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West Virginia
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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February 02, 2012

Chris is Chastising Me Again!

So I'd better get something posted.  He does keep after me...

I've actually been fairly busy this month what with my temporary filling in for the office manager type person in our condo building which entailed being available by phone, delivering packages, trying to help people who were having trouble with whatever, getting workmen down to the basement, up to the roof, taking down all the Christmas stuff in the lobby, etc., etc.  I was so glad the gentleman who normally does all that finally got to have a nice vacation, but I was also very glad to see him come home!

And once I got to feeling better after my strange on again/off again cold, I seem to have gotten all inspired to get to work on various projects.  I've actually started on getting those shelves installed in my bedroom window.  Put one in yesterday and managed to get another one in today.  It turns out to be killer work for me cause I'm having to drill into some kind of metal stud and really have to apply pressure whilst all twisted around trying to make sure I hold the drill straight, etc.  It is so far from a perfect job that it's really kind of hilarious.  After I got finished with the first one, I figured out that I had drilled at least 15 holes before I finally got the supports where I wanted them and even then I wasn't real pleased with them.  But today's shelf went in with only the necessary 4 holes drilled.  To get the screws in, I have to change drill bits three times!!  However, as long as they don't fall down once I get stuff on them (and I don't I think they will...) I'll be happy with them.

And while I was putting my Christmas decorations away, I decided to leave my little Christmas shop out for a while cause I like it plus I liked having its light turned on in the corner where I had it sitting.  That little shop started out as a pottery shop - I built the shop in a class at a miniature show and had all my collection of pottery pieces in it (mostly made by a guy here in Huntington who did beautiful work and then quit).  But then when my Christmas collection started growing, I wanted to display it, so I switched out the shop.  Long story short - I decided this year that I would use it for both - pottery shop all year and Christmas shop at Christmas.  That entails some customizing - have to have different wallpaper for them so had to make a second back piece (which is removable), and for the pottery shop I will have to use shelves like I did originally, but the original shelves were set into grooves in the side walls and I want to change the location of them slightly.  So, that means new shelves because the originals are glass and shattered when my framer guy tried to shorten them.  That brought me to a bit of a standstill while I try to find some acrylic sheeting that will be sturdy enough not to sag.

And I finished my little cross stitch of the "big" cat head and it turned out real cute, I thought.  Here's a picture of it where I was wanting to see how it would look framed since I was having a hard time working up the nerve to try and make it a pillow.

But I finally told myself to bite the bullet and attempt the pillow.  Bravely stitched it to a backing fabric, with great effort managed to get it turned right side out, even got it fairly well stuffed, but by then the open edge of the cross stitch fabric was sort of totally disintegrating with one of the seams starting to separate.  I made an effort to get the raw opening turned in so I could stitch it, but it was not to be.  My happy little cat went into the trash.  So, no more pillows for me!  Should have just framed it. :(

I also decided I want to make another quilt, got out my fabric stash and selected 5 colors and am trying to decide which of two patterns to make.  I had found a delightful scrapbooking paper that is tiny, tiny purple flowers, along with even tinier bits of yellow and pink flowers, green stems and leaves, all on a white background and I don't know why I bought it but I did.

When I get the quilt made, I will probably put it in my Etsy shop and maybe say "here's some paper if you want it".  If I had a dollhouse that needed a bedroom, I know how I'd do it.  I'd make the bottom of the wall white tongue and groove wainscoting and then paper the top with the paper.

I think that's all my projects - oh, I'm going to get back to work on my big petitpoint rug also.  But that's all my projects. :)

The other thing I've been doing is cooking a lot.  I've posted two new recipes - one for a recipe called Bulgarian Leek, Cabbage and Potato Soup and another for one my own creations that I made up last week and then tweaked it a little this week that's Pasta with White Beans, Tuna Fish and Tomatoes and so on.  I liked my attempt last week but felt like it could use a little jazzing up, so I made it again tonight and that's what I put in my recipe collection cause I suppose I shouldn't say it, but I thought it was delicious.

At some point on one of my cooking evenings, I looked out through my pass-through in the kitchen and saw this outside my dining room windows:

It looks like I fooled with the color on these but I didn't.  The sun on the hills somehow made them this very red color.  Really stunning!  I am SO glad I didn't have my pass-through closed in like I originally planned!

So, I had my cabbage soup twice, my pasta and bean creation twice, thawed my leftover meatball mix and had a meatball sub one night last week and spaghetti and meatballs one night this week.  And I still have some frozen chili in the freezer.  So, mother, pin a rose on me! :)

So there, Chris!  I will post pictures of my shelves if and when I ever get them finished and stuff on them.  And I'll post a picture of the pottery shop when it's finished.


Christopher said...

Thank you, thank you! I do get to missing your news when you don't post for 2 weeks... :) Looking forward to seeing the shelves, given all the discussions/planning up to this point! Too bad about the cat---I'm assuming it wasn't a great long project to stitch it (since you tossed it out!) :( Sorry it didn't work as a pillow...
I had to do a double-take on the last photo--I guess you had your flash on?--I first thought you were shooting into the sun, but then realized the sunlight wouldn't be on the tall building like that!

Mary Lynne said...

The cat took longer than I had thought it would - there were FIVE shades of grey for some insane reason and I couldn't tell the 3 lightest ones apart.

I guess I did use my flash because there are those two glare spots in the one photo. But the building really did look that yellow - it catches the setting sun and is built with light yellow bricks. I think the cloudy sky behind the building is what made it SO gold looking.

chinch said...

Wowser photos but I feel so sad about the cute cat. There really wasn't ANY way to salvage it, maybe glue it to fabric and then frame it? Of course by now you've probably emptied the trash so why wonder but it is too bad and I hope you do another one. It was darling! xoxo

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