Monday, November 30, 2009
Meanwhile, I need to finish decorating inside with some swags and poinsettias (fake) on top of the kitchen cabinets. At the moment, I have piles of different colored poinsettias on my living room floor. I will put some in the pots on the front steps and others along the edge of the flower bed. They are going to look a little odd with the stupid iris which is still blooming, but I'm not going to keep them in the living room until the iris finishes blooming. It's not my idea for the dumb plant to bloom this late in the year!
I have 'to do' lists spread across the dining table. Hopefully, I will get all the items done in a timely manner. I have managed to cross off a few but there are still many more to accomplish. Tomorrow, I need to mail presents to Steve and Christine and maybe even get some Christmas cards in the mail. I composed the first draft of the annual Christmas letter last night. I haven't looked at it today, but when I do, there will no doubt be changes. I'm finding it's hard to remember important events throughout the year. I had to check my calendar to see what I have been doing all year. Maybe I should go back and read my blogs! If all my friends and family were into blogging, then I could be like Kate and just post my Christmas letter online. However, many of my friends do not even use email - horrors! I would stay more in touch with them, if they did. Anyway, I will still send cards and a Christmas letter out this year. If you are a blogging friend, you may not get a card, as I may not have your address. You'll just have to imagine a nice card. Or maybe I'll take a Christmas photo and post it! Wait and see.
Saturday, November 28, 2009
windows. As you can see, I display only RED glass out at Christmas. It looks great in the AM with the sun shining through. There are various ornaments hanging on the racks as well. Oh yes, and a few plants!
The sun was shining in the window over the door and caused a reflection on the left side of one photo. The glare covers up Father Christmas' head. The other photo shows a Christmas lighthouse I bought at a yard sale a while back. I think I need to put a red cloth napkin on the table for a more Christmassy look. I forgot to take a photo of Eve (the bust by the door). She is wearing a Santa hat now. She changes hats with the seasons.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
My new refrigerator arrived yesterday at 9 AM. I was ready for it, having put all the food into coolers. No problems with getting the old one out and the new one in. It fits into the space with a couple of inches to spare. It really is larger than my old one, which is nice. However, the real improvement is that the shelves in the door are adjustable. I have much more convenient storage for all those bottles of salad dressing, condiments and sauces. The only thing I don't like is that the cheese/meat drawer is on the door hinge side. Because the door opens against the wall, I cannot move the door far enough back to remove that drawer. I can reach everything in the drawer, but cannot actually take it out. Can't get that shelf out either, I think. This may be inconvenient, but of course, I can pull the fridge out from its space if I have to remove the shelf. I think I can get used to the configuration. Inside it looks really empty. I wish the freezer were bigger and the fridge part smaller, but this one had the biggest freezer space of any that would fit. I do like it MUCH better than what I had.
I am posting photos of the new refrigerator - before and after I put the magnets back on. Also photos of my powder room - finally finished - including some of my masks on the walls. I think it's cool that the snakes on the Medusa mask are the same color as the wall. It wasn't planned, but there it is.
After I reloaded the fridge, I had to vacuum the floors to get up bits of grass and such. (I had been waiting to clean until after the delivery.) Then I decided to mop the kitchen floor. It really needed it. That involved moving chairs out, and some scrubbing on hands and knees. By the time I finished all that I was tired, so pie making was postponed until today. Still, I feel I accomplished a good deal.
Jill (the visiting cat) arrived mid-morning. I don't have a photo of Jill - she's rather camera shy - but just think BLACK all over. She settled into the upstairs guest room, hiding under the bed. In the evening, I managed to get her out to give her the evening pill. She was pretty good about that - didn't scratch or bite. My cats were never that polite. They hated pills and would spit them back out. They also put up quite a struggle. This cat, by comparison, is a joy to medicate! I figured I would not see Jill until this morning when I have to give her another pill. However, she came creeping downstairs about 9 PM. She carefully explored the entire living room, but never got as far as the dining room/kitchen. She checked under the couch, under a chair and hopped up on another chair - 'though not the one I was sitting on. Finally she went back upstairs. The next time I heard from her was at 4 AM, when I happened to be awake and heard odd noises in the hall outside my bedroom. Looking at the crack under my door, I saw a shadow moving along and realized that she was pushing on the door, trying to open it. At her home, Jill sleeps with Lynne and I guess she wanted to sleep with me. Sorry, Jill. I have not slept with any of my pets since I was a teenager. At that time, I had a Boston Terrier who slept on my bed. One night I dreamed that a boy was French kissing me. It was a nice dream, but I awoke to find the dog licking my mouth!! Yuck! That was the last time I let a pet into my bed!
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
In addition to that delivery, I am also receiving a 'temporary cat' a bit later this AM. My friend Lynne is going away for Thanksgiving and cannot take her cat with her. So, Jill is coming to stay at my house. Jill used to be a friendly cat, but she's had some traumatic experiences in recent years, so she is rather shy now. I have to give her pills two times a day, which makes me very nervous, but hopefully, it will go smoothly. She is used to taking the pills and evidently is not like the cats I used to have. They always spit the pills back out and one of them would claw me if he got a chance while I was trying to get that pill down his throat. I would wear heavy jeans, a coat and gloves when medicating him!! I have hopes that all will go smoothly with Jill. She will sleep in the guest room, use the guest bathroom and eat in the upstairs hall, so if she hates me, she won't have to see me at all, except when I give her the pills. I hope, however, that she will let me brush her and play with her. We'll see. She will be staying until sometime on Friday. No doubt we'll both survive.
Today, I plan to bake pies for Thanksgiving. The house will smell wonderful, full of pumpkin, apples and spice. Mmmm. I doubt if I'll be able to resist sampling.
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Since I had the rest of the day free, I decided to try once more to fix the uneven painted edges between floor molding and wall in the powder room. This time I used painter's tape to cover the wall and repainted the upper edge of the molding. It worked, more or less. I did a bit more touch-up with a tiny brush and decided it was 'good enough'. If one gets down on the floor, the mistakes are obvious, but why would anyone get down on the floor in the powder room? (I do that, but only when I'm cleaning). I still need to do some touch ups on the ceiling where I got the wall paint (green) on the white, but that should be a simple process. (Hopefully, those are not 'famous last words'.) I've been thinking about what to hang on the walls for decoration. God forbid that I should leave any walls of my house just bare! I think I may put some of my ceramic masks in there. I've run out of room for any more masks in the living room. I really need to sell/give away some of them, since I keep on making them.
I can't think of much else that I did yesterday, although the afternoon went by rapidly. Oh yes, I finally got the pictures in the upstairs hall arranged in a way that pleases me. Only put a few more holes in the walls!! LOL My first husband used to say that by the time we moved from our first house, the plaster board would look like pegboard! He wasn't right about many things, but he was fairly accurate about that. I learned years ago how to use spackling compound.
Andy (my second husband) called and we talked for almost an hour - 'on his dime'. (That's another outdated saying, leftover from the days when public phone calls cost a dime. How times have changed!) Andy's birthday is on Thanksgiving this year. He's younger than I, but I think he will quality for Medicare and Social Security now. I know he is looking forward to that. If it weren't for those government programs, what would we have to look forward to as we grow old? LOL
Today is my daughter Kate's birthday. I won't say how old she is, although she is still young enough to not worry about age. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, sweetie. Love, Mom.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
I have to head out now for aerobics. I am rather sore from Monday's class, but still game to continue. I know it will get better as my unused muscles get accustomed to being stretched.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Friday, November 13, 2009
On my way home, yesterday, I stopped in to visit long-time friends who live near Front Royal. I went out to lunch with them and a group of their friends. We had a good meal in an old hotel that has been recently renovated. A beautiful place with wonderful chandeliers and marble floors. I had a chance to chat with my friends briefly before and after lunch, then left to head home. I used the scenic route, which is about half an hour longer, but has little traffic. I was lucky and hit no rain at all on the drive. Only had the last hour to drive in the dark. Despite an easy trip, I was too tired to go to choir a half hour after I got home. It was good to sleep in my own bed last night. I find that it's always hard to sleep in other beds. When I visit Kate and family, I stay long enough to get used to the bed, but that doesn't work on short trips. The pull-out bed at Jack's is very comfortable, actually, but I still woke up earlier than I wanted to. My brothers are early risers and so am I, but I usually don't get up at 6 AM!
Today, I will eat lunch out again, with my usual group of Friday lunch friends. After all the eating out and the big dinners I've eaten the past few days, I probably gained a couple of pounds. (I don't think I will get on the scales. I'd rather NOT know!) It's a good thing I am starting that aerobics class next week!
Monday, November 9, 2009
This week got a bit busy toward the end of the week. It was fun stuff, but I find that when I add too much to my regular routine I begin to feel pressured and a bit off-kilter. I guess I'm a creature of habit these days. Friday night, I went to an art exhibit at Montpelier. This was a juried exhibit of 'paper' art. Obviously, that allows a variety of pieces to be hung. My friend, Lynne had entered a piece, so several of us went to see it. There was a very interesting variety of items, from a paper lamp which actually lit up, to long narrow streamers of paper with words on them. My favorite was a framed piece made up of paper tiles, each a different color with a simple line drawing done in some kind of thick paint (or glue). This piece was very straight forward, but each tile was unique. I think I particularly liked it because it looked like ceramics. I can imagine doing something like that, using clay tiles.
Saturday, I explored a different medium. I went to a class in 'collage'. It turned out to be not too different from what I did when I made the art quilts for the swap this past summer. Basically, I glued fabric and paper to a board (no stitching involved). I used acrylics to paint a background, although I could have used paper for that, as well. Then I glued on some little buttons shaped like leaves and one that is a dragon fly. (If I had been making a quilt, of course, I would have sewn those on.) The picture is of a bare tree branch with a few leaves falling, many leaves on the ground and a cat looking at the dragonfly. I plan to add a squirrel on the branch. The piece needs a bit of tweaking and matting and framing, so I won't show a photo of it yet. I'm thinking of making a fabric mat and frame, rather than paying someone to frame it. It was fun to make this piece of art, but I probably won't go to another class. I understand the process better now and can play around on my own.
When I thought of doing more collages, I realized that I didn't have a good place to work at home (the dining table has been my only working surface). So, yesterday afternoon, I decided to rearrange the spare bedroom. It has always been my sewing room, but now I wanted to make it a craft room as well. First, I moved the dresser out into the hall (I have a large square hall at the top of the stairs). This will actually be more convenient for me, as the dresser is full of my clothes! (Yeah I know, I have too many clothes). Then I rearranged the desk and table in the room so that there is more space for projects. Now, I can use the table for either cutting fabric or working on paper projects. Of course, when I moved furniture around, I then had to move the many pictures (mostly family) and mirrors that were on the furniture or on the walls. I'm still tinkering with picture arrangements.
The other thing I accomplished over the weekend was to do some more trimming and bagging stuff in the back yard. I have another bag filled and a good start on a third. We've now had a killing frost, so I have even more things to cut off. There is a lot of work involved in getting flower beds ready for winter. I probably should mulch, but the plants grow so close together that it's hard to fit any mulch in. The hardest part physically will be when I move the pots off the deck. I put the potted perennials that I hope to 'winter over' down under the deck, up against the house. This protects them somewhat from the cold. Seems to work pretty well. The ones that are too heavy for me to carry down the stairs, I leave on the deck, but put up against the house, so they will be sheltered. All the empty pots that held annuals also go down below, because I like to clear the deck off for the winter. All that is a lot of work and will leave me with a sore back. Maybe I'll get to it next weekend......or maybe the week after that. Luckily, fall lasts a long time, so perhaps I will actually get all this done before winter sets in.
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
At noon, after ceramics, I walked around Lake Elkhorn before I went home. It was sunny and cool. A lovely day for a walk. I saw 13 turtles, one heron and a cormorant! I thought they only lived in the tropics, but there he was, standing on the end of a log. Made my day. I felt very energetic when I got home so I
decided to tackle the back yard.
I have already blogged about the gourd vine that grew and grew and came up my steps and also went over the fence. Also in the back yard, there was a bit of Virginia Creeper (5-leafed ivy) wandering around on the tree top. The morning glories that did so poorly a year ago, took off this year. They sprouted and grew everywhere! They joined the gourd vine in climbing up the steps, but not content with that, they also climbed to the top of the fence and attached themselves to any plant or bush they could reach. I do not have all of them pulled down, but have made a start. They are fairly easy to pull off, although they do twist around everything.
The worst vine when it comes to getting it down, is the wild grapevine. It is rooted between my fence and the neighbors', so it is impossible to dig it up. This spring, I neglected to cut it off at the base, as I have done previously. Big mistake! That darn vine went up and throughout the forsythia, the beauty bush, and up to the top of the evergreen (about 15 feet tall)! I now understand how Tarzan could use grape vines to swing from tree to tree. It easily held my weight. That darn vine was almost impossible to get off the tree. The lower parts of the vine are as big around as my little finger. I basically, grabbed a piece of vine and pulled and pulled and pulled until it came down! Then chose another piece and repeated the pulling. I actually could let the vine lift me off my feat. On the forsythia and beauty bush I had to cut most of it off, but on the evergreen, I just yanked on it until it came down. (Yesterday evening, my shoulders were really sore - still are today.)
I filled one yard bag with the vines and some forsythia branches, but have enough clippings to fill another. I also pulled up some wild flowers that are too aggressive for my small space - mostly golden rod. Once I get the clippings bagged, the back yard will look much better. I need to trim the beauty bush and the forsythia, but that will have to wait. The beauty bush has lovely purple berries on it now, so I will wait until winter to cut it back. I will cut the forsythia down to the ground in the spring, after it blooms. I've done this before and it comes back to full size within one season. I think it is impossible to kill forsythia. It should never be planted in a small yard!
I am changing my schedule starting mid-month. I have decided not to continue yoga, but instead to sign up for an aerobics class that meets AMs Mon, Wed, and Fri. This will require me to get out of the house around 8:30, rather than sitting at home, leisurely reading the paper and sipping my tea. I'll miss those slow mornings, but I think it will be good for me to get out and exercise. The class is geared for seniors, and is subsidized, so it's affordable. Also, I think it may be easier than the aerobics I used to do when I was much younger. I'm looking forward to this class.
Monday, November 2, 2009
Sunday, November 1, 2009
I spent most of the day at the craft center, doing Raku firing and eating! Whenever we do a firing, we have an all-day pot luck. I ate lunch and dinner there. One of the gals cooked spare ribs and steak - yum! I took deviled eggs that everybody seemed to like. None left to bring back home. I have four masks and a pot/vase that fired successfully. No photos to post yet. Next blog will have them.