Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Now that Thanksgiving is over......Christmas is coming!

I shared Thanksgiving dinner with Patty and her mother.  It was at my house this year, so I actually had to dust and vacuum last week.  I have to clean again soon, as I have been taking down the fall decorations and putting up the Christmas ones, which means my floors are littered with dust, bits of artificial wreaths, flakes of tinsel and an occasional spider that rode up from the basement storage room with the ornaments!  We had fun on Thanksgiving, playing silly card games.  Of course, we ate too much and had lots of leftovers.  This year both Patty and I cooked turkeys, so there were plenty of leftovers.  Last year we did a 20 pound turkey and it took all day to cook.  Two small ones work better and allow us to have two different stuffings. 

I did get some decorations up, outside - colored lights draped over a bush near my front door and lots of artificial poinsettias edging the flower beds.  My immediate neighbor has outdone me by far this year.  She has three little spiral trees made of white lights as well as candy canes.  And Patty, down the other direction, has candy canes and poinsettias around the flower beds, as well as lights around her windows.  We really like to decorate for the holidays in our block.

This is a very busy week for me.  We have two daytime chorus rehearsals and I worked half a day in the gift shop.  Tomorrow is a afternoon lunch party for the volunteers at the hospital.  Thursday is a pottery sale at the senior center.  I doubt if I'll sell much, but I'm giving it a try. . Church choir rehearsal is Thursday night and Friday I have a doctor's appointment and lunch with friends.  The doctor appointment is rather amusing.  I called and asked them to write me a prescription for shingles vaccine, since my insurance will pay for the shot.  The doctor said that I had 'unfinished business' to take care of and have to make an appointment to come in before they will write the prescription.  I know what it's all about.  When I had my physical exam, months ago, one of the items was a request for me to come in to talk about my osteopenia (can't spell that work).  I never went in because I haven't decided what I want to do about it.  I guess now I will have to make up my mind.  I went online tonight and read all about the IV treatment that is only once a year or the shot that you get every 3 months.  Reading about all the possible side effects does NOT make me want to do either! 

I've been falling asleep every evening in my recliner and after napping for a couple of hours, having trouble falling asleep in my bed later.  So, I'm trying to develop a different habit.  Instead of reading all evening, I'm going on the computer for an hour or two.  At least when I"m typing I don't fall asleep, but as I get tired, I make a lot of typos. Hopefully, I have managed to catch and correct them all.

Here are some photos of the indoor decorations.
They are a bit dark, but if you click to enlarge them, they lighten up a bit.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Indian Summer

Yesterday was a real Indian Summer day.  (A really warm day that comes after several killing frosts.)  It was shirt-sleeve weather - sunny and mild.  I did some more clean up work involving the pots on the deck and sweeping dirt and leaves off the deck.  In the late afternoon, I stepped out front and saw a gorgeous sunset.  What a lovely day all around.  As we watched the sun set, I chatted with my neighbor, Patty.  We hadn't spent much time chatting lately, so it was nice to get caught up.  We usually do Thanksgiving together (and with her mother), so we started planning for that.  It will probably be at my house this year.  This is good, as it means that I will have an incentive to clean the house!  I am a lazy housekeeper and need an extra push to do anything other than straighten things up.  Last year we cooked a huge turkey (all of us want leftovers) and had trouble getting it done.  This year we will each do a smaller one.  This way, we can each do our own version of stuffing and no one will have to start cooking the turkeys at some horrible hour of the morning!  We'll decide who brings what in the way of side dishes and desserts.  I enjoy having friends to share the Holiday with.  My relatives live too far away for a family get-together to be practical. 

I will be seeing my brothers and sisters-in-law this coming weekend and also one of my nieces.  One couple is driving down to Florida and will stop for a short visit with the other couple.  I will drive over to see them.  We do this pretty much every year.  I really enjoy being with both my brothers at the same time.  And this year, my niece Terry's presence is a real bonus.

Today the Tuesday ceramics class had our fall pot-luck luncheon.  It was the last day of class this year.  As usual there was more food than we could eat.  This is a tradition with this class - one I truly enjoy.  I've only been in the class for a few years, but some members have been there for perhaps 20 years.  Playing with clay is addictive for some of us.  I brought home some finished products today.  A couple of these had been sitting on a high shelf in the kiln room for so long that I had forgotten about them. 

                                                                     Look carefully at this mug.  It has a smiling face on one side and  a scowling face on the other.  I call it "With Coffee" and "Without Coffee".

Friday, November 11, 2011

a foggy day; a lovely week

 My Japanese maple which has green, red and white leaves has turned a gorgeous red/orange this fall.  Here's a photo of it.  It was foggy the other day, so I took a photo of the trees out in back too.  See it below.  That one red tree sure stands out!

Now, what have I been doing this week?  Well, Tuesday I packed a lunch and stopped at Lake Elkhorn on my way home from pottery.  After lunch, I walked around the lake.  I saw 21 turtles sunning themselves on logs in the water!  They were all on one side of the lake - the sunny side.  Perhaps later in the day, they swim over to the other side.  I never walk in the late afternoon, so I don't know where they are then.  It was a lovely day for a walk - didn't even need my jacket.

Wednesday, the singers at the Bain Center were taped for a TV airing.  We practiced out Christmas music while the camera was running.  I won't get to see the video, unless it gets posted on Facebook, because I don't have cable TV.  Actually, my TV doesn't work at all, because it has no way to connect to the outside world.  That's fine with me, most of the time.  Anyway, we had to wear out concert clothes - the good old black and white - for the rehearsal and taping.  I like the Christmas music we are doing.  It's a bit harder than the songs we sang for the last concert.  The conductor told me not to hold out the long notes to their full length.  She said that I was doing it correctly, but since no one else in the soprano section was doing it, I stood out too much.  It was quite amusing, actually, but I
understood why she said it.  The group is mostly people who just like to sing.  A few are really good.  The group does a good job, although not as good as the church choir I sing with.  The music is fun and not too hard.  So I just relax and enjoy singing.

Thursday I volunteered at the hospital gift shop, as usual.  It was chilly and damp outside, so a good day to stay in.  The book sale is going well. (All our books are donations.)  I've reduced the prices on about half of our books to 3/$1.  We have way too many books, so I'm hoping to reduce our inventory.  The sale will run for another week or so.  Books that don't sell will probably be donated to a local charity shop.  These days, I'm rather heavily involved with the gift shop, being responsible for the books as well as the jewelry.   The manager and I went jewelry buying a couple of weeks ago.  I'm putting a few things out each week and will get all the new stuff out after Thanksgiving.  Our Christmas items go out then as well. 

Today I'll be lunching with long-time friends.  Tonight, I'm going to a Christmas sale at one of the local churches.  They always do an interesting sale.  Tomorrow there is another Christmas sale at a different church, plus something going on in Savage, which is just across the river from here.  I could walk there if I was energetic.  So this weekend will be a 'shopping for Christmas' one.  I probably won't buy much, as I already have far too much stuff for decorating the house.  Still, it's fun to go and browse.

Monday, November 7, 2011

a golden fall

 Here are two photos of what I see when I look out my back door.  The colors are brighter than they appear in these photos.  These leaves are mostly golden now.  When the sun hits them, its a lovely sight.  One tree has already lost its leaves.  I think it was the very early red one. 
 I love this time of year, especially when we have sunshine and cool temperatures.  Still need to get the pots on the deck winterized.  Many contain plants that died in the recent frosty nights.  I have a few bushes and one tree in pots and those I will wrap and move near the house, hoping that will keep them from freezing come winter.  That's pretty much all the fall work I have to do.  Later, there will be leaves to rake, of course, but not that many, as most of the trees are in the back.

Looking at my calendar for November, I see that I have something going on every Tuesday- Saturday for the next couple of weeks.  Fall is a busy time for me this year.  Luckily most of these items are fun things.  This AM I'm going over to the hospital gift shop to get set up for a paperback book sale.  We sell donated books and recently sales have been down and donations up.  I am overwhelmed by paperbacks.  No place to keep them.  So a sale is in the works - 3/$100.  I hope that will get rid of many books.  If not, I will donate some to a local thrift store. 

I went to a craft show on Saturday.  Rather disappointing.  They had many vendors, but at least a third of them were selling jewelry.  Prices varied, but most were very reasonable.  However, I would have like to have seem more variety in the crafters.  I was hoping for some nice hand-made pottery, but none was there.  Yeah, that's right, I make pottery myself.  However, I love to see what others make.  On Dec. 1, a class I'm in will be selling our pottery at the local senior center.  Maybe I'll have better luck selling there than I did down in southern Maryland.  However, there are some excellent potters in this class, so the competition will be fierce!