Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Leaps of Memory

I took this photo of Marburg on the day we left for Vietnam three years ago. He left us the summer of 2010. He was a good dog, and I miss him still even with a new dog in the house and heart.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Shadows, Like My Days, Are Long

It was another long day, or is, since it's far from over yet. The weariness I feel is probably what keeps me from freaking out about the lots of little that remains to be done for the looming departure. I am hoping to sleep better once the trip starts even on unfamiliar mattresses in unfamiliar rooms. Perhaps the days will not seem so long then.

Monday, February 27, 2012

One of Those Days

I spent the morning and early afternoon running errands including donating a double unit of platelets. Came home and worked for several hours until my laptop froze. (Fortunately, like Jesus, I save.) It's almost time now to leave for kendo, which means that the easiest photo to take and post is of the book sitting beside my netbook. No, I'm not going to a war zone, but I am going to the Third World, which means that some of the information here is worth having read.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Behind Only the Coffee Maker ...

in my pantheon of kitchen helpers is the rice cooker. It ranks ahead of even Lady Mixalot because I can, in fact, make very good bread without her help. I cannot, however, make decent rice without the rice cooker.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Gifting the Hosts

A Dutch tradition we brought back with us oh so many years ago is taking flowers as a host/hostess gift. Of course, the flowers cost a wee (or bigger) bit more here than they do in the Netherlands, where I got very spoiled having fresh blossoms in the house all the time. These are going with us to dinner at the house of some dear friends of long standing (as opposed to "old friends"--friends such as these never grow old).

Friday, February 24, 2012

OMG! It's an OM-DI Quilt!

Assuming I have room in the suitcase, this is going to younger son in two weeks. It's made from t-shirts collected in the seven years in which he participated in Odyssey of the Mind or Destination ImagiNation. I was told that most people make only one t-shirt quilt because it is so not fun. I thoroughly enjoyed making this one and am already thinking of other t-shirt collections in progress. A Myo Sim Karate and Kendo t-shirt quilt perhaps?

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Charlie Hoo? Charlie Gula!

This is Charlie, who is so going with me to Vietnam and Oz. He may even get his own blog. It's always nice to have a cuddly friend on those long overnight flights. The husband (Happy 27th Anniversary, dear) has no problem sleeping anywhere anytime. I don;t, and I'm hoping Charlie will help.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Wonder of Warranties

Lady Mixalot got cranky and stopped working properly last Thursday. Since she was less than a year old, I called KitchenAid. They shipped me a brand new mixer, and said to return the old one, postage-paid, in the box in which the new one came. The new one came yesterday, and will debut on the bread-making stage tomorrow. This is the old one, boxed up and ready to return. I do love it when something is still under warranty when it breaks and the company is so good about honoring it. Kudos to KitchenAid!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Weather Confuses Me, Too

Obviously, all the snow did not melt yesterday. Nor did it all melt today. It will, eventually.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Snow Blossoms

This is the dogwood tree outside the dining room window. Its blossoms today are white, thanks to yesterday's snow. I expect that the scene will be very different tomorrow or even later today since today's temperatures are predicted to rise high enough to melt much of this. At least we got a brief glimpse of the beauty that winter can be and on a Monday holiday to boot.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

It's About Time!

The grey/white blur in the photo is snow! This is supposed to be the largest snowfall of the winter, and it's past the middle of February. It might as well be the first snowfall of the winter. Since I took today's photo, it's started coming down harder and sticking to everything. We may not be able to sled tonight, but I expect there will be enough that I put on my waterproof hiking boots for the dog's nightly stroll.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Charlie Koala

Meet Charlie Koala, obtained during a visit to Build-a-Bear Workshop with younger son's girlfriend. After obtaining Charlie and the new-but-will-be-cuddled-and-loved white bear, we took all the plush to Tropical Smoothie Cafe. Sometimes it's good to get out on the town with friends.

Friday, February 17, 2012

A Little Bit of Too Many

My dining room table is a metaphor for my life at the moment. Where to start? Lists of lists of things to do, get, get rid of, take care of, remind, and/or nag about. I take deep breaths and tell myself that the things that have to get done before March 11 will, and the rest can wait or will have to.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Faithful Companions

I'm living on these guys this week, or so it seems. I follow the old adage that a cold lasts a week and a half if you treat the symptoms and ten days if you don't. I'd much rather treat the symptoms than not, so these guys and I are getting up close and personal for a while. In fact, the lunchtime dose is wearing off, so it must be time for the one that will get me through the evening and the sweat I'll work up swinging a sword. I'm hoping that the weekend will see me off the sauce and back among the physically healthy.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

This Is Not a Dead Snake

If I had had a camera along on the second dog walk of the day, this could have been a photo of the dead snake in the street off our cul-de-sac. Instead, you get my passport, application for a Vietnamese visa, and visa photos. Once Hue University sends us the magic visa approval number, the husband and I will shoot to DC for the day and obtain the visas we need for the trip, Vietnam being about the only country in Southeast Asia for which visas must be obtained in advance.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

It was a good one except for the cold that's kicking my butt. Gotta take the bad with the good.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Tickets To Fly

Is it just me, or are others somewhat disconcerted about airline e-tickets? The photo shows the tickets that will take the husband and me to Hue, Vietnam, via Seattle, and then on to Perth and Melbourne, Australia before we arrive back home to Virginia. Granted, paper tickets could get lost, damaged, or stolen, but at least there was something to look at in anticipation, while visualizing yourself handing it over to an agent, tangible evidence that you were about to travel. It seems so much more, well, ordinary this way, as if we do it regularly. I don't ever want travel to seem ordinary or regular; I want it always to be an adventure.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

A Saucy Dinner

My friend Gina posts great photos of some of the incredible food she and her family make. This is not like that. This is spaghetti sauce from a can, with diced tomatoes (also from a can), ground beef (low-fat), and herbs added. It tasted fine.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Most Egregious Use of an Apostrophe

I helped judge a forensics (as in public speaking and not crime-solving) tournament at a local high school today. I saw this in an English classroom. As the Bloggess says, "When your wrong your wrong."

Friday, February 10, 2012

The Daily Dog

I give older son a dog-a-day calendar each Christmas; this is today's page. Sometimes it's easier just to snap a quick shot of something than to explain to house guests why I'm taking a certain photo. Unobtrusive. Like today's dog.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Way Cooler than a Lamp

When we took down the Christmas tree, the snake ended up sitting where there used to be a lamp. It's still there because a snake is way cooler than a lamp any day, right?

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Minks? Prey!

These five minks came from stoles purchased at the thrift store and cut apart. Scully hunts them regularly, pulling them down from their roost and coming down the stairs, growling softly, prey securely in her jaws. She usually only does this at night; come morning, we often find all five minks in the dining room at the bottom of the stairs.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

You Can't Have a Bad Day Revisited

I couldn't use this photo until the recipient of the Batman underwear had received it. No more bad days for a certain someone in Seattle!

Monday, February 6, 2012

A Cat Gets Nine of These Lives?!?

If there is a sunspot, Scully will find it. Beyond that, the post's title says it all.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Probably Not the Next Best Seller

As the cover notes, this is the limited spring edition ... catalog. Older son thinks he got this because, after ordering quite a quantity of firearm accessories and ammunition from Cabela's, he joined their affinity program. I'm not sure we'll be able to bring ourselves to simply recycling this. I may have to confiscate it for use in some sort of creative enterprise that will pay tribute to just what an awesome catalog this is.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

If I Can't See You ...

So this is an old photo, taken at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania several years ago. I've been hiding out in the basement, but really have to go upstairs soon and start on dinner and making bread. If I sit down to post there, the husband or resident guest will inquire as to what I'm doing which will require an explanation. Introvert that I am, I can unfortunately only hide down here for so long.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Leaving Me Speechless

This came in the mail today, from a friend, along with a Viking knit bracelet she made me as a birthday present and another bracelet she made with a stone that seemed to her--as it does to me--to commemorate a visit we took together to White Sands, New Mexico. I was only expecting the one bracelet, which I knew was coming since I'd measured my wrist for it, and am blown away by how perfectly suited everything is to me. I mean, does this sword pendant just screams my name. I am not sure what I do to deserve such friends, but I shall try to pay it forward soon and often.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Sunshine Almost Always Makes Me High

The groundhog that counts supposedly saw his shadow this morning (it was raining so hard here that he wouldn't have) meaning that we will have six more weeks of winter. It's the "more" I don't understand because I'm not really sure we've had any real winter so far. One ice storm doesn't really count, at least not to the daffodils shooting up around the mailbox.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Quilt in Progress

I've never made a quilt out of old t-shirts. Figuring that I should, I'm making one out of younger son's old Odyssey of the Mind and Destination ImagiNation t-shirts. I'm having the time of my life quilting around the shirt designs! A fellow quilter told me that I'd only ever make one of these because they are so tedious. Not! I'm already thinking about other t-shirt collections I might use in future such quilts.