Friday, May 29, 2009

we are both in good shape

This week was somewhat busy for me. Tuesday, I took my car back in to get the leak in the coolant system fixed. Rode the bus home, luckily is wasn't raining at that point, and got ready for an endoscopy (looking down the esophagus). There isn't much getting ready - not like a colonoscopy - but it did mean that I had nothing to eat or drink. The procedure is painless, except for the nurse having trouble putting in the IV. My doctor thinks there is nothing to worry about, although he did take a couple of biopsies. He also gave me a set of photos. I WILL NOT post them on this site!! Believe me, no one wants to look at the inside of the esophagus - yeuck!

Wednesday afternoon I was ready to ride the bus back to pick up my car, when a neighbor came out and offered to take me. Really nice of him, although the bus ride isn't really a problem. The best thing was that the garage didn't charge me. What they did was replace the hose clamps (or whatever) that had come with the new water pump (replaced a few weeks ago) with some other ones. Hopefully, that solved the problem, however, I MUST remember to check the fluid regularly, just in case.

Wednesday evening was a rehearsal for the spring variety show put on by MAD (Music and Drama group). Supposedly, we have all the music memorized now. I think by next week I will be ok with most of it, but some of the numbers are really hard. The worse one is "Transylvania Mania." It has lines like, "Lose the blues and don't complainia. Hit the dance floor, feel no painia." "Just accept it, don't refrainia. don't resist, it's all in vainia." "All the devils in Tasmania shade their tails and go insania.' You get the idea. It's very hard to remember which lines come where. The show runs next weekend - June 5,6,7. Next week is hell week, which means rehearsals, in costume, for three nights running. It's fun, but I'll be glad when it's over!

Today I will lunch with the Friday lunch bunch - long time friends. We've been doing this for maybe 20 years now. It's a great way to stay in touch, but it's hard when people move away or die. Still, I guess I'd rather outlive my friends than die first. LOL

Tomorrow, Patty and I are going to the Route 40 Yard Sale. We've never done this before, but the idea is that people and stores along route 40 will all hold yard sales on the same day. I think we will be starting west of Baltimore and driving west, but perhaps we will try to do the part of route 40 that goes through Baltimore and east. We really haven't discussed the specifics. Obviously we will only do a small portion of the route. I'll post the results in a few days, when I've recovered from the excursion!

We've had rain all week, on and off, and today appears to be shaping up the same. However, the weekend is supposed to be nice, and I think the rain isn't starting until maybe Tuesday. I'll just enjoy the sunshine when it comes. Hope those of you reading this are getting some sunshine in your lives.

Monday, May 25, 2009

just puttering around

It's hot here - too hot for much work outside. I was out early this AM, watered all the plants, front and back. This, of course, will ensure than it rains today! LOL I also spread four bags of wood chips on the path in the back. Then I came back inside to cool off. My thermostat is set for 81 on the cool setting, which is what the temperature inside is right now. That would be too hot, except that I have a fan going wherever I am in the house. Fans are much cheaper to run than the A/C. I did manage to stay outside in the sun long enough to take a couple of photos of the plant stand I bought on Saturday and also the door decoration. See below. The plant stand was white/gold, but I sprayed it green. Of course, that means it doesn't show up well in the photo, but it looks good in my yard.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

more car trouble

I'm beginning to think my car is jinxed - but I suppose it's just showing its age. Anyway, yesterday, one of my neighbors saw a puddle of coolant beneath my car. When I checked, there was no coolant remaining in the plastic container under the hood. Must have been some in the car, however as I had been driving the car and using the A/C. Of course, being as it's Memorial Day Weekend, the garage I use is closed. Since they put in the new water pump recently and supposedly checked the system for leaks, I want to go back to them. It appears to me that this problem should have been identified and fixed, so I'm hoping to get it fixed at no charge this time. However, this leaves me car-less until sometime next week. Luckily, today I can borrow my neighbor's car, as they have two and her husband is still on travel. He'll be back tonight, so Monday I'll be out of luck. At least I don't have to go anywhere Monday. I'm nervous about driving the car, as this leak is much more noticeable than the previous one. Seems as if it's just one thing after another with the car.

I had to cancel plans to go with a friend into DC last night to watch the rehearsal for the Memorial Day concert on the Mall. However, I had a nice evening after all. Patty and Yvette and I met on Yvette's deck (she lives between Patty and me) and enjoyed drinks and munchies for several hours. We also enjoyed watching the sunset behind the trees and admiring each other's flowers. I drank only cranberry juice, but I did eat just a taste of the salsa and the guacomole. No heartburn from either, so perhaps the medicine is working. I sure hope so. This bland diet is getting very boring!

This weekend is hot and humid, so I won't be working outside much. Yesterday afternoon, I tried to quilt the placemat that I am making. The less said about that the better. It's a mess and I won't show it to anyone, ever. The problem wasn't just in the quilting, but also because the squares weren't all the same size. I had a lot of trouble when I was cutting them. Anyway, it wasn't wasted, as I used it to try out the different stitches on my machine and also got more practice using the threader. I have to get out the diagram every time to figure out how to use that darn thing. Oh well, some of us are just mechanically challenged! LOL I am not ready to give up on quilting yet, so I will try another project from my beginners' book.

Yesterday morning I went to one pretty good yard sale. I bought a welcome sign for my front door and a plant stand that I have now painted green. All I need is some smallish pots and flowers to put in it.

I have to leave for church soon, so I won't try to put up photos of the sign or the stand. Maybe on the next blog.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Saturday's yard sale loot

Today, Patty and I went out to visit as many yard sales as we could during the morning. We managed to go to five community or church yard sales. These are the best kind, as they will have a variety of people selling a variety of things. "One man's junk is another man's treasure." We started out at 7 AM!!! I usually am up and awake by 7, but not usually dressed, fed and ready to move out. However, it was worth the effort. We had a pretty good day. Some of my finds are pictured here. The two monkeys in the antique child's swing are new. I bought two of these metal birds, which are actually candle holders. However, I like having them in among the potted plants on the deck. I couldn't resist the picture frame because of the birdhouse and flowers on it. Maybe I'll get a photo of my grandkids this summer and put it in there. And then there is this placque with more birdhouses on it. I don't know exactly where I will put it, but probably outside, after I coat it with some sealer.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

two lovely days in a row!

Yesterday was mild and sunny and today looks to be the same, except maybe even warmer. Could it be that spring has arrived? Actually, it came over a month ago, with all the usual ups and downs. Summer will probably hit us with 90s in just a few weeks. So, I'm going to enjoy what we have just now. Yesterday I went for a walk around Lake Elkhorn after my pottery class. I saw the usual collection of turtles balancing on sticks and logs in the lake. Also say a proud couple of Canada Geese with four goslings. The little ones still had their yellow downy feathers, but were swimming life experts. As they came up onto the shore, I walked on, as the parents get a bit feisty when the goslings are young.

I did a bit of shopping on my way home - wood chips from Home Depot (I will spread them out this afternoon) - and some fabric markers and a seam ripper from JoAnn's. I managed to escape with only buying two fat quarters of fabric (greatly reduced). I'm trying to figure out if I need to buy cotton thread for my quilting or if I can continue to use the polyester stuff I already have. One of my books says to use only cotton. Advice from advanced quilters will be welcome.

It was so pleasant yesterday evening that Patty and I went for a walk around the neighborhood. I figure I walked at least 3 miles yesterday. Patty and I have been very negligent with our walking this spring - too much rain - but we are determined to get back into walking for an hour at least three times a week. We NEED that exercise!

Today our volunteer group from the church library is going out to lunch. We do this about twice a year to reward ourselves for all our hard work. Columbia has many good restaurants, although they are hard to find. No signage is allowed on the streets, so you have to know what neighborhood a restaurant (or any business) is in. It's hard on those of us who don't live in Columbia, but I'm at the point now where I know where many of the good ones are.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A reminder

Way back in December, I did a drawing of names for a Pay It Forward giveaway. At that time I asked the winners to send me their mailing addresses, so that I could send them a prize. As far as I can tell, I have never received that information. So, I'm asking Adria, Quiltingnana and Joaniel-Hoffman to send me their post office mailing addresses (again?). My email is
And here are some more photos of my iris. The ones in cream and blue are some of my favorites. I have six different iris blooming today. I think that is all the ones I have out front. I have some in the back yard as well, but it's cooler out there and not as much sun, so they aren't open yet. I hope there are some that are different from the ones in front, but if not, there is always Benke's Nursery! LOL

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mothers' Day!

It's a beautiful sunny day and I have more iris in bloom. I'm up early today, as I woke up at 4:30 and never did really get back to sleep. Early bedtime tonight, I suspect. Yesterday, I worked in the yard. I dug up a bit of grass in front (and inside) my flower bed and thereby added a few inches to the bed. It looks really nice now and the rocks that edge the bed can actually be seen. (I have a low-growing Phlox in that bed and it just keeps growing out over the edging.) Today I have aching muscles, but it's worth it.

Today, I won't be singing in the choir. In honor of Mothers' Day, the men in the choir will be doing the singing. We females get to sit in the pews for a change. On Fathers' Day, we will return the favor. So I have lots of time to play on the computer this AM. It's probably a good thing that I have time, as I'm having trouble uploading photos into this blog. I just tried and the photo just vanished in the ether! This happened to me the other day, as well. Hopefully, I will have better luck with the next one.

Yesterday, I went to the library in Greenbelt because they were having a book sale. When my kids were small, we used that library a lot, but the kids are grown and I've moved, so I seldom get down there. Anyway, I bought a few books, which I really did NOT need. They were cheap, 5 for a dollar, and I will read them and donate most of them to a thrift store. The interesting and for me, frustrating, thing about that book sale is that there were no romance novels! I asked the person taking the money and she told me that early in the morning, someone came in and bought 500 romance paperbacks! Yes, that's right - 500! I'm sure the person has a store or is reselling them on eBay. It was disappointing not to find any new romances, but I also enjoy mysteries and there were plenty of them.

Friday, May 8, 2009

sunshine - at last!

The sun is shining; the skies are blue andthere is only a 30 percent chance of rain later today!! Perhaps this afternoon I can finish planting all those plants I have been buying. I was going to use my string trimmer to 'mow' my lawn today, however, my neighbor's teen age son did it for me last night, with an electric mower. I'll have to bake him some cookies.

Some more pictures - the golden iris that is finally fully open (isn't it gorgeous?) and a nice arrangement in a pot on the deck. The plants in the pot are Aquilegia (Columbine), African Daisy, and Cordyline (Red Star Spike). The Aquilegia will probably stop blooming when the hot summer weather hits, but right now the three plants look just right together.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

First iris this spring

I have a fairly large number of iris in my gardens. (I had many more, but last year I thinned them out and gave them away to anyone who would take some!) As a result, I no longer know what ones I have and where they are planted. I mean, I know they are iris, but I don't know which colors they are. So here's a snapshot of the first one to bloom - a pale blue one. You can also see the orange/brown ones in bud. They will be next to open up, which should happen soon, if we get a warm sunny day. Today is warm, but still rainy. Oh well.

I stopped by my favorite nursery, Benke's, yesterday. That was a costly mistake, of course, as I couldn't resist buying 'just a few' more plants. These are mostly shade plants for the back yard, which is almost all shaded. They won't get planted until the weather turns a bit dryer. Digging in clay soil is hard enough without having to deal with mud as well! You can see the coleus and the Ostrich fern still in their pots. The other little plant on the right is something I've never grown before. It's a Rodgersia and is supposed to be good in deep shade, of which I have lots. Maybe this weekend they all will be in the ground.

Saturday, May 2, 2009


Every once in a while, Patty and I go out on a Saturday and hit all the neighborhood yard sales. And about every 3 months, we spend a Saturday visiting antique stores - not the ones near here, which are very expensive, but ones further out in the countryside. Today we did both in one day! We started out with local yard sales and found a really great one at an elementary school up the road a few miles. We also found a few individual sales in Columbia and Laurel. When we finished, it was not yet noon and we both wanted to do some more shopping, so we decided to head up to Westminster, MD to an antique mall. Also up that way is a nursery that features native and old-fashioned plants. Patty wanted to go there, and I didn't mind, as I also have a fondness for interesting plants. Finding the nursery was quite an experience. We didn't have trouble, exactly, because Patty had brought her GPS and the voice on it (we call her Ethel) gave us very good directions. However, it was an adventure because we drove on ever increasingly narrow roads, which were eventually just one lane. When a car approached us, one of us backed up until we could pull over and let the other pass. We crossed the same railroad track three times within a quarter mile and were beginning to think we would end up in someone's farm. And we did - Cedar Creek Farm is the name of the nursery! LOL They had wonderful plants and we both found some special ones to take home. (I'll try to take photos of the plants at a later date.)

After the plant purchasing, we had lunch at an Applebee's and proceeded to the Westminster Antique Mall. There we found a "few" more treasures. Pictures of my loot from the yard sales and the antique place are below. It was a day full of fun for both of us and will satisfy my urge for bargains for some time to come (I hope!).

Here is the fabric I bought at the yard sale. I got all this for only $9! Quite a bargain!

Below are the birdhouses I found at the yard sales. I love the one in the middle - very chic!

This last picture has items from both yard sales and antique stores. The little, odd looking animals are made from metal bells. I'm thinking they will be Christmas ornaments for Kate and the grandkids. The Charles Chips can is a very small reproduction of the original cans. (I have a couple of the originals in my cupboards.) I am especially pleased with the glass horse (on the right, but hard to see). Glass animals, except for swans, are unusual. Anyway, that's the loot.