Saturday, January 22, 2011

Foot in Mouth Disease

Without going into detail (in an effort to avoid further inadvertent humiliation), I will share that (for the second time this week) I have made a texting faux pas - sending a text to the wrong recipient. Oy vey! You'd think I'd learn. Don't think I'm to be trusted with social media.
Met a wonderful someone, boyfriend of my sweet, wonderful neighbor/friend, then texted a physical description that was (partially) less-than-complimentary  AND, instead of sending it to J.. sent it to my sweet, wonderful neighbor/friend. I only hope she reads and incorporates the parts wherein I said he was "very nice" and "cheerful". The fact is he is sweet and kind and seems quite sincere and makes her happy and I couldn't be happier for both of them. My tendencies to snarkiness need refining, to say the least. My intent was to give an initial impression in 3 words - admittedly, they should have been more complimentary because my overall impression was one of a sweet soul - to J. but instead, I put my foot (second degree burns and all) into my nasty mouth. So sorry, Rick!!!

Here are some pics from this cold, beautiful winter day before I humiliated myself. One of the reasons I love Maine so much is the drama of the seasons. Thanks for not disappointing this winter!!!

Hail the winter days ...

Deck furniture!

Canoes promise future adventures.
The promise of spring...
The reality of NOW...too beautiful to complain. 

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Those who can, do and...

those who are intimidated by their new sewing machine and (an ever present) fear of failure, procrastinate by 

Making bread

and soup. But then I pulled out the Alexander Henry fabric I've had for a while intending to make a pillow for J's office and decided to "jump in". Earlier in the day I had read the Janome manual (while recovering from an unfortunate steaming-hot-coffee-grounds meets left foot accident - scary) and this project gave me the opportunity to try out a number of the mechanical exercises therein. Quite user friendly, this machine is. 
Have a lot to learn but the people at 
Mainely Sewing give unlimited instructions along with the purchase. 

Even though I am not thrilled with the way the cording turned out because I couldn't manage to get the needle close enough to the base of the cord (lesson please) despite using the zipper foot, I am relatively happy with how this turned out. No matter what, just LOVE this fabric!!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

COLD, clear and sunny

The way winter should be! 
It was -1 degree F this a.m. which made for a stunning drive to yoga.

The extreme cold created a fog over the less cold snow and river dressing the trees in frost.

The sun warmed up the frost on the trees enough that it started flaking off making it look like it was snowing just around the trees. 

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Middle of the grey scale

January twelfth didn't move out of the center range of the grey scale all day. The clouds were so heavy with the snow they shed that it went from dark morning to less dark midday. That's okay. As long as the grey is associated with a snow fall that is great enough to slow life down, I'm all for it. It allowed me to come home a bit early and be cozy in my sweet home - too rare an event. There was hot chocolate, an old Jane Siberry CD, dogs under blankets (okay, only ONE dog actually under a blanket - Zurine), and perusing some of my new crafts books that I got as Christmas in search of inspiration - not that I don't have a million projects in my head already! 
Here are some photos in various shades of grey...
Can't even see the clubhouse of the golf course which is on the left of the road.

Coming up the lane.

Addendum: The weather service said we got 16 inches!!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Somthing's fishy

Had one of those unplanned yet really great days that are always welcome. It was haircut day which means a trip to Portland. Jan and I then swung by Custom House Wharf looking for ChART and ended up here
OMG! Can't believe I've never been here before! It inspired a change in dinner plans. Just look at some of the sites!

This evening we had some steamed mussels from here followed by this. It was all so fresh and yummy. 
After the fish market and some warm pho for lunch at Thanh Thanh, I went to Portland Sew Center to check out Pfaff sewing machines. My mother swears by hers so I thought, since I was in the market for a new machine, it would be prudent to check them out.  They are nice but WAY more expensive than the Janome and seem less user friendly. Being somewhat of a neophyte "sewist", I'm thinking the Janome is the way I'm headed. Anything will be a major leap forward in sewing technology from the aged hand-me-down Singer I have now (NOT that I'm ungrateful for that little work pony). Very excited to have made a decision and look forward to getting my new machine in the near future. Will keep you posted.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Polish Christmas Caroling

orgot to mention...

in my last post, the night before Christmas Eve (aka Christmas Eve Eve) when we went Polish Christmas caroling in Fells Point. For those who don't know Baltimore, Fells Point is on the harbor east of downtown and has traditionally been populated by working class families of Irish and Polish heritage. It has been gentrified over the recent past but pockets of it's ethnic past persist and some traditions continue. One of those traditions, heretofore unbeknownst to me, is caroling through the streets of the area sponsored by the Polish Home Club. 
Rosie, a kid whose father grew up in Wales and whose mother is of Greek heritage, treasures this tradition that she started in childhood with a good friend who lived in the area so Tim, Cathy, Rosie and set off to partake. Initially, I was just along for the ride but once there I was completely enthralled to be a part of such a Baltimore-esque holiday scene.
There were probably about 200 people traipsing behind a pick-up truck with a band on the back to lead the singers. Some dressed in reindeer ears, Santa hats, and plastic poinsettias but others obviously older folks of Polish heritage who knew all the words when we sang the traditional carols. Mind you, most of the songs were NOT in Polish - there was Jingle Bells, Santa Claus is Coming to Town, and most of the other faves.
We stopped in a couple of Polish churches (yes, there's more than one) to warm up and to sing a carol or two. In the first church the priest was standing on the alter holding something small and black in his hand. He welcomed everyone and put in a plug for the Christmas Eve and Christmas day masses then, after introducing the carol, touched the thing in his hand which turned out to be an iPod and organ music boomed forth. It has been a long time since I've been in a church!
After the churches, wandering the streets a bit more and a drink in a local bar, our little group went back to the Polish Home Club where many of the participants had concluded the evening to join in the polka dancing. What's a Polish event without polka???

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Welcome 2011

Between the crazy travel and having to work over New Year's weekend, can't say the holidays were exactly relaxing. They did have their highlights though. I got to see my family and some old friends in Baltimore I hadn't seen in way too long. 
It's been a long time since I've spent any time in Baltimore and was so much fun to spend a couple of cold, sunny days palling around with Cathy, one of my dearest friends (actually, the person I made this for), going to the Cross Street Market for oysters and clams.

Shopping at the gift shop at the Visionary Art Museum then in Hampden, where Cathy lives.

And, Rosie, Cathy's boyfriend's daughter, turns out to be quite the knitter. She made this sweater for Oliver, Cathy's youngest son, and graciously agreed to model it for me before I left on Christmas Eve morning.