Saturday, May 31, 2008

Illustration Friday - Baby

"The Baby Bubbles were mostly pink, and often just floated thru the air"

Got some new Derwent Ink-pencils - I'm liking them so far, this is my first try with them.  Nice intense color.  

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Just the way it is - random

Do you have those weeks where it seems that you wake up on Monday, and then suddenly it's Thursday night and you wonder where the week went?  What did I do this week?  I know that I did some gardening, and went to work but it is mostly a blur and I hope to slow down tomorrow to be able to enjoy the weekend.  But really, this weekend to weekend thing is for the birds.  I may take Friday's off this summer (I say that most summers, but this one might actually work)and get all my chores done so that the whole weekend is free, free, free. 
I'm reading a book called "Eat, Pray, Love".  I'm in the middle of "Pray".  I can already see quoting from this book which is not something that I often do.    The reviews are totally mixed, calling it a "heavyweight" book and a "self absorbed wallow".  So far I'm liking it,  we'll see how it goes.  I also just finished a great book called "Sermons in Stone"  - interesting to a New Englander.  
Some recent pictures from my garden, a jack in the pulpit, one of the remaining rhododendrons,  and trillium.  Again, a real new England garden. ( and the rest of the Rhody's are in the stomach of all the deer who ate them this past winter)

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

HAW to you all - I can't believe it's Wednesday

I love Monday Holidays but then am off by a day the rest of the week. It just struck me that it's Wednesday - just this minute!

Here is a picture of my best-pup-in-the-world - Samson Mr. Easy, with his litter mates. Picture taken in 1988, it was the most fun in the world going and picking out a pup from a litter of labradors. All those little black pups, jumping and running all over the place. I grinned for weeks.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Sunday Night

Sunday AM

I'm supposed to be getting ready to go up to Portsmouth to go kayaking but wanted a few minutes with my quilts. So I took pictures and figured - ah what the heck - I'll post the pictures ---quickly!!!
I finished the commissioned Monkey quilt and I think she will like it - it's cute and colorful and I like the binding now - orange is a great color.  But only I know what misery I sewed into the quilt and it seems like my sewing machine caught onto my vibes cause it was a total pain in the neck, catching on seams - breaking threads etc.  I have decided to get a new one and am leaning to Pfaff.  Anyway here's that little quilt.   Nephew Sean loved the sock monkeys - I do too!  I have some left over and also have banana fabric and spotted fabric to go with it.  

Now - I wanted to make something that I liked, and I had this great green and brown cotton fabric so followed a pattern for a quilt/wall hanging.  I totally love the look and colors of this combo - Tony doesn't think it works for a baby quilt - what do you think?  I took this picture in the basement so it is dark, I'll take another one in the sunlight and post it.  It's beautiful fabrics - but I agree - different from the typical baby look.  

  I'm getting slightly better at adding photo's to this blog - but it still isn't straightforward! 

And last but not least, my first Linus quilt -  a little Cinderella fabric (actually it's the princess fabric that I used for the other quilt that I made for a friend) - it's backed with a nice cozy fleece that I hope some child will get some comfort from.    

Wish me luck on the cold NH coast line - kayaking away! 

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Start of a long weekend

After morning chores we went for a bike ride today - my first real "off road" experience on my new bike.  It took a bit of getting used to, but I liked it and the bike rode great in the dirt and gravel.  

Down one dirt road we found a cemetery  - Riverside Cemetery - with most graves from the 1800's or so. The usual sad looking stories, young children buried by their parents; one husband and two wives and so on.  

But strangely we found a marker stone that said "Jacob A Riis is buried in this cemetery".  Jacob Riis???  "How the other Half Lives"????  In Barre Massachusetts?  I was stunned and of course googled it as soon as I got home. was him!  I have all his books, and while he was a person of his times - his eye for the perfect photo was amazing.  The people in his photographs speak to you even after all these years.

You never know what you will find on those simple bike rides on a lovely Saturday afternoon  

Friday, May 23, 2008

Illustration Friday - Worry

"Things I worry about"

This is an easy one for me - I might post more than once!

Am I a worry wart? Yup - can't help myself.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Tuesday night in Prince Edward Island - almost Animal Wednesday

I have been to this island a few times over the winter and since it was always snowing and cold and windy, I never saw that one block to the left out the front door is that Ocean! Yes, big and bluish, and powerful. Duh, Mim, wake up!

So today I took a long walk early in the morning and cleared my brain from the travel fog and then went to work with a much clearer outlook on the day. I am with a group of people from work, and tonight we went clear across the island for a "Lobsta Dinnah" - which was pretty good.

The wireless in the hotel is pretty good too, so to take advantage I'm posting my Animal Wednesday picture now - a perfectly drawn (not) illustration of a Hippo Butt!

HAW to everyone - thanks for the buddy system.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

A calming sunday

Today was truly a day of rest, just working in the garden and household chores.  Emotionally I still feel bruised and that is coming out in the quilt that I have been making. 
A friend at work asked if I could make a quilt for her for a baby shower that she has to go to early June. Of course, I was thrilled but in the midst of all that we had the "bad husband" thing happen and I totally forgot about it. So when she asked me this week if it was almost finished, I told her the truth, and said that I'd have it done by next week. 
I think I've said before how much of yourself you sew into a quilt- or into anything that you make.  Well, this quilted blanket has given me more trouble than I would ever believe.  I am definitely sewing my feelings into it. It's wrinkled, and stretched out wrong, I've had to stitch and pick out stitches; the border started out at 9 inches wide but has been cute down to 5 inches.  The binding color is all wrong, and I'll have to make new. It needs pressing, and washing and if I wasn't giving it away - it'd go into the goodwill box, so that I wouldn't see it again.  
Every quilt has a story, and this one is a tangled mess.  

Happy Times

We went to NH yesterday to watch Sean play with his baseball team.  Got to the field, saw Sean with his friends but stayed low profile (nothing like your aunt coming up to kiss you in front of your teammates!) Anyway, Tony went over and said hello, figured out what was going on and then we waited...and waited...for Sean to get into the game.  Finally the coach smartened up and had him pitch the last two innings (5 inning games).  It was great to watch this graceful, tall, thin wonderful kid pitch - I can't figure out if he got the "win" or the "save" - but either way  - to me - he's certainly the winner!   

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Saturday night - update

Hi all, 
Sorry to be such a downer yesterday - I'll tell you what happened. 

Remember a few weeks ago I found some porn on a friends computer?  I took the advice and never said anything to her, but just found out yesterday, thru tears and wailing, that she also found it. AND - she started doing some snooping and found out that her beloved husband of 15 years - as close a best friend as she ever thought she would have - has been doing more than just internet activities - he's been fooling around with at least one woman - maybe two!   She read emails, and tracked some phone numbers and had figured out what was - or had been - going on.  She's not vindictive and is not going to call out these women - but was one very angry and devastated woman. 

It devastated me also, since their marriage is one of those that you think is "perfect".  He is sensitive to her needs, but fun...seemingly devoted, supportive of her career, pitches in at home and to top it off - ain't bad looking.  There is an age difference between them - he's about 10 years older than her (must be around 50) but is active, and successful.  It always rocks my boat when something this dramatic happens to a close friend. 

We spent hours talking and crying and I just listened.  I don't know at all how to advise her, but did recommend that she take some time to get her anger under control, gave her the name of a therapist and then got mad myself, and fumed and cried all night.  I still just can't believe it - I would have never thought that he would cheat on his wonderful, loving wife.  (but of course, I reminded myself that I have no idea as to what goes on behind their bedroom doors - and have no intention of asking.)

She did confront him with her findings and he claims that "nothing really happened" and "don't worry about it - it meant nothing" and "it'll never happen again" etc etc, but really did not seem all that remorseful from what she said.  

How can you ever trust someone who would do this to you?  Was it just a fall from grace, or a lifelong habit?  How can one tell?  
Are all men just dogs?   Any answers out there???

I certainly am glad that I wasn't the one to tell her about his internet stuff, wow, what a mess that would have been. 

Friday, May 16, 2008

Rainy Friday

Hi all, 

It's a very rainy Friday night and the weather is just about keeping up with my mood. This has been a tough week for me, and as I read others posts - seems to be a tough week for a few of us. 

Stuff has come to light that I can't even talk about yet - and certainly haven't come to grips with in my own mind yet.  Basically I'm somewhat shattered and am looking around for the pieces - I don't even recognize them when I pick them up. What piece is this?  oh...a piece of my heart (thanks Janis) - well, let's just toss it on the ground and stomp on it a bit more. 

Up side - lost 5 lbs since Sunday.  Down side - feel like crap.  

I won't go into it more here, but will keep you posted as I crawl out of this hole. 

Somewhat good news is the new endocrinologist put me on T4 yesterday - said "oh my goodness, you have such a large thyroid" (thanks doc!) so hopefully that will help with some energy issues.  We'll see. This doc is a little bit unconventional, and begins to give you T3 also in addition to T4.   I, as usual, am hoping for miracles with the help of modern medicine.   

Ah well... I'm off to Prince Edward Island on Monday, it might just be good to get away.  Hopefully it won't be cold and rainy up there - if it is - I just might jump into the Atlantic and swim away with the silkies. 

Can't even get the scanner to work again for "Wide".   The whole world is out to get me today

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Is it really Wednesday again

So far this has been one of those weeks, and many times during the week I have felt like a goose, so decided to draw one for Animal Wednesday.   I like the way this guy seems to be smiling, 

HAW everyone 

Monday, May 12, 2008

once again...happy tears in my eyes

Check out Blue Buddah's comment on the Project Linus post.

Could you just melt???? I did...

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Project Linus

After making that last "Princess" quilt - and realizing that I was spending a bit too much time worrying about my own artistic sensitivities I decided to find an organization that would accept homemade quilts for kids and have just signed up for Project Linus. Two comments gave me this idea - one came from HB - who gently pointed out that the child who was receiving my quilt would love it, and from Kerstin who pointed out how much her daughter would love a princess quilt.   How scared those poor kids must be - in a hospital, feeling sick and miserable - without their comforting toys and blankies.  I hope that donating to this charity will help in a tiny way - and a new princess quilt will be started as soon as possible. 

Sometimes it takes a gentle kick to get me out of my own head - and back into the real world. Thanks friends. 

Friday, May 9, 2008

Illustration Friday - Electricity

Do you sometimes feel like lightening will find you no matter where you try to  hide? 

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Perfect Pitch

I'm getting better at knowing this computer, but still not perfect yet.  I wanted to download a video here, but just can't get it to work.  It is a video of a perfect Tuesday night in New Hampshire, at a high school band concert.  The music was loud, and fairly uncoordinated, the gym was decorated with American flags and we all sat on folding chairs watching the kids perform.  The very loud "WAAHHH" of the various wind instruments when they start playing, the loud drums, the serious faces - there is nothing like it - I smiled till I laughed and cried. 
But something occurred to me as I listened to the music, without even thinking about it, I know exactly which notes are slightly flat, or sharp - when the tempo is slightly off, and when the drums don't come in at exactly the right time.  It's something that I take for granted, this perfect pitch - and I began to wonder if, like learning to see colors, this is something that one can enhance and teach your brain to learn.  Has anyone out there ever tried?  I'd be interested in your opinions. 
It's interesting to me that I yearn to see colors like others who can see red, green, yellow, blue, pink in what I consider to be a grey tree.  Yes, I am slowly teaching my brain that there are other colors in that grey - but I never had to teach my ears to hear.  Is it genetic?  Was I so exposed to music at a young age that my brain "learned" pitch and tone so perfectly? 
I never thought twice about this gift - because it was always there.  I'm planning to enjoy it a bit more now. 

(That ear looks like a cup handle!!)

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Happy Animal Wednesday - May 8th

Inspired by an Andrew (or Jamie) Wyeth piece of a painting I saw in some airline magazine.    

I love when seagulls get blown (or fly) inland, and I get to hear them calling here, 30 miles inland.  I don't think they are noble birds, rather more like flying rats - but I love their noises and the association with the sea.  Recently we were on the beach after a large storm, and there were packs of the beasts - but all different sizes and shapes, and they all clumped together  by looks.  Some had plumes on their heads, some had black and red beaks.  Some were huge and others were fairly little.  All had the basic seagull noise and the propensity to beg. 

Have a Happy Animal Wednesday friends! 

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Men- go figure!

I talked to my Mom last night, who is starting to settle down with people coming and going.  She sounds a little bit calmer this week. Also, she says that Dad is sparkling with all the attention he is getting, raconteur that he is!  He's telling stories, and getting out of the wheelchair, and talking to these people about football, and books etc.  I didn't ask her if he is eating more, but something is going right! 

Go figure! 

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Not my favorite quilt but...

Recently I sold a quilt to someone at work for his new nephew - it was one that I had made on my own, showed it to him and he bought it.  But then he and his wife felt that if they went over with a present for the new baby, the 4 year old would feel bad and blah, blah, blah.   I don't  agree with this approach, but then he specifically asked me if I could make a quilt for the little girl and asked for one with "Disney Princesses" on it.  I was VERY tempted to say that "I don't do Disney", and " go buy something at Walmart" and other rather cutting remarks.  But he is a good friend, a real solid person and I couldn't let him down. So I went to Disney Princess fabric, and then got some NICE fabric and tried to do that best that I could.  Actually it turned out rather pretty and I took a bit of artistic license with the quilting, so I am giving it to him with a clear conscience.  Plus hemming it took me straight thru Masterpiece theater, and "Cranford" which was lovely. 
My artistic sensitivities are calmed down now, but I am swearing weakly that I won't do this again! 

Brings tears to a proud auntie's eyes

I have the boys here this weekend, and yesterday we went to a friends house for a "Kentucky Derby" party.  These friends are from Kentucky and do this every year, with mint julips and pulled pork barbeque.  Anyway, the kids really didn't know anyone but were troopers and played pool with the other kids and were generally fairly interative for 15 year olds. 

When we got ready to leave, I went and found Joan to say good by, the kids came with me and unprompted - shook hands with their host and hostess, thanked them for a good time, and then we left. Now I know that they've been brought up well - I helped bring 'em up - but this was a special moment for me - and I swear I had tiny tears of joy, (and sadness at how grown up they are) in my eyes.  

Worth all the work.  

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Update on Dad

Probably about 10 years ago one of my cousins got married in St. Louis and my sister came in from Rome for the wedding.  I love this picture of us around Dad - he is cuddling with my sister in law and sister (SIL is blond with white teeth and about a size 0) - Stef is on the other side of Dad.  My mom, brother and I are in the back, but see the affectionate hand I have on DH?    It was a great, very elegant wedding, and a wonderful weekend.  

So here we are, 10 years later - still a loving family but everyone has alot more to deal with these days.  Dad and Mom have had a week of getting used to having someone in the house all the time, and Mom is getting a little bit less frantic.  Practically every day this week they've had someone new come in, and she has to show them where things are, and what he likes to eat etc, etc.  I've never heard her so frantic!  Dad seemed to take it more in stride, letting people help him with showering and all of the other little things that a 94 year old can use help with.   I'm hoping that this week sees some more consistency with the help in the house, and that mom can finally start to relax...and that they get back into their little groove. 

God love 'em both, they're still keeping going, and finally are starting to listen to our suggestions (which makes it easier for us kids).    I hope we all have a chance to be together again, with additional grandchildren and great grandchildren!  

Oy vey - it's all I can really say after this week!