My mother, who my kids called Ama passed away the day before Christmas as I was readingone of her favorite books to her, The Wind in the Willows. How fitting that the granddaughter who was named after Ama's mother, Cecilia Keegan, was in the room with me at the time.
Keegan and Ama
This passing was not unexpected in that Ama was 96 years old after all. She had also developed some pressure wounds at the nursing home that got terribly out of control causing her to be in pain much of the time even with medication. So, while we will all miss her, it was a blessing to see her freed from her suffering.
but for Novembeard, he got a little carried away IMHO. This is just too much facial hair unless you're making a fool of yourself on some reality show.
He started looking strange,
kind of evil,
and just plain scary.
He threatened to keep it until the new year. I don't think he quite understood the November part of this thing. He started in October. BUT he has come to his senses (again, that may just be my opinion). It's not quite a clean-shaven look, but I'll take it over that beard any day.
The gf is still gone, but I'm sure everything will work out for the best. Remember when your mom told you that?
Apparently boobs have come out of the closet. I saw an entire infomercial claiming one can finally get the right fit if they would only order some special kit. Then, I saw a blog post about how the Reddit bra fitting forum changed someone's life. Okay, maybe it just made it possible for her to finally figure out how to get a bra that fit well, but she was really raving about it. Who knew a bra fitting forum even existed?
I wandered over to Reddit and, sure enough, there is a huge community of women who are not gonna take that fits-good-enough bra anymore. Be warned that visiting may result in hours and hours of learning about the hows and whys of bra fitting along with some extensive giggle-inducing measuring. As it turned out, I am a size that no regular store is ever going to carry which, in turn, landed me at a lovely little shop with this sign:
Madame Pirie's Famise Corset and Lingerie Shop. I can't even think about how much money I spent that day. I'd say it was just the excitement of finally finding bras that fit so well, but I'm pretty sure the sign had something to do with it, too.
Now I'm kicking myself for not buying a couple of these contraptions when I was in the Container Store.
They are zippered bra cases to prevent squashing in the suitcase. I took the photo cuz I thought, "Who buys this stuff?" Now I know that they are for people who spend way too much money in the lingerie shop. On the bright side, the new stuff is so pretty Brian didn't complain;-)
You know how you see all those chalkboards in kitchens around blogland with greetings and menus and such? I wanted something like those, and I had this bland door in the kitchen. Sooooo....from this
Brian was not thrilled about this idea at all. I could see some seriously clenched jaws while I attempted to get him to agree. I promised that it would have greetings and menu kinds of things, but art happens.
There was a Tim Burton fan in the house. This is so much better than a menu, isn't it?
Absolutely beautiful, isn't it? It's hanging in the lobby of the Atlantis Hotel on Cape Ann in Massachusetts. The artist, Maryellen Gigliotti, captures the essence of Cape Ann's coast in this piece. Maryellen has a business, Beachscapes by Me, in Gloucester. Here are a few more of her pieces.
Lucky you if you live in the Gloucester, Massachusetts area. Maryellen will be selling her art at local fairs this fall. The rest of us will have to wait just a little while for the upcoming opening of her Etsy shop or contact her through her gmail account, maryellengiggliotti at gmail dot com. Have your own special beach mementos? Maryellen will use them to make a special piece just for you.
Can't leave without giving you a few pics of Cape Ann's inspiring coastline taken on our September trip. We often visit ocean locales for our vacations, but this is the first time I've ever seen this brilliantly rich deep blue water.
I knew this wouldn't be much fun, but I had no idea how hard it would be to refinish chairs with lots of grooved spindles. I HAD to do it because this is my idea of a new kitchen set
--lots of metal and very little wood, and this is Brian's idea for the new kitchen set
--no metal and lots of wood.
Rather than spend money on something I didn't want, I decided to refinish the chairs to our kitchen set that came as a package deal with my husband thirty years ago. That would be thirty-plus years of grubby hands wearing off the finish
and seat cushions.
After four horrific days of trying to strip and sand spindled chairs, they are finished.
Had I any idea how hard sanding spindles was going to be, I'd have gone along with Brian's choice. I will never, ever refinish another piece of furniture. On the other hand, I do really like the fabric for the cushions. It an indoor-outdoor fabric from Joann's.
I've made the felted wool yarn and tin foil dryer balls. Both have failed for me, and here's why.
First, the felted wool dryer balls that I first posted about in January worked for nine months. Then the inevitable pills that formed on them started coming off on my clothes. What are all these little brown balls on my clothes? Pieces of the dryer balls. Can't have that! It's just making more work for me.
I did two sets of these felted yarn balls, all from 100% wool yarn. After the first set pilled almost immediately, I bought more expensive yarn online that was supposed to have longer fibers to eliminate pilling. They pilled just as much as the cheaper wool yarn from Joann's. For the price of the yarn and the amount of work required to do the felting, these are not worth making for their nine-month lifespan in my not so humble opinion.
As for the tin foil balls, they didn't make it through a day.
First, they have tiny sharp edges all over them. No matter how much I tried smoothing them out, they had these sharp spots that I fear would damage fabric in the long run. It just can't be good to have all these tiny points scratching at your clothes wash after wash. I decided to try running the foil balls through with a big load of towels to see if that process would smooth out the edges. That led to the second problem. They were freakin' noisy! That surprised me. How much noise can tin foil make? As it turned out, enough to have me racing back to the dryer to stop the racket on that first try.
This whole process led me to researching the need for laundry softeners in general. The only reason I use softeners is to eliminate static cling. According to the information I read, static cling is caused by over drying. If I don't leave the clothes in the dryer too long, I don't have static cling. That's what I've been doing lately with great success. Off to remove those dryer ball pins from my boards.