Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year

I'm not in the habit of making New Year's resolutions. I was discussing this with a friend the other day. She was saying that resolutions were usually too vague or unrealistic and set one up to fail. I agree. I think generally resolutions have good intentions, and we know where the road of good intentions leads. Devil But 'tis the season. I thought this year, I'd take one day at a time. I think that's a resolution I can keep. A Very Happy New Year to all!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Happy Birthday, Richard Widmark

Richard Widmark is my number one all time hero. Today, he celebrates his 93rd birthday. He was born in Sunrise, MN, 26. December 1914.

My friend, Nutterone, was a good sport when she drove me to visit his birthplace when I was in MN There's nothing there except an empty field where the house he was born in stood and a sign at the only two crossroads in town commemorating their favorite son. Still it was a big thrill for me. Danke, Fraue

Richard Widmark Tribute

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Saturday, December 15, 2007

Chemist Christmas

What decoration does a chemist put up at Christmas?

I had a cupcake stand that lives on top of the microwave. Other than baking cupcakes, I couldn't think of what to do to make the cupcake stand look festive. Himself, a chemistry professor, said he would bring home some small glassware from his lab. The Young One and I spent her day off hunting up doo-dahs to put into the beakers, flasks, and test tubes. Voilá! A Chemist Tree! Duh

Friday, December 14, 2007


The third storm in 7 days arrived Thursday afternoon with a vengeance. After it was all said and done, we ended up with close to a foot of snow. Global warming my Auntie Fanny!

The Young One and I had it easy though. Her school chorus and band were giving a performance for grandparents in the afternoon. School would let out at 10:50AM and the chorus and band would have a pizza party before the concert. She called before I even got home from dropping her off in the morning that they would still have their half day and be getting out at 10:50AM, but the concert was cancelled due to the threat of bad weather. I was supposed to go to Lambie's for her annual calligraphy luncheon. I called her and cancelled out. She rather thought the luncheon would have to cancel because of the weather. Lambie had been watching the morning news and said all the area schools were releasing around noon. She rescheduled the luncheon for next Friday.

I picked The Young One up at school and we stopped at the post office on the way home. I put the trash barrel in the garage (they came really early) and got the mail. Got in the house took my coat off and it started to flurry. I blinked and a few minutes later it was snowing, and snowing , and snowing. It snowed at a rate of 2" per hour.

Himself called around 1:30 to tell me his school had let out. He was sitting somewhere on Rte9 not moving. All the schools and businesses had let out at the same time. By then it was snowing heavily and because of all the traffic, none of the road equipment could get through to clear and treat the roads.

He called me every hour to give me an update on his progress. I'm so glad he had the phone with him because he had initially balked at the idea of having a cell phone. By 5:30 pm, he finally made it to Framingham and was able to get on the Pike where the traffic was moving a little bit better, not much, but better. At 6:30 he had made it to the Millbury exit, moved down the exit ramp and 146 was at a standstill. Seems there was an accident and because of all the traffic, a tow truck couldn't be brought in to clear the wreck. Finally the DPW had to remove one of the cement barriers so the tow truck could do its job.

I had been outside twice to shovel the end of the driveway where the plow had pushed the snow so Himself could get his car in. In between, I paced, watched a DVD with The Young One, made a variation on chocolate dipped pretzels, stress ate the pretzels, paced some more and worked my way up to a headache. An essay about a penny at On The Write Path (scroll down to read The Gift of Restoration) really helped to put thinkgs into perspective. Thanks for sharing that with me, Erica, because the thought helped to calm me down and give up the control of circumstances beyond me. I still had a headache, but I didn't work myself up to a full blown migraine. Need to find a better way to channel the stress eating though. Winky
I was nearly finished with the second dig when I heard a toot toot and saw Himself's car coming down the road. I was never so glad to hear that little toot toot. It was 8:30PM and his normal hour commute had taken him 7! Two of those hours just sitting on the road a few miles from home waiting for the accident to be cleared.

I'm glad The Young One had a teacher's inservice day and no school for her today. Worcester had a two hour delay, but I would have kept The Young One home. I could imagine what it was like at her school. The road to her school is a narrow, winding road up the side of a mountain. It can be treacherous on a good day never mind with a slick of ice and snow on the pavement. Got to love parochial schools built on the top of a mountain. That way if you get killed at the high elevation, you're closer to God.

Himself said the roads this morning were icy and like driving on a washboard. He had to go into school because he had exams. Said a lot of his students were emailing they couldn't get in because of the roads. He's going to have another long day. Hopefully, he won't have another nightmare of a commute.

The Young One and I just came in from clearing the snow away from my car. I broke the good shovel Pissedand had to use the crummy one. After lunch, 3 ibuprofen with a Pepsi chaser, and a rest, the Young One and I will head over to my elderly neighbor, Prissy, to clear the snow from her car and front walk. She has someone plow the drive way, thank Gawd, as her driveway is a long circular drive.
Another bigger storm is headed this way for Sunday. Is it August, yet?

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Classical Music

I enjoy classical music and usually listen to it while I drive. No matter how hard I try, there are just certain themes that are indelibly etched into my head. I learned most of my classical music from television. Can't say that the pieces have been spoiled, but they certainly are colored a definite shade of happy.

Rossini's Overture to William Tell is one of those pieces. For the life of me, whenever I hear it, I can't imagine a Swiss hunter defiantly refusing to bow to a hat on a pole in homage to Austrian rule. Nope, can't see it. I hear hoofbeats and see a masked man on a magnificent white steed thundering across TX righting wrongs and avenging the deaths of his TX ranger brother and other rangers.

While driving down the road yesterday I heard Wagner's Overture to Tannhauser. All I could see and hear was the Warner Bros. cartoon What's Opera, Doc There's Bugs dressed as Brunhilde on a very rubenesque white mare sashaying towards Elmer as the mighty warrior with his spear and magic helmet. He looks more like a bullet than a hero. Roll

"Oh, Brunhilde, you'we so wovewy."

"Yes, I know it. I can't help it."

Then Elmer and Bugs (Brunhilde) in the pas de deux and Elmer bouncing Bugs across the stage. Then Elmer's grand jetes as he leaps after Bug.

This cartoon just slays me and has to be my all time favorite cartoon. ROTFL
What about you? Do you have a favorite piece of music or a favorite cartoon?

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

More Wreaths

Here are more wreaths. I think I've given the wrong impression about making the wreath. The wreath itself is bought at Home Depot, a Christmas tree lot or wherever Himself's wanderings take him.

I take the naked wreath wire or hot glue baubles, beads, floral picks, and a store bought bow or if I have ribbon, time and inclination, I'll make the bow.

Sunday, December 9, 2007


Little by little, we're putting up the Christmas decorations. I made the large wreath for the front door and two matching smaller wreaths for the small front windows.

This year, wreath making was a fun challenge. Himself had taken a trip to the dollar store to pick up items for the wreaths. He grabbed a bit of this and a bit of that. It was fun going through the bags to see what baubles I had to work with. He couldn't find any of the fancier ribbon for bows that I prefer, but I had a couple of spools of sheer blue ribbon and that worked out well.
I put "The Muppet Christmas Carol" and then "It's a Wonderful Life" on the dvd player. Grabbed my spool of florist wire, my glue gun, the faithful black bears, and went to work.

I have a wreath to make for my folks and Himself asked me to make one to place at his parents' grave. That's this afternoon's project.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

ATC - First Aid

I'm slowly catching up. November's theme was first aid.

This collaged piece was fun to put together. A red cross from wide ribbon was glued onto a piece of plain old, white card stock.

The Gibson girl look a like is a Dover Publication copyright free image.* She was printed out, colored with colored pencil and then pasted onto the card. A scrap of lace and a crystal adds to her Victorian outfit. The tear drop was cut from floral stamens. The heart was cut from scrap paper and torn.

The hardest part of making the card was carefully unwrapping the Hershey kiss to use the foil and flag. I didn't want the chocolate to go to waste. I'm willing to make a sacrifice for my art.Candy Bar

This miss knows the only way to cure a broken heart is with a kiss. Winky
*Dover Publications offers free downloads of clipart. They have some very nice images which are copyright free. Dover allows the use of up to 10 of their images in a piece copyright free. You can sign up for weekly free notices of their books and clipart just follow the Dover link.

Friday, December 7, 2007

23 Things About Christmas

I swiped this idea from Tam's page. Thanks, Tam. I didn't know what I was going to blog about today.

1. WRAPPING PAPER OR GIFT BAGS? Whatever is handy and works well

2. REAL OR FAKE TREE? We have always had a real tree, but this year Himself found “a deal” on a fake tree. Tree

3. WHEN DO YOU PUT UP THE TREE? Whenever there is time, usually the weekend before Christmas. This year, the tree went up on 1. December because Himself wanted to see what it looked like

4. WHEN DO YOU TAKE THE TREE DOWN? Little Christmas, or the day after that, or the day after that….



7. DO YOU HAVE A NATIVITY SCENE? Yes, a tiny white Hummel set my brother brought me as a souvenir from his trip to Germany





12. FAVORITE CHRISTMAS MOVIE? I have a few favorites: Jimmy Stewart in “A Wonderful Life”, Michael Caine as Scrooge in “The Muppet Christmas Carol”, “Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol”, the real “Grinch Who Stole Christmas”, and “Elf” 3D Elf With CandyCane

13. WHEN DO YOU START SHOPPING FOR CHRISTMAS? Throughout the year, I’m apt to pick up things. Could be in July or December.

14. HAVE YOU EVER RECYCLED A CHRISTMAS PRESENT? I have no recollection of that at this time, Senator. Shy Whistler

15. FAVORITE THING TO EAT AT CHRISTMAS? Christmas cookies Cookies

16. CLEAR LIGHTS OR COLORED LIGHTS ON THE TREE? Colored, but the artificial tree Himself “got a deal on” is a pre-lit tree with white lights. Christmas Lights

17. FAVORITE CHRISTMAS SONG? I like “The Little Drummer Boy” and “Carol of the Bells”

18. TRAVEL AT CHRISTMAS OR STAY HOME? When my girls came along, the rule was we traveled on Christmas Eve, but stayed home on Christmas Day. Even though the girls are bigger, we still stay home.

19. CAN YOU NAME ALL OF SANTA'S REINDEER? Yup Rudolph Reindeer Reindeer Reindeer Reindeer Reindeer Reindeer Reindeer Reindeer

20. ANGEL OR STAR ON THE TREE TOP? An angel, though I’m not sure she will fit on the artificial tree Himself “got a deal on” Christmas Tree

21. OPEN THE PRESENTS CHRISTMAS EVE OR MORNING? Christmas Morning, but not before 7AM. Sometimes the Elves work the swing shift on overtime if some assembly is required. Elf

22. MOST ANNOYING THING THIS TIME OF YEAR? Crowded malls and radio stations that start playing Christmas music before Thanksgiving.

23. WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT CHRISTMAS? Attending the Christmas concerts my girls are in. Listening to the beautiful voices and the music makes you forget the self-imposed stress of the season. Smiley Choir
Heathen's Greetings! Cowboy

Thursday, December 6, 2007

ATC - Nature

I am so very far behind with my ATC exchange. October's theme was nature. I was rather stumped and not feeling creative. Then inspired Light Bulb because I thought nature was the theme for December, I came up with this.

A bird flourish I had done some months ago, was color changed from black to red in PSP. The bird was printed on vellum and cut out. Torn tissue paper and holly from gift wrap were cut out. The pieces were decoupaged onto scrap Diploma parchment paper that had been marbled with starch. Ziller Midnight Blue ink, Gillotte 1068A
It looks a little flat and I'll look to see if I have some red seed beads to give dimension to the berries.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

The Downside

of having a snow day off, is spending a half hour scraping 1/2 inch of ice off the car windows the following morning. Is it July yet? Frozen

Monday, December 3, 2007

Snow Day

The storm that whacked the midWest over the weekend, gave us a little bit of snow and freezing rain/drizzle. The Young One wore her pajamas inside out last night to find school had been cancelled this morning. Snow Day

Work wasn't cancelled for me. That's what you get when your commute is down a flight of stairs to the basement. Have 3 envelope sets to finish and this job is done.

This afternoon, the Young One and I will clean the livingroom and will start putting up Christmas decorations. Christmas Lights

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Bright Nights at Forest Park

The Eldest had forgotten an important item. We didn't feel comfortable sending it through the mail as it couldn't be replaced if the package went astray. Since her college is only an hour or so west of our house, we decided to make a family outing.

We picked the Eldest up in front of her dorm and then went to dinner at an Outback restaurant at a nearby mall. We didn't have long to wait. Had a nice dinner and the Eldest caught us up on the activities of her week.

After dinner, we decided to investigate The Bright Lights at Forest Park. This is a driving tour of animated Christmas lights through Forest Park. We slowly wove our way to the entrance guided by police who kept everything moving and organized. At the entrance, we paid the admittance fee and then were told to tune our radio to a radio station to listen to holiday music.

The beginning of the tour was slow going, but soon most families veered off to see Santa at Santa's Village and we were able to take our time to photograph some of the displays.

Seeing the lights was a wonderful way to kick of the season and to spend some family time together. If you're in the area, it's a must see. Check out the web site for dates, times and admission. If you can't make it, you can take a virtual tour and see professional photographs and stunning displays we missed because a car or thumb was in the way. Bright Nights at Forest Park

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Calligraphy School

After tracing and drawing Roman letters with pencil, it was time to put pen to paper. We were supposed to use either a fountain pen or dip pen to draw built up Romans. Those ball and stick capital letters we've been making since we were 5 or 6 years old.

I was not in a happy place for this class. I didn't get much homework done and even if I did, what most of the others in class produced was not what I heard for the assignment. I sat in my seat making a mess on my paper and just not getting it. The letters were supposed to be drawn with at least 2 strokes adding weight in the proper places. I just didn't get it. Pen 2 and was very unhappy. No

The teacher made her rounds around the room and came to look at my compost. Walking Garbage Can I told her I just didn't get it. She started demonstrating and I saw where I was making my mistake. Light Bulb

When she came around the next time, both of us were pleased. She even checked off two of the letters that were correctly weighted and proportioned. I added the smiley faces. Thumbs Up