Sunday, November 3, 2013


I have been away from the computer for a long time.  Mostly, it is because my laptop is not functioning properly and I had to find one of the others in the house I could use.  We have a lot of laptops around, mostly kept for parts-or so the kids say-but I think they just can't bear to give any of their old computers away.

I have been away for some very good reasons, and hopefully my Bee Balm quilting friends will understand that beginning this week I will start to catch up on blocks that they are patiently waiting for.  The major reason I have been away was Lillian's wedding.  Planning a wedding is a major job in general, when the bride-to-be is more than two thousand miles away and wants to have a hand in the decisions, it becomes fairly complicated.  Add in the reason she is more than two thousand miles away-graduate school-and we really complicate things!

Well, first I can say that the Dr. Who themed wedding was wonderful!  I can't show you any pictures because I was told my camera was crummy and I was not allowed to take any pictures with it.  The kids have all been sharing everything on Facebook, but I don't do Facebook so I don't get to see much.  There were many wonderful and heartwarming things/moments during the day:  Lillian's tiara had belonged to her great aunt, her bouquet included brooches that represented friends and family who could not be there, she looked beautiful in the dress that was an exact copy of the dress I wore which originally was made for my aunt in 1941, my cousin brought the "the Buick" for the bridal car-a 1940 sedan bought new by my grandmother and never out of our family, Jack's face as he watched her walk down the aisle, the rabbi quoting Monty Python-the list goes on. The reception was fantastic-food was good, people had a lot of fun and played with the coloring books and photo booth.  The only minus was that someone took the sonic screwdriver pen from the guestbook table.....but they probably needed it more than I do......but it still  pisses me off.

And the last two notes of worth:  Lillian successfully defended her thesis on October 30th making her the latest Dr. Ostrach and Sarah has signed another contract to finish the teaching year in Beijing.

Sunday, May 5, 2013


George reverted to his adolescence overnight and woke me up at 3AM to let him out; not surprising, little bladder, little staying power.  He then decided that 6:30 (our usual get up time) was fine for a Sunday, too.  So, we went out for a nice quiet neighborhood walk at 6:30, and I went back to bed.  I slept in until about 10:30 and came out to the living room to hear Lou talking with Sarah as she got ready for bed-Beijing is 12 hours ahead of us so it's pretty easy for me to keep track of the time there.

Lou's eye was swollen-it turns out there was a "suspect" weed in what we cleared yesterday, and he has poison ivy on his arm and eyelid.  I immediately started itching in sympathy, and he video chatted with Sarah about it.  At one point he gently rubbed his eyelid and Sarah looked at him, gloved hand and all (it's still cold enough for his Reynaud's) , and said, "Papa, what are you doing?  Are you rubbing G-d knows what crap from your computer keyboard into your eye?  You know, you have got to start asking, Is that something you would let your daughter do?"  then she did about another three or four minutes on it..... she was on a roll, so to speak.

Today it's a bit cooler outside and I hope to get the marigolds in and the mulch spread, then turn to in-house jobs.  Have a wonderful day, no matter what weather!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

May wishes

May has arrived in Bethesda with spring flowers and lots of pollen!  Every day Miss Lucy's windshield is covered in a delicate yellow haze that needs to be removed to drive safely.  Today Lou and I spent a lovely hour or so out in the sunshine pulling weeds and grass out of the flowerbed along the brick wall of the driveway.  Then we put Miss Lucy's top down and took a drive to the local Home Depot and bought some marigolds to put in the newly cleaned spots.  Sarah's tulips have finished blooming, as have the daffodils and the narcissus.  The azaleas are popping, and soon the wildflowers that have no name will raise their pink faces to the sun.

I have had a rough few weeks with Lou's medical issues, but he is on the mend and hopefully my days off will become "mine" again.  I am currently part of an online quilting bee again with participants from all over the globe.  I have also entered a scrap swap and I received my bag of scraps from my partner in Hawaii-and hopefully she's received her package by now and has begun to play.  I play tomorrow!

George, our rescue yorkie, is slowly coming around.  I took him to obedience classes at our local pet shop, and he's about 80% better at a lot of things.  He still has a few issues with bicycle wheels, strange dogs, and people leaving-anywhere-our house, their house, the street, etc.  Hopefully, as he gets a little older he will get a little better.

Plans go well with the wedding for October, it decidedly has a Dr. Who theme.  Don't know Dr. Who? Google him, and know that "you never forget your first doctor"-number 10's our favorite.  You may remember pictures of Lillian's clockwork droid Halloween costume, look up the episode "The Girl in the Fireplace".

Sarah is deciding whether to sign another contract to teach another semester in China.  It's been an incredible experience so far, but she does miss home-or most likely, her father's cooking!

Well, George is whining for an outing, so out we will go.  It feels good to be back!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

March? Already 10 days in?

I seem to be reduced to a once a month posting of late.  I'm not sure what I'm doing that's keeping me so busy, but I need to blog more often or I'll forget to record things!

George has had two obedience classes and seems to be doing pretty well!  He definitely has "sit" down, he's about 50% on "focus-look at me", about 30% on "leave it!", 10% on "come" and 0 at "drop it".  His breed is not really known for following directions, yorkies are more of a "I'm the boss" protective breed.  He's very smart and very good-and he knows exactly what the bark collar means and doesn't make a peep when it's around his neck.

It's all darling daughter number 2's fault that I bought new jeans and shoes.  I had a return of hers to make at Target and got sidetracked by a big "sale" sign.  I'd been wanting to try on skinny jeans and see what I looked like in them-I'm not tall enough to automatically carry them off, and I'm not short enough to look "cute".  But, the Levi's style I tried on looked pretty good, I thought.  Of course, seeing all the posters of models wearing skinny jeans with wedges and heels meant I had to get shoes for the pants, so I thought I'd look there before going off to DSW where serious damage can be done at any given visit.  And, lo, to my surprise (and I bet you thought I was going to type "lo, these hundred years"-thank you, Old King Cole) there was the cutest pair of taupe pumps in my size and on sale!  Of course, they are 5 and a half inch heels, but what's a little height between friends?  So, I bought them and since I worked on Friday and it's casual day, I wore my new pants and shoes.  And wow-were there a lot of people I could look at eye-to-eye! Have I complained recently about being vertically challenged?  I loved the platforms of the '60s and early '70s because I could be tall.  Well, a lot of people seemed to be surprised that I could pull together "that look"-but what do they know?  WE know that inside every 60+ year old woman is the 25+ year old hottie that she once was, and that sometimes we can flaunt it all over again......

The floor goes well.  We have finished the first part of the base board work, and after a lovely trip to Home Depot with the top down on Miss Lucy, we have stained the quarter round that goes along the flooring in front of the base boards.  We will start attaching it during the week. I do have to say, though, I'm a little surprised at how uneven ALL the walls are and that we did some pretty creative nailing to make it work.

I'll try and post some pictures next week.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Catching Up

I am taking a little time to catch up as I get used to my new (to me) laptop that I got as a birthday present.  I am back to a Dell, with a LARGE screen (great for Dr Who reruns) and a very nice keyboard.  I will not be able to upload pictures until I find the disc with the program in the camera box, but I can fill in a few new things going on.

We have finished the main area of the flooring downstairs in the newly named "pearl room".  I trimmed the under-layer excess off and even without baseboard molding it looks pretty darn cool.  We will finish the cedar closet this week, and price the molding at good old Home Depot.....

George is coming along.  He still has a few barking issues and following directions difficulty, but we will be starting some training soon and I hope that will make it easier for Lou to live with him.

Lillian is plugging away on her dissertation.  The wedding date has been set for October, and we are organizing the millions of details that go into making a perfect day.  My new dress form arrived today and
George is freaked out by the box, I think he thinks the picture on the front is a person.  I will set it up once he calms down and see how she looks.  She hasn't given me a clue as to her name yet, but I think we'll have to work together a bit for that to happen.

Sarah arrived in China minus one bag.  It was finally found 24 hours or so later, and one of the wheels is broken.  Big sister is taking a major role in dealing with claims resolution while Sarah gets the last appointments out of the way prior to beginning her teaching.

My fabric arrived from Australia for the first block in the new Bee Balm online quilting bee.  Lizzie has chosen some beautiful fabrics and a variation of the nine patch.  I'm hoping to finish the blocks tomorrow evening or so, and get them back on their way to Australia after that.  I'm also starting the next section on the afghan that will be Lillian and Jack's chuppah-it's coming along beautifully!

Pictures to be posted soon-I can still upload on the Mac and then send them out.....

Happy President's Day to all in the US, happy Family Day to those in Canada, and just happy Monday to everyone else.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

The new year

The new year is underway and lots of exciting things are going on around our neck of the woods.

The stained, smelly rug was finally removed from the blue room downstairs and Lou and I learned to use a heat gun to remove vinyl tiles (thanks, Big Lou!).  We had the walls washed after he did some spackling and sanding, and had a wonderful painter, Carlos, do the room and the stairwell.  He did a fantastic job of priming and painting, and spackling and sanding the areas he didn't feel we did well enough..... the room will now be known as the pearl room because the wall coloring is Pearl Drop (Behr from Home Depot).  Today we looked at flooring options and will make a decision very soon and get that put down.  Then molding, then the furniture returns from its vacation on the patio under the deck.  It will probably be very happy to move back in.

Wedding plans for daughter #1 are proceeding along.  The save the date cards will go out this week.  We've talked about clothing options for the guys, the attendants' dress style and color is picked, DD1 played with trying on dresses at David's Bridal and all I can say is that I will probably not be wearing makeup the day of the wedding because she was so beautiful in the trying on stage, without hair or makeup done, that when her day really is here, I will most likely be crying most of the day.  We're making lists and have lots of friends who are offering help and will be figuring out what they'll be doing as we move along.

DD2 will be getting a new computer before she leaves for China in February.  She applied for and was accepted into a program to teach English and a course of her choosing at Beijinj Normal University for six months.  What an adventure.  She'll get to use the Mandarin she's been learning for a year or so, she'll get to sightsee and travel, and hopefully she'll be able to come home through London and visit her friends there for a bit.  She'll be back in time to help with the final count down to the wedding and that will be a big help to me.

I am part of an online quilting bee starting in February.  The Bee Balm has been around for a few years, the membership changes a little each time, but it's a wonderful worldwide group of women who have come to know each other and enjoy our shared love of sewing.  Thanks to Beebee in Louisiana for taking over the current organization, and Liz in Australia for updating the site.  I'm looking forward to sewing again, in a sewing space, in the newly redone pearl room!  My block is in the summer, but I'll probably decide what it will be sooner and get it organized.  As I write, I am leaning against the wonderful quilt these ladies crafted for me last year when I was having such a difficult year between Lou's health and dealing with out of state eldercare.  The love just envelopes me every time I snuggle!

So, it's nice to be back to the blog, and hopefully it will get an updated look once all the organization of getting DD2 to China has been completed and she's on her way.  Otherwise, it will be same old-same old background, but hopefully some new musings and pictures.

Wishing everyone a happy and healthy new year!