Thursday, January 28, 2010

The coffee stop

There is much to love about this little spot of the world -- fantastic views of the salt water bay, the ambience of the northwest seaside park, the warm goodness of a great cup of coffee and the people who share it with me.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Project 12

I'm joining other scrapbookers in the Project 12 challenge(s). For the next 12 months you create a layout about that month. There is a sketch from Becky Fleck for January - but, I wanted to do my own thing and do a digi layout. There was so much going on in January, I decided to do little snippets of 8 days in January. I'm looking forward to doing February's layout for Project 12.
(to see the page up close and personal, click on the image and for some unknown reason pics #15 & 24 edged over
when I made this into the JPG format, in real time it looks all even and straight

Sunday, January 24, 2010

January 24th

and according my birthday horoscope:
It's going to be quite a day for you - a delightful one. The fun starts immediately! Get started on planning that big celebration that's been in the back of your mind for weeks. And along with your celebratory mood, you should also be prepared to feel especially rebellious, outrageous and willing to shock and amaze the masses. Yep. Even more so than usual.
I can do that.....

Friday, January 22, 2010

You'll be missed Mr. Parker

I was sadden to learn of the death of Robert B. Parker on January 18th. One of my favorite mystery writers. He wrote the Spenser series featuring the wise-cracking, street smart Boston PI with 38 books to his credit. Also the 9 Jesse Stone books that take place in Paradise, MA and has Tom Seleck playing the lead in the movie adaptions. And don't miss his Sunny Randall 6 book series, with the sparky Boston PI that has witty dialogue, engaging story lines and a cast of very interesting characters. His stories will live on, but he'll be truly missed.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

New Additions to my camera family

I'm well covered --- camera wise! My darling daughter's Christmas surprise to me was a fantastic little Canon PowerShot that fits comfortably in my handbag (it's much larger than a purse) and has captured those "gotta stop and get that shot" while out and about. I'm not missing those shots because I wish I had my camera with me --- it's always with me, now.

And with a birthday fast approaching, I decided to use my earnings from my successful Allied Arts sales to give myself a new SLR camera. After much research & long conference calls with my professional photographer son, I decided on the Canon XSi that came with 2 lens (count them "2"). And as Murphy says, "Once you know what you want - finding it with a super discount and then finding out you missed the discount by 1 day", I had to go hunting. I found the same applied discount at Costco in Burlington (about 20 miles down the road). Well worth the road trip south. Now I'm on a huge learning curve. I'm use to my trusty Canon point and click that has been a wonderful workhorse for the last 4 years.

But, I'm well covered for whatever image I want to capture -- quick and easy and the super duper fine tuning machine. Smile --- because I'm looking at you, kid!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Sunrise is 7:55 am today

(watercolor painting by Ron Pattern, called Whatcom Sunrise)
(From the current mystery book I'm reading, First Degree by David Rosenfelt)
"I'm up watching the news by five-thirty in the morning, but it isn't until an hour later that I discover the "sunrise scam". The weather guy has proclaimed that six-thirty-one is the moment of sunrise, yet I can now bear witness to the fact that at that exact time it is already light out, and has been light for fifteen minutes.

Does no one check these things out? Do they think the light is coming from another source, perhaps helping our eyes adjust to the upcoming sudden onset of sunlight? Or are we being deceived by someone, maybe the tanning and suntan lotion industrial complex?

And no matter what the reason for the deception, what is the value of knowing when sunrise is? And are there any other idiots like me, up at this hour and paying attention to this nonsense, so as to take their minds off of something important, something that's gnawing at their insides?"

Well, I for one can tell you the value of knowing when sunrise is: photography - photographing that burst of light coming over the horizon bringing the day our way. To catch that moment of magic light on a scene that in another moment is just another ordinary, flat light scene. I've seen them (the pros) scurrying around the tulip fields in April, setting up the shot to capture a flower with dew dripping and back light with the rising sun. I've been driven around the country backroads, rushing to the previously scouted spot to get "The Shot" at sunrise. Those experiences are high on my list of "best moments I've lived". It's a daily reminder that we have another day to get it right - a chance to try new things - to remember with a photo that special moment when the sun rose over our part of the world, again.

I want to play, too. So, I'm on the hunt for a big girl's camera. A camera that gives me the options I may or may not use to go out at sunrise (and again at sunset) and play with the big boys. I know it'll be a Canon brand, a SLR, a digital and within the budget for a fledging photographer to capture and remember that today's sunrise is at 7:55 am.

Friday, January 15, 2010

It does change everything.....

And with all the rain we are getting today,
my cup runneth over!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Show and Tell

Most people read blogs but don't leave comments (you know who you are). This day is for YOU. Lurkers unite, leave a comment, a suggestion, say "Hi", hype your Blog Site, step up and leave a comment, today. It's show and tell Day!
thanks, sam

Monday, January 11, 2010

My Best of 2009

I recently read a fellow scrapbooker's blog that had posted what she thought was her best 13 layouts of 2009. Sounds like a scrap-lift to me. Here's some of my 2009 layouts and the ones I either had the most fun creating or what I think make my 2009 "Best of 2009" list
(in no particular order).

Thursday, January 7, 2010

I'm a food critic

.........because I like to eat. Eating is good and good for you, too. When hubby and I retired from the work force (in our early 50's) he took over the cooking (I'd done that for 28 years and wasn't excited any more to cook night after night). Except, I saved the holiday meals for me. I liked dressing up the table, gathering the family and sitting down to our seasonal, traditional meals. And every once in a while I'll get back in the kitchen to take a hand at meal making for the fun of it, a change of pace and to let the cook off for the night. And be honest, who doesn't want to create some mouth watering recipes after watching the Julie & Julia movie?

But, I've recently discovered something about myself --- I love making soups. I do! What's not to love about a hearty, steaming bowl of good soup? If you're ever in Bellingham, you have to visit Harris Avenue Cafe (yes, it's on Harris Avenue in the Fairhaven district) if nothing else, for their array of good soups. Henry puts together a wonderful menu of delectable soups and we've sampled many of his masterpieces. Again and Again. So, I thought to myself, "self, you can do some soups, too." And I did.

The first was using up the left over Christmas Eve turkey in a turkey noodle soup that we served to a friend visiting us after many years of lost connection. During the meal and lively conversation, he stopped mid-sentence and looked at me and proclaimed, "This soup is fantastic and the very best turkey noodle soup I've ever had." It really was good.
(my secret ingredient: Tabasco sauce, just a few drops will do ya.)

Next, I was dreaming about having a bowl of Henry's Beef Goulash soup at Harris Ave and just couldn't wait for it to appear on the soup menu. So, I came up with a recipe and went to town (ah, actually the kitchen). Served it to hubby and wah-lah - I was declared the soup maker of the family. My Hungarian Gulyas (goulash) Soup was superb. It had all the main ingredients: it was hearty, it held it's own compared to Henry's, and was fantastic served with some crusty rosemary bread.

I'm now heading to the library to gather cookbooks on soups and try my talent with more new soup recipes and see what I can create next. Once a week soups are now on our menu. What's not to love - it's a meal in a bowl with all the goodness of those veggies simmering in a mouth watering broth and hits the spot on a cold winter evening. Bon Appetit!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Monday, January 4, 2010

It's only day 4

It's only day 4 of the new year and I needed a laugh, my funny bone tickled, some witty comments, a good belly ache rolling on the floor giggle. So I went to my source of funny, Marshall Karp's blog site ( and got just what I needed. Go on, have some laughs and if you're wanting more --- read his books.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Once in a Blue Moon

We won't see another New Year's Eve Blue Moon until 2028/2029 -- not that we saw this one. With an overcast and rainy night, the 19 year event wasn't viewed in the northwest. But, that's OKay, we can all claim that we have lived 1% of this millenium. Welcome to 2010!

RES•O•LU•TION rez-uh-loo-shuhn noun
1. a firm decision to do something or not

I don't make New Year Resolutions, but I do set goals for myself that I would like to accomplish in the new year. It's a chance for a new beginning, a fresh start. And if I don't actually accomplish those goals, that's OK --- I always have next year to start over, again. You know what's next --- a list of my 2010 goals --- or not.
But, here's one that I will do (I'd love to say "try to do" - but in the wise wisdom of Yoda, "Do or Do Not, there is no Try", I'm going to commit to keeping a daily journal of events, thoughts, ideas and amusing tales throughout 2010. A diary of sorts. The last one I kept records in was called My Dairy (I did not get the spelling gene in my DNA) and it recorded my young teen years in Wisconsin, the boy I was simply in love with (Joe, you still out there?) and my interpretation of the world I lived in, but mostly about the boy I was smitten with.
A journal is a record of our journey through life. The good, the bad and the ugly plus the pretty stuff that is thrown in our path. Happy New Year Everyone, make it a good one!