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When I started my retirement travels - the first of which was my solo overseas trip to Italy in 2009 - I wanted a way to share it with family and friends as it happened. Hence, "My Travel Journal". However I realized I wouldn't always be on a trip and wondered what to do with the blog in between times. My daughter pointed out, wisely, that travels can also include trips to the kitchen to try a new recipe, trips to visit family, trips to my neighborhood Starbucks, or a fun day trip with a friend. You're welcome to join me on any of these journeys!

P.S. I've set up separate pages for each of my major trips (see tabs above).

I recently added an "Italian Word a Day" thingie which shows up at the bottom of every page. You see the word and can click to hear it pronounced. I've been enjoying it and I think my accent is improving as time goes by.

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January 14, 2012

No Post Since 12/28/11!!

I'll be hauled in by the blog police for being a sluggard!  But, in my own defense, it's been pretty quiet around here - at least as far as having anything interesting to report.

The first week I was back home I got one of my infrequent colds which pretty much took care of that week.  But I had made a list of things I wanted to get done early in the new year and managed to finish one of them which was to clean out my desk.  Actually, it was my mother's desk - the kind with the drop down front and the bookcase on top.  Anyway, it had reached the point where when I dropped down the front, I was dangerously close to causing an avalanche and every time I had opened it for the past year or so, I would say to myself "you have got to clean this out sometime".  So I got that done.

Also, I had agreed to take on the duties of the gentleman who lives here and takes care of office chores, locking up at night, delivering packages to residents' units, etc., so I've been doing that since I returned and it's been kind of nice having a "job" when I know it's only for a month.

One day in the midst of all my efficient reorganizing, cleaning out, etc., I was down at Pullman Square in the late afternoon and, being a skywatcher, saw this cloud formation which really amazed me.  Wish I had a wide angle so I could have caught the full impact.  I've seen these kinds of clouds before, but never in such an unusual formation - all radiating out from a central hub...

I also installed the nice slide-out drawers that I had put on my Christmas list and that my son gave me for Christmas and then got all the contents organized in them.  Oh, and took down and packed away all my Christmas decorations.

Had promised myself that after some fairly incredible spending over the past 2 or 3 months, I would curtail myself for a couple of months so have been cooking a fair amount.  Made my pot roast a few nights ago, have already made hash with some of it and tonight am going to make my chili and am sure looking forward to that.  Last night I made the recipe I have in my collection "My Sister's Mushroom Pasta Sauce" and it is so tasty.  But I still have to find the perfect pasta on which to serve it.

Had kind of a busy spell with my Etsy shop.  It seems to go in spurts - nothing for days and days and then all of a sudden a couple of purchases or a custom order, etc.  This kind of awful picture is of a 1/4" scale rug (only about 1-5/8" long with the fringe) that a woman ordered - she had seen another one I sold in different colors and wanted me to use these colors.  The colors are much more attractive "in the flesh".

I also started another little piece that I will try and make into a pillow - something that I'm not too good at but need to learn to do nicely.  Not sure if I'll be happy with the chart or not - I like it in the picture, it's a cat sleeping on a cushion, but it's pretty much just the head and part of the cushion and I don't know if I'll think it just looks like a giant head on a little pillow.  However, I've seen other miniature cross stitch pieces that seem to be pretty much one large object rather than a detailed picture or design, and have liked most of them.  So...

And, I guess lastly, I've been pondering putting in some bookshelves on one of the four windows in my bedroom.  It's on the end wall of the room as you look down the hall from the living room and all my windows are deeply recessed.  I've been thinking about it for a long time and figure I will just put the shelves in the lower half of the window cause I couldn't reach anything if I went up much higher.  So then my thought was I would get a nice big print made of maybe one of Chris's beautiful photos and hang it with chains from the top of the window enclosure like I did with my giant poster of the duomo in Florence.  But in going through some of my photos, I came across the one I took when Chris and I went to NYC last fall and got caught in the downpour walking to the J.P. Morgan library and museum.  And just for the heck of it I decided to order a largish print of that picture and see if it would look too awful hanging up in the window.  It's so not anywhere near Chris's caliber, but it is my photo of one of my memories of that trip so I figured why not.  Today, the print came and I managed to get it situated about where it would be and I think I'm going to do it.  Poor Chris will think "gee, Mom sure should have had me take that picture!" and he'll be right, but there it is.

So here it is, not matted and framed, of course which will help its appearance I think, along with getting rid of the masking tape and the chopped up foam core I taped it to!! :)

That's the desk I cleaned out, by the way.  The two framed pictures facing the camera are photos my dad took way back probably before I was born.  He was an "amateur" photographer but did excellent work.  And, of course, back then he took them and developed them.  The angel up on top of the secretary is a cross stitch I made for my mother.  And you can see from the stack of books on the floor why I need more book shelves!

And here's just the print without masking tape and foamcore.  It just really brings back that day for me.  We had been absolutely drenched and sopping wet when we got to the place and then went in, squishing in our shoes, had a really lovely little lunch with a glass of wine in their cafe, and truly enjoyed the various exhibits.  When we left 2 or 3 hours later, the rain had pretty much quit and to me, the street scene just had a very "Parisian" feel to it.  (For some reason, this photo is showing up as almost square - click on it to see the oblong version - the square way is kind of scrunched.)

And that's pretty much it, really.  Certainly nothing spectacular but when one has a blog, one is supposed to post.  So I've posted and can now go make my chili and rest easy. :)  Thanks for visiting!


Elga said...

All the cooking sounds really yummy!!!! And I like your photo in the window. Your mother's bureau is gorgeous, I will be making a mini one this year with 3 other miniaturists on Wednesdays, hope we start soon!!!

Chinch said...

Happy to hear the mushroom pasta turned out ok -- I've been having a yen to do something with mushrooms so maybe I'll try it again soon. I think your window bookcase idea and the photo are going to look great. The photo does have a nice, misty memory air about it and I daresay Chris will think it's appropriate to use your own. :) Great sky too! xoxo

Christopher said...

I love your "mock up" of how the print may appear, framed & matted :) And those are great clouds!

Mary Lynne said...

Thanks all! I wish I had lightened the photo a little more before I had it printed cause it seems kind of dark. Although I think with a dark frame around it and a mat, it will probably look a little lighter - right now it's fighting against the white foamcore. I also wish the guy's umbrella showed up more clearly but it was bent and fairly small...

Mama's desk was, as far as I know, her prized possession when we were kids. It was certainly the nicest piece of furniture we had and she bought it totally because she wanted it - there was no need involved. I've always loved it for that reason. January and I drove down to Atlanta in my little Mitsubishi Colt and brought it back home - the bottom half in the hatchback and the top half in a carrier on top of the car!

jamie said...

I think the photo is great! And it has such a nice story to recall every time you look at it!

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