Sunday, November 1, 2015

Endings, Beginnings, Happy, Sad

As you are all aware my blogging has become sporadic recently.  I'm sorry, yet not sorry.  From the end of September through the end of October lots of things have been going on personally, nothing to be alarmed about, but stuff I had to sort through and figure out before I was comfortable posting.  I'm sure as a blogger we all go through this at some time wondering, what can be shared and what should not as we all know the internet is not a private place.  You think your blog is only read by people that you target to read it, but you just never know.  Well October is over, I have lots of endings to speak of both personally and creatively, both happy and not so happy.  I have come to terms now with the not so happy, and I can put it out there to an extent, so lets just get started.  To new beginnings:

Two major events happened that set me on an emotional roller coaster.  At work we experienced the largest workforce reduction since I started working there.  I was not effected but a large number of people who I consider my friends were.  My direct manager was also included.  It was sad, devastating, and calming all at once.  I didn't know how I felt about all this.  I sort of understood about the co-workers, our jobs are contract driven and when the inventory is low, the budget is low and people need to get let go.  When inventory picks up, we will hire again.  It seems this is the new nature of how we will be working.  The manager part in my head I understand, less workers, less management needed.  Having two managers and splitting a department was never good, so some positive changes will come from it, but the internal turmoil came when I was trying for journal about my eight years of working with this boss.  I wanted to write about how much I grew, how much she taught me, all the positive things you would reflect upon when this happens.  I grew sad, as I could not think of a single thing.  In the words from the play A Chorus Line, "I felt nothing".  This troubled me terribly.  It's been a couple of weeks and things are settling down at work and falling into place.  Maybe all the changes will be for the better.  Time will tell.
There is an emotional drain and excitement that happens simultaneously when selling a home and buying a new one.  There is happiness of the time spent and an uncertainty to what the future will hold.  My physical house is not changing.  We are not selling or moving.  My spiritual home has been sold.  Our synagogue has outgrown the dwindling congregation.  The structure became too big, the numbers of people too small, which ended in the sale of our building to what will be temporary dwellings for the time being.  The ending of an era, the exciting and scary beginning of something new.  The building, although it has held many memories for us as a family, and many of our friends, it is just that, a building.  We are a community.  If we stay together, unified, strong, committed we will all find a brand new place to call home that will be a better fit and allow for new growth and new adventures.
With both of these things swirling in my head over the last 6 weeks, it made blogging very difficult.  I really needed this all sorted out for myself first before putting it out there.  Thank you for understanding.

Now lets get to the Creative Part of this Blog.  The reason for blogging.
What is happening now that angst is over and life goes hit the floor running back to the things that bring you joy and restore your calm.

Socks:  Done - The first sock took all of 10 days, the second sock 2 months.  But they are done, and the fit.  This was the first time using the Afterthought Heel.  Not a huge fan, but I did it and I'm sure I will try it again.  New things take time and practice to get them just right.  I'm working on it.
I am so over the moon excited by these.  My friend Jen (Boston Jen of the Down Cellar Studio Podcast) told me to start at a color change and then the socks will match.  I did, and the socks matched perfectly until I got to the  heels.  I was faced with a conundrum.... When the time came to do the second heel, do I pull out a ton of yarn to get back to the color spot where the first heel was from or do I just continue with the color there.  Seeing that there are no pictures showing the heels you can guess what I did!  Just plugged away.  So now I have matchy matchy striping socks with two different colored heels,and guess what?  I love them.

Pattern:  Pin Striped Socks
Designer:  Julia Swart
Yarn:  Plymouth Neon Now

Spinning:  Done - I did it!  I got a skein of Worsted Weight yarn, Enough to make something but not too much.  It is even, it is balanced and it looks beautiful.  I let go of  the demons in my head encouraging me to get the most amount of yardage possible.  I spun it thicker than usual and came out with a very pretty, fluffy DK/Worsted weight yarn.  I already have a plan because you know, it is a new month which means Cast On everything.  New month, new KAL's and SAL's.  New inspiration posted on Ravelry.

Dyer:  June Pryce Fiber Arts
Fiber:  SW Merino Nylon
Colorway:  Tuscany

Weight:  Worsted
Yardage:  208
Ply:  164 true 3 ply, 44 chain plied

         Cast On:
         Project:  Hat
         Pattern:  Tweed Torque
         Designer:  VeryBusyMonkey

Several years ago there was a book written that make you take a look at your life and inspire you to live life to the fullest and how to make the most out of what you want and what you have.  I cannot remember the name or the author, nor did I read it, but everyone I knew did.  One of the thoughts that came from this book was, if you want something to happen you need to throw it out there into the universe.  Talk about it.  Let the world know what it is you want to do.  Scream it from rooftops, well maybe not that.  I'm am now doing that.  It has been a dream of mine to write a book.  Fiction, non fiction, I'm still not sure but I finally have an idea and a start and I am determined to see this happen.  I am not expecting overnight results.  It is going to be a long road and I have no writing experience from a professional point of view.  I was taught how to write from the age of 2.  I had exercises all through elementary school on writing sentences and paragraphs, I had written book reports, essays, research papers, stories, poems etc through Middle School, High School and college.  I have been writing business plans, speeches, letters, and journal entries since.  I can write a book too.  So yes, I am throwing this out to the universe, I want to be an author.
My inspiration came from this picture.  It was taken on our recent outing in Downtown Boston, a place I frequently visit, so it only fits to be inspired by its age and beauty.  This trip was just last weekend at peak foliage season.  The trees shedding their leaves for the long winter to come.  Leaves floating and dying on the ground.  Then I saw it, HOPE.  I wrote the following poem.

The Rose Does Not Die
by Lisa L Riseman

The Rose Does Not Die

The air gets cold
but the rose does not die

The leaves turn brown
The air gets cold
but the rose does not die

The birds migrate south
                                                                            The leaves turn brown
                                                                            The air gets cold
                                                                             but the rose does not die
                                                                             The flower beds are emptied
                                                                             The birds migrate south
                                                                             The leaves turn brown
                                                                             The air gets cold
                                                                             but the rose does not die

                                                                             The people stop coming to see the gardens
                                                                             The flower beds stop growing
                                                                             The birds stop flying
                                                                             The leaves have all fallen
                                                                             The air is frozen
                                                                             But I believe, the Rose never died.

   Good bye my readers, until next week.                                                                          

Sunday, October 11, 2015

I am the Middle Sister

My week in reverse....only because I must share this with you.

I found my new favorite wine label.  I know you all do it, go to the liquor store to find a bottle of wine, go to the section with the kind of wines you love, and there you are staring at a plethora of bottles from different areas and regions.  How does one choose?  Maybe you are quite the wine expert and look for ingredients, year of vintage, alcohol content, or maybe you look at the price, not too high or not too low.  Or maybe you are like me.....ummmm.....which one has the prettiest, funkiest, artistic label that I want to bring home.  Last night we found ourselves in the Fenway area of Boston (not by accident, it was planned) and I took my husband to the new City Target and low and behold, they have a wine and spirits department.  Target and Alcohol, life doesn't get any better than that!  Now you really can get everything you need, and really don't need but its there, all in one place.
While perusing the aisle my husband came over with a bottle of wine we have never seen.  Middle Sister Wine.  I have never had it, nor did we buy any because we had to carry it on the train, but the labels are perfect.

City Target, although probably the best Target store I have every been in, was not the reason for the trip to Boston, though I have been known to do things like that.The purpose of last night's outing was to spend a wonderful night in the Fenway district of Boston as part of Art Hub Boston 2015.
 The Green Monster, the big outfield wall at Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox, was transformed into a big percussion instrument.  Landsdowne Street was a light/sound show street fair.There was lots to see and do, but honestly, the lines were long for some of the exhibits, so we just walked along and took in what was happening in the open.  As you walked down Landsdowne Street you were walking behind the Green Monster.  People were up on the metal girders with big drum sticks, striking the steel beams to a beat and tune.  Lights were flashing music playing, colors and sound all came together in this brilliant display.  There was excitement and fun as people just walked around not knowing what to look at.  I am still in great awe of such creative thinkers, to transform a giant building into a drum set, essentially. The front of a Souvenir shop was made to look like a Circus Tent.  Dinner was at Boston Beer Works where of course I had to order the Pumpkin Works Beer.  Boston, thank  you for another night of free entertainment.  I may be a little biased as I do live here but honestly,  you are the best city.

I started this blog again to be able to share my creative side with all of you.  I do feel getting out into the world is a form of opening yourself up to inspiration from all around you, but guess what, I am still making things, cooking, reading and all the things I love to do which was the reason for the blog.
So what have I been up to with the rest of my life?
I am loving my homemade Fauxdori planner.  I made my October insert and spent some time decorating the pages.  Here are some of the planner spreads:

This is my Month on Two Pages:  October is in full swing.  I really like my monthly decorations.  My first week is completed.  Some writing and a few doodles, stickers and washi tape.  

 I read a great book last week and if you have pre-teen or teenagers I would highly recommend it to them as well.  It was a Young Adult book that I found while looking for audiobooks from the library downloads.  I listened to the first half last weekend and finished it at work on Monday.
You can read about it more on Amazon here:  LINK

.I am still knitting along.  I've got 4 active WIPs not to mention the many more all around the house in various stages.  I finally put in the rip cord in the second sock for the first pair of Afterthought socks I am doing.  My goal is to have them done and ready to display on next weeks post.

Until then:  The quote of the week (stolen from a wine bottle label)
True wisdom is knowing when to give up and have a glass of wine.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Well Hello Again!

My theory was right......once you stop it is hard to get started again.  Sorry for the absence but WHEW....what a month September was and now life is returning to normal.  Nothing bad happened, just time flew away from me and now I have caught up.  I am back in the present and ready to return to routine, which includes blogging on Sunday Mornings.

So here is my September wrap up in a nutshell:

My daughter left for Mexico, and I think that was the last blog post, Labor Day weekend.
***I hate having her so far away but she is have some great experiences and I am so happy for her***
We had a wedding to attend for the son of close friends of ours.

We celebrated the Jewsih New Year followed by Yom Kippur
***I want to wish all of my Jewish Friends who read this a happy and healthy NEW YEAR!***

If you are a member of Ravelry, and a knitter and have not heard....The DownCellar Studio Podcast Pigskin Party Kicked off.  More on that below.  I am the co-moderator for the party and there is lots going on.

Attended Sukkot holiday parties and dinners, although due to weather - most were rained out.

Now - Welcome to October!  My favorite month and my birthday month!
Fall is in full swing.  I am just waiting now for the full foliage to hit.  We finally go the rain needed to ensure that the leaves show their full glory.

Life Notes:
My youngest turned 21 this past week. It is really official, I no longer have children living in this house.  Over the past 25 1/2 years I planted, nurtured, tended to, cared for, and cultivated these two humans.  They have grown and matured into fine adults.  They are free thinkers, independent, hard workers, and life loving adults.  I can now sit back and reap the harvest of my hard work.  I am still the mother, but my role has changed.  They are self sufficient adults and I am so proud of them. I have moved from teacher to adviser / consultant.

With everything going on, I am still out and about and having fun.  Last weekend was a bit of a crazy one.

 Running to the Big E out in Springfield on Saturday night, followed by a sightseeing cruise around Salem Sound on Sunday morning left me feeling quite tired all week, but well worth it.
So to give you some idea, Saturday we hopped in the car for an hour and a half ride out to Springfield MA for the New England State Exposition.  The group Kansas was performing.  (Video below not from the Big E but snagged off You Tube)
The concert was held in an outdoor arena so we could hear them all over the park.  We walked around and listed to the songs that brought back so many teenage memories.  It is amazing what power music and lyrics have on triggering memories and feeling from way back!  Listening to Kansas and the songs I used to love made my heart sing.
Since we were at the fair, I could not skip my Maine baked potato.  I think this is the longest line at the fair every year.  Those potatoes are always the best.  I think we waited 45 minutes to get one.  
The park closed at 10:00pm and everyone filtered out to the parking lot.  Now you would think after many years of holding this event they would have worked out an exit system for all the cars parked on their lot....NO!  We did not leave the parking lot until 11:30pm and we still had an hour and a half ride home.  I haven't pulled a night like that in a long time.

That did not stop me though...the next day we were out of the house by 8:30am to catch the Sea Shuttle that took off from Salem Sound for an 1 3/4 hour tour of the North Shore by boat.  We had a fabulous tour guide Captain John, who is very knowledgeable about the history of the North Shore area.  The weather was perfect and he was very informative.  It was a beautiful morning followed by a fantastic lunch on the outside deck of the Sky View Oyster House at Pickering Wharf in Salem.
I tried a new beer during lunch called Holy Gose.  It was an interesting beer.  Almost like a Shandy.  It had a very citrus flavor and ended with a sharp lemony taste instead of the bitter hops taste a beer usually has. I really enjoyed this one.  It paired nicely with my fish tacos while sitting on the outside deck overlooking the harbor.  It was overall the perfect afternoon.  On the plus side, we were back home to watch the last quarter of the Patriot's game.  Another win for the Pats.  Yeah team!

So what is that PigSkin Party I spoke of before?
Check out the Down Cellar Studio Website to learn more about it.  It is a great way to use game time for knitting time.  Knit up yardage, that gets converted into points, points become entries for one of the many prizes that will be available during the football season.  The Party runs from the  NFL Season kickoff on September 10 thru the end of the Superbowl game on Superbowl Sunday in February.  Each week are special Bingo Games to win patterns, there are chatter threads and instagram #Hashtags for more prize chances.  We have created monthly interceptions with special projects and requirements also eligible for prizes along the way.  If you like knitting and winning come check us out.....Football watching is not required.

Welcome back all my readers.  I'm glad even though I took some time off you are still coming back for more.  I have scheduled my blogging time so hopefully this will not happen again.

Until next quote:
There is pleasure in the pathless woods, there is rapture in the lonely shore, there is society where none intrudes, by the deep sea, and music in its roar; I love not Man the less, but Nature more.
By Lord Byron

Monday, September 7, 2015

Posting Late about Early Fall

Sorry for posting this a day late.  I debated with myself yesterday morning, post or not post.  With today being Labor Day in the USA and a 3 day weekend, I know we would have things to do I would want to post about so I opted for, I'll post Monday morning.
This weekend unofficially marks the end of the summer activities and the start of Fall.  I couldn't be happier only we are due for another possible heat wave this week.  I will be happy when the heat is gone.  Fall is my favorite season by far and I am in my Fall mode.  The husband and I went for a nice drive yesterday to the Appleseed Country Fair in Phillipston MA.  We had no idea where we were going when we set out.  I don't think I have ever been out in that part of Massachusetts.
On the way we had  our first Leaf-Peeping sightings.  Yes, just a few leaves and trees here and there are starting to turn.  I couldn't be happier.  Soon my world will explode in bright golden, orange and red colors making life so beautiful.  Off to buy my mums this week too.  I buy a few plants every year to brighten up the front of the house.
My mind just wandered off a little there.  Let me tell you about the country fair.  There was food, crafts and a fiddle competition.  Now that is not something you see at all fairs.  Too bad I am not really a lover of the sound fiddles make.  The highlight of the trip though was the apple orchard.  Yes it is Pick Ur Own Apple season.  One of my favorite Fall activities. We purchased our bag and out in the orchard we went.  I even got to try a new variety this year, Golden Ginger.  I'm not really a fan of golden apples but this one had a crisp clean light flavor.  Loved it.
We also picked some Paula Red (which I heard from the person at the farm they were good, haven't tried them yet) and the basic MacIntosh.  Off today to make some yummy apple things.  We have a ton of apples to eat and cook before they go bad.  This is the first time I think I ever went picking this early in the season.  Usually we remember at the end of September/ early October that we have not been yet and get to the orchard where everything has been picked over and there is very little variety left.  Not this time.  The trees were lush and apples were everywhere.  What a wonderful time we had this year.  Note to self:  Do not wait until the end of the season for apple picking!

Where have planners been my whole life and why have I never used one?  I am loving the Fauxdori planner I made.  I put it together in August so it would be ready to go in September.  My first week is over and I am loving this.  I keep learning more and more about what I can do with the inserts and different ways to set things up.  I have already created all the pages I need for my October insert.  Now to organize an print it out, stitch it together and start decorating so it is ready when the month starts.  I think September was a perfect starting point but I plan on setting the Monthly insert up a little different in October.
Washi tape is quickly becoming my new craft supply obsession.  So many pretty colors and designs.  I am loving them.  I cannot believe after all the stickers I finally got rid of that I am starting to collect them again.  Look at all the things I have to keep track of.  I used to just keep it all in the top of my head.  Not anymore, because now I have a pretty place to write it all down.  I take it out at the end of the day, everyday and update anything that needs to be updated.  Who knew I could get this organized?  Now I am getting excited for my new book in October.

I did some spinning this week and even a little knitting, but most of my week was focused on getting my daughter ready for her semester abroad to study in Mexico.  She left this weekend and is already settled in and sending daily updates with pictures.  I am so happy and excited for her new experiences.  They will be studying and taking a lot of trips and listening to lectures about the Mayan history and culture.  She will have a host family while she is there as well. I know she will have an amazing time.

Hope you all have a wonderful week.
My quote of the week is:

Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Ending on a High Note

This was not a good week, yet I cannot explain why.  I felt overworked, stressed, run down, tired and in need of a vacation.  I was not feeling sick, Work was not out of the ordinary crazy/busy.  I just was not feeling it this week.  I've vented and now it is time to move on!

We are almost at September and that means it is time to start my new planner (even thought I cheated and started it already).  My first goal towards being more organized and accountable for the things I want to accomplish and places I want to go.  If I write them down then I have to do them.  I am still easing myself into what I want my weekly spreads to look like, fancy yet functional or more functional with a little fancy.  I will share next week a planner spread as I start to process how I will be recording events and memories while keeping track of lists and meal planning.

As crazy as life felt this week there were some great accomplishments along the way:
First in the knitting:  I finished my shawl, I am so glad it is done, one because it took longer than it really should have, and it just needed to get finished.  The other reason....It is beautiful!
It grew quite a bit during blocking and it much larger than I had originally expected.  It was a simple knit where you knit the side lace panel then garter stitch all the way up to the point.  It was supposed to be two colors but I had three that went together so I did it with 3 colors and I am so happy with the results.
As part of the Yarniac's KAL  for the Colors of Fall I need to put together an outfit for this so I will post again next week the full stylish look.
There is plenty of time to join in if you want a fun and exciting KAL.  You can find the details about this KAL on the Yarniac's Ravelry Group (HERE)
Project Details:
Pattern:  La Playa (This is a link to the pattern on Ravelry)
Designer:   Sara Gresbach
Yarn:  Fiddlesticks Enticing
Needle Size:  4
Total Yardage:  434

While on the topic of knitting, I am moderating the DownCellar Studio Ravlery board and helping Jen (BostonJen) out with he 2nd Annual DCSPigSkin Party.  Jen and I run a KAL that spans the time of Kickoff from the first NFL game of the season through to the end of the Superbowl.  If you love to knit, watching football games is optional, this is the KAL for you.  Check out the details (HERE) on the DownCellar Studio Website.  We have lots of plans this year for weekly Bingo games as well as special assignments to keep you interested all season long.  We kick off on September 10, so don't delay.  Get your name on the roster.

I cooked this week too.  Well, actually my crockpot did all the work, I just needed to throw it all in there.  I made homemade vegetarian Refried Beans and they were nothing like you would get from a can!  They were delicious and enough to throw some in the freezer for next week.  It was so simple to make.  I found the recipe online at the Mom on Timeout website.
Refried Bean Recipe
Every Tuesday night in our house is Taco Tuesday so this was a treat with the tacos.  The bonus is that it called for Jalepeno Peppers and we had some ripe ones fresh from the garden.  Yum! Unfortunately they have been harvesting faster than we can use them.  I think we will have some homemade dried pepper flakes this winter.

 So as the title says....the HIGH NOTE!  Yes there was some fun to end the week.  Saturday my husband wanted to go to the Cape Cod Food Truck Festival. We have never been to one before and not sure how much I could really eat there, being vegetarian.  Well, I'm glad we finally went to one.  What a fun day it turned out to be.  There were many trucks there that offered vegetarian options.  We tried some new foods as well as settled on some of our basics.  There was a Samuel Adams Beer Garden as well so I got to try their new Octoberfest Beer.  It was really good.
One of the new foods we tried were from a truck offering Korean Fare.  We tried the Rice Cake Skewers.  They were really good.  They were more of a thick noodle consistency covered in a red sweet and spicy sauce.  That was just an appetizer, I followed that with just some Tofu Teriyaki which was nothing special, Dessert was the best, a waffle covered in Chocolate and Strawberries.  It was delicious.We ate, we drank a little, listened to the live band, walked around the Etsy Craft Fair and stayed around for a couple hours doing this.  Around 4:00ish it was time to leave, but we were already on the cape so a nice afternoon stop at a beach was in order. 
We stopped and rested for a couple of hours, and at 6:00 decided it was time to find a place for dinner.  As fun as the day was, this was my highlight.  We found on Facebook a restaurant nearby right on the Cape Cod Canal.  It was busy and we waited over an hour for a table.  (It was a Saturday Night over the Summer) but during that wait we walked along the Cape Cod Canal for a little while at sunset....Stunning!

I don't have an actual Quote this week but I found this saying on a sign somewhere, I don't know who or where it was from but I've always loved it and it works so well with my week in review:

A bad day at the beach is still better than a good day at the office!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

A Week Of Reviews

This week was jam packed, well mostly this weekend, but still....I have been doing and going so much that I would like to offer some reviews of videos, restaurants, places that pulled this post together.

The Big Reveal
Yes it is finally done and ready to show.  My first homemade Fauxdori Planner.  

With the help of three different YouTube videos along came my first Planner.  I say first because I am sure that there will be plenty more.  This one is not "Perfect" and will someday be replaced, now that I know where I made my mistakes.  I am still very happy with how this has turned out.  I want to thank the following for putting out YouTube videos on how to accomplish the results that turned out. 

The Cover:  Watch the following Video by Sea Lemon:  How to Make a Travelers Notebook
What a wonderful tutorial.  I love her Traveler's Notebook and wanted one just like it.  Her directions are very clear and easy to follow.  Above is the Traveler Notebook Planner I made following her directions.  I used different material so mine is not quite as sturdy.  The cover of mine is Ultra Suede instead of vinyl.  The corners are curling as I pull it in and out of my purse and it swims around in there all day but I think I am going to love the "Used" look as time goes on.  I also decided to make mine with multiple bands so I used another tutorial for that.  I love the inserts I made as well, but I think going forward I will be following a tutorial to make a dashboard and just keep changing out the pages.  Right now though, this is set up for September and I love it.  I'm sure I will be tweeking things as I go.

The Inserts:  Watch the following Video by Inspired Blush:  Easy DIY Midori Inserts on Word
This took me the longest to wrap my brain around.  I did not find this tutorial until I wasted almost an entire package of printer paper.  I just could not get the pages the right size or in the right order.  I think I spent an entire weekend just trying to go at it alone when WOW....Sunday night perusing YouTube I came across this wonderful tutorial and the pages just came together, and now they are saved on my computer for future inserts.  So I am currently using the following inserts that I created based on this tutorial.
*Month on 2 Pages
*Week on 2 Pages
*To Do List
*Weekly menu plan
*Extra pages in back with grid and lined notes

*This is just multiple pages of lined paper.  I printed these on Purple for the fun of it.

*I created this on beige paper for when I am out and want to create zentangles in some spare time.

The last thing I have in my planner is actually a folder with Stationary that I found at B&N.  I have started to PenPal with some friends on Ravelry and I love the fact that I can keep stationary with me if I have time to write a letter while I'm out and about.  Since the stationary is inside a folder I just slipped the folder over a band and I have stationary on the go.

I have already designed my October insert, same as September.  I also have ready to print a Reading Log and a Beer/Wine tasting insert.  In the works, meaning the idea is in my head I just haven't put it to computer yet, is a travel insert to write down restaurants, museums, places of interest that I visit and want to remember and a supply insert to track markers, knitting needles, paint colors, yarns, and other craft supplies.  I might make a totally different book like a Field size notebook that will just track these things.

The Bands:  I cannot find the video on how to add multiple elastic bands.  I have no idea which one I used but the process was not hard and I have mine set up with 4 inside bands to hold 4 individual inserts or there are plenty of tutorials on how to combine inserts on one band.  There are just so many tutorials for creating a Fauxdori to fit your style.

Are you a planner?  What kind of set up are you using and what are your favorite planner pages.  I am always looking for more ideas for inserts.
My Adventures
This week was once again a whirlwind of fun.  My daughter and I took one last roadtrip before she takes off for Mexico for the semester.  In keeping with the literary theme of our summer this week took us out to Western Massachusetts for a trip to the Eric Carle museum and Emily Dickinson Museum.  We also passed the Yiddish Book Center so we just had to stop in.  Yes, all of this in one day.
If you are a teacher or you enjoy children's books then this is a must see place to visit.  I have always enjoyed Eric Carle's stories and his artwork is spectacular that the museum was equally as inspiring and interesting.  I learned about Eric Carle's life as an artist and his journey to authoring his books as well.  It is no surprise that his books appeal to me as they remind me of the collage work that goes into Art Journaling that is another interst of mine.  The gallery is an ever changing exhibit so I look forward to going back should there be more exhibits I want to explore.  The exhibits on display when I was there can be found on the website Eric Carle Museum  The exhibit took me back to my childhood as the illustrator Fred Marcellino illustrated a version of my favorite childhood poem by Edward Lear, The Owl and the Pussycat.  I used to know that poem by heart.  I had a children's book of it as a kid and read it over and over again.  There are many other books he illustrated but that was the one that struck a chord with me.  I really want to find a copy of the old book I had but I have not had much luck finding a used copy.
Boston offers a free Fun Friday program every summer that my daughter and I have been taking full advantage of.  This week the Emily Dickinson Museum was free to the public, so we stopped there as well.  I like her poems and wanted to learn more about her and her life.  Unfortunately, the museum left us under impressed.  I think most likely because of the set up.  We like to walk around and read stuff on the walls or plaques.  The set up of this museum is to walk into the rooms where someone was standing ready to talk to you and answer your questions.  We did not go in with any questions.  It just would have been nice to be able to read about things as we walked through.  I would not discourage anyone from going it just wasn't our style.  We were glad it was free.
Lunch in Amherst Massachusetts was a hit though.  When we travel on these little day trips one of our pacts is no eating at a chain restaurant or fast food place whenever possible.  Well, Amherst is a little college town and we found the cutest Asian Fusion Tea House.  If ever in Amherst you need to try it out.  We tried 2 of the little two piece tea sandwiches and a pot of tea.  It was the perfect lunch for the two of us and after walking in the rain to get there the tea hit the spot.    The restaurant was warm and welcoming, the staff very friendly and we really enjoyed our visit.

Instead of a quote this week I will leave you with the words by Edward Lear
The Owl and the Pussycat
I hope you enjoy this poem as much as I do.  
Maybe it will bring about some childhood memories to some of you as well.

The Owl and the Pussy-Cat

The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea
   In a beautiful pea-green boat,
They took some honey, and plenty of money,
   Wrapped up in a five-pound note.
The Owl looked up to the stars above,
   And sang to a small guitar,
"O lovely Pussy! O Pussy, my love,
    What a beautiful Pussy you are,
         You are,
         You are!
What a beautiful Pussy you are!"

Pussy said to the Owl, "You elegant fowl!
   How charmingly sweet you sing!
O let us be married! too long we have tarried:
   But what shall we do for a ring?"
They sailed away, for a year and a day,
   To the land where the Bong-Tree grows
And there in a wood a Piggy-wig stood
   With a ring at the end of his nose,
             His nose,
             His nose,
   With a ring at the end of his nose.

"Dear Pig, are you willing to sell for one shilling
   Your ring?" Said the Piggy, "I will."
So they took it away, and were married next day
   By the Turkey who lives on the hill.
They dined on mince, and slices of quince,
   Which they ate with a runcible spoon;   
And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,
   They danced by the light of the moon,
             The moon,
             The moon,
They danced by the light of the moon.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

The Time is Now

Today I am struggling with to blog now or to wait until later.......
I have actually scheduled my blog time into my weekly routine, because if I don't, it will be put off one week then maybe skipped another week until finally I fall out of habit and it does not get done at all.  This usually starts when I have nothing to say.
Instead of choosing a new time just so I have something to say, I will do a short post this week because I know I will have a huge post next week!

I have lots of things happening, but nothing that has happened worth reporting.  Most things in my life are right now a work in progress, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel and it is all going as planned, for the most part.

1.  The Basement Project:  Yes, we are finally redoing the basement.  When we moved into the house 13 years ago it was an entertainment room, play room, office, craft room.  We still have out 28in picture tube television in a big clunky entertainment center with a playstation 2 that doubles as a DVD player, our old VHS video player, turntable and tape deck all plugged into a receiver that is old and not working.  Thank you for the Massachusetts Tax Free Shopping Weekend!  We now have a nice 43" Flat Screen TV with a new TV stand that will hold the Playstation 3, that will double as a BluRay player and a new Bluetooth Home Theater receiver that will play Pandora through our upstairs speakers that have been silenced for years.  The goal of updating the basement by the end of the summer is underway.  Hopefully, the basement will be an enjoyable room to hang out in again.

2.  Organization:  Yes I am getting organized.  Just before the summer I started feeling stagnant creatively.  For the past 3 years my paints stopped flowing, my pens stopped writing and all I have been doing is clicking my needles and twisting yarn into beautiful projects.  I am not complaining, as I love my yarn and my knitting but there are other crafts I have pushed aside and I have been itching to get back to.  Little by little I have been going through my supplies, figuring out what needs to be replaced, building new collections because in September I plan on scheduling my journaling, and drawing times as well.  As part of the organizing plan I have been spending the past few weekends putting together my homemade Midori Style planner.  I am almost finished so pictures will be posted next week.  I am so pleased with its progress and how nice I am fitting everything into this one book.  I am hoping to use it on our overnight getaway next weekend.

3.  Back to the Gym:  I must say, I am pretty proud of myself for not putting back on all the weigh I had lost since starting my lifestyle change since January.  This summer put the brakes on my gym routine since I needed to make sure my daughter had transportation to and from the train station so she could work.  As sad as I am to see her go back to school in September, I will admit, my life goes back to my normal routine.  I will be scheduling my gym time back into my routine.  I've still done a lot of walking this summer with all my visits to the city.  I think that has helped, but I am even a little excited about getting back into the exercising.  It was starting to feel good.  I would be even happier if I can lose just another 10 lbs before the end of the year.

What's New?

The newest page in my Zentangle sketchbook.  Maybe someday I will actually use the Zentangle tiles I have, I just find my sketchbook is much more portable.

  I was playing around and decided to use a Tangle pattern that stared with each letter of my name.

L - Lantern-Pho
I - Inapod
S- Sanibel
A- Antidot

I am really in love with the way this one turned out.  I am really working hard on finding patterns that work well together.  I've done some others that just don't sing to me when they are finished because there is usually a pattern that is not flowing correctly or the scale or shading are just not right.

My next challenge to myself is to start coloring them in.  I love the black and white, but I've seen so many colored ones that are really pretty.

There is no real progress on the knitting front and the Fauxdori Planner will be my show and tell next week.  I am so excited about this!

I will leave you with this fun little fact I saw after taking one of those Facebook Quizzes kind of things..... .    I was born  26,735,460 minutes ago
Yes its dumb little things like this that got me thinking.  
1.  Is this accurate - so I pulled out my calculator and yes it adds up to 50.8665525 years.  Amazing.  
2.  Did I live these each of these minutes to the fullest?  Without going minute by minute throughout my life my short answer will be - YES!
3.  If I think of 50 years as middle life then I still have that many more minutes to use, how will I use them.....???

And here is where I will keep you thinking.  Use each minute wisely.  Make the most of the time you have been given.