Wednesday, August 31, 2011

What I'm reading Wednesday...

Yes, I'm STILL reading this one.  Not really enjoying it, but I'm sticking it out.  Not really reading except at bedtime as I've been otherwise occupied. 

Yesterday was Carey's birthday, and we drove up to Arlington (5 hours one way) so that he and Jared could go to a Rangers game.  I opted to skip the game and instead had them drop me off to visit with friends for a few hours.  It was lovely.  We decided to drive home after the game instead of spending the night, so we got home about 4am this morning.  After sleeping till noon, today was spent doing a whole lotta nada.

More changes on blogger.  Could this be the good changes I've been hoping for?  Time will tell.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Making this Monday...



















Making some test patterns.

Also making...
trouble,
calculations,
decisions,
the week's menu,
grocery list,
shopping run,
meatloaf and baked potatoes,
and plans for a quick (but long) trip to Arlington tomorrow.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Saturday's snail mail...














My endeavor to mail 52 letters in 52 weeks continues.

accountability stats: 17 weeks / 33 cards

Friday, August 26, 2011

A state of crossatonia...

Did you by chance miss a post about what I was reading Wednesday?  I'm on the same book as last week...not much time devoted to reading this week.

Have I been cooking anything up in the kitchen worthy of posting?  Nope...living on sandwiches and fresh fruit .

Why?  Because I have been in a state of crossatonia.  What is that, you ask?  It is similar to a state of catatonia, in that the sufferer is completely unaware of their environs, unable to act or react to their surroundings.  Well here, let me find a better definition for you...

cross·a·to·ni·a - a syndrome characterized by muscular rigidity and mental stupor, sometimes alternating with great excitement and confusion brought on by a hyperfocus on the act of cross stitching.

Unlike some people :) who say they can't sit still for hours at a time, I have no problem doing so.  In fact, my problem is tearing myself away...making myself get up and stretch and get the circulation going.  And I am off this week, so last night I sat down to stitch, and finally decided that I should probably try to get some sleep when I saw there was light starting to come in the windows, and the piece I am working on started looking like this...

















I have to say, I am making some very good progress...should be able to finish well ahead of the deadline I set for myself.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Fresh...















Just looking at this photo makes my mouth water.  Fresh fruit with a squeeze of lime juice and a sprinkle of chili.  Yum!

I was introduced to fruit like this when there was a shop a couple of doors down from my office ...like an ice cream shop, but just fruit and fruit smoothees.  Oh, when I think of the color of their fruit combinations!  The shop didn't catch on widely, and they eventually closed.  I still miss them. 

Monday, August 22, 2011

Making it Monday...











I'm very happy with the progress I've made thus far on my new cross stitch project.  The photo shows an area which is approximately the size of a business card.  I was really worried about my vision lessening my enjoyment.  The last project I worked on was really unpleasant.  Thinking back though, that was when I was still making do with readers instead of prescription glasses.  The progressive lenses make my eyes much happier in the process!

Of course it doesn't hurt that my printer is also a copier with enlarging capability, so I enlarged the graph to fit on a 8.5 x 11 inch sheet...about double the size that came in the kit.  And with all the color changes, I have resorted to using colored pencils to highlight what I have already completed.  Ahh, so much easier to orient your eyes than just a page full of black and white squares full of squiggles.  It's not the first time I've used this aid...that's a trick I learned a long time ago.

I feel like I've been reunited with an old love.  ...sigh of happiness...

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Saturday's snail mail...

My endeavor to mail 52 letters in 52 weeks continues.  And to recap, I didn't start till May, and I thought I might as well see if I could get 52 letters mailed by the end of this calendar year...that's why I've been trying to do more than one a week at times.
















I pulled this card out of the archives this morning, wrote my letter, and walked it out to the mailbox.  I actually do have an archive of handmade cards.  I'm so much better at making them than actually getting them mailed.  That's why I wanted to take the 52 letters in 52 weeks challenge.  :)

Accountability stats:  16 weeks / 31 letters

Friday, August 19, 2011

A creativity high...














Is there anything more exciting than being on the cusp of a new project?  Not for me!

I've set aside this weekend to create...and the photo above shows my palette.  It's a small project, but that doesn't necessarily mean quick.  I'm a little apprehensive about it actually...these old eyes aren't what they used to be.  But it is for a sweet someone's birthday, so I'm diving in.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Favorite photo memories...












 Is this not a darling photo? This is probably my finest moment, photographically speaking, pre-digital age. Remember back in the olden days when you took photographs, and you didn't know until at least a week later when you picked them up from the developer what you actually ended up with? 

This is my (Great) Aunt Ruth and Uncle Ed.  For all intents and purposes, they filled the role of grandparents for me.  They never had children of their own.  When my dad and I made our summer trips to Nebraska, he would drop me off for at least a few days visit with them.  Aunt Ruth was the one who sat patiently teaching me to embroider and do other handwork.  She gathered rose petals with me from her yard and helped me layer them in a tobacco can with cinnamon...homemade potpourri to take back to Texas with me.  I loved to watch her work in her little kitchen, always remembering what my favorites were and having some on hand for every visit.

Uncle Ed ran her errands, worked in his garden...and sat in his chair or on the porch swing, chewing on an unlit cigar, and teasing in his sweet low-key way whenever the opportunity presented itself.

I took this photo in 1977 or 78.  They would have been married around fifty years then.  They loved each others' company, and they were still playful together.  They were my best example of what a happy marriage could be.  On this day, when I asked them to let me take their picture, they stood side by side, and stared straight faced at the camera.  I asked them to smile, and Aunt Ruth resisted, at which point Uncle Ed, with his arm behind her, gave her a little goose.  In her surprise she gave him a little punch to the belly (you can see him holding her fist), and they both ended up laughing.  I could not have asked for a better photo representation of their personalities.

It's a real treasure.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

What I'm reading Wednesday...
















Just started The Book of Air and Shadows by Michael Gruber. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Saturday's snail mail on Tuesday...











Photo-fronted cards again this week.  I printed the photos on watercolor paper, then also used watercolor paper as the card base.  Really gives a nice texture to the photo and a nice weight to the card.

accountability stats:  15 weeks / 30 letters

Monday, August 15, 2011

Monday...













Got up at 9:00...stripped the bed linens to wash...oh, you know I've been meaning to make a new pillowcase for that little odd shaped pillow for years, I can do that today...got out the leftover fabric from the kitchen curtain...came across some sewing accessories in the search, so I organized them in a drawer...oops, can't cut out the pillowcase till I wipe down the countertop...oh, don't forget to plug the iron in to press the seams...waiting for the iron to warm up, I noticed some ribbon that I've been meaning to put away forever as well as some trash...oh, trash, I got two wastebaskets yesterday, I need to get those out and put them away...oh, the watch I bought yesterday was in the sack too, better get it out of it's hermetically sealed box and ready to wear to work in the morning...finally back to the sewing machine and made the straight seams and hems, done!...put it in the washer with the sheets and started that load...oh, look, there's some clothes still in the dryer, better fold those and put them away...

It's just another ADD Monday.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

You don't bring me flours...anymore...
















Okay, I'll admit it.  I used to have weevils in my pantry occasionally.  In the flour, or baking mixes, etc.  But years and years ago I read that if you bring those kinds of things home from the store and immediately put them in the freezer for a few days, the freezing temperature will kill off any larvae that may be in the package, and they will never hatch into adult bugs.

I've done just that ever since, and I can't remember the last time I've seen a weevil in the house.

I guess we've been eating some larvae...but I'm okay with being in denial about things like that.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

What I'm reading Wednesday...













This mystery is very different from any I've read before.  Eyes at the Window by Evie Yoder Miller is about the murder of an infant in an Amish settlement in 1810.  It has a LOT of characters to keep track of, as each chapter is told in the voice of a different character...it reads like journal entries describing family relationships, work, history, geography, language, religion, guilt, and innocence.  It's not exactly an easy book to read, but I'm really enjoying it.  The chapters are short, so I'm able to make measurable progress in little bites, which is really good for my schedule right now.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Work's a bear right now...










Yogi?  No.

Smokey?  Not exactly.

Teddy?  Definitely not.

Bring on the tranquilizer gun, please.

photo credit: I lost it, and I'm too tired to find it again

Monday, August 8, 2011

Oh what a Monday...

...but I did manage to put together a huge, relatively healthy chicken pasta salad for dinner...grilled chicken, whole wheat pasta, lots of fresh veggies.  Enough to send a big bowl of it over to Kasey's too, so she won't have to cook tomorrow night after twelve hours at the office.  And some for me to take for lunch at work tomorrow...talk about being frugal (see #3 of my 7 on the 7th  list yesterday).

My coworker's husband passed away last night, so I'm not sure what my schedule will be for the foreseeable future.  I feel so sad that she will probably find my card to him in tomorrow's mail.  sigh.

A messy kitchen is calling me.  G'night.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Seven random thoughts on the 7th...













1.  Last year it seemed that my reading had fallen by the wayside as other obligations and pastimes took precedence.  This year I have been intentionally reading more...and it seems that my chores and crafting have fallen by the wayside.  I don't seem to have time for it 'all.'

2.  Unfortunately, exercise has also decreased as my reading has increased.  Need to work on that one too.

3.  I think I am a pretty frugal person.  But since the move...what with the commuting to work and more time spent with my nose in a book...I have been falling prey to easy meals, either purchased out or easy to prepare.  That has sent a lot of money down the drain.  I mean to mount a new savings campaign...on the food front AND on other discretionary spending fronts.

4.  We went over to the kids' for dinner tonight.  Beau made stuffed pork chops.  They were fabulous.  I tried a new recipe to take for dessert...Cream Puff Cake.  It turned out quite well.  It wasn't too sweet...creamy but not too heavy...and pretty easy.  I think we will be having it again.

5.  Autumn decorations are already out in the stores.  I've even seen Christmas decorations!  Which reminds me that we will be needing to purchase a new tree for this year...our old one had served us well for nigh on twenty years and was donated away after the holidays.  I'll have to start watching for our next one.

6.  I really need to clean my laptop screen.

7.  Think rain!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Saturday's snail mail...














My endeavor to mail 52 letters in 52 weeks continues...

Today I sent out four cards/letters.  Two say 'healing'...one went to a friend's husband who picked up a terrible infection while in the hospital for a heart bypass...one went to a friend who fell and is in a lot of pain, making her search for employment before the school year begins a real challenge.  The other two say 'Friends' and were just to say hello.  All were made using my beach photos.

I need to go back to the beach...I've thought of some more words that would make great card fronts.  But I like to go to the beach in the wintertime...no crowds.


accountability stats:  14 weeks / 28 letters

Friday, August 5, 2011

Ode to the Rainier cherry...








Oh, you cutie
filled with beauty.
I wait all year to taste of you.

Come to mama!


( I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw these still in the produce department on today's grocery shop.  They're kind of a splurge, but I could't resist one final indulgence for the season.)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

What I'm reading Wednesday...

I just finished The Shadowy Horses  by Susanna Kearsley around noon today.  It was good, but didn't grip me as strongly as another book by the author that I read recently. 

Not sure what I'll start on next.
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