Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Monday, July 13, 2009
Our weekend; The Story. I have a peridontist appointment about every three months, in a town about 2 + hours from where we live. So we have turned it into a weekend getaway, and a visit with my mother who lives in a nearby town to the town where my peridontist is located.
Had my peridontist appt Friday and the report was good - some small improvement actually. Not much improvement, but far better than deterioration. Then we went to my mother's home, spent the weekend. and then came home to our animals. Our cat and dog remain at home, and so our time away is limited to a safe duration for the cat and dog to fend for themselves. Now that my cat bite is healing and the cat is healing, life is returning to normal. (A couple weeks earlier the cat was bitten by an animal, and in not knowing she was bitten, I picked her up, more rather tugged her out of her hiding place and she bit me…not at all her usual behavior, she is a very loving cat. We didn’t see her wound at the time, but knew something was wrong with her. Arthur spotted her wound, and we took her to the vet, who gave her a vaccine, and told me was more concerned that I get myself to hospital to treat the cat bite. I did, was vaccinated and given antibiotics, the incident reported to County Health, the cat quarantined at our home for 10 days and we are both mending without incident, the primary concern being exposure to rabies). When we returned home, our dog Jake resumed eating again. He misses us when we are gone and gets sad - depressed. Dogs have feelings. Oh, and our cat too, she has feelings, misses us and glad when we return home.
After my peridontist visit on Friday afternoon we drove to my mother’s home, picked her up and went out to eat. We live in a rural town, and there aren’t a lot of restaurants or places to eat, so we enjoy the opportunity of eating out at different restaurants on the days of my peridontist appointments. It’s an eating out together date we look relish. Choosing a restaurant in the town where my mother lives proved not to be as obvious as it might seem. We kind of scoured what we knew to be restaurants in her neighborhood, opted to go further away, settled on Black Angus, since I was hankering for a nice steak lunch. We got there and it no longer has lunch, open for dinner only. Must be the economy. The hour was growing late into the afternoon, I was hungry now, and we had not eaten breakfast that day, or at all, so we wound up at (oh yuck!) Old Country Buffet. Arthur likes the many choices of buffet restaurants, and sometimes so do I, but Old Country Buffet is not one of my favorites. We both really enjoy the buffet variety of primarily healthy choices at Sweet Tomatoes restaurant, but there were none the town where my Mom lives.
Saturday Arthur spent the day home, defrosted Mom’s freezer for her because it had become so full of ice that the ice on all the shelves were touching each other, no room for food. He took care of some other taskings for her, then spent the rest of the day fooling around with installing stuff in his old fashioned computer. Not the laptop kind, the big bulky kind. Some guy he knows had given him some Linus software to download or told him about it. Anyway, it was a dead computer (not working) and when Arthur finished the download it sprung back to life, installed Windows XP and is sort of functional again. He was delighted. Still needs an audio driver and something else that would permit it to link to internet. He was just intrigued that it started working again...kind of like a guy tinkering in his garage with his power tools, only Arthur likes to tinker with puter.
Saturday I took Mom to Farmers Market in Proctor area of Tacoma. That is a district that more resembles Portland or some Seattle districts; organic, green living, conscientious choices - that sort of thing, and an amazingly cool, fun grocery store with very upscale item choices. For a mere $309.00 you can purchase a wheel of gourmet cheese! An experience in itself. (I’m being a bit snarky – it would be very unlikely we would ever spend that kind of money on cheese.) We visited a new consignment shop in her immediate neighborhood – delightful items, colorful, fun, upbeat, cheerful. I liked it. But I didn’t buy anything, because in truth, neither of us need another thing!
And more for the hunt of treasure than because either of us need anything more in our homes, we went to a few garage sales. What was being offered wasn’t the kind of garage sales we were looking for - more like junk sales. We had fun anyway because we toured many of the University Place neighborhoods, the million + $$ homes with breathtaking views of the Narrows water, Narrows Bridge, the outlying island. And alongside the million + $$ homes, are more modest ranch style homes. You can be on a ‘house of dreams’ street and turn to go down the the next street which could well be a quiet and modest street of different ranch style homes. University Place neighborhoods are in interesting mix of income levels. After our tour of neighborhoods, I took her to visit Charlie at cemetary where his ashes are placed. It is a beautiful, peaceful cemetary, a place of quiet serenity amidst the hubbub of getting from here to there. Nice place to quietly reflect on life. I know, it may sound like a strange juxtaposition to reflect on life when at a cemetary where the dead are buried…..but that is how it works for me.
We went back to Proctor district that evening to have dinner at a niche Mexican restaurant (not a restaurant chain) because Mom said she heard good things about the food and atmosphere there. Lively atmosphere with mix of old and young people dining. I had a Taste Assault dish called Chicken Mole, although it would be better named Chicken in Mole (prounounced molay) Sauce, because the sauce was Outrageous - 6 ingredients, and I can remember plums, almonds, mole (an unsweetened chocolate), and some other ingredients. It wakes up your taste buds like wowza! Not hot or even spicy, flavorful would be the word I would use to describe it. Flavorful with each bite. Arthur took a menu and will experiment at home with making the mole sauce because I liked it so well.
Sunday we took Mom to her church (St Andrews Episcopal Church). A bit of history here; my mom lost half her sightedness recently and is vision impaired now. Mom had been saying she felt she needed something inspirational amidst all the doctor appointments and bad news. Along the way, I decided to call the Priest at St Andrews to talk to him about Mom. When she was a child, she attended Episcopal church in Spokane. I explained to him her childhood church exposure, and her current medical condition with being sight impaired, being told by her doctors not to drive anymore. He agreed to visit Mom immediately and arranged for someone to pick her up and take her to church on Sundays.
She has been to St Andrews now, a few times, and wanted us to visit her church. We wanted to visit it also, as I enjoyed the upbeat conversation with the Priest - he was energetically young, even though he isn't young. That Sunday they had special guests, a singing group who livened up the entire worship service with renditions of the hymns done to foot tapping music. Guitars, tambourines, horns, and one of the gals playing guitar was barefoot! Felt like we were at a campfire gathering! Geesh! But the worship service having a combination of traditional liturgy, the laying on of hands for healing, the Eucharist, and the lively music with a welcome invitation to all does reflect ‘The Emerging Church’.
We loved the church, it had accommodations our little church building isn’t equipped to have, and if we lived in that area, we would likely attend that church. Afterwards we ate at a restaurant in her immediate neighborhood that she is fond of - an old fashioned restaurant left over from approximately the 1950’s era. So lots of eating this weekend, way too many calories, and Mom had a nice weekend. So did we.
Oh and at the Farmer's Market I bought some snow peas that were priced below what is usually charged for snow peas, so I bought enough to freeze. Bought a couple of tomato plants already bearing tomatoes, and a basil plant. I didn’t plant a vegetable garden this year, and haven’t spent much time outside with the herb and flower gardens, so keeping it light this year. Weather hasn’t been too cooperative where we live – cold, rainy, then unseasonably blistering hot, then cold again. At the market, I found a growing salad bowl planter that I wanted and Mom bought it for me for my birthday gift. The planter has growing lettuce, tomatoes, cilantro plants - salad ingredients, and that is the extent of my vegetable garden this year. Except all the herbs I have been growing for a few years now.
And I was delighted to learn about a lovely tasty sauce called Chimichurri? Oh, I tasted some at the market, and just had to buy one - lime Chimichurri. Great to use as braising sauce for grilled vegetables, on meats, or just straight on healthy chips or fresh veggies. Taste delight!
It was a rather sweet weekend. Last year around this time, we had visited Mom and she and I went to Lavender Festival on Vashon Island, ferry ride over and back, a beautiful, clear, sunny day, making the waters deep blue and picturesque. There was a Farmer’s Market there too, and we visited that Farmer’s Market
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
rating: 4 of 5 stars
From the point of view of someone who grew up in Europe, it was more intriguing to read not only the how it was done, but the perspective from a child growing up, seeing the results of how it was done.
View all my reviews.
rating: 3 of 5 stars
Actually it was quite comprehensive and regionally specific.
View all my reviews.
Monday, May 25, 2009
Here is one of the oil paintings, and you can see the paint is so much more vivid.
Three acrylics, and I really do not have the 'art' of photographing my paintings, so pardon my amateurish photography. Early efforts with acrylics;
Holidays are over and the 'Company's Coming' size dining room table not needed now, so shortened it and added lighter table dressing for that fresher summer look.
I think I got some pretty good thrift deals on these plates.
-- a dozen Anchor Hocking Peach Lustre plates. While I'm not collecting these, I see the peach lustre pieces everywhere I find a collectible shop. This time, the price was just too good for me to pass up. I don't need more dishes, but hey, this is how collections get started, eh?
-- seven Homer Laughlin plates - rose edge design. This was at an estate sale, owner passed, and I am told these were her favorite dishes. They show years of use, wear and tear. But I am a nostalgia, vintage buff, and again price was too good to pass up...but I don't need dishes!!
In my painting/sewing room, the upstairs cupola, I used the handkerchiefs to create a window treatment. The view outside to peek views I have from the cuploa of Willapa Bay will inspire the paintings, while the breeze will softly blow the handkerchiefs, creating a lazy, billowy effect.
The back door, which leads out to a not so nice mud room, is an old fashioned French Door set up, that leaves a few things to be desired. For Summer look, I want to add handkerchief curtains. Can seam sew the handkerchiefs together, or hand sew the corners together, adding columns and rows of handkerchiefs. Can pin them together, ie safety pins. Can add lengths of string and clip on with cafe curtain clips, clothespins. Lots of different approaches. Right now I'm hand sewing the corners together and have one column on each window. Will add additional columns to fill the window spaces, depending on how many handkerchiefs I have available to use.
Fun video, College baseball, players from UConn and USF, filled in some of the time during a 5 hour rain delay with a Dance off Thursday, May 21, 2009. Enjoy and wow do I envy their ‘young’ energy!
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Daughter and son-in-law had flowers sent to my house; meant to arrive Easter weekend. Since we live as far away as we do from urban centers, it takes UPS a bit longer to deliver, so the flowers arrived a couple days later than they planned, but the flowers did arrive.
Came in a florist box that looked like long stemmed roses might be inside. Opened the box to find fresh spring flowers, a hefty square glass vase and florist preservative packet, along with a happy greeting card from my daughter and son-in-law.
I learned later in talking to my daughter that she had chosen another arrangement, but where we are located there are no florists in close by vicinity that could accommodate the choice she made. I am happy with what was sent – fresh spring flowers that are still looking fresh a week later. Picture below.
After a too long time away from my paints, brushes, and the messy operation that is oil painting, yesterday I completed two paintings! The paintings I've accomplished grow fewer and fewer over the years since 2006. Lots of reasons why, but I hope this change in momentum means 'I'm Back'!
I sought out the old painting clothes and found I've outgrown them (that means I weigh more now than I did when last I wore them). Time to set aside another set of painting attire, in larger size.
Painted this scene in 16 x 20 size. And then painted the scene again in 11 x 14 size, although it has variables from the larger size, making both 'originals'.
I took photo of the larger size and the paint is still Wet!
The house just doesn't have much accommodation room for paintings to dry. There is the cat who can jump up anywhere, so the paintings need to be in a room with a door that closes. And as I looked around the house, I see we don't have many 'roooms' that have doors that close. Then there is the odor of oil painting that can permeate the air. If I'm going to paint frequently, I need to figure out the logistics for these challenges.
So we put the Wet Painting on top of a wardrobe (a place the cat has not yet figured out how to climb) and I snapped a few photos ... not very good photos due to the angle of looking up at the painting, and the paint is still ..... well Wet!
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Odd coincidence or serendipity because I have a grandson (9 yrs old), nickname 'Drew' who plays basketball, x-box, football and is also fascinated with Grandma (me) teaching him to crochet. He is determined to learn and gives it a serious effort. I told him about how cool it is that The Crochet Dude has such fun patterns. The very next day we went to my granddaughter's high school art show and sitting there crocheting some fantastic hats and scarves was ---- wait for it --- a guy. Now if that is reassuring and inspiring for my grandson to know guys out there DO crochet. It will spur him on in his own efforts to learn to crochet - not like Grandma, but like 'the dudes'!
I adapted the many patterns I found on blogs, to make some simple channel pockets for the interior of the purse.
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Love the finished purse with it's ruffled top. I played around with making several layers of ruffles because I so liked the look of the first one I finished.
And for a dual-colored purse, it was fun to put colors together and see the results. This is one of several I worked up using different color for outside and inside. Above is the black outside of the purse closed up. Below is the purse opened to reveal a contrasting color of orange inside pockets.
Monday, April 6, 2009
I had some nice gray linen placemats with matching napkins, and following many photos on the blogs, I made this purse.