Posts

Showing posts from 2010

Another Christmas Come and Gone

We had a wonderful Christmas here in Northern Maine. Friday afternoon we went to visit friends who were having a Christmas Eve open house. It was great to reconnect with folks I hadn't seen in years. I even got to hold and play with a 9 month old little elf of a girl. Kids are what Christmas is about.

Friday evening we went to Christmas Eve service where I had a part to read. At the very last minute I decided not to express my biblical verse in interpretive dance like I had originally planned so didn't need bail money after all. Thanks to all of my buddies who were standing by with bail money just in case.

After church Gram came up and we had Mum's AWESOME home made chicken soup, hot biscuits and Nantucket pie before going for a ride around town to see the Christmas lights. After living with all of the light pollution in the city, the stars on that ride were even more beautiful than the colored lights.

Christmas morning we went back down and got Gram and all of her presents a…

Maine Christmas

The smell of apple dumplings is wafting in from the kitchen. A 'snow globe' snow is swirling outside and I am settling into winter life in Northern Maine. We have been making the rounds visiting friends, getting some last minute Christmas shopping done, and cooking. Evenings are spent knitting, reading or playing games. It's just the respite I've been needing after the last few months.

I spent the other morning down to Grammie's. I addressed some Christmas cards for her. At 98, her hands shake and she is embarrassed by her handwriting. I think it's fine, but it gave me a chance to spend time with her. We made fudge and visited. 98 years old. It boggles the mind.

We went upcountry to Mapleton to see friends, Gloria and Dwight last Saturday. They have an absolutely stunning house that sits way up on a hill. You can see forever and ever from up there. I tried to get them to let me move in. I told them I could just stay on the sofa and admire the view and they'd …

Snowpocalypse 2010

Image
It's not technically 'winter' yet and we are already getting our back pockets handed to us! This was in mid-blizzard last Sunday morning. Note all of the branches down. We had freezing rain and then snow and all the little or loose ones came tumbling down. Ben is ecstatic since his favorite thing to do is eat sticks!

I'm so glad that my years of shoveling the dooryard are over. I sit inside snuggly (and smugly )and watch the neighbors dig out.

Besides watching the neighbors shovel, I also like to pass judgment on the dim-witted souls who absolutely have to go into town to get beer during the ice-storm/blizzard. The following picture just shows a beautiful, overflowing font of bad decision making...
I don't know what I love the most...
The driver thinking that despite the Statewide State of Emergency and police instruction to stay off the roads, he can surely make it to the gas station and back for beer and Cheetos-no problem!Despite the confidence and bravado, he bur…

Olbrich Christmas

Image
In my desperate bid to locate my Christmas Spirit, I went to Olbrich Gardens with friends on Saturday before the big blizzard hit. They have a special train and poinsettia room this time of year.

Lots of poinsettias, amaryllis and trees. There is a train track that runs around the whole room through the foliage.

Cool birdhouses. This one was my favorite with a deer antler perch.

The cardinals are origami! There were origami blue jays and other winter birds tucked everywhere.



There were also some lovely gingerbread houses


I couldn't decide if thisbirdhouse was a lighthouse or a salt shaker, but either way, I liked it!
After getting a good dose of Christmas, we went into the tropical conservatory where we saw real birds, and basked in the moist tropical heat.
Cheery canaries
A plethora of quails
Koi fish
Tropical cousin Itt plant

Quite a welcome contrast from the blizzard that was to strike a couple of hours later!
Next Up: Snowpocalypse 2010

Christmas Spirit

Image
I've been woefully depleted in the Christmas Spirit department this year, but I did have one small spurt of inspiration last Friday night.

I made Caramel Corn. Then I packed it up and parceled it out right away. This is one treat I don't want around. A bag of cheeseless corn puffs, 1 cup of butter, 1 cup of brown sugar and half a cup of Karo!


Oh, it'll kill ya, but what a way to go! (Recipe over on Molly Bee's Kitchen)

I knit a couple jelly bean mice for Mum's cat Punkin. I'll be seeing her soon and she's very....um...choosy... about who she likes. It's always good to have bribes in your pocket just in case.
And I wrapped gifts. These aren't the ones I wrapped. The ones I wrapped are pathetic. These are from a friend who has MAD SKILZ in the wrapping department! I love the ribbon. It looks like a Christmas 'film strip'!

So I finally put a little Ho Ho in my holiday but it was short lived. Anybody got a little extra holiday spirit to share?

Doldrums

Image
Despite the upcoming holidays, I've been in a rut so deep I could hang up posters. Work, work, and more work, cold, cold, cold and more cold, and the wrist injury that prevented me reducing stress by knitting have combined into a one-two-three-martial-arts move that has leveled me the last couple of weeks. I need a serious break.... The good news is that I finally regained wrist control as far as knitting goes (still iffy on the guitar playing much to my neighbors' and Ben's delight) and I've been able off and on on this:

It's St. Enda by Alice Starmore. I spent a frustrating hour trying to find some sign of it on the interwebs before realizing that it's not St. EDNA! But anyway. It's kind of fun, and I really like the way the Blackberry Ridge yarn pops the cables.

Ben's going through a bit of a rough patch these days too. His feet get so cold when he goes outside that he tries to run around on three legs, holding one foot off the ground to keep it warmer.…

Houston, We Have a Situation!

Image
The landing was a little rough... And...uh, it looks like a water takeoff is out of the question....
I think I'll just wait here 'til spring.



11/22/10 Thunderstorm

Image
Just getting around to downloading these amazing cloud pics from the week before Thanksgiving. We got a summer-like thundershower with tornadoes! Very rare for November. Impressive clouds.










Mr Mole

Image
Really blurry pic but that little black spot in the middle is proof the Mr. Mole is alive and well and survived the Ben's Mouth Molewash he went through earlier. I'm happy to report that he is all fluffed out again after his ectoplasm bath!




Last Saturday Knitting

Image
Don't we look miserable?!

Sporadic Posting

Image
Sorry for the lapse in posts lately. I have a brace on my right wrist to combat some tendinitis so typing is ouchie right now. Seems writing 200 Christmas cards, knitting a cable sweater, playing guitar (however badly) and 20 extra hours of computer work a week is destructive to ones wrist joints. Who knew?

Anyway, I promised to tell you about my new super power and I know you've been waiting on pins and needles (Needles! Get it knitterly friends?). I often send my scientists out to different places to do talks, seminars, instrument installations or trade shows. When they go, I make them a little travel packet that has airport maps, area maps, hotel information, weather etc. for each city they'll be in. I was making one for one of my kids who went to Maryland a couple of weeks ago. One of the pieces that goes in the packet is a list of the 10 closest restaurants to the hotel and I noticed that one of the restaurants was a place called 'CheeburgerCheeburger' (like the ol…

Counting My Many Blessings

Image
Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.

It turns what we have into enough, and more.

It turns denial into acceptance,

...chaos to order, confusion to clarity.

It can turn a meal into a feast,

a house into a home,

a stranger into a friend.

Gratitude makes sense of our past,

brings peace for today and

creates a vision for tomorrow.

-Melody Beattie

Bits and Bobs

Image
Mr. Bentley and I had a busy weekend. Friday night was Knit Night at the Sow's Ear and the gang and I stayed until the last gun was fired at 11:15 or so. I got a Christmas present finished and started on another one so it was productive as well as fun. (I'm working on several projects right now but at this time of year, you can't talk about any of them. It's the 'Santa Clause' in the knitted gifts contract I've never seen it so crowded at Knit Night before. At one point I had another lady practically in my lap. Good way to make 'close' friends I guess!

Saturday morning Ben and I went to friends' to meet their new furbaby Murphy. It's really hard to take pics of an active puppy but at least you get the general idea of his amazing cuteness.
He and Ben got along fine except for the part where Ben was trying his best to ignore Murphy so he could eat sticks and branches in peace, and Murphy nipped him in the butt to get his attention. Ben told him …

The November Drabs

Image
A lot of folks in my life are grumbling about the November drabs. The leaves have fallen. All the pretty is gone. I beg to differ. Exibit A: this morning's sunrise.







Sometimes you just have to get up early to see the pretty!

Guitar Lessons-The Free Puppy of The Music World

I started taking guitar lessons about a month ago. I’ve had a guitar that my folks gave me for my birthday one year when I still lived in Maine and it’s been artfully displayed in various apartments, duplexes and houses, but never actually played. I took it to a music store right after I got it and the man behind the counter made beautiful sounds come out of it. I kinda figured he must’ve used all of the nice sounds up because once I took it home I never heard them again in all of these years. When a guy at work starting advertising 30 minute guitar lessons for $10 I thought, ‘That’s pretty cheap. Why not?’ and signed up, as I am wont to do, before I had a chance to consider all of the consequences:

Dehydration-So far he’s only teared up a little. He’s very stoic. But as the weeks drag on and I don’t improve, it’s only a matter of time before my teacher throws himself on the floor, banging his head and sobbing uncontrollably ‘Make it stop…For the love of all that’s holy, just make it s…

Halloween Redux

Image
Nothing like getting your Halloween post out a week late! I finally came down off the sugar buzz today and realized that I hadn't posted in a while. Shame on me because around these parts, we take Halloween very, VERY seriously. Here are just a few of my friends (dressed as their alter egos)...

The Queen of Hearts
Snow White

The Situation and Snookie
Rob, Joey and I got a jump on the holiday by carving our pumpkins earlier in the week. Then I spent Halloween day making finger food for my office party on Monday.

We had a costume contest ...
Witch, EmoRoker, Tommy Lee, Mad Scientist and yours truly dressed as a Tropical Depression (That's a bottle of Prozac I have in my hand).
You know how brave ol' Ben is; here's a picture of him and Sheldon watching the Trick Or Treaters from the safety of their own nest.
But at least he's in costume. I recognize a 'Mr. Depressed Because All Of The Kids, Candy, Pats, and Fun Are On The Other Side Of The Sliding Glass Door and I'…

Punkin Pirates and Pizza Party

Image
I am so blessed to have the best bunch of fun friends ever in my life. Tonight, Rob and Joey invited me over to have some pizza and carve our pumpkins for All Hallow's Eve. It's their first Halloween in Madison and their furbaby, Bobo's, first Halloween ever! Rob carved the big pumpkin with the witch. Somehow I came away without a picture of Rob or of his lit pumpkin but it's awesome. You can see it there in the foreground The first one he's ever carved. He's a natural!

And show-off Joey free handed the little cat pumpkin for Bobo since, with his lack of opposable thumbs, he was having problems doing in himself. If you look back in the first pic, you can see that he performed all of the necessary quality assurance tests before he pronounced it pumpkinrific!
I fiddled with mine until theirs were finished, then we had pizza and a visit, then I fiddled with it some more until I got the result I wanted. I've never been known for being the quickest knife in the …