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

September 30, 2012

My Ten Essentials

A few weeks ago, I was tagged by Anne over at Is Anyone There? to list my Ten Essentials in life.  That required some thought to narrow it down because there are so many things that I truly can't live without!!!!  Except for #1, the rest are in no particular order.

1.  First and foremost, my sweet, loving affectionate, kind, handsome, hard working fiance'. 

I truly don't know what I'd do without him.  Every day I fall more in love with this amazing man.  I spend my days daydreaming him and our future, like a lovesick teenager.  We're closing in on two years together and the level of attentiveness hasn't dropped off at all.   I'm dancing with happiness when he comes home and I weep every time he leaves.  

2.  Doggies.

I love my furbabies and I can't imagine not having a dog.  Our next one will be a beagle.  I have come to love doggies so much that when I'm walking along the Canal and someone is coming the other direction with their dogs, I always say Hi to the pups first before I even remember there's a human standing there.  By 'say Hi' I don't mean that I'm stupid enough to approach and pet a stranger's animal, I literally mean I say, 'Hi puppywupsters! Aren't you cute? Oh yes you are! Oh yes you are!"

3.  Craft Supplies.

I have always been the first to admit I have a hoarding problem with craft stuff.  Back in WA, I hit Ben Franklin in Bonney Lake at least twice a month; it was an unfortunate coincidence that they shared a parking lot with my grocery store....and if I was in Puyallup, I had to go to Michael's Crafts or Bead Boppers.  And the annual pilgrimage to Shipwreck Beads every January with my Christmas Bonus and gift cards burning a hole in my pocket.  I figured I should buy stuff that I liked when I saw it, 'just in case' I didn't get the opportunity again.  That strategy has paid off big time, now that I can't be spending gobs of money shopping like that.  I've been able to make stuff, mostly with the stuff I had on hand, thus reducing my need to shop with abandon now that I'm here.

4.  Travel/road trips.

I have to see stuff.  I wish I had done more traveling when I was young but there never seemed to be the money or a good time to do it.  I never did get back to England like I wanted.  I haven't seen near as much of Canada and the US that I should have by now.  So yeah, besides the unrealistic Bucket List I have, there's also the more attainable 'Local Bucket List' that sates the need to spend money to go long distances. So much is in your own backyard.  (The above photo shows all the states I've been to in colour).

5.  A camera.

Must. Record. Everything.  Well not everything but close to it.  Only my cousin Diane trumps me in this category. I have a crappy memory and have relied on journals, photos and scrapbooks to keep things fresh in my mind since the age of 12.

6.  My San Francisco 49ers blanket.
It's about 20 years old now....getting a bit worn and tattered, but I love it and love to snuggle under it while watching TV.  It rests on the back of my chair when not in use.  Even if it's not cold enough to use, I still find comfort in it just being on my lap.

7.  Glass.

I can't get enough.  Well, actually that's not true...I've been VERY good about not buying more glass bottles and trinkets, simply because we have zero room for any more knick knacks in this house. But I've surrounded myself with a lot of beautiful and special pieces which is probably better than having a huge collection.  At least I can still look at the marbles, bottles and other pieces and remember where they were purchased and when.

8.  Art.

I get lost in the art pieces I've chosen to purchase and display.  Interesting to note, nearly all of them were created by North American artists and illustrators, except for one by Belgian artist Rene' Magritte.  I especially love the landscapes by the artists of the Hudson River School. (above picture:  'North Point' by Andrew Wyeth).

9.  Music

I confess that I don't listen to it as much as I used to or want to.  I just really find myself preferring the peace and solitude of a quiet house, but for the white noise of the a/c or fans.  My honey has been lobbying hard for me to disconnect the stereo so that we will have more space in the livingroom but I have been reluctant to put it in storage in the back room.  It's true I don't use it as much as I used to, but I like having the option when the mood strikes me.  A lot of people have turned to the free music site called Pandora where you can make your own playlists, but I don't like the sound quality that comes out of my laptop.  It's not the same as having a stereo.  And how will I make mix tapes without a stereo?

10.  Friends. 

As much as I love my alone time and solitude, I also love to chit chat with friends, in person and online (I'm not a telephone person...I don't like talking on the phone and it's really rare that I'll even answer my phone).  My friends have always been my family, loving me for who I am without judgment or criticism.

What are your Ten Essentials?

September 28, 2012

Silk Tie Egg Dye

Been meaning to try yet another Pinterest craft idea:  Silk tie egg dying.

So off to the thrift shop I went, in search of some cheap men's ties and lucked out to get 2 with great, small patterns.  They have to be 100% silk. 

First you disassemble the tie.  I only used the large, lower part.  I saved the top part for something else I wanna try. 

Because I wanted to save the dyed eggs, it was necessary to blow the yolks out.  I like to carefully work an awl into the top and bottom of the egg because it's long enough to puncture the yolk sac.  I was pretty lucky  in that all 3 eggs didn't break apart, like I've had happen in the past.


Grody.  I suppose it's wasteful to throw out the blown yolks; I could have scrambled them and made breakfast, but I didn't.  When they were empty, they were rinsed and then left to drain and dry for a few hours.

Next wrap the tie fabric around the eggs, pattern-side/front-of-tie against the egg, and seal with a twistie.  Again, I had to use a pretty gentle touch to keep the eggs from breaking!  Because of that, I couldn't pull the fabric as tight as I would have liked.

Next, wrap some plain fabric around them.  I used an old pillowcase.  And more twisties. 

Fill a pot with water and 1/4 cup of vinegar.

Place the eggs in and boil for 20 minutes.  I knew that I was going to have a problem with the fact that they were going to float because they were empty.  So I ended up using a spoon to try and keep them turning and submerged as much as possible.  The eggs filled up with water a little bit, so that helped weight them down, too.  

I don't have any pictures of the eggs after they were removed from the water because I was just too excited for the 'reveal'.  I simply couldn't wait for them to drain and cool on their own.  I burned my fingers a little bit taking the fabric off, and then I had to blow the hot water out of the eggs too. Here's the end result.  

If I do this again, I will use more fabric because a lot of it didn't end up touching the egg so there's white shell showing in places.  I'd also like to figure out a way to keep the hollow eggs from floating.

September 27, 2012

I Love Fall!!

The annual Buzzards Bay Scallop Festival was held last weekend.  I didn't really want to go because of the extra cost and besides, I'm allergic to shellfish.  But I did have to go to the bank over that weekend and rather than try to fight to find a parking space, I walked down from the house.  First passed this festive minivan in one of the parking lots.  

Not sure if they were enthusiastic tourists or residents, but clearly they love it here and they are against the wind farms.

Most of the antique shops had some of their wares out on the sidewalk.

Soooo tempted to buy this one but I took a snappy instead.  I love how it looks old, but includes the World Series wins of 2004 and 2007.

Town was just a tad on the crowded side.

I can't wait to stroll down Main Street again this year and see if anyone has decorations out! This was a positive sign!


1966 Plymouth Fury, named 'Betsy'.

On my street.

These are the only flowers left blooming in my yard.

Where some tiny red berries fell off.

These tiny berries look like little red, orange and green peppers.

September 25, 2012

Arrrrrrr I Won A Chest-O-Booty, Me Mateys!

September 19th was Talk Like a Pirate Day.  Everyone was Arrrrrrr'ing it up on Facebook.  Did you know you could change your language settings on Facebook to 'Pirate English'?  It's really funny. Only visible to you though...when your friends go to your Timeline they see it in regular English.  But your newsfeed is all in pirate. 

Anywho, Artbeads had a drawing for a Chest o'Booty that day and all you had to do was send them an email in pirate-speak.  Well I admit I had to google 'how to speak like a pirate' and got onto a site with some very helpful phrases.  So I sent Artbeads my email.  I am one of these people who keeps their email inbox, drafts, junk mail and trash as empty as possible.  I already deleted the email to Artbeads so I don't remember specifically what I said.  I figured my entry was a long shot considering how many fans they have (78,000) who would also enter - I counted 47 'likes' and 8 comments on the post on FB, so who knows how many emails they got.  Apparently it was good enough to be declared the winner!!  The only thing that I recall writing was something about, 'Tomorry we go on account and sail from Ye Olde Tides Tavern.'  Artbeads is in Gig Harbor, WA and the Tides is a locally famous restaurant.  I had kinda hoped that using a local reference like that, especially with me being in Massachusetts, would tip the scales in my favour. 

This was posted on their Facebook page the next day!!!!  I also got a confirmation email which is what I saw first before spotting this on their FB.

My winnings arrived within a few days!

I got 2 Jolly Roger charms, 2 cabochons, one treasure chest charm and a bag-o-beads!  How cool is that?

September 24, 2012

It's a Sickness, Really....

So it's fall and most of the tourists have returned to their lives elsewhere, except a few weekend people.  That means the crowds at the beaches will ease up, and therefore, more beach glass can be found without all the competition.  I cannot emphasize enough just how addicting looking for beach glass is.  And taking photos.  

Off I went one absolutely gorgeous late morning, to a small and unnamed beach over on the Cape side of Bourne.  Not really much to find in this cove, but I'm glad I stopped anyway.  It's always interesting to me to see this part of the Cape for some reason, this farthest western shore that abuts the Canal.

Couldn't resist making one.

Directly across the Canal from this beach is Mass Maritime.

Next I thought I'd take a stab at Mashnee Island again.  I figured if anyone else was parked there I'd just drive on by and then head out of the area, but luckily the place was deserted.  I parked and went out for a long walk.  

Tons and tons of shells and shellfish!

I found a few pieces of glass....not quite worn all the way but my rule of thumb is if it's not sharp enough to cut or stab me, then it's acceptable.  I tossed a lot of fresh glass back into the water.  But I also found a few pieces of worn glass, unusual bits and pieces, so my drive to continue hiking around the point, in front of private homes that face the western entrance of the Canal and Buzzards Bay, overtook my desire to not get caught trespassing on their beaches.  This area is an excellent place to search for glass because of the way it juts out into the Bay.

This is actually at the Bourne Rotary.  I've been meaning to take a picture of it for ages and finally pulled into their parking lot for a couple of quick snaps.

Never saw one of these in my 47 years and now I find a second operculum in less than a month!!

Yes this is a taillight piece but it was kicked into the sand from the parking lot and was scuffed up/worn, so I say it counts as finding red beach glass, the rarest of the rare. 

My haul from both beaches.  The operculum is the pearly thing on the left.  I also got that opaque pink piece too.