams and my fish and chip plate were delicious, hot and crispy. We stopped at the Crate and Barrel outlet store at Kittery and bought a clear lucite lemonade pitcher...a sure sign that summer is coming.

George is napping, I'm blogging and getting ready to go read my book, a yummy one about Isabella de Medici and medieval Florence. Yum.

Have a great day.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Silver Clay jewelry class

My little beading studio

The Bead and Button Show

I am getting excited about my trip to the Bead and Button Show in Milwaukee in two weeks. It is the largest bead show in the country, and besides having a huge market at the convention center in downtown Milwaukee, they have hundreds of classes taught by top notch instructors. I am taking two classes; silver clay and viking woven chain.

Just looking at the list of vendors makes me want to swoon!

Have a great day.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Linked In

Today I opened my account on LinkedIn. It seems to me that in a recession there are certain businesses that are going to thrive, and one of them is anything to do with networking. When I was looking for a job a couple of years ago, the counselors at the employment service were adamant that networking was key. It was a concept that was foreign to me. I didn't know many people that I thought could help. I did manage to expand my horizons and actually went on a job interview arranged by someone at my church.

So I have a LinkedIn account as of today, and I'm not sure what I will use it for, but communication with each other can't hurt. I'm thinking that there are a lot of jewelry designers out there who would love to be linked into each other. I've taken another first step to openmindedness and am trying something new.

Have a great day!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Happy Birthday Michael!

Today is my son Michael's birthday. He was born a few years ago...something like 36 I think. Whose counting? It seems like yesterday. Michael was born on the first day of the Watergate hearings in 1973. I woke up at 5 a.m. with what I thought were contractions. I had thought that about three weeks before and had gone to the hospital and was sent home again. That cured me of any wish to rush to the hospital this time. I sat on our living room couch, and counted the contractions by the clock while I watched the first day of the Watergate hearings and all the machinations that went with that. It was a historically significant day.

There didn't seem to be much to do but wait. Finally, when the contractions were five minutes apart, I called Bob at work and told him to come home. He was there in half an hour, and we got into the car to drive to St. Joseph Hospital on the lake shore in Chicago. Bob had taken driving lessons just so he could drive me to the hospital, but when we got there we had to parallel park. Bob wasn't very good at that, so I got behind the wheel and finished the job.

The nurses were pretty sure that I would be there for a long time, and told us to relax in the room, and left us there. The contractions were strong and frequent, and I was pretty sure they were wrong. I called a nurse. They checked, and boom, I was being rushed into the operating room. People were flying around, and Bob came in the room in a blue shower cap and blue booties, which was very funny and I laughed pretty hard, and that pretty much did the trick. I was introduced to a doctor I had never met before. Things were going so fast I wasn't sure I needed a doctor. A very large nurse with a wide girth held onto me, and I pushed and Mike was born. It all went very fast. The nurses cleaned him off and handed him to me to lay on my stomach and I didn't want to ever let go of him. All in all, I was in the hospital for an hour and 45 minutes!

Mike was 9 pounds 5 ounces at birth, and I had no drugs of any kind. We did it all together. It was a day I will never forget and the best day of my life. He was happy and round and pink and hungry. I had to learn how to hold a baby at my bedside by a helpful nurse. I didn't have a clue, and Michael didn't either, so we learned together. He was a big happy baby, and beautiful in everyone's eyes, and he still is today.

Happy Birthday Michael. I love you.


Saturday, May 16, 2009

An example of Chazzerai....something I sold on Ebay last year.

A new word on a Saturday morning

It is only six a.m. this morning, and I have already learned a new word. I think it is a beautiful word. It is a Yiddish word: Chazzerai: (khaz-zer-rye) literally, pig slop. Any kind of garbage, whether it's junk food, shoddy merchandise or stuff of little or no value. "I never watch TV any more. All they play is chazzerai."

I learned this word in an article in the New York Times. I read the newspapers online while I wait for something to happen on Farm Town. (Don't ask.)

I was reading an article about life in the Hamptons this summer, and the recession, and that people who are having outdoor parties are simplifying and are not decorating their party tents with a lot of "Chazzerai" I can see all kinds of uses for this word. I have a closet full of it. I collect it like a maniac. I have jewelry that I made that has too much of it. Pig Slop? Well, I guess you could call it that. I seem to have a lot of stuff around me that has little value to anyone else. I look around the room, and see many things that others might consider pig slop. But to me, it is a little nicer than that. It is my Chazzerai collection. I like it.

Have a great day.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The view from our hotel room

Yvonne at the Bead Store on Magazine Street

Live Oak at Laura Plantation

Lake Martin in Breaux Bridge

Can you find the 8 foot alligator in this picture?

Back from New Orleans

There are lots of things about the Big Easy that aren't that easy, but we had a great time. It takes some planning to actually see alligators and casinos and eat shrimp at Deanie's on Lake Pontchartrain. We ventured far off the beaten path on this trip and had a grand time. We had a funny little orange Kia, and we explored a lot of places we didn't get to go to on other trips to New Orleans. I was able to find a wonderful bead store on Magazine Street, have a pedicure across the street with the locals, and have a very memorable lunch at Commander's Palace. I even had a massage at the Riverwalk while George shopped for a Fleur di Lis whirligig for his garden. I think, after five trips to New Orleans, we are finally learning our way around.

The weather was 85 degrees and sunny with a drippy dew point of 70. New Orleans is a lot hotter than Massachusetts, and that's the way we like it. It was fun to wear shorts and sandals and hide under our straw hats. The casino is air conditioned, and we found a couple of machines that gave us more quarters back that they took. Amazing. I won't say we made a profit, but we didn't lose anything.

We had oysters at Acme Oyster House, a great barbecue shrimp lunch at Deanie's, and muffalata sandwiches at Joe's in the French Quarter. We listened to Cajun radio on our way to Breaux Bridge, where we knew just where to look to see the alligators. We took pictures of the beautiful old trees outside Laura Plantation, and took a tour of the Creole house. We watched boats on the Mississippi and managed to stay far away from the motorcycles at Bike Week New Orleans. Who knew? They neglected to mention that it was Bike Week in any of the online tourism sites. But the noise didn't bother us that much, because we were ensconced on the 33rd floor of the Marriott in a beautiful corner room that was cushy and cool. A wonderful trip! Worth savoring. I want to go back!

Have a great day.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009


I have a problem. Every time I go on a trip, I always say I'm going to pack light. And almost every time, I go with a bulging suitcase with just a few extra outfits thrown in. I almost always come back with clothes that I never wore. I don't understand why I can't learn to pack light. It always seems to me that I may have to change clothes in the middle of the day, or I might spill something, or I don't know what the weather will be.

I'm packing for five days and I know I have too many clothes plus as many shoes and sandals as I can squeeze in. Last time we went to New Orleans, it was August and hot as blazes. Everyone was having trouble with blistered feet, and even your most comfortable sandals rubbed the wrong way. The line at Walgreen's for blister meds and band aids was long. I talked to other travelers, and it seems that in the heat, feet swell just enough to rub on shoes. I ended up wearing every pair of shoes I brought, because some cause blisters in one place and some in another. So that is my justification for taking 3 pair of sandals and two pair of tie ups on this trip. I may need them. And I'm wearing my orange Birkenstocks. Why? Because I can.

It is my vacation and I'm looking forward to walking by the Mississippi and waving to the Calliope player. I'm looking forward to eating a mufelatta at the Central Grocery, having soft shell crabs at Mother's, and going to Commander's Palace for a fancy Saturday lunch. It is going to be really fun. We also plan to get to a bead store on Magazine Street, an Asian Festival at the Audabon Zoo, and an evening trip on the Steamboat Natchez.

Sounds like I'm going to need a lot of clothes. Right?

Have a great day.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

A rosary

I have a lot of really nice people who ask me to make things for them. This is the first time I have made a rosary. It is not a great picture because we are leaving for New Orleans in one day, and I don't have time to set up my little photo studio in the dining room. But I wanted to take a picture before I deliver it tomorrow.

It is exciting to take another trip, and I'm looking forward to some warm weather (usually too warm), and a nice ride on a riverboat and lunch at Commander's Palace.

Have a great day.