Mt. Rainier and Lenticular Clouds - Dec. 2008 copyright: JMM

November 30, 2014

Thanksgiving Weekend

I am so sick of eating.  And I really didn't eat all that much this weekend but much food in the fridge, so many much is gonna end up in the garbage.  We did a 12 lb turkey, stuffing, mashed taters, corn, cranberry sauce & gravy, PLUS a prime rib.  And we had Dutch apple pie for dessert.  Of course we are all about speed and ease, so everything comes out of boxes, cans and jars.  The pie was from the grocery store bakery.  

My stepkids came over at 2 to dine with us and we were all stuffed to the gills.  They still had their mom's to go to later on for 2nd dinner!  They are lucky they are so young and slim!!!  

My bday was the same day and it was mellow.  I felt the love on Facebook with all the greetings and messages.  That was so nice.  The next day, my mom took us to lunch, but not before she gave me this gift to usher in my 50th year.  A cane with horn and rearview mirror.  

Stuffed from lunch, I wasn't hungry again till well after 8 pm so I made myself a very small turkey sammich. Turned around to find myself pinned against the counter once again by my silly boopies.  Sagan is so focused on the plate with my sammich in this pic.

" haz turkey sammich and we haz NO turkey sammich."  Poor, poor starving, unspoiled furkids.  Don't worry....they both got a little bit of turkey after I took this picture!

Gorgeous moon.

Yesterday, I made this 'Christmas ball chandelier' that I saw on Pinterest.  Came out pretty good.  I think it needs some more balls and the next one I make will have more; I got tired of tying fishing line.  This was, as always, just a prototype. 

It's started to get super icy cold again.  Makes for pretty pictures but taking the dogs out after dark really sucks, despite bundling up, esp. at 3 AM.

Couldn't resist taking another one of these last night when the sun went down.  We only get to see it like this from late November to early January.  Would like to get another snow pic of it but I really don't want any snow yet!!!

I've got all my Christmas cards done and ready to go, and most of my shopping is done, not that I had that much to do anyway.  I don't do Black Friday and I find people's shopping conduct sickening. I called this 'The Season of Brotherly Shove.'  Online, small business and craft fair shopping is the only way to go.

It's time to take down the Thanksgiving decorations and put up the Christmas ones!  I will be working on that today and that usually takes quite a few hours.  I also have one more craft show this coming Saturday at the Sandwich Legion.  

How was everyone's Thanksgiving weekends?  Did you do the Black Friday insanity?  Sick of turkey yet?

November 26, 2014

Upper Cape Tech Holiday Craft Fair

So I did the Upper Cape Tech Holiday Craft Fair last weekend.  The view from the school is amazing. That's the Bourne Bridge and Buzzards Bay water tower.  I literally live 5 minutes away.

Another pic from inside the gazebo.

This is a killer mural inside the cafeteria where I was set up.

And my sad little table.  I absolutely hate my displays.   They look so lame.  Truthfully I don't like doing shows.  It takes a lot out of me.  I'm not good at self promotion and saying anything beyond, 'good morning.' Marsha was with me for Saturday and we had a great's much easier to do a show with someone.  

The stage was right behind me and they had face painting and pics with Santa.

The fair was overwhelming.  It's absolutely HUGE and that was the one complaint I heard the most from both shoppers and other vendors.  A lot of lookers, not a lot of shoppers.  I did better than some of my vendor neighbours.  I marked down a lot of items to make them sell but that didn't help much.  The best part was seeing so many friends from high school, plus women from my bank and my college roomie Ellen & her son came down from New Bedford too!  I truly appreciate the support of my friends so much.  I made back my table fee and a modest profit, but I decided not to sign up for next year.  It's a lot of work and a long weekend.  I think I will just stick to the smaller venue, one-day shows like the Legion.

This is the sunset on Saturday 11/22, through the woods behind my house.

November 24, 2014

Get Your Business Done

Well winter has arrived.  It's been very cold and we woke up to a dusting of snow on the 14th and temps in the 20s.   I took this pic of the moon on the last warm'ish day that we had.  

I've been watching reruns (and now new episodes) of 'The Middle', a show about a lower middle class family that lives in the middle of Indiana.  It's a cute show; the characters are all really likable, especially the kids.  One episode had the family visiting a gospel church, instead of their regular church.  The pastor and choir were very lively, singing and preaching about 'getting your business done'.  Of course on the show, they had mixed & comedic results when they, especially the mom, attempted to be more organized and do all the things they'd been  meaning to get to.

I, however, have been really making an effort to get my business done.  I am almost done changing all my ID.  I really put it off and shouldn't have, but it's just about finished, including the pain in the ass that is Paypal (which went relatively smoothly, name-wise, but they refuse to delete my Washington State address) and other written requests.

Dragged out the desktop computer and typed up about 40 more recipes that I'd scrawled in a notebook, put them in page protectors and into my recipe binder in the kitchen.  I'd actually been keeping up on that all year.  It's nice to have them so neatly typed and alphabetized by category, and I'm way more likely to actually make them if they are organized and easy to read.  Needless to say, I've been experimenting a lot, with mixed results (french onion soup: so gross), and hubby is a willing New Recipe Guinea Pig.

Also sucked it up and went to the dentist.  I hate the dentist and will put it off as long as possible.  It's physically and mentally uncomfortable. I don't like the polisher, esp. on my front teeth.  It's like fingernails down a blackboard.  She touched the electronic pick cleaner thingie to a rear molar and I literally came off that chair and screamed. The high pitched whine of the machine and the sensation on my tooth were horrible. My response was so visceral that she had to clean my teeth the old fashioned way, by hand with a regular pick. The dentist came in after the cleaning, said I had a small cavity in a wisdom tooth and it would take 5 minutes to fill.  I protested in earnest, 'Well it doesn't bother me...why don't I just call you if it gets bad?'  He said, 'Why wait till it's too far gone?  It's a simple fix now.'  Halfheartedly, I acquiesced.  Now I'm glad it was all done in one appointment.  I don't have to go back now till May, although they attempted to talk me into procedures that I think are unnecessary, but because they aren't covered by insurance, they want the money.  I politely declined. 

Computer bookmarks. Oh so many things bookmarked over the years.  I actually took a week and went to every single link to review if I wanted them anymore.  Many were long gone...deleted blogs, server errors, expired websites, deleted you tube accounts.  I am going to need a new laptop soon and that was another reason to take a look at them. That was also why I had transcribed so many recipes.  I think I can recover all my bookmarks with a new machine, but in the off chance I can't, I had to ensure that I had hard copies of tutorials and stuff. I will bum hard if I lose all my you tube bookmarks though.  That'll suck.

And speaking of updating, it took me two hours....TWO, count em, update my address books. I have a large size one, a purse sized one and the Christmas card list.  Finally, everyone's addresses match in all three places.  You people have got to stop moving and having children!!!  I kid, I kid.

The file cabinet also reached maximum density so it was also time to thin it out and toss out or store much of the older paperwork & bills.  Finished that task too.  I realize that it will be a long winter and I should probably pace myself with these projects but, I need to Get My Business Done.

My sweet, amazing hubby bought me a new bed.  He asked me what I wanted for my birthday and I said, 'a new bed'.  I've been mentioning it since summer.  While he agreed we were due, it wasn't a priority because he isn't home that much and we needed the cash for other things.  But I finally reached the point where I couldn't take it anymore.  It was just too uncomfortable.  The store, Sleepy's, was running their Black Friday prices in advance, so we got a Sealy Posturepedic on sale and, I think, pretty reasonably priced for a king size bed. I mean, I paid more in California in the late 1990s for the queen bed I left behind when I moved east.  It's so nice to not have elbow pain from sleeping on my side.

I also continued to make jewelry for my craft shows AND straightened up the beads finally.  They would appear disorganized to the outsider, but to me it's organized chaos and I know where everything is. 

I experimented some more with borax on different coloured pipe cleaners, since that dark blue one looked so good.

It's less impressive on yellow, although it does look sugar coated.

The black & red looked pretty good though.

So did green, purple and dark blue.  I also tried it on the shiny tinsel pipe cleaners but the crystals failed to adhere to the mylar or whatever is used to make those.

I stopped by the Bourne VFW Holiday Craft Fair on the 16th to see my friend Robin who was showing as a vendor.  She makes gorgeous jewelry and does glass painting too.  This is a small sample of her stuff.  It's hard to tell but that frame has ample space at the bottom; enough that I could create an altered art scene inside.

That same day, I decided I felt like sugar cookies so I made a batch.  But of course I couldn't just make plain, I had the brainwave to do rainbow dough and forgot how much work it is to knead the dye into the dough.  My hand stayed this way for hours.

The results sure are pretty though.  And when you bite into them, the layers inside are neat too.

Then I iced them and added sugar and sprinkles.

I've also been meaning to enter a photo contest run by Cape Cod Life Publications.  You can enter as many pictures as you want, so I've already submitted a few for their 2015 contest.  Even if I forget to enter more pictures next year, at least I have some in now.

All year I'd been saving pickle jars to make snowglobes.  I ran into trouble right away with the scene elements not being tall enough, or being too wide to fit through the mouth of the jars.  Then the time consuming mess that was covering the lids with fabric. Out of 6 jars, I could only get 2 of them to completely seal and be leak free. Nothing I did to the other 4 prevented the dripping.  What a nightmare.  I was scrubbing super glue and gorilla glue off my fingers for days.  And I'm so disappointed because I really liked what I'd put inside the jars.  The lids are glued on so tight I can't get them off, yet they are leaking like crazy.  I will NEVER do that project again.  It's not even worth bringing the two that don't leak to any craft fairs because really, what's the point.

Finally, today is my beautiful stepdaughter's birthday!  This is the steampunk-themed card I made for her.

The 'celebrate' paper on the left side is really a pocket for slipping cash behind.  

I also made her a steampunk key. This is her pic of it....I took one but in a group of other keys.  She loves skulls so I used an old Grateful Dead lightning bolt skull (aka Steal Your Face) earring and covered up the bolt with watch gears so that you only see the skull face.  

Currently, as of the day I'm writing this (11/19), I have no further blog posts in the can.  We are coming into the Thanksgiving holiday this week, and it's also my 50th bday that day.  I may or may not post again till after the Thanksgiving break because I just have nothing new to share.  No more day trips since Boston, and my craft show on 11/22 and 11/23. 

So stay tuned....more will be coming....eventually!

November 22, 2014

Government Center & Beacon Hill

After lunch, we headed out of Quincy Market and up through Government Center.  This seems to be continually under construction because there was always construction when I lived in Boston in the 80s. Now they appear to be remodeling the T (subway) station.

This is the famous giant steaming tea kettle.  You can't see it, but there was steam coming out of it. It was originally placed in Scollay Square in the 1800s and continues to operate to this day.

John Adams Courthouse.  Not sure if it's still a courthouse or if that's just the building's name.

I do not remember this gigantic crescent shaped building when I lived there.  It's so big and it had to have been there but maybe I never noticed it.  According to Wikipedia it was built in 1969.

Don't think this bike's going anywhere soon!

I decided to take Cheryl around Beacon Hill, since it's absolutely gorgeous and very, very old.  We passed this memorial to Robert Gould Shaw, the Col. of the Massachusetts 54th, the first African American regimen in the US Army, who fought in the Civil War.  It's across from the State House and on Boston Common.

The buildings on Beacon Hill are huge.

Hard to see from this picture but there were quite a few trees on that rooftop garden.

Beacon Street.  I lived really close to all of this at the Emerson dorms.

We went back into the neighbourhood, which are full of narrow, quiet streets and expensive homes and townhomes.

This is Louisburg Square, one of the priciest neighbourhoods in the country.  A townhouse sold for 11,500,000 in 2011.

And this is Acorn Street, a one block-long cobblestone street which is extremely picturesque, as you can see.  But not easy to walk on.  The brick sidewalk is also very narrow.

And looking up Acorn.

Back on Boston Common. It was getting near time for me to head back to get the bus home, so we walked back to South Station.

Downtown Crossing again.

Putting up the Christmas tree at Macy's.

I need one of these rainbow shimmery things in my yard!

This is near South Station; I always got a kick out of how it looks top heavy because of the narrow base.

Also near S. Station.

What a great day and how awesome to finally meet Cheryl after 35 years!!!!!