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

April 30, 2015

Map Pendant

Quite awhile ago, I pinned this Tacoma pendant on Pinterest.  The link went to the artist's Etsy shop and unfortunately, it was already sold.  Of course I loved it and wanted to do one for myself.  

I'm not sure how I arrived at a tutorial, but I found one on the Happy Hour Projects site.  She was kind enough to include the link to the 25mm bezel set, which can be found on HERE, and which comes in 2 parts and looks like this:

The pendants are shipped from China, so they take a little longer than most Amazon packages to arrive.  I only ordered two of them and I wish I got a few more as they are pretty inexpensive (about $3.60).  

All I had left to do was find a suitable map to use, so I grabbed my old 2003 road atlas and went right to Washington State.  Unfortunately, all the town names were really large.  So I flipped over to British Columbia, but Vancouver Island/Victoria was also too big.  Then I found the map I needed which fit perfectly! It has all my fave places: Mt. Rainier (a little cut off at the bottom), Tacoma, Seattle, Olympia, the Olympic Peninsula, Victoria and Vancouver. 

I assembled mine a little differently than in the tutorial.  I mod podged the map to the brass part then put the glass dome on top.  The key is not to use a ton of glue or else it will show through the paper as a very dark splotch.  

Next, I turned to the map of Massachusetts and hoped that the next one I made could emcompass Buzzards Bay, Bourne and Sandwich, but the distance on the map was way too far, so I'm not sure what I'm going to do yet with the second bezel set.  The possibilities are endless!

April 27, 2015

Freakin FINALLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My blogger statistics show that this is my 1500th post since 2006.  Wow.

Temps have been all over the map lately....there was even snow north of Boston the other day....but it appears that spring has finally, FINALLY sprung around here.  It's been a long time coming.  

The crescent moon and Venus put on a nice show last week. 

Daffodils starting to bloom.  Seems that there are more of them in the yard this year than I noticed in years past.

No idea what these are but they are purty.

And their purple counterparts.

These tiny white flowers are on a bush out front.  Again, no clue.

I decided to break out the wind chimes and wind spinners for the tree next to the deck.

The gnome is out.  It's officially spring.

April 22, 2015

Playing Catch Up

Now that my cold is finally over, I have been throwing myself into a lot of projects, both cross stitch and cleaning.  My back was still killing from all the yard work, so I spent a couple of afternoons in my recliner knocking this beaded ornament kit out.  

Quarter to show scale.  There is a whole series of these beaded ornament kits by Mill Hill and I want them ALL!!!!!!!!

Cleaned up the metal futon frame and got some cushions for it, but I think we are going to get thicker ones for the seat and Russell wants to elevate it somehow because it is way too low, even for me.  I'm still in the market for a couple of chairs too.

A few weeks ago, Jaime and I were PMing on Facebook about music and I mentioned that I saved a ton of You Tube links to newer songs that I really loved, but I hated the thought of having to buy entire CDs just for one song.  I'm not savvy enough to do iTunes or anything like that.  I joked that I missed the days of 45 records.  She told me to send her all the links to the videos and she could easily download and burn them to discs for me, from which I could make my beloved mix tapes. She sent me 5 discs a few days later!!  I spent a few hours listening to them and writing down what's on each disc.  Then I got some blank tapes off  I'm going to be a busy girl!!!  I'm so excited!!! 

Spring cleaning is in full swing in the house.  We got new a/c units because the others are almost 4 years old and run 24/7 from April to November.  It was time for new ones.  On Sunday, I did the laundry room, bathroom and craft room.  Plus did what I could to tidy the storage room.  I was some exhausted and went to bed at 8:30. Got up at the crack of dawn on Monday, thanks to the noisy birds, and got going by 7 to the laundromat to wash the comforters, do the grocery shopping and errands. Then it was time to clean the bedroom which took 2 hours.  I did the livingroom yesterday and all I have left is the kitchen, which takes the longest.  And we also finally found a futon couch, right in Wareham too.  I wish we'd found it 2 weeks ago instead of making that wretched trip to Stoughton.

We were in Mashpee last week and I treated myself to a couple of Cupcake Charlie's cupcakes: Funfetti and carrot cake.  They were sooooooooo GOOD!  My cupcake MO is to eat the bottom cake, then dig into the top with the icing. It's probably a good thing that CC is in Mashpee or else I'd be there every day!!

While organizing my stitching kits, I found this one that I started last November and put away because of the holidays.  I totally forgot about it.  It's a pretty quick workup.  I had to change the round red & green mint candy design because the ones in the pattern look like swastikas.  I just have the top and bottom to do.  These kits are easy to work on while I'm in my recliner on a heating pad after marathon cleaning!

My new futon couch came yesterday!  They dragged the old one outside which is being picked up for a dump run.  Pepper is having a lot of trouble getting up on this one and she's not at all happy.  I have to help her up sometimes but she is making progress on jumping up on her own.  Not sure what to do about this issue...I could try getting her a step or box or something but I'm not sure if she'd grasp the concept.  She really wants to be on the couch as it's more comfortable for her and I can't be here to help her all the time.  

"Ai not like, mama".

It's a lot bigger than the old one was....I barely have enough room to recline....but it should be fine. The mattress is thick so it'll work for sleeping a couple nights a week, although now that we are using the a/c again, that helps to drown out the snoring.  Still though, it's nice to have a better looking couch in the house; the other one was so shabby.  Now if I could just find 18" blinds to replace those shredded ones, I'd be set.

I am really eager to get back to my day trips and photography.  It's been a long winter and it's going to feel great to get back to it.  

April 14, 2015

Emerging from the Fog

I feel like I've lost about two weeks' worth of time.  I cannot believe it's mid-April already.  I'm finally getting over this damn creepin' crud that has hung on for over a week.  Most of my friends that had it said it lasted almost two weeks.  Unfortunately I could no longer put off a rather expensive and important car repair so I feel better that it's taken care of, even though I had to drag myself to the shop feeling like crap.  We kept smelling antifreeze every time I turned the car off but the temperature was fine.  Took the car in for an oil change and mentioned it to them, and further testing revealed that my radiator was leaking bad.  So one new radiator, oil change, air filter and new wipers later, I have a fixed car that is running way better.  

Then I forced myself to go to urgent care one morning last week because I just couldn't take the coughing anymore and I was desperately hoping for a nebulizer breathing treatment.  Chest xrays revealed no pneumonia or bronchitus and I got the nebulizer, a couple prescriptions and sent on my way.  Then my poor hubs texts me that he was now sick, so I stopped off at the grocery store to pick up chicken soup fixins, and I couldn't resist treating myself to this adorable little owlie, that I named Ookpik.  

I also made him a shepherd's pie which he just loved too.  He seemed a little unsure about my using chili sauce with the meat but he absolutely devoured this.  Hadn't made this since I moved here and I think it'll end up in the regular rotation.  

I totally stalled out on this commissioned cross stitch piece of a Hummel design when I got sick, so I put in a couple of hours on it yesterday.  I would love to have this done by the summer.  

Oh yeah, I shot these a couple of weeks ago on a very frosty morning.  It was our last one.  It's frost on the glass chunks on the deck rail.

Speaking of emerging, here come the flowers and stuff!  Finally!  Very late this year but better late than never.

I absolutely hate yardwork but I had to do something about the area around the metal shed.  I should've taken a 'before' picture but it was so freakin white trash that I couldn't even bear to show anyone what it looked like.  There were tons of vines and stick-like trees and brambles all growing in front of the fence and all over the side of the shed.  This shed is badly damaged from the snow, so I wanted to get it cleaned up around it before we venture inside and see what is going to have to be thrown out.

I got some loppers and went to work and cut down everything in front of the fence and the side of the shed that I could reach.  Then I moved a bunch of stuff up to the really bad wooden shed on the hill, that already had gaping holes in the sides where the windows and door should be, but can still accommodate things like plastic totes, since the roof is not leaky.  We are going to clean off that futon frame and put it on the deck with new outdoor cushions. 

But before I could move the plastic stuff up to the wooden shed, I had to remove all the cardboard boxes that I stored from my move in 2011 and which have been soaked by rain/snow and chewed on by rodents.  I cannot believe how many boxes were up there.  I should've gotten rid of these ages ago but I let it go.  I sure hope the recycling people pick it up today.  There are also 3 large lawn bags full of filthy bubble wrap and styrofoam.  

In other news, we went couch shopping all day on Saturday in Stoughton where all the furniture stores are and it was just absolutely wretched.  Didn't see anything we liked at all.  We are looking for either a sleeper sofa or futon-type one, not necessarily a futon though.  The prices were outrageous and the cost for delivery was even worse, not to mention pushy salespeople.  Pull out beds suck....the mattresses are awful. I had a couch on order from BJ's Wholesale but they screwed me on the two day delivery so I told them to cancel the whole thing and return the couch to sender.  After two days they finally sent me confirmation of shipping, which was not going to be in two days.  I emailed them and they tell me that two day isn't available for large furniture, which is something they kinda need to put on the website.  I went back and forth with them on this screw up for days.  I'd ordered it for delivery when Russell would be home but was told it wouldn't come till Monday.  Therefore, I'd be stuck trying to maneuver a 150 lb couch into the house myself, and trying to get my old couch out the house by myself.  As it turned out, Russell was home till today so after shopping on Saturday to no avail, we decided to go ahead and accept the couch because it was going to be delivered anyway.  I was told that I'd have to tell the driver 'no we won't take it', so I figured fine, let them show up and we'll just accept it.  Time was marching on yesterday so I checked the delivery status and their website said they went ahead and processed the return without coming out to the house!  So back to square one.  I didn't think it'd be this hard to find a couch but apparently it is.  I guess I have no choice but to go to Hyannis.  

April 6, 2015

3:00 AM Musings of the Sick

Well what I thought were bad allergies turned out to be a bad cold instead.  I feel like I've been hit by a truck.  And of course when I should be resting, I can't because I'm so uncomfortable and keep waking up to sneeze a half dozen times, pee, use my inhaler, blow my nose, cough and then groan piteously because my ribs hurt so bad from coughing.  In a nutshell:  I'm a mess.  I went to bed at 9:00 to try and get a head start on sleep b/f the hubs came to bed.  He's been snoring so bad that I end up on our very old and uncomfortable couch for a few hours till the pain in my back, hips and shoulders force me back to the bedroom.  But instead he did a turn on the couch all night so that I could get some rest in the bedroom, bless his heart.  

I loaded up on cold meds and went to bed where I fell asleep till 11:30, when I had to get up to pee. Then I laid there for what seemed like just a few minutes, tossing and turning, and couldn't believe I had to get up to use the bathroom again.  I looked at the clock and it was 1:20.  Now I have zero memory of falling asleep, and it certainly didn't feel like I had gone back to sleep.  I didn't have the sense of waking up from dreaming or anything.

I took Pepper out and went back to bed where I lay there wide awake....random & feverish thoughts running through my head:

Breath right strips just do not work.....can I take more advil and sudafed yet?.....How can I be this sick and not run a fever? I'm the only person I know that gets sick without a fever...I need to get these comforters washed....God I feel like shit....Someone please cut my head off...Sagan needs to go to the groomer next week.....I wonder if Walmart has air conditioners in yet....Ow my ribs!....This cold gel mask feels pretty good on my face....Dammit the velcro is stuck in my hair...What's that pain? Am I having a heart attack?....I can hear myself wheezing I need to take my earplugs out....I can hear Russell snoring I need to put my earplugs back in....Should I let Pepper out again?  Did she pee on the kitchen floor?...If I fill in the white on that cross stitch I can finally work on the basket part of the design....Why is this cough drop making my mouth itch and burn?....Oh god no not another cough...Dammitall I have to pee AGAIN....I don't even want to know what time it is....If I fall asleep now maybe I'll get 4 more hours of rest...I feel so guilty that he's on the couch the poor man....His family is so nice, hope everyone got home to Maine OK....2 firecrackers stuffed up each nostril, that's all I ask....Why didn't I buy fake eggs so I could do that galaxy egg tutorial? Now it's too late....I need to coordinate a time to pick up Val on Monday....Maybe I should read but my glasses and book are in the livingroom....Wonder if anyone's up on Facebook? I don't feel like getting up and getting my computer...Crap my phone's in the livingroom too....That damn thing better boot up tomorrow....God I feel like shit. Just kill me, kill me now....Heeyyyyy Macarena!

April 1, 2015

March: In Like a Lion, Out Like a Lion

God what a frickin winter.  I thought March was supposed to go out like a lamb?  Not in New England.  Not this year.  It Just. Won't. Stop.  We get a few days of promising weather, then BAM! Back to snow in the forecast.  OK so it's not accumulating and is melting right away, but still.  I'm finally starting to see patches of grass in my back yard.  I really didn't think that pile on the deck would ever melt down.  If my back didn't hurt so bad I'd break this up with the shovel to help it melt faster.

But the plow piles are still pretty big.  That metal shed sustained bad damage to the roof on one side; it's all buckled and dented.  It always leaked, but now it's 10x worse.  I had covered the stuff in there with a giant tarp a couple years ago but I'm not sure how effective it was this winter.  We are going to wait a couple of months before taking everything out to assess damage.  I think most everything in there are tools, and totes with tools.

And that shed on the hill, which already had gaping holes in it, had the door torn off in the first blizzard.  I was finally able to get up there the other day and all the cardboard moving boxes will have to be thrown away as they got soaked.  The plastic totes are fine.

The front yard, which faces north, remains covered with at least 6-8 inches of snow.  Tried taking the dogs out but we all sank through the icy crust and then my boot got stuck so it'll still be awhile before we can go in the front.  I am grateful that the garbage can is back on level ground instead of half buried in the plow piles.  I left it out there because there was really no point in trying to put it in the driveway each week.  I am also grateful that the DPW continued to empty it considering it was always in 2 feet of snow, and covered with snow too.

So since I was still housebound (except for those 2 days I made it to the beaches), I decided to keep on cross stitching.  My friend Amy commissioned one made from this photograph.  It was somewhat difficult to figure out because the squares are hard to see, so I had to be kind of creative on how this was put together and I did end up ripping out several mistakes.  

Amy requested that hers be done in sage and purple.  Despite the screw ups that had to be fixed, I got it done in about three days.

My sweetie had his bday at the end of the month too, so I made his fave, pineapple upside down cake, but I did it as a bundt this time and it came out great!  We enjoyed lunch at our fave place, 99, and visited with his parents for a bit too.  

Then the next day, we were at Walmart and I spied these shoes in the clearance aisle.  Upon further examination, they were girls size 5.  Russell urged me to try them on anyway.  I was doubtful, but put one on, and it actually fit!  They are even a little bit too large, and honestly not terribly comfortable, but I don't see myself doing any marathon walking in them anyway.  They were only $5 sparkly!!!

And celestial as well!  Yes I have freakishly small feet.

Ice covering one of my rocks in the rocks/shells bowl that I keep outside on the deck rail year round. Looks really cool.

On Monday I woke up to an email from Kreativ Drinking that they were doing a paint night that evening at the Mezza Luna restaurant, which is right in my town.  I asked my friends on FB if anyone was interested in doing the class with me and my stepson's girlfriend said she'd go!  So we met up at 6:45.  We were pleasantly surprised when food was brought into the room for us.  I realize it was included in the price but I had no idea that food was included so I was really glad I didn't eat dinner before I left the house.  Antipasto, stuffed mushrooms, garlic bread, ravioli, meatballs and a chicken-broccoli-pasta alfredo type dealie.  DELICIOUS!

Our project was a pretty ocean scene with the moon and pink blossoms.  Sam & I had a great time and it was cool to see everyone's paintings, as they are all different.  Some people added rocks, and land which were awesome.  I was too afraid to mess with mine and possibly wreck it so I left well enough alone.  I thought about adding a whale tale but once you paint with black, you are kind of committed so again, left well enough alone.

I sure hope April finally sees warmer weather because I'm not sure how much more this region can take.