Sunday, January 30, 2011

who, me?

Awww, I'm in a treasury!

You can see it here.

Threadsandthings1 included my yellow 'Spring' tote bag.

It'll be February in a couple of days. That means Spring is right around the corner. We make it through February, which, let's face it, is just about the gloomiest of months. At least, out here on the East Coast, it is. It's the coldest, slowest, most boring month. I like the boring part. But, sometimes the cold, dark days make you long for some warmth. Sure, a glass of bourbon by the fire is nice;but, it's also nice sitting in the back yard, sun on my shoulders, sipping a G&T!! :)
At any rate, with spring, comes spring cleaning, a sense of renewal and rejuvenation, and a little more energy to get to those resolutions I made in January!!
Lots of things planned to improve myself this year...and I'm off to a slow start. I think instead of waiting on Spring, I should use this cold dark month of February to do SOMEthing!

Friday, January 28, 2011

TGIF? I guess...

Kicking back with my feet up, watching Breakfast at Tiffany's, and just relaxing my cold away.
I'm thinking, again, about letting my hair grow. Maybe just a bit? I'm sure, the same thing will happen. It will grow a bit and then I'll get sick of having to fuss with it, and I'll cut it. And even if I do get through the annoying stages of growing it out, once it's long it will just end up in a ponytail every single day.
But I came across this picture taken before we went to our friend's 40th birthday party. It was a disco dance party at the VFW hall! It was such a hoot! I danced until my ankles would not support me in my 5 inch heels, and then took them off so that I could dance some more! Of course, if I'm going to a themed party, I HAVE to dress appropriately!!
I bought this vintage '70's dress. It had sleeves and was too narrow for my wide shoulders. I couldn't zip it up all the way. I took the sleeves off and made the back into a 'V' and zipped it only halfway up. Anyway, the point is that my hair was just the right length for some great '70's feathering!! This picture was what made me think maybe I could grow my hair again...
Wow, some days my mind is wasted!! That's the trouble with migraines and neck pains, I guess.

Thursday, January 27, 2011


I am sick. and this is the second time in, I think, the past couple of months. This rarely happens...that I get sick TWICE in one winter season. I blame it on my laziness. My immune system is usually going strong b/c I TRY to take care of myself. But I have been lazy and not working out and my body is not as strong as it usually is. Last time, I guzzled DayQuil and slept for a day. This time I had to go to work, and have decided to try to get better naturally. One woman at work says a bowl of hot water with some cider vinegar helps if you breath it in...clears the sinuses, I guess. It seems to work for awhile, but only when it's really hot. Another co-worker today gave me 3 Elderberry pills. I took one, forgot 3 hours later to take the next one, and just remembered now that I was supposed to take the 3 one a half hour ago...hold on...
okay...I guess we'll see?
At any rate, it was NOT a good day to be sick. I wanted SO BADLY to call in this morning. I have never called in to work, sick. I have gone home early, but have never once said, 'i just can't make it.'
Well, this morning, on top of being sick, I had unplowed roads from the little snowstorm we had last night. Schools closed early this morning while I was on the road to work. After making it out of my neighborhood, I saw that the roads had not been plowed yet! Well, they had, but only one half...and not the half I had to drive on! So, I decided that I would not put my life in danger for work. I had done that so many times in the past, and it's just not worth it! I turned around to go home, only to see, coming toward me...the town plow. Damn! I called in, asked if anyone else was coming to work, and said that I would be late.
I ended up only being a couple minutes late. Upon arrival I informed the guy in charge for the morning that I was not feeling well...and he said he could tell. Later I joked, when he hesitated to give me a project to work on, that I could just go home. He told me I could, and said it would be fine, but I said, 'I can't...I have my review, I have the cheese tasting, and (since the other cheese girl didn't brave the snow to come in) I had to do the cheese order.' He offered to do the tasting for me, if I wanted to just give him my notes (which was a rare show of compassion for this guy), but I said I'd tough it out. You see, I also had a lunch date with my sister and dad, so going home early wouldn't make any sense anyway.
So, it's been a long day. When I got home at 2, I shoveled my little spot at the end of the circle driveway...and the front porch...and the back which point I wondered why I had a husband. He is of the 'there's never enough snow to have to shovel' school, and so I have never seen him shovel. It's a good workout, though, so I only mind when I have to do it at 3 in the morning...and it's been awhile since I've had to do that!
Anyway, my review went well...they still like me, I guess. People seemed to enjoy the Brie and thanked me for only putting out 4 cheeses instead of every kind we have. I actually forgot to put one out! oops...
And, I was able to get the order done in about an hour (my goal!!).
I was out the door at 12:10 and that's just because I HAD to buy milk, and so had to stand in line. Lunch was nice, too. I ate every last bite of my two Harvest grain 'n' nut pancakes, two eggs, 3 pieces of bacon (hey...she gave me an extra piece of bacon!!) and hash browns. Also two cups of coffee, and a glass of chocolate milk. And that was after my little cup of yogurt at my 8:30 break. I also had 3 chocolate chip cookies when I got home...I have GOT to stop making chocolate chip cookies when I'm cold, bored, and alone!! :)
I should also stop blogging when I'm sick since it seems to make me ramble...although, I guess I have that tendency most days anyway. Put me in a room of people, though, and I don't say a word!!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Random thoughts before work

*I want to make a 'root cellar' in the corner of my basement.
*I have no compost to start my spring beds with.
*It's damn cold in this house this morning!
*It looks like it could actually snow today.
*I want to leave work early today, so I'm sure it won't be possible.
*Clarinet practice tonight--woohoo!!
*My coffee was extra dark this morning...yum-me!
*Gotta get that third roll of film in my pin hole camera...maybe some grey snowy shots tomorrow?
*What does everyone else do mid-week?
*How am I still typing when I have no feeling in the tips of my fingers?
*Does anyone else really fill out surveys addressed to 'the main grocery shopper'? B/c I'm going to!
*Hubby's picking up our Girl Scout cookies from our friend Hannah at poker tonight!! They better make it home!!
*Two days in a row with no body in the kennel to start the extra hour of random thoughts to think in the morning...

Monday, January 24, 2011


Well, not that I am surprised, but my 'week of shadowing' to train to be the new order writer for our cheese section, turned into one day of shadowing, on day of it being too busy and short-staffed for shadowing, and four days between the two of us working together again. That basically means that I had one day of training before I was sent out on my own. Well, that alone wouldn't be THAT big of a deal, since there are plenty of people around to help. However, after working with the cheese girl (a woman who has worked in a cheese shop and has done this order for the entire 6 years she's worked at this store!) for the grand total of 5 or so hours, and then not seeing her between Saturday and this coming Thursday, I have been told I need to put together a cheese tasting for the crew!!
I am a bit upset, not really knowing much about it, being thrown into this without any real training, and then having to put together a tasting without being able to consult 'my mentor'!
So, Brie it is. The only cheese 'group' that seems to be prevalent (I guess they did a blue tasting last time).
(photo source)

I'm sure it'll be fine, but I have to feature a few kinds (I'll be doing our store brand domestic double creme, Il de France double creme, our light brie, the Supreme 62%, and Belletoile triple creme), the crew will taste each one and give their thoughts on which the like best/least and why. Then this info gets sent to the 'home office' where our buyers will read comments and they (presumably) take these into consideration when doing their buying thing.
In addition, I need to write up some 'fun facts' about brie...and this is a part time job!!?
I just hope Karen (the original cheese girl) is working that day to help me.
If nothing else, I get to have a yummy cheese party after my 1 year review that morning! Man, Thursday's gonna be busy!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Inspiration is flooding in!

I have been working on a piece of Mail Art for about a week or so. Not really sure what I was doing, but giving it the ol' college try, as they say. Then yesterday I got my very first piece from Dave in Ohio! I hope he doesn't mind that I am posting it, because I found it very inspirational.
I LOVE Winslow Homer! My very first trip to the Boston Museum of Fine Art was to see the Homer show. That was about 12 years ago! It's all just so beautiful, though. The quote in the corner really pulled me in, too. It really says it all, doesn't it? 'Explore. Dream. Discover.'

And last night while Hubby was making dinner, I put my nose to the grind-stone, and finished the piece I was working on for Dave. I hope it stands up to the mail service!! :)

Anyway, the combination of getting the art, and finally finishing a piece after having finished NOTHING in well over a YEAR! stirred up some creativity, I think. This morning I'm starting another piece to send out to another on the mailing list. I actually woke up this morning excited about what I wanted to do...staying in bed past 5 a.m. is hard for me anyway, but when I'm all giddy about doing something creative...forget about it!!
So, this is going to be normal, I think...
(pardon my gross dry skin)
Kind of gross? Maybe, but if it means I'm getting down and dirty with my inks and other such things, then call me 'gross'. I love having ink on my hands!

As if that wasn't enough, I found this on my blog roll this morning:
A post about a Sumi Society! I have done some in the past and had just pulled out my brushes and ink sticks this morning! I actually had them sitting next to me as I read the post! (Talk about synchronicity, eh Erika!?)

So now I'm off to do something NOT pertaining to my computer!!
Hope everyone has a great's my day off, so I'm already doing pretty good!!

Friday, January 21, 2011


So, a few days ago, I posted about going over to see 'the girls' and play some music. I had my clarinet, and Donna had a 'new' vintage clarinet I was going to inspect (it was a mess, and she's sending it back). The older of my two younger sisters (steph) came over a bit later and we had some sushi and cheese & crackers and sparkling clementine juice. Since the vintage clarinet didn't work, Donna got out her alto (?) recorder and later she helped Steph play her old traditional recorder. When Nate showed up, he played accompaniment on piano, to the song we'd been practicing ALL DAY. We pretty much played music for 4 or 5 HOURS!! Sure, we took a scone and tea break, and spent some time looking for other songs to play, but we had instruments out until I left at 5 pm. And everyone else kept playing when i left!! Oh, and when Renee showed up, she brought out her flute.

But, I also had a surprise for everyone. A surprise that I thought would be spectacular.
I brought my antique accordion. I got it from an old landlord who was bringing it to the 'swap shop' at the dump and said I could have it! I don't play, but my grandfather has played FOR-EV-ER. He played this one for me once and said that it was nice and it worked, but it was a bit out of tune and too old to tune.
At any one was as excited as i had hoped. But that's okay. No body plays the accordion, why would they care that I had one?? I may still try to learn, but OMG! I have so many things on my list of 'things to learn' already!!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Could this be part of the problem?

This is my workspace ...
in THIS messy studio...

The chair isn't even on the right side of the desk! It was moved when I needed it in my adjoining room (my gym space) on Christmas day (so I could watch tv without waking hubby)...and when I was done, I just threw it back in the studio. Probably because I figured I wouldn't be going in there any time soon. And I was right, unfortunately.
However, I just spent some time starting up some little projects to send out.
I would love to get them out by the weekend, but tomorrow (after work) I am going to practice clarinets with the girls. Usually the hilarity that ensues keeps me there very late!
I bet I could've done more today if I hadn't spent 4 hours on the sofa trying to decide if I should've taken a nap after getting up at 3:30 for work this morning?
Well, what's done is done, and I think I need to clean my studio (oh, I'll just add it to my list!).

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

work, work, work

This picture is so small b/c I stole it from our facebook page.
This was me at work on Monday...tough day!

Random thoughts of the morning

I got up at 4 this morning, though I don't have to be to work until 7, because I just couldn't sleep.
My stomach is a bit achy, and two people were sick yesterday with some sort of bug. I think, for me, I just made my coffee way to strong this morning.
I will be 60 when our home loan matures!
My old clarinet is being a pain...I adjusted a couple of the new pads last night, but still can only get a few of the mid-range notes out. Is it me? Is it the shotty repair job I did? Is it just that that clarinet has been sitting in my closet for many years (at least 6)...wrapped in a tee-shirt, wrapped in a plastic bag, wrapped in duct tape? (I really wanted the moth issue contained, and possibly kill off whatever was still lingering!)
I, in my restlessness this morning, remembered something very exciting. Well, exciting to me and 'my girls', but probably not to anyone else. It's a secret until I can reveal it to them (they read my blog, so 'mum's the word' for now).
I need a plan, an agenda, a routine, a schedule. My body is crying out to get back into exercising, but I have been unable to commit these days. I have the urge to be creative again, but I have been unable to commit these days. My life is seriously lacking the structure I need to get things done. My house is a mess.
Yesterday, at my job at the animal hospital, a couple brought in their puppies for their first exam and shots. ELEVEN lab/golden mix pups! All teeth and nails and wet noses and sleepy eyes and floppy ears. Some days that job just makes me smile! They were all perfect patients, even with all the pooping and peeing they did all over the floor!
Tomorrow, I plan to get some stuff done, as I get out of work at 11 and my 'play date' has been moved to Thursday. Thursday, clarinet-flute-piano...MUSIC DAY (after work, of course)!

Well, now it's 6 a.m. I guess I should shift gears and think about getting ready for work...oh, need gas in my car...

Monday, January 17, 2011

mail...mail art...the art of mail...

Well, in typical 'jen-style', I'm getting a slow start with my Mail Art! I'm excited to have that creative outlet. This means, I can do fun stuff without the stress of trying to sell it! Yet, here I am doing other things...working, fixing clarinets, playing with my friends...oh, life is so hard! :)

I am excited to start this, despite how it may seem with my lack of production, because I love mail. I love paper. I love inks, and pencils, and pens, and collages, and...I just love everything about the possibilities of mail!
Growing up, I was best friends with my mom's youngest sister. She is just 4 years older than I, so we were always more like sisters ourselves. It was such a heart-breaker every time we got to see each other for a couple days and then say good-bye until who knew when. We lived a couple hours apart, and there weren't cell phones back then. We had timed phone calls. We wrote a lot of letters. Even when we were in the same room, we would pass a notebook back and forth instead of talking to each other!!
When we were older and she lived in Europe for a bit, I always ran to the mail to see if I had gotten another postcard or letter.
And when I moved away, and went through my things, my letters were one thing I couldn't part with. I believe they are still in my attic at this moment. And said aunt lives just 30 minutes away. Plus we have cell phones and cars now...we haven't written in awhile...maybe I should invite her to the mail art circle?? (Whaddya think, Auntie??...I'll talk to you. :) ...)

So my goal is to get my act together and get something going!! My sad little studio is gathering dust!!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

playoffs project

Okay, this project has nothing to do with the playoffs (that's football playoffs for those of you un-sports-minded folks out there), but it is what I did while waiting for the Patriots-Jets game to start.
I 'fixed' my old clarinet. Yes, I bought a new one so that I wouldn't have to do this, but after a couple meet-ups with my 'girls' (my two sisters and our aunt), we all decided we wanted to play together. One of my sisters has an extra flute, so I figured, 'well, I have the extra clarinet, I just need to fix it.' So, I tried.
I bought a 'pad repair kit' and just got it in the mail yesterday. I was a bit apprehensive, anyway, but now that it's done, it's not done. I can't get anything but an open G, which means something's not quite right. So, what I need to do now is go back and heat the 'pad cups' again and make sure the pads are even and flush and closing the holes completely. Hopefully that is all it is and I can fix it. The other possibility is that I bent something or put a key back on wrong. I really think it's an uneven pad though.
However, I had been working on it for several hours and am really all done for the night. I can't even see straight anymore!! :)
And I actually remembered to shoot most of the process...
First of all, here is a new pad next to one of the moth eaten old pads.
The series of keys I had to remove: (this is just the upper part of the instrument)

Here are a few re-padded keys and one waiting for it's turn:
This is a dish of my 'adhesive pellets. You put a couple in the little 'pad cup' and heat the pellets to melt. Then the pad gets placed in the cup. It is actually a lot harder than it sounds. Luckily, I had read somewhere to prick a tiny hole in the side of the new pad, so the heat from the glue doesn't get trapped in the pad and bubble up. I had forgotten until after the first one I did! Here's my table of parts, glue, tiny screwdriver, and candle for heating the glue.
And here are my two clarinets, side by side...the top and the bottom.
So, tomorrow after work, I can hopefully try to figure out what I did wrong. I'm off to see Auntie for 'play time' on Wednesday, and if she doesn't get her new vintage clarinet by then, then she will be using my old one. Fingers crossed.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

I doubled up!

So my first roll of film, as we all know, ended in 4 sad little pictures. Well, 3 sad pictures and 1 that I actually thought was pretty cool.
Out of my second roll I managed EIGHT shots. When I brought the film in and the girl asked if I wanted the photo CD, index print, and all that jazz, I said, 'yes, but I don't actually know if anything is on there.' She said, 'fine, we'll only charge for what's on there.' And then when I went in, she said, 'there were only about 8 shots, so you can take a look and see if you want any of them.' I said, 'yes, whatever came out! That's twice what I got last time!' So then we had a brief conversation about her friend's pin hole camera and how she gets some really cool shots, and such and that I shouldn't be embarrassed when I bring my film in to her (b/c I told her I was beginning to feel silly bringing in film and not really getting any pictures back. A friendly person at CVS! And a person working the photo counter who is actually INTO photography!! Crazy day!
So, here are the UNEDITED results of 'roll 2'...
They're mostly the end of the roll when I took shots of the snow in the back yard.

This one is my bamboo plant in the yard
My tomato cage by the side fence
My garden fence
The side fence and,again
And, I don't remember taking this one of our shed?
These last two were actually at the beginning of the roll.
This one, out the front window
and, this one, out the back slider.
I honestly don't remember what was in the middle of the roll, as I didn't keep a journal like I did for the first roll. But here's what I've learned:
1. I advanced the film too much between shots, as I just realized when looking at the negatives (which is why I can't remember any other shots!), and
2. I need to stop being lazy and get out the damn tripod!
And, now I will edit them and see if I can get something interesting out of the fuzzy pictures at wonky angles!

Friday, January 14, 2011

I found this!

So, I was going through the pictures from my pin hole show Hubby how lame I am. And as I'm sifting through the '3' that I thought I had, I noticed a FOURTH! And it's actually pretty cool!!
(in case it's not as obvious to those who weren't there when I took the picture, it's my clarinet...)

But now I am thinking that all the pictures I thought were OVER-exposed, may have been UNDER-exposed...which means the whole roll I just shot could be another whole roll of nothing! Ugh! I hope I can get this thing under control! :)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

roll two, ready to be developed

I finished up my second roll of film today (in the pin hole nemesis). But while I was out taking shots of my bamboo in the snow, I thought, 'hey, dummy, why not take some shots with the you know you'll actually have the shots!'
So, I took a few. Not great, I'm still not sure about the digital. I like that I can get shots and see them right away...delete or keep...alter if necessary. But I really wish actual photos were as easy. I love my old camera, but hate the processing time and chemicals involved. I know, 'lame''s just hard trying to be good to the environment as much as I can, and then try to justify photography. Is that really stupid? I mean, I'm not an environmentalist by a long shot, but I recycle what I can, use my cotton bags for shopping, I drive as little as possible (since i have an old heavy-ish car). I know, it's silly, but I wish I could get the beauty of my old camera with the ease of a digital without spending the cash it takes to get such a camera! Man, I hate this post...
but, I love my bamboo!!
I had to pull it's little branches out from under the frozen snow.
Hopefully, with any luck at all, I will have some shots from my pin hole camera coming soon.
I hope.
I really hope.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

oh, what a far.

After hours of going through my clothes, this is what I 'can't part with'. The things I tend to wear a lot. It's all tee shirts, tank tops, and long-sleeved tees. And a couple pairs of pants, most of which are 'work pants'.
And then I got one bag of trash (well, a half of a bag, really) plus one bag of stuff to donate (a few pairs of pants that are too big or I just won't wear anymore).

So, when I was done, this is what I was left with...
a slightly less annoying mess of clothes! Practically no difference!! Did I seriously just waste all that time to decide I can't possibly part with these clothes?? I needed to take a break and I will go back later to purge again. And, in all honesty, I started going through the stuff in the closet and turned around and walked away. Man, I hate this!
For a little fun, I took a picture of me in my old varsity jacket. Size 44...weird.

for this, they cancel school?

Even before our last 'snow storm' had really started (a storm whose end result was about 4-6 inches of soft fluffy powder), there were reports of the up-coming second storm due to hit Tuesday night into Wednesday morning. Schools were being cancelled yesterday...before anything had even started!! Now, I grew up in Michigan, where you were allowed about 3 snow days...of which we usually got to use one! (Okay, that may be an exaggeration, but I don't remember missing more than a couple days a year for snow, and when we did, you can bet it was FEET of snow, not the whisper of a possibility of inches of snow.) At any rate, the reports had even changed some time yesterday to say that the snow was likely to turn to rain by Wednesday morning. Yet, they closed most schools anyway. And here is our end result:
I believe it started off as snow around midnight, and we got another inch, before it turned to rain. The roads are slush in front of our house, and the people across the street are forming a puddle from all that is melting down their driveway!! Right now, it's raining. Now, I'm not complaining, I hate driving in the snow (not that I have to work today...yippee! was scheduled off, though. I would've had to work!), but come on...can't you just wait and see if this snow thing really happens before getting all panicked? Cape Cod, after all the years I've been here, should be moving forward to be better equipped to handle snow storms. Every year it's the same story, 'well, the Cape's just not used to this kind of weather like the Midwest.' Well, after the 16 years I've been here, you'd think the towns could grow and evolve and BECOME better equipped!!
Nevermind...I'm getting myself all worked up over some premature school closings...and I don't even have kids!!

Moving the past...
This past Saturday evening we were invited to an informal poker party so that one of the 'new girls' in our social circle could get a quiet lesson. I was touched that we were included, but then realized that we had all the poker chips! Whatever the reason, it was just 8 people. We all brought a dish, I brought frozen dessert from Trader Joe's, and some nuts to nibble on. We also, of course, brought a bottle of wine. I don't play poker much, but when I do, I like to bring my flask of whiskey to have at the calms my nerves.
I never wear these boots, but I thought they were appropriate for the evening...a place for my flask! They were one of the first gifts from Hubby, about 12 years ago. Back when I'd say, 'oh, those are cute.' and the next thing I knew they were wrapped up and waiting for me.
I wore them with my Old Navy jeans, plain white tee, and my newest sweater from the in-laws (it's really nice wool...angora? I forget...and it's a deep plum color). Unfortunately for Jason, I got a lot more compliments on my short hair. He showed his friends a picture of me that he carries in his wallet...a self-portrait of me and my camera in the bathroom mirror (the one we ALL have!). I took it when I was 21, and had long wavy hair. On of our male friends said, 'not a lot of girls can pull off short hair, but you definitely can.' To which Jason replied, 'stop telling her that!!' He's so funny!
So, it was a good time...oh, the food: Spencer brought these great was homemade bruschetta; the other was a Melba toast topped with a cucumber slice and tuna tartar! yum! The Dalrymples brought Oysters Rockefeller, which we didn't eat since we both don't eat raw oysters. The party throwers made a baked brie, and served chicken tacos for dinner. It was a good time, but I drank way too much....but, not more than usual! :)

Today's post is pretty random and long-winded, but I am putting off my chores. I am tackling my clothes problem today. I have a handful of clothes I wear all the time: Monday/Tuesday's scrubs; Wednesday-Sunday work pants and Trader Joe's tees; and, one extra shirt/sweater for the day off. Yet, none of these things fit in my IKEA stand-up unit because that is already full of who-knows-what. Things are just shoved in there! Not folded, not organized. I may have admitted before that I tend to keep clothes for a long time. I don't always wear them, but when I feel I should get rid of them, I think, 'but what if they come back in style or I can fit into them again?' So I keep. I have been rewarded with this behavior this past year, in the form of being able to wear that cute plaid skirt from the '80's (which wasn't even mine...I took it from Auntie when she wanted to get rid of it!). But this time, I'm doing it for real. If I'm on the fence about it, I don't' need it! Plus, I'm planning on not gaining this weight back, so if it's too big, it's outta here!!

So now that you know about my boring day...I guess I better quit stalling and get to it!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

sad news

I was so excited to finish up my first roll of film in my pin hole camera. I even took my lunch break to go to the pharmacy to get one-hour development. So, after work, I went in to pick up my pictures. The woman at the counter said, 'oh, there's no charge. You're all set.'
Of course, I knew...none of my pictures came out. Actually, THREE did. Though, the developer was being generous saying that even those 3 could be called 'pictures'. How sad!
Well, since I didn't have to pay for the 'photos' I got another roll of film, and I'm ready to try again.
I even decided to pay extra to get the photo CD so that I wouldn't have to bother with the scanning and CD burning. How silly!! Instead, I have nothing to show for my efforts!

Normally, this would be enough to say, 'screw this!', but it's a new year...a new me...let's see if I can work past my frustration and make something nice?

Monday, January 10, 2011

and that's the end of round one

I have officially finished my first roll of film in my pin hole camera, and now just have to get it to the developer. With the supposed upcoming snow storm, I may or may not get to the drug store tomorrow or Wednesday.
I'm so bad at running errands. It's not like I have to go far out of my way to get to the drug store, but generally, if some thing's not on my route to/from work, I feel like it is out of the way. Lazy!
But, I'm excited to see what I get from this first try.

In other news...well, there really isn't any other news. I am suddenly feeling light-headed and nauseous. I know there's been a stomach bug going around here, but I really hope it was just something I ate?

(Still no new pics for this post either...)

Saturday, January 8, 2011

more socializing!!??

So here it is, Saturday night, and somehow I got another Sunday off. I do love the time and a half pay, but it is also nice to get some time to spend with, I'll take it!
Here's the kicker: it's turning out to be a social weekend!
We had planned on spending some time with Dad for Christmas/New Year's celebration (ie: dinner at his fav restaurant, IHOP), but with the bad news Steph got, she's pre-occupied with other things.
However, with 'Dad plans' being cancelled, we are able to go see some live local music in town on Sunday, instead. And perhaps hook up with some friends for that and some drinks.
As if that isn't already more socializing than I'm used to, this 'Sunday off' thing frees up Saturday night, as well. And, wouldn't you know, we've been invited to a small dinner party tonight. Normally, I would just send Jason with my 'regrets', but since I have no excuse not to go...
But, the crazy thing is, I am excited to go. Strange, I know, but I am actually looking forward to going out tonight, AND having plans lined up for my day off.
The reason why tonight may be fun is that it is just 8 of us. There WILL be a poker game, as that is the reason for the 'party', but it's purpose is to show one of our friends' new (-ish) girlfriend how to play. That means, I won't be the lamest one there!! And, I KNOW it will be a small crowd of only the people I LIKE to play with. Part of the reason I don't usually play is because some of these people are too serious about it. They also are way more strategic, but that is because they all have been playing for about 10 years together!!
So, it's just a small potluck dinner at 6, followed by a poker game at 7. Easy, stress less, and fun.
We're bringing dessert, so I picked up a frozen tiramisu, and I also got a frozen chocolate yule log that we had lowered from $6.99 to $4.99. Again, I don't feel the need to do anything crazy like rush home to make a dessert (since it was an impromptu sort of thing that they decided to invite us to last night), so frozen is great!
And then tomorrow, the group of us will likely meet up for the music at the museum.

In other news, I practiced my clarinet for about a half an hour yesterday. And then I checked online to see how much a new case and a new set of pads would be to repair my old one. Looks like I could have my old clarinet back for about $40. Yes, the whole point of buying a new one was because having it repaired would cost anywhere from $125 to $400 and would have to be shipped away. But now that I have my new one, I figured I could take a shot at replacing the old pads and if it didn't work out, I'd still be able to play the new one. But if it DID work out, we could play more!

I am probably nearly finished with the roll of film in my pin hole camera. I have forgotten to wind the film several times. And, I am not sure about exposure or even focusing. I have taken a few pictures that will probably just be blurs due to close range. I really should read the book it came with, but I was just so excited to get started!!
That reminds me...maybe I should go shoot some pictures?

What's everyone else up to this weekend??

Thursday, January 6, 2011

play day(s)

Yesterday, as i said...well, yesterday, was my sister Stephanie's birthday. She had some tragedy befall her fiance's family, but we were able to sweep her away to enjoy her day for just a bit.

We all got dressed up in our vintage attire...well, I am really the only one out of the four of us that doesn't do it on a daily or almost daily basis. Of course, I am rubbish at documenting things, so I don't have one picture of the four of us, full body. I have these five shots that I took in the car...
The birthday girl: driving b/c Renee and I both have Cavaliers that are too small for the three tall girls, and me.
Blindly shooting the backseat, I got Donna making a weird face,
and Renee's hand..
...and then the two of them upon my second try to get Renee
And me...making a weird face. We are a family of weird-face makers.
It was fun. We all make each other laugh so hard that one, or sometimes all, of us has tears.
We went for tea at the place the girls like to go. I live about 30-40 minutes away from the rest of them, so they definitely hang out more than I do, but it is nice when I am able to join the gang. I wish I had gotten better pictures.
After tea, we had cupcakes back at Donna's and eventually were playing instruments and trying to decide if our band should be all flutes or a combo: flute, clarinet, oboe, bassoon. Since we don't have two of those instruments, we had a hard time deciding!!
Today, I think I will try to practice a bit, since I've not had time until now....

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

i'm so tired

I'm afraid there won't be any pictures with this post...again.
I had two pretty crappy days at the kennel this week, which ended in a house full of people last night. We had planned on hosting the weekly poker game, but I had not anticipated such a hectic and emotionally draining two days of vet exposure.
So, last night, I went to bed around 7-7:30 to try to get to sleep before people started to arrive around 8. Only, I didn't fall asleep, and then I COULDN'T fall asleep. I was awake from 5 a.m. that morning until about 1 a.m. WEDNESDAY morning! And then had to be up by 3:30 a.m. to get to work.
My sister turned 29 today, but we had planned on meeting up for tea on Thursday. Then her future mother-in-law died suddenly over the weekend and so, of course, plans changed. She has been at home consoling her fiance and, obviously, pretty distraught herself, but it is hard to skip your birthday, I think. So we were able to celebrate her birthday, if we got together today instead of Thursday. I am glad she didn't just skip her birthday, and I'm glad we were all able to still get together, but oh, my I am tired!
Unfortunately, I was thinking her gift would be here in time for our original 'play date' of wouldn't have been though, since I didn't get it today...probably tomorrow. She doesn't USUALLY read my blog, but just in case, I am not telling what it is.

Jason just found out that a shirt he submitted to is up for voting...I guess I should go vote for it. Maybe when I get the link, I can put it up in case any of you like it and want to vote on it. I don't really know the deal, but his last try wasn't even put up for votes, so this is cool!
**Update: here's the link if you wanna see the shirt: plaid the impaler (you can vote it you like, but i just wanted all to's funny)***

I took some shots with my new cardboard camera. Yesterday I took a shot of my bamboo plant. Today I took a couple shots of trees while on my 'lunch' break (is 8 a.m. considered lunch if you're at work at 4:30??). It was then that I realized I had not advanced the film in 3 shots!! Dummy!!! this will take some getting used to! I think my first roll of film will be a lot of over exposed, under exposed, or just plain ridiculous pictures! I will, of course, scan and share when the time comes.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

my new camera

I used to take some pretty good pictures. When I was 18 or 19, I took a correspondence course in photography. It was after getting kicked out of university after my first year, and I was working full time at Taco at home, with no real direction in life. It was about $600 for the course, and in the end, I got a 'free' camera. I loved that camera. It was all manual, and I slowly found my 'eye' and thought I was pretty good at the 'artsy' photos.
I even, in later years, ended up having an actual artist wanting to buy one of my photos!
At any rate, as with most things I do, I felt the creativity leave me, and the camera started gathering dust. It was also partly due to the fact that this camera, and then together with the giant zoom lens Hubby ended up buying for me, weighed about 1,000 pounds!! So, I hated carrying it around.
Enter my cute little 'Elph' Camera. It didn't take great pictures, but it fit in my pocket!! Still, with it's limited capabilities, I never really got my creative juices flowing for photos again.
Then, we were part of the digital age, and a friend gave us her old digital camera. It took pictures closer to my old camera, but weighed less, and didn't waste film! But then it, since, by then, prices were down, we got the digital version of the Elph...I don't mind it, but I really only take family photos or day to day shots. I've never really considered getting back into arty photos.
But this year, I got a pinhole camera kit, and am eager to see what cool things I can do with it.
I finally put it together today...yes, I made a camera!
Of course, I didn't think to document the process until almost done, but here's the open camera and the instructions. Four pages or so...lots of gluing, and lots of paper-clipping until the glue dried.
Here's the front of the finished product... And, the back, with the exposure guide. I haven't really had to think about exposure, film speed, or any of that for a long time. Even composition isn't as important anymore due to easy deleting and re-shooting, and photoshop and all of that.
And here's the kit, with the camera. It came with a big book of artists photos and stuff, but I've yet to really look at it...I flipped through it Christmas day, but now that the camera is done, I will take a closer look. I've never used a camera like this but I am excited! I took a couple pictures tonight, and am keeping a log/diary of the exposure time and whatnot.
Of course, IF any of the photos turn out, I will have to scan and upload them.
I am already feeling more creative in this new year...I hope it lasts!!

(I'm finally watching A Christmas Story...but now it's raining and I want to listen to the rain...A nice December rain!)

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Last night 2010

I can't figure out why it's called 'First night' when it's actually the LAST that's what I'm calling it until someone explains it to me.
At any rate, we had fun. Well, I had fun, I can't really speak for anyone else.

This is what I FINALLY decided to wear. I had EVERYTHING out of my closet. I wanted to wear my sequins one more time, but Cape Cod is really not the place...I was glad I decided against it, as just about everyone was in jeans last night!! It's New Year's Eve, people!! Let's go crazy!! Whatever. I also considered the vintage disco dress I bought a few years ago for a party. It has some sparkle, but not a lot...but I really didn't want to wear my tall boots, even though they are fun to wear. I had two other skirts I considered. They were given to me by one of my younger sisters when we had a group yard sale. I lost too much weight before I ever got a chance to wear them...they were just too big to wear last night. So I went with my old stand by: suede pants, new chiffon shirt, and this time, since I wasn't out in the desert without all my clothes, I had a warmer top to wear over it. I may have over done it with the accessories, but like I said...New Year's Eve...crazy time!!
I take terrible 'documentation' type pictures. I love the way this top is tiered, but I haven't been able to get a good picture to show that. (it looks like this, black!)I also got to wear my fun shoes...they have some silver thread through them, too.

So, we met up with out friend at the Brazilian Grill in Hyannis. It's really something there! This is the lobby now. The first time we went (MANY years ago) it was a scary hole in the wall with that thin creepy kind of carpet and wonky floors. Now it's so beautiful and there's a nice bar in the back and it's always crowded. They really made it wonderful. Of course, there is a huge Brazilian population here on Cape, so that helps, I'm sure!
In case you've never been to this type of restaurant, here's the deal: you pay one price. There is a 'salad bar' that does have salad, but also hot soups, polenta, risotto, lots of cold salads, roasted potatoes, sushi, antipasto meats and cheeses and peppers, breads, hummus, and other delicious goodies. You can pay for just's an eat until you burst kind of deal. OR, you can pay a bit more for the bar AND meat. And, by 'meat', I mean all kinds of meat. These guys come around with giant skewers and knives. If you have your coaster with the 'Yes, Please' side up, they stop and tell you what kind of meat they have and you can have a slice or not. Lot's of steak: filet, flank, sirloin, filet wrapped in bacon, sirloin with cheese. Pork. Chicken: legs, wings, bits wrapped in bacon, hearts. Sausages. And, after we had moved onto dessert, they started bringing out the lamb chops. It's only like $8 more to add the meat parade!! And again...they keep bringing it until you tell them 'No, Thanks'. Oh, and then there's dessert...last time I had the coconut cake...this time I had the tiramisu. Yum! The best part of the night started by us passing on the first round of chicken hearts. Then Spencer waved them away a second time but I said, 'oh...' and he said, 'sorry, did you want those?' and I said, 'yes, next time...' So we were basically through, when one last guy came around (a guy who looked like Bilbo Baggins) with pork and Spencer said, 'No, thanks, but can she get some chicken hearts?' The guy looked at me and smiled and said, 'of course.' I He put about five on my plate and one of them looked like it came out of the world's largest chicken...or possibly a turkey!! I could only eat three, and they did not taste like they used to...when we were kids fighting over who's turn it was to get the heart when grandma roasted a chicken! OH, and one weird thing: I ordered a Manhattan. The boys got sangria. They had cherries among the fruit in their drinks...I had a GRAPE in my Manhattan!!! Crazy Brazilians!

Anyway, moving on with the night...stuffed full of delicious meats and sweets, we drove down to the other end of town to a small restaurant/bar that we knew was having music. It's where we were last year. I thought there was a chance we'd run into some co-workers from Trader Joe's and/or a couple other friends there. We happened to get there as one of Spencer's friends was leaving so we got a couple stools at the bar. Jason got a scotch, I got another Manhattan...oh, my!! We were there for a couple hours and it took me all that time to drink that one drink! I think she skipped the vermouth!! Going out 'drinking' is so much more pleasant when the drinks are strong and you can just have one. I was completely buzzed after that!!

A few of my co-workers did show up (one's I actually that's good!). They sat for dinner, Spencer went off to our friend's open house, we sat for a bit finishing our drinks, and we were home around 11. We hopped into the hot tub, where I could've fallen asleep!
I thought the tub lights looked cool.
The sky was beautiful, but I couldn't get a good shot. I didn't try very hard, though.

We were back in the house around 11:45, Jason cracked open the champagne and we watched the local station and caught the Boston fireworks on TV and toasted the new year. I'm sure it was the alcohol and my crazy hormones, but I felt kind of emotional and excited about the new year. I feel like I am finally in a place where I can start concentrating on things other than working out and dieting. These things have finally become normal every day things (not 'dieting' but eating right) so now I can try getting back into things that will enrich my life.

Today, I'm hoping to get my pinhole camera put together so I can start playing with that. I think it will reignite my love of photography and perhaps my creativity. Maybe I can even put some stuff in my etsy shop!!

So, on this first day of 2011 (1/1/11), I am wishing you all (again) health and happiness in this new year!