Photo Hunters: Red

                                                 PhotoHunters

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Last week, we had a bright and sunny day that was perfect for shooting this beautiful Christmas Cactus flower against the bright blue sky!

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And, as a bonafide “Scottie-obsessed” fan,  how could I not include this bright red Boyd’s Glass Scottie?

The New Crochet Project

 Since I have so much time on my hands lately…Actually, since I have been coughing and miserable, I decided to rethink my Scottie crochet.  The other piece that I showed previously will be framed and not used as a curtain. However,  I looked through my patterns and found another “vintage” pattern my Scottie friend, Kim, had sent me. As I looked at the pattern, I thought it would be just perfect to use as a valance.

Yesterday afternoon, I pulled out the crochet hooks and cotton and began my plan!

The pattern I am using is called “Scotties and Sealies”, as in Scotties and Sealyhams. As far as I can remember, Sealyhams have “droopy” ears as opposed to “bat ears” like Scotties, but whatever, I love this pattern. It is pretty easy……

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Now, I am trying to figure exactly how I am going to use these.  The curtains we currently have are frumpy and ugly and I am thoroughly tired of them.  It is going to take some time to finish these, so I have plenty of time to plan my strategy!  I am going to repeat this pattern of two pups facing one another, twice, for each of the two front windows.  That should keep me occupied for a while.

Oh, and yes, I could have made any number of other patterns instead of the Scotties, but I really liked this pattern so much and it is the perfect size (length) for a valance.

I’ve Been Tagged

 My friend, Sorlil, tagged me! I have never done one of these before, but this looked rather interesting…

Here are the rules:
1. Link to the person’s blog who tagged you.
2. Post these rules on your blog.
3. List seven random and/or weird facts about yourself
4. Tag seven random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs.
5. Let each person know that they have been tagged by posting a comment on their blog.

Random and/ or weird facts about me….

 1.  I have blue eyes and am left-handed.  Okay, so perhaps that isn’t so unusual, except my parents and two brothers all have brown eyes and are right-handed.

2. I am hopelessly and helplessly left-handed. If asked to use my right hand for much of anything, I become very stressed. In the old days when telephones had rotary dials, (all made for use for right-handed folks) I consistantly dialed wrong numbers, as the phones were not made to be dialed using the left hand.

3. When I was in Kindergarten, I was placed in the corner for subordination. What was my crime? I couldn’t use the scissors. (Yes, in days of antiquity, there were no lefty scissors.)

4. When I was in first grade, I had the most perceptive and dear teacher who picked up on my (urgent) desire to write.  I had written a story, and she wrote it on one of those HUGE “tablets” with the three lines (you know, caps above the dotted line, small letters, below) and read it to the entire class.

5. Somewhere along my educational voyage, I was discouraged and became disenchanted with the whole educational process.  With loss of interest came bad attitudes and bad grades. I could have cared less, though.

6. After graduation from high school, (which I did NOT attend….instead, I went to Alaska to visit my brother) I attended college a few times, but never got a degree. Never could figure what I wanted to be when I grew up.  While attending courses at University of Buffalo, I had a professor who commended my writing abilities. He suggested I *write*!

7. I dream of one day living in a tiny house located far off and away from distractions. I have always been troubled by having too much “stuff”, often giving it away. Thus, a tiny house would be the perfect solution! I often dream about this little home…..

So, there you have it!  I really am *weirder* than you knew, eh?

I am supposed to tag seven others….hmmmm…..

1. Terri
2. Denise

3. Frances

4. Cindy

5. Grace

6. Carly

I am not sure about seven people, so if you see this and want to do it, please do!!! Many of my online friends don’t actually talk about their lives, so I don’t want to embarrass or pressure anyone!

Let the Busy Season Begin!

With two “teen” kids (technically Ben has not *quite* reached the teen years yet)  in the house, we are busier than ever!

 Yesterday, Mark and I arose early in the morning to pick up the kids and their friend after the Turkey Skate. Mark and I were somewhat amused by their stances…they had managed to stay awake throughout the night, although I heard from two of the kids that one “snoozed” a bit during a movie!  They wanted to have just a little more time with their friends, so we drove over to McDonald’s so they could go inside and eat together.

When the trio sauntered back to the truck, we asked if they might like to do a little mall shopping since we were halfway to a mall they all love. They called out a resounding “yes!”, so off we went.  The ride was rather atypical, as there wasn’t the normal chatter in the back seat. The three would seem to take turns dozing off for a minute or two, then awakening to see if the other two were passed out!

The kids went into the mall and shopped for about an hour. They always have fun shopping and Mark encouraged me to go on in, as well.  I am not the best shopper as I tend to get bored and tired of looking around.

I wandered into Macy’s and right near the jewelry counter, they had inexpensive holiday watches. I began looking through them, and I found a cute little Scottie Dog watch! Of course, I have been chided about never knowing what time it is, so I bought the watch!

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I shopped around a bit more, looking in a few stores, then Mark and I went to Sam’s.

The kids decided that they were totally exhausted, so we made our way back to the Bristolwood.  The friend who we picked up was coming to the house as well, for the afternoon.  He wasn’t quite sure when his parents were coming to get him, so we just left everything open….

The kids were very hungry again by the time we arrived home, so I heated up leftovers (very surprisingly, to their delight!) from Thanksgiving.  There was turkey, stuffing, potatoes,  cranberry sauce, and the sweet potato souffle.  They nearly finished off the leftovers and then went outside to work off some energy. Hard to believe they had any left!

The friend’s father showed up shortly thereafter, and the kids said their good-byes.  Our kids looked totally wasted. I wondered how they would make their way to their rooms!!! The good news is that their bellies were now full, and they would sleep quite soundly for a long time!

I was somewhat tired myself, so I went upstairs to rest just for a short time. I had put the food away after the kids ate, but left some stuff on the table. When I came back downstairs, I was shocked when I went looking for Angus…

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 Angus doesn’t do this on a regular basis. It seems that during the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas, Angus gets a little “funny”. He reminds me of a little child that is so anxious about the holidays that he completely forgets all he has been taught!  He figured that any scraps or crumbs left on the table after the kids left were his! After all, he certainly couldn’t let Murphy have them….

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Yes, it was after I scolded him that Angus looked a little remorseful.  However, he refused to get down, insisting that I pick him up and place him on the floor!  Stubborn little Scot!

The kids were down for almost the entire night, so Mark and I were able to thoroughly enjoy watching a Buffalo Sabres Hockey game undisturbed! And, the best part? They WON!  The Sabres had been in a slump since the season began, but things are really turning around and they have been winning lately! Go Sabres!

Photo Hunters: Hot

                                                    PhotoHunters

 Do not be alarmed…This photo was taken in total darkness while I was playing around with my (old) Olympus camera on a cold day!  It is only an illusion! Rest assured.

If you would like to read about my “HOT” Thanksgiving experience, scroll down to the previous post…..

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If Confession Be Good for the Soul…

Then, confess, I shall.

 Thanksgiving Day was Thursday, and Thursday is well behind me now. All is well in the Bristolwood, and I am able to smile as I recount this most unfortunate event now.

I had written on my blog at about 1:30 in the afternoon on Thursday that I had become rather efficient in preparing a Thanksgiving Feast, as I have been doing so for many years. Ah, the irony….and oh, those famous last words!

At about 3 pm, we were to be seating ourselves to the moist, delicious culinary delight I had prepared, but alas, Michelle and I were cleaning the oven instead….

Mark would point out that in my world “behind the lens”, I tend to be a little absentminded, forgetful….You understand. However, on my own behalf, I tend to see myself as creative and inquisitive.

The brined turkey I prepared was baking so well, and the succulent aroma filled the house with such temptation, everyone kept asking “how much longer?”  The one small factor that was miscalculated was that a brined bird tends to produce a great deal of liquid. I have never owned a “roasting” pan before, and I had never seen a bird produce so much juice. And, I had never seen the juice spill over into the bottom of the oven, causing flames in my propane oven to lap upward, towards the bird!

As I watched, totally mortified, through the oven window, I calmly announced to Mark that we had a “slight problem”. As I explained the situation, he became very furstrated and told me to turn off the gas immediately. I ran to the basement and turned it off, and watched as black clouds of smoke lashed out of the exit orifices of the oven. At this point, I donned my “Ove Gloves” and prayed, asking the Lord to allow my Guardian Angels to watch over and protect me.  I quickly opened the oven door, grabbed the pan with the turkey, then slammed the door shut once again. Fortunately, I only singed a little of my bangs….

The fire lingered on for a few minutes, now starved of gas and the offending juice adding fuel to the fire.

The turkey sat on the counter for about 45 minutes, as Michelle and I cleaned up the horrendous mess of soot inside the oven and on the oven floor once the fire ended. 

When I removed the foil “tent” (which was very well blackened, might I add) from the turkey, the turkey was blackened as well, as though burnt beyond recognition. My humiliated state of disbelief sent me into an instant state of feeling totally inadequate. It was only when Mark suggested that the turkey was only “sooted” that I took a damp paper towel and realized (to my utter amazement) he was correct. I “washed” our dinner, feeling quite raccoon-like in the process!

I turned the gas back on, fired the oven once again, and finished cooking the stuffing, sweet potato souffle, and heating the potatoes.  I made gravy and was relieved when everything was finally complete and ready to set at the table.

I did however, burn one more element of the meal….that being the delicious cloverleaf rolls that I had so lovingly formed with my own hands.  It was only when I had brought all of the dishes from the table and wanted to examine the stove interior that I spotted the quite well-browned, hard-as-rocks rolls.

As we went around the table, each person uttering their own words of Thanksgiving, I was once again feeling that defeated feeling as Mark was grateful that the house didn’t burn down, and Ben was thankful that I didn’t catch on fire.

I ate about a tablespoon of sweet potatoes, potatoes, and stuffing, then headed up the stairs to bed.  I shall brine another turkey and I *shall* buy a roasting pan specifically for a large roast. And, I shall happily forget Thanksgiving Day, 2007.

And now, my soul doth feel greatly unburdened!

Random Thanksgiving Day Photos

I usually like to take a nice walk on Thanksgiving Day, but feeling a little miserable, I decided to just stay close to the house.

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We had a light dusting of snow, and it made everthing seem to sparkle with a new lustre!

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Even frozen grasses in the ditch looked like a pretty new still life….

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And, well, my Chrsitmas Cactus seems eager to display itself in its beautiful glory, even though Christmas is still over a month away. That’s okay, because it is just splendid!

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Time for a Sanity Check!

Yes, today is the busiest shopping day of the year here in the good ole US!  We bought a newspaper yesterday morning, even though Mark had been logging on each day for the past couple of weeks to check out the Black Friday ads.

 So…this morning, at 4 am sharp, the alarm clocks went off, alerting us to hustle and get ready for a sprint into the wild world of Black Friday shopping! We were out the door by about 5:15 and arrived at our first point in this delirious delight by 5:45. This meant I was to stand in a line with other folks who had lost their minds as well for about 15 minutes.

As I stood there in the 18 degree temperature, the people ahead of me joked and cajoled. Even with smiles on their faces, they warned the others *not* to buy what they were in line for….although no shopper would reveal just what it was they were in line to purchase! I was just happy to see there were only about 15 people in front of me and that everyone was calm and even smiling!

I stood in line for quite some time when Michelle came to join me.  I was thrilled to see her, as I was feeling rather overwhelmed,  wondering how I was going to grab 4 designated items.  I am not an aggressive person, and people often take advantage of my lack of assertion when standing in line.  As a matter of fact, I used to make Mark assure me that I am indeed “visible” since so many people would jump in front of me as I waited in line at the deli counter!

When the doors opened (and the warmth from within the store bellowed out towards the anxious lot of us) everyone ambled on in and began the drive to grab up what they had so dutifully waited in the freezing cold to buy.  Mark had GPS on the list, and when I saw they were in a display, I asked a fellow customer who advised me to head to the counter. I did, and wound up behind him!  Michelle was given a mission which she successfully completed.  One more little item and I knew right where it was. Bingo! We scored all four items on the shopping list.

We left the store feeling quite content. We had shopped in the little town of Canandaigua, and I think that had we gone off to Rochester, the whole scene would have been drastically different.  Here, everyone was friendly and orderly, as well as the store itself had several of each of the advertised items.

The kids wanted to go to the mall, so we decided to go on up and let them have a look. They found a few nice buys on clothing they had already told us they needed, so everyone was happy.

We arrived back home shortly after 11, which felt so strange. The mall usually doesn’t even open until 10 am. The kids are totally excited about the Turkey Skate tonight, and have made plans to see all their friends there.

Me? I am tired and have been coughing some today. I am looking forward to one thing alone…a GOOD night’s sleep!