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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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April 30, 2012

Two weeks and counting...

And actually, only two more days til I leave for Virginia.  I'm hosting a little last-minute get-together with various friends tonight to cheer me on my way - I seem to enjoy throwing parties for myself.  Gave myself one on my 60th birthday too.  Anyway, it's good I'm having this one, cause I have to clean the house which I have not done while the roombox work was going on and now all the mess of the roombox work has been cleared away and won't come out again til I get back home in June, so I will be coming home to a clean house which is always nice.

The roombox is wired now and I have to say, I'm stunned at how dim all the lights are and pretty disappointed also.  I don't really understand it.  In most any structure I've ever built, if the lights have bothered me at all, it's been because they're too bright and glaring.  But here I am with a 2-light ceiling fixture, 2 wall sconces and so far, one table lamp and when I have them all on, you can hardly see that there are bookcases in the back of the room!  I even wrote to a company that sells most of the dollhouse lighting available (aside from handmade) and told them my problem.  They've always been real helpful when I have dilemmas or am unsure about something but the only suggestion he had for this was to maybe consider using a little sort of like fluorescent bulb that they sell.  It's an idea, but I'm hoping I come up with something more attractive.  I had hoped he might say "oh, I know what's causing that" and I could do something to make what I have brighter.  But apparently nothing is causing it!  I sent him this picture but it looks brighter in the picture than it does in the real.  Those two ceiling globes are basically a dim yellow-ish shade when you're looking at the roombox and the sconces don't glare as they do in the picture.  The bookcases are even less visible than in the picture also, so you can see why I'm disappointed.  At this point, I'm considering perhaps either one canister light in the ceiling out in front of each bookcase or maybe just four canister lights spaced across the ceiling out in front of the bookcases.

On a happier note, I'm real pleased because I had a real problem with one of the bookcases (which I was keeping to myself because I thought it was probably just going to have to be the way it was).  But it really bugged me and every time I looked at it or tried to set it in place, it bugged me a little more.  I studied it and studied it and thought I maybe knew what might help but then I'd think "yeah, and what if I totally ruin it and have to make another one?!"  But finally, I bit the bullet and did some surgery on it and it is so much better.  I don't know that anyone would have ever noticed it not doing right but I knew and now I know it's better.  Still not perfect - neither one of them are, but then I'm not a furniture builder so I'm satisfied with them the way they are now.

And on an exciting note, once again there is a huge crane out in the road in front of our building and they are installing the new cooling tower on our roof!!  Yipeee!!  I don't have time to do videos and everything like I did when they took the bank signage off the roof, but here's a picture (well, actually three now - it's hard to stop!) of the crane in action.

On the left, and on the way to lunch, the winch or whatever it is was coming down to get the silver box and take it up.

On the way back from lunch, on the right, is the silver box on the way up, so it took them a while to get it all hooked up - I was gone about half an hour probably.

And the one below is my attempt at an "art-y" shot. :)  Our building is next to a glass-topped arcade type area (where, thankfully, they finally replaced all the glass last year) and just about in the center of the picture, you can see the tip of the crane - sans silver box, so once they got it up there, they got it all unhooked a lot faster than they hooked it up.

And last, but certainly not least for me, I'm having a bunch of my friends over this evening for a little bon voyage party.  Bought a little Prosecco (I know, it's Italian but I can't afford French champagne!) for a bon voyage toast and am going to make a few small bite type things, one of which is everyone's favorite cause I've made it before.  It is so simple and so good!  Use Medjool dates, poke out the pit (I use a chopstick), insert a little "log" of Parmesan cheese, wrap in a half strip or so of bacon and bake in the oven til the bacon crisps.  The salt and the sweet is just amazing together.  I also made gougeres (French!) and they're very easy and very tasty.  I haven't had a little party for quite some time now and am really looking forward to it.  And just for a hoot, I decided a little decoration was in order so here's what I did...

And, a final note - this post is the first I've typed on my new netbook.  Mine died on Friday - I may have posted about that.  Anyway, Best Buy told me it would have to be sent off to be fixed and that would take at least 3 or 4 weeks which I don't have.  So I went to see what they had and found this little Gateway for I'm pretty sure the same price as I paid for my Asus 3 years ago.  I'll miss my little Asus cause it's been on all my travels with me but my only BIG problem with this one so far is that it came with Windows 7 and both my netbook and laptop had Windows XP which I found so easy to use.  I suppose after a year spent relearning everything yet again, I will find this easy to use, but as I try to do things I did on XP so easily, I'm sure not impressed so far!  But at least it happened here and not over in France!

Oh, and of course, we have no air conditioning in our building because of the new tower still to be installed and today it got beastly hot for the first time in several weeks.  Hopefully, since it says it's supposed to rain every day this week, it will and maybe keep things a little cooler.

And that's probably it until I get over to Virginia/Maryland later this week.


Christopher said...

I felt like I was reading at a break-neck pace; it all just sounded so breathless and exciting!
(Well, not the part about being disappointed with the roombox lights. I like the idea of canister lights---would you build a new, false "roof" so the canister lights would be "recessed" when seen from inside the room? Or would they project down from the ceiling and into the space?)
And ah, those incredible medjool date bites... how well I remember those!
Safe travels driving over here!

Mary Lynne said...

There are two types of canister lights - one an LED so I'm not sure how much light it would shed. Plus I have the standard kind of canister light already. The LED's I'm pretty sure would fit in the 1/4" ceiling without sticking up above the top on the outside. The ones I have probably would stick up, but I could mount pieces of wood around all the edges of the top and lay matboard or something over them so that wouldn't be a problem. Hate to cut holes in the ceiling though without knowing for sure what the lights would accomplish...

Elga said...

Hi Mary Lynne, enjoy the trip to Italy and France and all the food!!! See you in Amsterdam.

Chinch said...

I think LED lights diffuse not much at all so I'd probably opt for the canisters but I think maybe you should get it furnished before deciding. If you have the desk/table lamp and perhaps a floor lamp near the armchair that I think you're including and then turn on either the sconces or the chandelier, but not both, that it would have a nice cozy look and the lights would glow around the furnishings and it wouldn't seem so dark. One of my favorite book titles is "Books Do Furnish a Room" by Anthony Powell and I think once those bookcases are furnished with some books and objets it will be a whole different picture. And in the meantime, YOUR furnished dining room looks charming and I hope you had a lovely send-off celebration. xoxo

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