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the cow jumped over the moon

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how to pass time while at the hospital

Robert had a heart catheterization (and a bunch of other tests) on Friday. To keep calm, I loaded up a bag full of stuff to do while I was waiting for him. I felt like I was 'mommy-ing' myself (remembering when I would pack up things to keep my son occupied when we were on a road trip or visiting). The bag included a book, my knitting (I'm knitting more caps for monks), and my old school Nintendo DS.

how to pass time while at the hospital


We arrived at 11:00 a.m. This is pretty much what I did while waiting and trying not to stress too much...
  • knitted - while he was in pre-op, I finished a cap but didn't cast on another because I wanted to...
  • play my DS, until I was called by the nurse to see Robert off to his heart cath and I went back to the waiting room and then I... 
  • started to read - until a smelly woman (I feel bad writing this out as I don't want to be mean or disrespectful) was sitting near me in the waiting room and I had to leave, so I...
  • walked the halls and tried to find a spot to get cell phone reception, and then I... 
  • walked the halls some more, and went into the bathroom, where I took out the scissors from my knitting bag and cut my bangs.
  • Going back to the waiting room, I was able to read and also play my DS for a bit more, but I was...
  • a little hungry so I went to the cafeteria and was surprised at how cheap everything was, so I purchased a brat with grilled onions and peppers, topped with mustard. They didn't have Coke Zero but they had the Pepsi (boo hiss) equivalent, so I had that instead, and while I was just finished eating...
  • the buzzer went off so I went to see how Robert was doing. Hospitals now give you those buzzers like they give you in chain restaurants, to tell you when your table is ready, or in this case when your loved one is out of surgery. 
He had a few more tests and we left the hospital around 4:30.  All the tests that had immediate results looked good. On Monday, we're going to see one of his doctors to hear about the other results, and on Tuesday he has a dental appointment for surgery clearance. Then they'll schedule his open heart/aortic value replacement surgery.

In other news, since I was able to extend both the bisque and glaze firings, this test bowl looks pretty good - only a few tiny tiny pinholes, and no blistering or pitting!

how to pass time while at the hospital

how to pass time while at the hospital

It's Super Bowl Sunday!! I'll probably be rooting for the Denver Broncos - mostly because I had a fondness for them back in the day. But honestly, we'll just enjoy watching the game and be happy with whichever team wins.

games and puzzles

Last year, I received this puzzle for the holidays and we only opened it last night. Yikes! Since we haven't done a puzzle in a long long time, I'm not sure this is the one that we should have started on.

games and puzzles

Many families and friends in the US tend to play games over the holiday season (as well as throughout the year, but it seems that the holidays have more game-playing sessions than at other times) - or at least in my circle of family/friends they do. Maybe because, unlike in the U.K. where I understand that over Christmas there were and are Christmas Specials, slim pickings were on regular TV. Plus usually during the holidays there would be snow and cold in our neck of the woods (unlike this year as we haven't had real snow yet and currently it's raining again) and being inside and warm was a nice thing. Or maybe it was a good way to keep the peace! For whatever reason, I remember playing a lot of games during this season when indoors!  Also when I was a kid, we often received a new board game from Santa. I remember getting Masterpiece in 1970/71, for instance. Santa used to bring my son games often, too!

I have to admit that I got bored easily with some board games - after playing a few times, I was ready for the next one. But cards on the other hand I seemed to enjoy more. Rummy was a favorite of mine. And pre-packaged card games are fun, too - I heard that there is a new game called Cards Against Humanity - this coming weekend, I'm meeting up with my sisters and I think we'll be playing that one.  I also recommend Aquarius - it is a fun Dominoes-type game.

Here is our current stash of games in our home (which means these are games that still interest me!).

games and puzzles
The two cases are - fancy poker set and backgammon.
There is also a checker/chess board in there somewhere,
but I don't have any checkers or chess pieces anymore for some reason.
Did your family and friends play games at this time of year? And do you have any game recommendations?

And once again I say:  There needs to be a word/term for this week between Christmas and the New Year!  EDIT 12/29/15 - I read that in Norway the week is called Romjul.

pals

I posted these on my FB page, and thought I would share here, too.  I have been trying to capture this for years, but usually by the time I find a camera, Sephora has had enough.

Charlemagne likes to groom Sephora, but Sephora seems like she is just putting up with it.

pals

pals

pals

They grew up together and are nearly the same age, along with being the same color!  Here's a post I did about these two awhile back. And here's the photo of the two as youngsters that my son took of them:

pals


what's going on

Let's see; basically been busy with the pottery classes - I brought home some clay as I wanted to practice some upcoming demonstrations for the Wheel Throwing class. My wheel is in our basement, and our basement is cold, damp, and small, but I managed to get some work done.

what's going on
Some bowls hot off the wheel
what's going on
Bowls trimmed last night, sitting on washing machine to finish drying
Tomorrow is my son's 27th birthday! How did that happen?

The non-profit work is going well - just about to launch the B&B program. In fact, I better sign off here as I don't want to be late for work.  Although I work alone in the office, I still like to be on time.

at the pottery class

This month, I'm teaching two beginner pottery classes - morning session and evening session on Wednesdays- for four weeks.  I start off with hand-building - pinch pots, coils, and slabs - and talk about types of clay and cones and glazes and drying times and encourage students to think about texture. Then to some very very basic wheel throwing. Next month, I'll be teaching two beginner wheel throwing classes - twice a week for each class for four weeks.

This piece was one of my own pinch pots from way back in the mid '80s when I was in college. I received my BA in Studio Art, with ceramics/pottery and printmaking concentrations, in June of '88, which was after my son was born in February of that year.

at the pottery class
Bathtub Head
I introduced color slips and sgraffito, and slip trailing to the students today. Although I have used colored slips and sgraffito before, I had never done slip trailing.  So I just jumped right in - I made my own clay body slip by using an old mini food processor and dry clay and added a bit of water. Then I put it in into a little plastic bottle (what a mess!) with a nice tip on it. The slip trail did a bit of 'burping' on my test tile and slab bowl!  Ha!

at the pottery class
Slip and sgraffito demo
I'm enjoying myself immensely (the students seem to be, too!), and will clean up my little art space in the basement so I can do some work here at home.  Just got home from the evening class - now time for a late dinner.

at the pottery class
Coil pot demo on the right; and some thrown pottery I made awhile back, awaiting glaze

a few things

You know when it's the beginning of the year, and if you're like me and still like to have a calendar hanging on the wall, you dutifully write down (in red marker) everyone's birthdays for the year?  I always enjoy doing that.

a few things
My shortbread pan
Two pans of shortbread have been made - son and daugher-in-law got the first batch on New Year's. You know who is absolutely obsessed with shortbread?  Well, other than us humans?  It's Sephora! She loves that stuff.  It's crazy.

A big batch of chutney is simmering on the stove.  We're in between watching NFL wild card games (to get into the play offs) at the moment.

Oh, so I wanted to start clocking my daily steps.  Robert gave me a pedometer that he had been given at work.  It's a cheap thing, but I figured, what the heck, I'll give it a try.  You're 'supposed' to walk 10,000 steps in a day for good health.  The first day, I clock 750 (what!?!!).  The second day I clocked nearly 1,500 (sheesh). The third day (which was Saturday and the day I was at the market and walking a lot) I clocked, get this, SEVENTEEN steps!  That pedometer is a fickle fickle thing. I have no faith in it anymore.

Update:  I cannot multi-task!  I not only completely pureed the chutney (I wanted to do a  few quick pulses with the immersion blender just to speed things up, but I way over-did it) but I also scorched it a bit because I was too busy watching football and knitting.  Arghh!  Oh well, I was able to salvage a few 1/2 pints of  'chutney butter'.  Lesson learned.

Okay, time for Downton Abbey.  

scented sunday: catching up on some perfume-y things i have been wanting to post about

Yesterday, I took my son and daughter-in-law shopping. I put on some Malle Le Perfume de Therese which fit the mood in a weird way.  I have yet to do a decent review of this but here's a good one from Bois de Jasmin.

We ended up at a mall.  I hadn't been in a mall for a long long time, so it was fun stopping in all the stores and seeing all the merchandise.  The mall we went to is quite sad - a lot of empty shops and not many shoppers.  I was searching for some thick leggings, and found some on sale (I'll post about my cool leggings on another day). One of the shops I popped into was an Anthropologie store. I sniffed a few of the bottles of their scents - I didn't pay much attention to them and none stood out, but they didn't seem horrible.

But what I have been wanting to talk about is that when Robert was in Denmark, I had a perfumista-meet-up-by-proxy!  He had dinner with the most generous and lovely Marie!  She gave him something for me, so when he got home, I greedily opened the package.  It was a full bottle of Agent Provocateur Strip.  Marie had sent a bunch of decants of APs Eau Emotionelle and Strip awhile back, and she knows how much I love that line. Thank you again, Marie!  Click here to read my review of Strip when Marie first send me those goodies.

scented sunday: catching up on some perfume-y things i have been wanting to post about
Quite a bad photo but it's late at night and the lighting is poor
This past summer, I didn't wear a lot of perfume.  But when I did think of perfume, I would often wear Pacifica Tibetan Mountain Temple.  By the end of the summer, my bottle was getting empty.  But guess what!?!  When  my friends Joan and Isabel were in town, Joan brought me a bottle of it!  She didn't know that I already had some and that I was savoring the last few drops.  She just figured I would like the scent.  How cool is that?   Joan was the first person I met that wore Opium (this was back in 1980), and because I loved it on her, I bought my first bottle.  Even if we wore it at the same time, we would talk about the fact that it smelled different on both of us.

And Isabel had brought me perfume, too.  She had stumbled across a bottle of Parfums Weil Zibeline and since she knew I liked perfume, asked me if I wanted it.  Of course I did!  Not only did she bring me the perfume, but also some Shalimar body lotion!  Now, I haven't researched Zibeline yet, nor have I given it a good test.  But I hope to soon.  In the meantime, click here for a review of it on Perfume Shrine.

I'm glad the weather is getting cooler - I'll be wearing scent a lot more often now.

what's happening in the kitchen

The title should read "What's happening in the kitchen, or what should be happening soon."

What happened: Yesterday, I used the dehydrator to dry six trays of apples. As I planned to watch the Cleveland Browns' game, I figured at least I would get something substantial done that day and not feel guilty. (Though I was knitting some boot cuffs, too.)

Oh, what a game!! The Browns' defense was absolutely horrible for the first half - they were losing 10-28!!! But the second half was heart-stopping, and they pulled it off and won 29-28!

what's happening in the kitchen
Lots of dried apples - Sephora likes them, too

What happened: This morning I started another batch of sauerkraut; and I added onions.
What better happen soon:  I have another head and a half of cabbage, so I'll do another quart or two, after I pick up some caraway seed at the store, and maybe add apples, too.  We have a lot of apples.

what's happening in the kitchen

What should be happening : And another project:  some pear and apple chutney. I picked up the pears at the Farmers Market on Saturday. Not sure which recipe I'm going to use.  I'm going to scour my many canning books to see what I can find.

what's happening in the kitchen
One of my favorite bowls - look, hollyhocks!
What should be happening (non-kitchen related):  More yard work and laundry.  Hahahaaa, yeah right!

EDIT:  So you all don't think I'm totally lazy, I did go out into the garden and picked everything that was ripe and then picked all the green tomatoes and tore up the plants.  I am thinking of planting some garlic.

I'm heading out to my son's house in an hour or so to help to continue helping them with their basement.

collard chips

The other day, the husband used the dehydrator to make kale chips. Today, he made a ton of collard chips.

collard chips

At the grocery store today, son and I saw some dried green beans and okra.  He bought some of the okra and they were very good.  I'm going to try drying some green beans tomorrow. I have a lot of green beans, and I have enough dilly beans to last for awhile.  I was going to freeze them, but I think I'll try drying them. And we have a lot of apples to do, too.  Maybe I'll use some to try making apple sauce.  I have never made apple sauce, just apple butter.

That dehydrator was one of the best purchases ever.

another date night!

Another date night, again courtesy of my daughter-in-law and son.

Daughter-in-law (K) needed a ride into the Cleveland area last night. The initial plan was for me to drive K to where she needed to be (the same suburb as where my Mom lives) and then meet my Mom at her house, to celebrate Mom's birthday (which is today - she turns 84).  But Mom had a book club meeting to attend, so instead I took along the husband for a date night.  Back in May, K and son (J) gave us an anniversary present of a date night, but since we didn't have a working vehicle, we didn't use that gift until last night. (We still used the car-share though as our vehicle has steering problems and we didn't want to drive that far and then have car troubles.)

We dropped off K, and then we bought my Mom some flowers and cheesecake, and dropped the gifts off at her house (I still have a key to our childhood home).  I felt a bit like a house brownie, or fairy or something, leaving the little presents for her to find when she returned from her book club. Robert tried to fix the cable to her television set,  but there were so many remotes and devices we couldn't figure out which one worked the TV to test it!

Then off we went to an Indian restaurant for dinner.

another date night!

We had a nice time together.  The food was good - I had a lamb dish and since we rarely have lamb at home, I was very satisfied.  Robert had a chicken curry.  But honestly, the best Indian food is from K and J's kitchen, as K is from India, and they are both excellent cooks.  Thank you J and K for a lovely anniversary gift!!

Today we will be watching the taped Liverpool v West Ham game (I have avoided all FB, news and blogs so as to not know the outcome), and then the Cleveland Browns v Baltimore Ravens game.  And I have to get in the yard and do some garden clean-up.

how to pass time while at the hospitalgames and puzzlespalswhat's going onat the pottery classa few thingsscented sunday: catching up on some perfume-y things i have been wanting to post aboutwhat's happening in the kitchencollard chipsanother date night!

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