Tuesday, April 24, 2007

various and sundry

thats what i've been doing
rest assured i'm still here
i did make a card for my sister for her sage advice last week
frankie the cat was about to be renamed
"mr. sneeze-a-lot"
i was beginning to worry as he didn't seem quite himself (on a regular day his alias is "krazy kitty" cos he's zooming around here making a regular silly pest of himself)
so i called my sister (you would if your sister was a vet, right?)
and after discussing mr. sneeze-a-lot's symptoms she reassured me he'd be fine
so i sent her this silly little card from frankie
I used alphas from www.purpleoniondesigns.com as well as dot stamp from Hero Arts and this cute Cuttlebug die (I ran it through my zipemate.. with a little effort it worked!)
Over the weekend we rented the movie "Notes on a Scandal"
now that was a pretty amazing movie. Dark - yes. Not cheery subject matter but the story was tightly written and no filler - i hate it when there seems to be superfluous stuff in a movie - you know that added fluff that just makes it longer? well none of that here. REally wonderful performances in that movie - we were riveted from the very moment it started to the last second of the movie.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Not a great week

here in Virginia
I won't belabor the topic
Suffice it to say i am grateful my son decided against transferring to Virginia Tech for this year.
God works in mysterious ways.
If you lived here in Virginia you would notice the great pride we take in our schools. Everyone has a bumper sticker or license plate holder for the school their child attends or they themselves have attended.
Particularly in the fall, I notice alot of UVA and Tech decals - flags for the schools when a big game is being played. Now I'm noticing those Tech banners and flags going up around the neighborhood but its for a much different reason.
It is heartbreaking and makes you want to hug your children or call them (like I did on Monday) so they know just how much you love them.
Anyway today I worked on a scrapbook page - see the Suzy link to your right.
And then I decided I'd go pick up a few
Frosty's from Wendy's and head over to my Mom's
When I was a kid we didn't have any McDonald's - seriously - there were none in the NY/NJ area until much later.
We did however, have Wetson's - a small chain of burger places and they had shakes. (They went out of business I believe in the late 60's)
Nowadays people do fast food without much thought - but back then - with a family of four kids - we didn't do fast food often. It was a big deal to go out to eat in the first place.
When we'd go we'd pick up the burgers and we'd go home and my Mom would make her own shakes - of course we'd want the ones from the Wetson's thinking they'd be so delicious, right? Well I remember we got the shakes once and they were pretty awful. My Mom's concoction, however, was dee-lish. (My mom is the best cook on the planet - just so you know. Everyone says it, so it's not just me.)
My Mom would make her shakes here and there over the years. I never found anything that tasted remotely like it until one day my husband and I decided to get a Wendy's Frosty.
Yum. Now they have a vanilla version but the original chocolate Frosty is what I'm talkin about. I think somehow Wendy's musta found out how my Mom made her shakes because they taste so much like hers its amazing. She used a lot of ice cream and chocolate syrup and milk and a blender. Totally, sinfully delicious.
So today I thought she and I could both use a Frosty.
Five years ago today my brother passed away.
He also loved her shakes and her cooking.
And I think he'd love it that we were just sitting around, talkin about the world, eating Frosty's.
We didn't even need to talk about him - it was an unsaid, given thing.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Now i've heard it all

I got a call from my daughter about an hour ago
She called me from school -
I knew it was something important because they're not allowed to used cell phones on school property - except if its an emergency kinda thang
They just cancelled school
No - we didn't have snow
We have
I think it's official
I've heard it all
Now i appreciate they are trying to be cautious
There are a few schools in the counties surrounding the Washington DC area that have cancelled school today because they lost power
My daughter said they haven't lost power
They're just worried about the severe winds
And they are severe
The wind is absolutely howling outside and it might get up to 60 miles per hour today
We aren't expecting any tornadoes or anything
I guess i just don't get it
They must be really worried however
My daughter was supposed to go on a field trip to the National Gallery today - they had 10 busloads of high school kids going on that trip. The Gallery is about an hour from here - maybe a half hour from the school (not sure on that)
My daughter was a little bummed about not going downtown - she was really looking forward to hitting the gallery today
But she was more bummed about missing the after school stuff - working on sets for the musical at school.
Me - it actually works out fine for me. I needed to take her to pick up her eyeglasses - and the kid has such a full schedule that doesn't coincide with the doctors office we didn't know when we'd get there - so bonus for me.
Anyway - this weekend we were sposed to be doing a yard sale - i did a lot of prep work for that sale but for reasons that are too lengthy i won't bother to post it all. Suffice it to say i have sectioned off a space in my house to put the yard sale stuff and we'll do it another weekend.
We did have time to rent a wonderful movie this weekend.
If you have a chance, rent "Bobby".
I loved this movie
Maybe because of my age - I actually remember his running for President and his being assassinated. But it is just a wonderful movie. Tons of history woven into a fictional account of that last day before he arrived at the hotel. Great acting, great story. Just amazing movie. Go get it.

I also had a chance to make some Thank You notes. I needed to send one to my brother-in-law and his wife for a lovely Easter dinner. Daughter needed to send a few for gifts she received for her birthday. I pulled out a quickutz Goosebumpz die for the Thank You and added some Chatterbox paper and ribbon. These were quick to make and did the job nicely.
Hope you all are having a non-windy day wherever you are.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

"Don't know if I ever told you bout Old Reliable"

Do you remember Trusty in "Lady and the Tramp"? He was the bloodhound with the southern accent and he always said "don't know if i told you bout Old Reliable"

Well here is my "Old Reliable".

It's a coffee pot.

My parents used this coffee pot for years.

My Dad did not cook but he made some great coffee in this here pot.

And I took it when they put it up for grabs.

I love this old pot - for the memories it holds for me and the great coffee it can still make.
And thank goodness I have it.
We drink a lot of coffee around here. It seems like all the automatic coffee makers made these days don't last very long. I think i get a little over a year out of the ones I've bought. I don't ever buy the de-luxe models. I did that once and I'll never do it again. They wear out as quickly as the $20.00 Proctor Silex or Black & Decker ones that last a year. Last time we had a coffee pot conk out on us I decided to try the Mr. Coffee version. Well that Mr. Coffee lasted the longest of all. I was just thinking the other day how that coffeemaker must be 2 years old. Quite remarkable really. And I also thought - it's gonna conk out on me soon.

Well today was soon. I got up as usual at 5:30. Went downstairs. Got the coffeemaker all set up and turned it on and set about getting the kitties their food. I was about to leave the kitchen (to take care of the litter) and I realized the coffee hadn't started brewing. Darn!

Out comes "Old Reliable".

You see I need my coffee.

Old Reliable doesnt need to get plugged in. You do need to boil some water. Old Reliable has a permanent filter you just fill up with coffee grounds. You put Old Reliable together, pour the water in and it begins to drip drip drip. It makes wonderfully delicious, reliable, coffee.

So of course on todays list of things to do is make a trip out to purchase a new coffeemaker.

I got a Mr. Coffee again, natch. See how pretty?

Then I came home and washed and dried out Old Reliable. I put it back up on top of the refrigerator where it will sit, waiting patiently for its next opportunity to be my Old Reliable.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Peep Show

i promised the update on the Peeps Diorama Contest run by the Washington Post.
The winner and finalists are all shown here:
the related story is here:
my personal favorites :
Dream Peeps - so simple and just so perfect
Soylent Green is Peeps
how great is that! (obviously the winner is amazing but Soylent Green is just too perfect isn't it? i mean did you see how the peeps went in and then they are coming out green - toooooo funny. If you've never seen the movie -which is horrid btw- you're just not gonna get it... )
I am going to have to consider entering next year - you should too!

i love your face

well actually i love this face
it's an article about the birthday (anniversary?) of Helvetica
i love Helvetica
When i was in school, as a graphic arts student, one of the classes i took was typography.
We'd do all kinds of projects using type
And, inevitably, i'd choose Helvetica
I couldn't seem to help myself
I know my professor got a little frustrated with me
I was totally infatuated
My friend Boo seemed to love anything with serifs
I thought she was crazy - serifs were a stinker to draw
(remember back in the day - and these were the days - we didn't use computers for any of this graphic art shtuff - there were typesetting machines - but not in college thats for sure)
Ah - but Helvetica is sans serif
and although I could do the serifs, none of my designs lent themselves to serifs
no - i was definitely a sans serif kinda girl
After reading the article, I felt vindicated
After all these years, it's nice to know I am not the only one who loves Helvetica
I dearly wish i could get to the MoMA and take a look at that original set of lead

Friday, April 06, 2007

Easter Images for you

Just like she did for St. Patrick's Day - Lisa Vollrath is sharing some wonderful images on her site - check them out here:


i love the other sites she has now too - how about that one called
Go Make Something http://www.gomakesomething.com/
- one of my favorite phrases :-)
tons of cool stuff there.

we're expecting snow here in Virginia.
Is that not ridiculous or what?
Have a wonderful Easter everyone

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Birthday Tourii

About 16 years ago today i was feeling pretty lousy - i'd been sent home from my obgyn's office. He didnt think i'd deliver for a few days - it was a Thursday and the dr said why don't we see you on Monday - thinking if i made it through til then well then we'd induce. By April 4th, 1991 i was already 4 days past due.
Like i said i was feelin pretty crummy and the feeling didnt go away. By the time we decided to go to the hospital (a 45 minute drive) and had the person who was watching our son in place - well we barely made it in time. This kid was trying to be born on the drive to the hospital and she barely waited for the doctor to arrive. After all these years i still find it amazing the doctor took so long getting to the hospital. He lived around the corner - but I guess he didnt think i was really ready. Everyone was telling me to hold on - wait for the doctor - but my Lizziebelle. She didn't want any part of that. She appeared at about 11:40 pm. Thee most gorgeous little pink bundle there ever was. I'm getting all misty just thinking about it. Lizziebelle and i were talking just yesterday about her birth - and how the experience of bringing her and her brother into the world was unmatched. Nothing will ever surpass it - for her Dad and me.
OK... I'll stop now :-)
So today we are on spring break and seeing the birthday girl's week is pretty much spoken for (between eye dr. and orthodontist appointments and friend commitments) today was the day we decided we'd go into Washington, DC and take in the Cherry Blossoms and possibly a few of the memorials we wanted to see.
Yes - we are a wild family.
What can i say - we like this stuff.
Unfortunately Mother Nature had plans of her own.
Yesterday it was 81 degrees and glorious
Today was maybe 50 - cold and overcast and it had rained bigtime in DC overnite.
But we are troopers.
We made plans and we were stickin' to'em
We hit the Washington monument (didn't go in - just walked around it to get to the stuff on our list )
The World War II memorial. This is very impressive. When it was being planned and built we kept reading about it in the Washington Post. And it was better than I imagined. Just a beautiful, very meaningful memorial.
At the edge of it is water leading to the big reflecting pool
You know the Reflecting Pool
The big body of water in front of the Lincoln Memorial
Ok ... did you see Forest Gump?
Oh THAT body of water...

Okay so you can walk all along the reflecting pool up to the Lincoln Memorial which was our next stop. Here we are - Birthday Tourii at the Lincoln Memorial.
See the long distance between the Washington Monument and the Lincoln.
Think - sore tootsies.
Sore calves.
Before we did the Lincoln we walked over to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. This one always gets me pulling out my tissues. I wore a POW bracelet for years. Some years back we finally went to see this memorial for the first time. They have books set up so you can look up a name you want to find. It lists the location of the name on the wall as well as the birth date and date of death. For all the years i'd worn this man's bracelet i'd always assumed he'd returned home - but i never could find his name listed in the newspaper as troops returned home. Well i was devastated to find his name asterisked as MIA. So today i went looking for him and took a photo of his name on the wall. and i had a little cry. If you could just be there - see all the flowers and photos (laminated with a little write up by some loving family or friend) sitting up against it - well you couldn't help but cry. It is very moving. This photo is from a distance.

We moved on to the Korean War memorial which is also quite impressive - all these statues of soldiers walking. It is something to see. They are life sized. Just past the scope of this photo off to the right is a marble wall with etchings of photos from the time - all faces of people - soldiers, nurses - it is haunting.

Last but not least are the Cherry Blossoms. Quite a big deal here dontchaknow. Warnings on every newscast (presumably for tourii visiting the area? also for ma-roons who live here I suspect) that the National Park service begs you not to climb on them (duh - but people actually put their children in the trees to take photos! i kid you not) and certainly do not pick the blossoms off - You will be fined. (big fines - $500) We were walking along and i heard some woman say to her small boy - don't do that (i didnt see what he was doing) - the Park Ranger is gonna get you. I thought to myself don't give the Park Rangers a bad name. Be a parent. Tell them not to do it because they shouldn't for heavenssake! (Can you tell i have some Park Rangers in my family?)
So it was an exhausting day. We walked for probably 4 hours. I need a nap before cake and ice cream with my birthday girl.