Thursday, March 24, 2011

update 2

And I love......

Iced Shakerate, thrift stores, old book stores, sunny, warm, spring days.
Gelato, fresh strawberries, taxis, buses, and not walking 10 hours in a day.
Having Lauren with us, elderly Italian men, and watching people from around the world.

Shutters, yellow paint, rod iron, cemeteries, statues, silversmiths, dusk over the river, and sitting on a bench. Italian pizza, tomatoes and mozzarella cheese.
Olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
Nicer than nice people behind the desk at the hotel.
Wondering what to expect in Venice.

Ciao, bellas!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

how fast

How fast can I give you an update??? 
I'm in Lauren's apartment and have access to internet, so here goes!

I love Italy. I love the River Arno, coffee, gelato, pasta, and walking. I love laughing with my sister, walking uphill to a beautiful monastery, and walking into a church just in time for the rosary and being in the middle of all the lit candles.

I love working our way out of a ticket on the bus because we didn't stamp our ticket. It works to bat your eyelashes, look flustered and tell them they are not allowed to make you cry. Just in case you ever need to know....

I love the Italian language. It's musical and beautiful.

I love the bathtub in our room and the fact that I bought some killer bubble bath and after walking 10-12 hours I can soak for as long as I want.

I love yogurt and granola and bread and cheese for breakfast.

I love making friends with the barista by our hotel because we are there almost every day at 5 pm. A most magical hour because it is the time you stop and have coffee and "a little something." Bombolinos are going to be the death of me. Donuts filled with Nutella........

I love trying to find our way to our hotel at 10 pm and realizing we have walked a huge circle and are back at where we started and my sister says, "how did THAT happen????"

I love internet and being able to check in!!!!
Off for Gelato.
Ciao, Bella!!

Friday, March 18, 2011

One For The Road

I have to show you the best birthday present:

My friend, Robin, who knows me so well, found it at a garage sale!!!

It brought back memories from typing class in high school.

I did not type  on these typewriters, but not a whole lot had changed as I looked through the book!

Drills, standing up your typing book and flipping over the pages.

Trying to decipher all the things to be done on the document.

I still don't have the numbers down. I must have done o.k. with them in high school, otherwise I don't think I would have passed the class. No, I didn't cheat in typing. That was just sewing class.

Remember typing,
"Now is the time for all good men to come to the aide of their country"?

I wasn't so spectacular at letter heads, either. But I was pretty fast!

Did anyone give you this advice:

I don't think my fingers listened very well in high school. I'm just happy for the delete/backspace buttons on my computer.

I'm pretty much packed and ready to go. If I have access to a computer in Italy, I'll send some pictures to the blog. Otherwise, I'll see you at the end of the month.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Pre-travel random-ness

I feel like a squirrel skittering across the ice.
Anita, do your squirrels ever act like that? I know, no ice where you live.
I am supposed to be packing right now. I have everything thrown in a heap on the couch in my room. But that's as far as I've gotten. 

Just a few things going on in life...
I had to call a friend to go to my Mom's as she fell and ended up tearing ligaments in her foot. Thank goodness my sister was there in time to spend HOURS in the e.r. with her.
Yesterday, the battery in the car died and I had to call AAA, and someone to take Brenna from one school to another. Thank goodness for COLLEEN! 
 I just whipped out the credit card and bought a new battery on the spot from the nicest tow truck driver ever. Apparently, " the better thing to do would have been to have the car towed to the dealer and they were to pro-rate the battery and put in a new one."

Laundry is done, but I have yet to make Doug's list for the week of where Brenna should be and when..

Do I make food and freeze it for them?


But I'll need to remind them to feed Miss Party.

And to put up the kitchen trash. Or better yet, put a child-proof lock on the cabinet door.

Bless my husband, he is taking the week off to watch Brenna. He will have time to do that, right??

I guess I won't care, because I'll be studying this:

And finding my way around these streets!


Monday, March 14, 2011

Dictionary Banner

With my new dictionary collection, I am having fun doing things with these beautiful pages.
Remember this?

I bought these pre-cut at our local scrapbooking store and sewed the triangles together. It's pretty, but I thought I could come up with something a little more.

I took my "new" dictionary and began cutting out the pages. I used an exacto knife and ran it down the edge next to the binding.

I put on the movie, "Secretariat" and began cutting triangles with my Fiskar's cutter. Have you seen the movie? It's great!!
I ran the triangles through my sewing machine-which, by the way, I figured out how to work!! Then I added strips of muslin.

And added some sweet multi-layered flowers at each end.

Does anyone have a good suggestion for photographing banners???

Next round, I will add a double layer:

Have a happy day!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

A Gift in the Form of Twigs

This evening, I decided to grill chicken. Yep. Grill. It was at least 75 degrees today, so I thought it was time to start the barbeque season! Upon opening my barbeque for the first time since summer, I was presented with a gift..

Can you believe it????

It's pretty big, too-about 3 1/2 inches high and the nest opening is about 3 inches wide!

Here's the cool part: I was just wondering yesterday if just maybe Brenna and I would discover a nest this spring when we took our walks.

I didn't think about what would happen when I barbequed!

Miss Party was very interested as well, but she got the big, "SHOO!" from me.

I wondered how the birds got in and out:

It had to have been this opening on the side. Kinda cool to think the bird family had a safe and dry spot for the winter.

I, of course, took it off the barbeque, marveling at the craftmanship. Bits of material, strong twigs, ribbon, feathers all intertwined to make a strong home. The twigs were interesting as they were fairly uniform in length. They were stacked up to give the nest it's height and large base. Do you think the birds broke them off of trees? Or did the master craft-bird find a large pile that some homeowner had when they trimmed their tree?

It's in my house (up from Miss Party's nose). It's on my dining room table for now, and I love it!!

Thanks, birds, for the gift you left..

Thursday, March 10, 2011

wrapping paper

 I have seen lots of good ideas lately for re-purposing items lately. After making the dictionary banners, I had lots of slices of paper left over, with great graphics. I held onto it, wondering what I would do with it.

I had a couple of packages to send out and wanted to wrap them up in some plain paper that was used for packaging. I thought I could stamp it and add some twine and make it nice...
Somehow I came up with the idea of gluing the dictionary sheets onto the paper. I don't know where the idea came from-I surprised myself!!
So, out came the gel medium..

I ironed out the packaging paper a bit.

Next, I spread on a thin layer of gel medium.

I laid the strip of paper down,

and used the excess medium to go over the edges to secure the paper down. I didn't particularly go over the whole piece of paper-just around the edges. It's a very quick process!

Here is the first piece of paper. I laid it outside to dry and it was ready start to finish in about 30 minutes.
This one had more of a pattern to it.

It does take a little bit more tape to hold it down when you wrap your package.
Add some twine, burlap and a tag and it's all ready to go!

Have a great day!


Tuesday, March 8, 2011


I love sunny days.
I took Miss Party out for a walk and we revelled in the sunshine.
I did not revel, however over all the dog snot on my dashboard. 

Miss Party likes to snarf and sniff at the vent when we drive and it leaves quite the mess.

Starbucks is celebrating their 40th anniversary today! 
They have new cups and sleeves and I think they are giving away freebies this afternoon.
Brenna and I are going to go double check after school.

Aside from the serious decaf addiction I have, I am also addicted to my friend's oranges. Gregory's ranch has killer oranges. I love the Gregory family.

Did you know I am older than Starbucks? I am officially forty-nine this month. Also known as "forty-fine." Along with this wonderful age, I am studying a book called Menopause and the Mind. Need I say more?

Did I mention I love sunny days?

I haven't heard from my Italian child for a while. She did comment on the blog post about tortillas and asked me to bring salsa with me when I come and visit. Can you imagine salsa exploded all over a suitcase? Me, either.
I can imagine me bringing the new Jodi Picoult book, Sing Me Home on the plane. Easier than salsa.

Which brings me to the thought of flying...
Now is when I wish I had a Kindle or a Nook. I'm sure I'll pack at least 3 books. Or buy one in the airport. I love buying books in the airport. It's a big treat. Yes, I am easily pleased.
It's cold in Italy. Lauren wears tights under her jeans. I don't know if I can do that. It makes me feel a little claustrophobic. Like I couldn't have any room to eat pasta. Better to be cold and eat pasta, I always say.

I think I'm starting a collection of dictionaries. (remember. the post title is random-ness) 

It began innocently enough when I found the dictionary from the 30's at the thrift store in the mountains. I got another one from my Gregory friends. This one is a whopper!!! And it's not going to get maimed in any way. Then I went to the thrift store by my house and managed to hit the 10 books for $1 day. Oh, yeah. I found 3 dictionaries. I have begun to tear one of them up. It will be o.k., really. Once I show you what I've made. Really. I'll post about that one soon.

 I couldn't think of anything to post about for a couple of weeks and now I have tons of ideas, which is good. I think that is the Menopausal Mind thing going on. Plus, the sun is out and the weather has warmed up 20 degrees.
I love sunny days........