Tuesday, March 31, 2015

ME - (long)

Born March 31, 1955 - 60 years ago.

My Christening - Left to right, my paternal grandmother (who passed away before I was a year old), my Godmother holding me, my maternal grandmother, my Godfather

We lived in the upstairs apartment of my maternal grandparents' home.  There was a row of azaleas my grandfather planted on the property line.  Many family pictures were taken with these azaleas as the backdrop.

My mother and me in the kitchen.

My parents often took us to a park in the town my father grew up in where there was a tiny "zoo" of sorts.  They had a smattering of animals in cages and you could feed them.  I always loved the peacocks (and have secretly always wanted one).

My grandmother worked at a sewing factory and both she and my mother made many of our clothes.  Having two sisters and not having much money it was a very economical skill to have.  

My mother made my communion dress and I remember it was eyelet fabric.  I also remember that someone put a flashlight on top of the dress that was sitting atop the washing machine waiting to be washed and the battery leaked all over the dress and it was ruined.  

Another costume that my mother made for a school play.  Under the tulle skirt were petals of fabric.  The fabric itself was a very pale lavender grey that had a bit of a sheen to it. 

As a preteen visiting relatives at the beach.

My Godmother took us (my sisters and I) to Atlantic City - the Steel Pier - when I was in high school and she made me get my picture taken at this photo place that had these props.  I don't think my parents were too happy when they saw this.

High school senior year - I was the captain of the drill team and got to wear that "gorgeous" gold jumper.  These were new uniforms that year having replaced some pretty cool cowgirl outfits (our mascot was the Mustang).  I always secretly preferred the cowgirl outfits.

And here's a big jump to our wedding day - Thad and I.  (Yes dear - I published your name, or at least the one I use for you!) 

I haven't changed much, have I?

Thanks for bearing with me through the photo challenge this month.

Monday, March 30, 2015


It's been very cloudy the last few days and I've not had much opportunity for taking any SCENIC pictures.  I did spot the first blooming crocus in our yard this afternoon.  It's blooming in an area near the dryer exhaust vent which is probably why it's blooming when none of the others in the yard are.  HWNSNBP tried to transplant a couple of perennials just the other day and could not get down deep enough into the soil as the ground was still frozen.  

And today was a busy day besides.  A early morning MRI followed by breakfast with a friend.  Then a doctor follow-up appt. and lunch with another friend (brought most of that home!).  And this evening I had PT which brought me to the county Ballpark and it was sunny by that time so I took a picture of the field lights against the cloudy sky.  A little more graphic than SCENIC - but I tried.

Sunday, March 29, 2015


I "planted" some paperwhite bulbs in a bowl of SHINY glass stones today.  We do this normally between Thanksgiving and Christmas but somehow a package of bulbs got tucked away out of sight in the basement refrigerator and were recently found and since I still had the bowl of clear marbles in the kitchen, I stripped the paper husks off the bulbs and set them in it adding a layer of the blue stones on top for some spring color.  Then I mixed just a little white vinegar with water and added that to the bowl just barely touching the bottom of the bulbs.  The vinegar is supposed to keep the paperwhites from getting too tall and straggly.  I don't think we'll have flowers in time for Easter, but flowers anytime is always a good thing.

Yesterday HWNSNBP and I went on a little adventure visiting some fun places and I indulged myself in some pre-birthday purchases.  I picked up this little succulent and flower pot at the Great Swamp Nursery and since I was making a mess with the bulbs I made an even bigger one potting this up today.

Just to give you an idea of the size of the plant I put a quarter on top of it.

I haven't decided if I'm going to keep it at home on my windowsill or take it to work for my desk.

While I was doing this there was a lot of squawking going on in the other room.  Kirby was preening himself and that feather got stuck to his lower beak.  He just looked so funny parading around the top of the cage with it hanging there I just had to take his picture.  He doesn't look too happy does he?

Saturday, March 28, 2015


If you look at it a little squinty you might see some fish swimming around on the paper.  

We did some errands this morning.  Fun things like visiting a candy store, a paper store, and the Great Swamp Nursery.  This fellow was hanging out amongst the succulents.

These are spent orchid blossoms - I could not get enough pictures.

BLACK & WHITE challenge.  


To use them I'll be TAKING A BREAK.  I'm also TAKING A BREAK from work - 

It's spring recess for the staff and students and I decided to take some of my vacation days.  I have a lot of things planned for the next week.  More about that then.

These eggs were given to me by the school nurse who was covering for our nurse whose been out for the last couple of weeks.  I did not even know that she raised chickens and wow, when I got home and took a look at these eggs I was so pleasantly surprised.  They're pretty enough to be Easter eggs just the way they are!

Thursday, March 26, 2015


Okay, so it's not a human-size building but the bluebirds are looking into moving into the neighborhood at school.  And no, it's not decorated for St. Patrick's Day, although we were kidding that we would tell people that it was a leprechaun trap.  We were noticing several varieties of unwanted bird species trying to lay claim to the box within the last few weeks.  So I mentioned to the custodian that we needed a "Sparrow Spooker" to keep the undesirables out.  Then I showed him a picture on the internet and the next day, he surprised us with his rendition of  one and even put it up.  

The premise is that most birds are afraid of the shiny mylar and will be scared away.  The bluebirds however don't mind the "tackiness" of the new BUILDING ARCHITECTURE and will have more of a chance of claiming the property.  In our case I think it worked!  I almost want to believe that I see some grass in her beak.

Oh, and I almost forgot to mention that the custodian brought his camera in, with a 200 mm lens, for me to use.  Boy, was that sucker heavy.  I still stepped outside the front door so I didn't get the haziness through the window screens.  I wish we could put a nestcam in there but the line would have to pass over the bus lane so it's a no go.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015


A FEELING ........... How do you feel when you get a package in the mail?  Happiness.  Anticipation.  Giddiness.  Curiosity.  Thankfulness.  Many feelings.  Wonder what's in there?


I've fallen a day behind.  These are not snowflakes.  I call them frost blossoms.  They are UNIQUE like snowflakes however in that no two are exactly the same.  They grow on the windshield of my car some mornings.  Sometimes there are so many of them that you can't even see out the window.  This morning I was thankful that there were not enough to obstruct my vision as I wanted to get into work a little earlier having left yesterday without setting up for today like I usually do.  And truth be told, I was at a loss for this prompt yesterday and tried something last night that didn't work out and was still thinking about it this morning on my way to work when the inspiration struck.  Thus the guardrail on the side of the road as I slowed down to take the picture.  

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Jingle Belles - Another EMBOSS-ible Mission

Recap - the Jingle Belles challenge for this fortnight was to using embossing of any kind.  I've got two kinds of embossing on this card - wet and dry.  The brick panel is an embossing folder that I sponged light gray ink on.  I cut away some of the excess white paper to see the gray card base.

The Wondrous Wreath stamp was stamped in Old Olive and Mossy Meadow and the berries were embossed in gold EP.  

I usually don't ask HWNSNBP for his opinion before I'm done with my cards but this time I did.  I asked whether the "JOY" should go inside the center of the wreath or in the lower right corner and I took his suggestion.  

Now I'm off to see the other embossed beauties at the Jingle Belles blog.  

Monday, March 23, 2015


ON MY MIND today, and sorry to be so serious, drug allergies.  I had a reaction to a new medication yesterday, something I have actually taken before but now at a larger dosage.  It didn't require emergency services, but I did break out in hives on my face, neck and shoulders.  I knew enough not to take the second pill yesterday and today there is less but still some evidence of a reaction.  

All this because of some new neck and shoulder pain which has been driving me crazy for the last 3 weeks.  I kept putting off doing anything about it because "it will go away in time".  But last Monday I couldn't take it anymore and made my appointment with my spine doctor.  More meds, more PT, more tests................. and this was supposed to be a better year.  

Well the good news is that the medication was helping, so if we can find something similar then maybe this won't drag on.  Tomorrow I start PT yet again.  That will put a dent in my free time and I was just getting into a good groove up in the stamp cave.  

Anyhoo, in the picture above is the origami tulip I first tried out with kraft paper.  The tip is kind of smooshy because of the bulkiness.  And on the bottom is a new pouch that I picked up this weekend for my travel zentangle kit.  I thought the cork facing was cool.  I hope it holds up.  

Sunday, March 22, 2015

LANDSCAPE and Elegant Inspiration

HWNSNBP and I took a trip to IKEA today.  You can see the NYC skyline from Rt. 78 as you approach the turn-off towards Newark Airport.  It was a little difficult trying to get a good picture while the truck was moving, but I think my cell phone camera did pretty good.

While there I found some neat note cards.  They came 4 to a package and were gray/silver and white. Two striped and two polka-dotted.  I had seen a card online earlier this morning that I wanted to CAS and these notecard bases were perfect.

I used my Essentials by Ellen die again to die cut the flowers and leaves and then layerd them along the top surface of the card.  Then I added some silver and white sequins on one and silver, white, and magenta on the other.

I purposely left off a sentiment as I don't know quite yet what I'll use them for.  Make sure you check the link above to see the inspiration for this card - it's so much prettier than mine!  I neglected to go to the edges of the card base with mine and regret that now, but at the time in the stamp cave I was going strictly on memory.  

Oh yeah, and we picked up more shelving for the stamp cave which means I have a lot of work ahead of me moving things so we can get those shelves in there.  We're going to tackle that starting next weekend which means the stamp cave might be out of commission for a bit.  Until then - have a great week.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

LINES and Loons and a Little More

 Rope LINES on a fishing boat.

Looking through the LINES of a fence and a dried up vine spying on two friends basking in the sun.

LINES and pulleys on another fishing vessel.  

And the loon in the Barnegat inlet.



Dive, Dive, Dive!

Coming up this time empty-beaked.

Two friends sharing lunch. 

 Go ahead it's your turn.

Okay, you've had enough. My turn now.

Just look at those two.  Sharing lunch again.  I think they make a cute couple don't you?

Friday, March 20, 2015

Rock Your Socks - LOW LIGHT - First Day of Spring?

Rachel texted me last night to tell me that today, at her school, they were celebrating Rock Your Socks for Down Syndrome Day (officially tomorrow, but with no school on Saturday celebrated on Friday).  And she posted this on Facebook this morning.

So I decided to celebrate too!  (This was taken at work this morning before the snow started.)  And no, we're not sharing a pair of socks - she has her own flying pig socks (which look quite a bit cleaner than mine I should add!)

Yes, it snowed yet again today.  Mother Nature's surprise for the last hours of winter because it stopped snowing here this evening just about the official time for spring to start.  And darn, now that I'm posting this I realize that I should have tried standing an egg on end this evening for the Vernal Equinox.  These next two pictures were taken through the sliding door within about 20 mins. of each other as we were losing daylight. They are untouched and I'm hoping that you can see the difference in the amount of light as today's photo prompt is LOW LIGHT.

LOWer LIGHT gives the view a bluer hue.

I was perusing Pinterest this afternoon and came across the directions to make these origami tulips.  I had to give it a try 1) because we don't have any real flowers blooming outside now to celebrate Spring, and 2) because I've been looking for this pattern for quite some time now.

HWNSNBP and I used to rent a house down the shore when the kids were little.  One place that we stayed at for 2 or 3 years was owned by an art teacher and she used some of her creations to decorate the cottage.  I will always remember the origami tulips that were in a vase beside the bed in the master bedroom.  They fascinated me then and I was never able to find the exact pattern or instructions for making them, but these instructions produced a flower that came close.  

I first tried using some kraft paper which turned out to be too bulky when folded, so I grabbed a small roll of colorful wrapping paper and cut that into 6" squares.  This paper was much easier to work with.  I do have to admit that I added a dab of glue on the sides where the petals wanted to pop out too much.  I found some green drinking straws to use as stems.  

I'm not sure if you'd call the tulip pictures LOW LIGHT or spot light, but I like the way the colors pop against the darkness in the background.  

We got about 4 or 5 more inches of heavy, wet snow which is all supposed to melt tomorrow when the temps are said to approach 50ยบ.  We'll see about that.

I hope the slush won't inhibit our plans for tomorrow.  I'm hoping for a good photo opportunity tomorrow afternoon that I've been looking forward to.  

Have a great weekend.