Friday, November 30, 2007

It's Official...I'm Old...

And, "they" said so..."They" even have it in writing.

Yep...I am one of those "baby boomers" who will qualify for Social Security (or as the application reads: Federal Old-Age Insurance) in 2008! Still can't believe it!

Remembering back to when I began working at 16 - the thought of being 62 and collecting SS was incomprehensibe! After all, 62 was ancient! But, come February 6th, I'll be 62! Not so ancient - as I once thought!

Edited by Sara: Actually, I feel like I've been retired for several years now as I haven't worked a paying job - because I'm Mom's full time 24/7 caregiver.

And, I love the fact that I can pursue all my earthly pleasures like reading, knitting, quilting, etc whenever I want!

I just didn't want anyone to think I was complaining!


Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Boys (and Girls) In The Band...

Thinking back on the groups that were my favorites - it dawned on me that

1) Most of them aren't together anymore and/or
2) A lot of their members are dead and gone.

Groups such as: Three Dog Night, The Doobie Brothers, Queen, The Mamas and The Papas, ELO, The Beatles, The Beach Boys, Chicago, The Jackson Five, The Supremes, Fleetwood Mac, Four Tops, Bad Company, Poco, Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, and The Eagles! And, that's probably just a few in no particular order that I can think of off the top of my head...

Yet, Sunday night was like visiting with old friends...the boys in the band - The Eagles - to be precise, were on 60 Minutes. Can you believe they are 60? When did that happen? I mean wasn't is just yesterday that we were singing "New Kid in Town", "Hotel California", "Tequila Sunrise", "Heartache Tonight", or "One of these Nights"?

The Eagles ranked right up there at the top of my favorites...yet, when they split up and went their own way no one stood out for me. Yea, Glenn Frey was interesting in his roles in Miami Vice and the only song I really liked was "Smuggler's Blues". In these last few years I've learned to appreciate Don Henley, but only because of his duets with other artists.

So, you can imagine that having a new Eagles album is just one of the best things happening right now in my corner of the world...

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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

A Commitment to Loveliness...11/27...

This idea comes from Emma over at Charming the Birds From The Trees. "This is a fun way to increase femininity and beauty in our lives each week without even trying! All you have to do is choose five things that you would like to work on or do during the week that will increase the loveliness in your life!"

This week's five:

1) Begin addressing Christmas cards.
2) Finish knitting a second pair of Mittens for Knit Unto Others.
3) Continue with the hand cream and body lotion routine.
4) Begin knitting two Christmas gifts (socks)
5) Take at least one bubble bath this week.

Last week's results:

1. Try a new recipe at least once this week. Thanksgiving Day's Chicken Recipe was a new one - and it was awesome!

2. I have been in my new apartment for six months...yet, I still have about 10 boxes that are not unpacked yet. Unpack one box a day and put the things away where they belong. This would be a resounding YES!

3. Light some candles each evening and keep water in my fountain. Managed to do this a couple of nights.

4. Listen to some CDs during the day and/or evening when there is nothing on tv that I want to watch. Did manage to get some cd listening in - not as much as I wanted - but it's a start.

5. Keep using moisturizer on my body each day after my shower and hand lotion on my hands each time after I wash my hands. Everyday!!!!


Sunday, November 25, 2007


Several folks whose blogs I visit have been asking "what is your favorite thing that you have hanging on yours walls?".

Well, as everyone knows I've only been in my new home for about six months - so there isn't much on the walls yet. But, I do have two favorite things up...

The most favorite is a quilt I did - It is called "MUSIC ON THE SQUARE". The quilt was a challenge for a show held each year at East Tennessee State University's Museum. The topic of the challenge was "Mountain Memories: Words and Music". The quilt I created was four blocks which were called "Around the Square" - which I joined together by adding two borders. It was representative of the wonderful free spring and fall concerts that were held in front of the town square. The quilt is hand-quilted by quilting in the ditch around each little square and the large center the quilting is done between the lines of music following the shape of the music. The border has a pattern that I quilted which immediately got lost in the fabric...

This is the second piece of art I have hanging in my home so far. It is a wood cut of a pair of irises on a plank from an old barn. I think they call the wood wormwood.As for yesterday, the checks have been found! And, quite a few boxes unpacked and put away. More work today...

Edited by Sara: The iris wall hanging was found at a Art Show in some small town in Tennessee - and was an actual steal - they only were asking $10.00 for it...I had to have it...

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Saturday, November 24, 2007

She's On A Tear...

Killian, here! Mom is around - but, is she on a tear! Yesterday, she unpacked and put away four boxes! They were mostly office supply type things! Notepads, envelopes, and that kind of stuff. Oh, yea, she finally found the cards she was looking for that she bought for birthdays and friends. But, she can't find her checks (whatever they are!)! Something about she packed them safely - and now she doesn't know where they are...and she's out in the household account. She's been ranting and raving about those darn checks...

Then, she's been a little pissy with me - seems she doesn't understand why I prefer this box to the beautiful basket she bought for me to sleep in...

Anyway, I think she's going to be turning the place upside down today emptying what is left of those boxes! She should be back tomorrow...

Me, I'm staying away for her...think I'll just spend the day here.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Friday...After Major Food Day...

Never did get a photo of the entire chicken as it came out of the, thought I would shoot a shot of my dinner plate before I dug in. The chicken was awesome...fell right off the, I just loaded it on top of the stuffing. The asparagus was tender, cranberries good, and the white sweet potato just perfect.

(And, yes, I eat Ocean Spray Jellied Cranberry!) I like the other but freshly made but I couldn't do it this friends, Mike and Carl, always made the cranberries...and it's still hard for me with Mike being gone. But, I did okay this year considering that it was the first Thanksgiving in years that it was just Mom and I at home.

If you follow the link on the post with the menu it will take you to the recipe I used for the chicken. Tyler Florence called for Cremini mushrooms - my store didn't have any...nor did they have any large portobello mushrooms (which is what creminis grow up to become) - so, I ended up using just white button mushrooms...and it was still fabulous!

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Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving...

Photo Courtesy of

Today's Menu at our House
Baked White Sweet Potatoes
Grilled Asparagus
Cranberry Sauce
Apple Pie

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

A Commitment to Loveliness...11/21...

This idea comes from Emma over at
Charming the Birds From The Trees. "This is a fun way to increase femininity and beauty in our lives each week without even trying! All you have to do is choose five things that you would like to work on or do during the week that will increase the loveliness in your life!"

This week's five are:

1. Try a new recipe at least once this week.

2. I have been in my new apartment for six months...yet, I still have about 10 boxes that are not unpacked yet. Unpack one box a day and put the things away where they belong.

3. Light some candles each evening and keep water in my fountain.

4. Listen to some CDs during the day and/or evening when there is nothing on tv that I want to watch.

5. Keep using moisturizer on my body each day after my shower and hand lotion on my hands each time after I wash my hands.


1) Address and mail Thanksgiving Day cards! Done - they were all mailed Monday morning.

2) Winter is arriving...Use body lotion on entire body everyday after taking my shower! Six out of seven days!

3) Buy fresh flowers for the house! There they are! Plus even bought a plant (first photo) which I have managed to water as needed ... and it isn't dead in the first week.

4) Drink at least one 16 ounce bottle of water a day! Six out of seven days! And, drinking water is hard for me - I don't like it. And, I don't like it right out of the fridge cause it is too cold. But, I don't want it room temp either. So, I take it out of the frig and let it sit for about ten minutes before I drink it.

5) Make sure all the dishes are washed and the kitchen is clean before going to bed each night! Yes! Seven out of Seven!!! And, it is such a nice feeling to get up in the morning to a clean kitchen.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Snow...and a Quiz...

We woke up to snow! There was just a dusting on the road and walkway...but, now at nearly 12:30 in the afternoon, there is enough that when I walk in it - the snow is to the top of my shoe.

A year ago, I would have waited until it stopped snowing and the streets were plowed before venturing out. Today, I went to walk the dogs with neither of those things having happened. I guess I am growing more.

A few weeks ago, Pat over at Gatherings tagged me to do the 7 Things About Me. So, instead of just doing general stuff about me...I thought I'd talk about one of my favorite, not knitting, quilting, or reading...FOOD...

So here we go...7 Food Things About Me.

1. The only ice cream in the world is Butter Pecan! Every now and then, I will eat Vanilla Bean or Friendly's Forbidden Chocolate which is the only Chocolate I'll eat...but for the most part it is Butter Pecan. So far my favorite brand is Edy's...and the real thing - none of this reduced fat, sugar or whatever!

2. My favorite meat is "the other white meat" - Pork. The favorite being Ham...then pork loin, chops, or roast, and then sausage. There is just nothing better than a beautiful ham coming out of the oven.

3. Growing up we raised chickens - therefore - we ate a lot of chicken. My mom could eat chicken every day! Not me! We do eat chicken quite a bit - but still not to the extent that we did when I was growing up.

4. Seafood is right up there with Pork! Favorite Shellfish: Soft Shell Crab, Oysters, and Escargot! Favorite Fish: Salmon and Rainbow Trout. We try to eat some type of seafood at least once a week. About the only seafood I don't care for is scallops and have not yet learned to like tilapia.

5. I don't do spicy!!! Mild spices are okay - but really heavy duty spicy...NO. Therefore most Mexican food is some other ethnic foods.

6. Having lived in Puerto Rico as a child, I love the foods of the Caribbean...and cook them quite frequently in my home. Puerto Rican and Cuban foods rank high on my list...

7. Since I discovered the Food Channel and a few food blogs that I frequently read - my culinary tastes are expanding...and am more willing to try new foods - and recipes. Some have been keepers...others have sent me to grab the phone and call Dominos...

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Sunday, November 18, 2007

Recent Wins...

Recently, I talked about winning some wonderful things - and I realized I had not posted the photos yet. Part of the problem was that the pink pouch gave me a really hard time when I was trying to photograph it. But, I finally got it!!! So, we will start with it.

This beautiful pouch was created by Pat Winter over at Gatherings. Pat is so talented and one of the first bloggers I ever read. Never have I seen such tiny stitches on anything. Her embroidery is stunning and all the beadwork on this pouch just boggles my mind. Now I understand why she was one of the finalists for that $10,000 Challenge thing. I am so honored to own a piece of her art. By-the-way, the pouch came filled with some of her hand dyed ribbons. Thank you, Pat...I love it. Next is the Knitting Journal I won over at Julie's. This journal is so different from others I have seen in that it has a great general Knitting Reference section as well as a few patterns. This will be a lot of fun to use...and will go with me when I head out to yarn shops. Thanks, Julie!!! You know it will get well used!

From Jen's Friday Give-Away I won this great knitting book. Having wanted to do some Fair Isle Knitting but not sure I would be able to, I hesitated to buy a $30 or $40 book. So, needless to say, guess who was thrilled to win this! And, I've already decided that scarf will be mine! Thanks, Jen!!!! You know I was thrilled!

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Saturday, November 17, 2007

Continuing Down the Road...

If you continue past the "Welcome to Vermont" sign - the first stop light you come to is Route 5. If you turn right you will end up in Windsor and can continue it all the way up to White River Junction (that's as far as I've been on 5 - but I know it goes on).

But if you turn Left - you get to travel down a beautiful area with the river beside you as you head for areas such as Bellows Falls and Brattleboro.

Did I tell you that several years before moving up here to New Hampshire - I took a quiz at Find Your Spot - it's one of those places where you answer a bunch of questions and it tells you the perfect place for you to live - and guess what my number one place that they suggested was???? Would you believe - Brattleboro, Vermont!!!! And, now I live about an hour away. Go figure!

Anyway, Wilgus State Park is about a mile down the road on the left.

But, right past the park is this area of rock and lo and behold, a waterfall. I love waterfalls! So, thought I'd share some photos of this small fall with you. It does get larger in the spring!


Your Inner Color is Red

Your Personality: Self-confident and stunning, you live in the now! You love life and experience all it has to offer.

You in Love: You're a bit private and have trouble opening up. You need a secure partner who can deal with your independence.

Your Career: Your ideal job gives you a ton of control and concrete results. Consider being a chef, surgeon, or architect.

Deb had this over on her blog today...and thought I'd try it...Thanks, Deb...

Friday, November 16, 2007

On The Road...

Vermont and New Hampshire are next door to each other...and I am less than five minutes from the state line. While out on my way to Windsor, Vermont to recycle my soda cans, I thought I'd take some photos for you to see.

I am standing in the middle of the bridge that crosses the Connecticut River and looking North. This river divides Vermont and New Hampshire - sort of a natural dividing line. So, if you look to the left of the river you are looking at Vermont...anything to the right is New Hampshire.

The mountain in the distance is the same one that I photograph a lot - Mt. Ascutney - and it is in Vermont.
Coming into New Hampshire this little sign at the beginning of the bridge lets you know you are in Claremont.Entering Vermont, you are greeted by this sign.

Most of my photos are clickable to enlarge...I've never mentioned that, don't know if you knew...


Thursday, November 15, 2007

What Year Do You Belong In?...

You Belong in 1966

You are a free spirit with a huge heart. Love, peace, and happiness rule - oh, and drugs too.


Another Candidate in Claremont...

Tuesday evening was spent at Stevens High School Gym for a political rally for another Democratic candidate! With the New Hampshire primary being so important - we get a lot of candidates in the area. In places where I've lived before, I've never had the opportunity to have access to those running for office in such an up close and personal way.

So much goes into getting the venue set up...chairs have to be set up; the fire department has to approve the set up; then chairs have to be tied together; signs are hung; and the place is ready for those entering.

The Secret Service agents, who along with campaign staff, are all under the age of 12 - or so it seems check the place out and make sure everything looks perfect! Once that happens...a few of the local dignitaries (in the case, New Hampshire State Representatives) go back to greet the candidate and then one of them gets to introduce him.

The him, in this case, is Barack Obama.

He spoke for about a half an hour - then actually took questions from the locals for about another half hour to forty-five minutes. His speech was so inspiring! And, I was impressed enough with the things he had to say that I will be taking a good look at his policies and beliefs.

Here he is up close and personal with the crowd. This photo was taken right after he shook my hand and thanked me for being there.

As far as I am concerned, this is one of the best elections I've ever participated in...for the first time in a long time I feel excited about our country and election...maybe it's because it is the first time that I've had the opportunity to meet and greet some of the candidates.

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

A Commitment to Loveliness...

I mentioned this, today, I thought I would expand on it...

This idea comes from Emma over at Charming the Birds From The Trees. "This is a fun way to increase femininity and beauty in our lives each week without even trying! All you have to do is choose five things that you would like to work on or do during the week that will increase the loveliness in your life!"

I have been working on it by myself without sharing any of my choices for the week with anyone...and, I am finding that without setting it in writing where one or more can see it - it doesn't get done. It's like there has to be some accountability for chosing things and then getting them done.

This week's five are:

1) Address and mail Thanksgiving Day cards!

2) Winter is arriving...Use body lotion on entire body everyday after taking my shower!

3) Buy fresh flowers for the house!

4) Drink at least one 16 ounce bottle of water a day!

5) Make sure all the dishes are washed and the kitchen is clean before going to bed each night!


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Knitting...Quilting...New Folks...

What a fun day! My knitting group met this morning...and I actually got there by 9:35ish. Most Tuesdays I run late...mainly because the bus is later picking mom up and I have to clean up the kitchen, take a shower, and all that jazz!

But lately, I have made myself a commitment to loveliness in my home...therefore my kitchen is clean as a pin each night before I go to bed (yes...there were days that I didn't do my supper dishes and waited til morning! - don't tell!). Now, there is usually just a coffee cup to wash.

Anyway, we had a new member at our knitting group! Her name is Betty - and she actually has a blog! (Some of the folks I hang with have no conception of what a blog is!) Plus a farm where she raises Sheep! They are a different type of sheep than I've ever seen - something called Purebred jacob and shetland sheep.

But, the most fun part is not only does she knit - she quilts! And, she is organizing a day quilt group on Thursdays! I am so happy about that! Lately, I have missed attending quilting group on Monday nights because my sitter for mother has become a little unreliable...but, I understand - because she makes more money at her regular job...

See, where there is a will - a way will usually show up!!!

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Sunday, November 11, 2007

Veteran's Day...

Image found via Google

Veteran's Day...A Day to remember those who fought in WWI! There are fewer and fewer people who served in that war around...but, I hope that we will NEVER forget that they fought so that we could live freely.

Edited by Sara: Actually, Thumper is right. It is a day to honor all Veterans. Originally, it was called Armistace Day and was started after WWI.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Black and White...

Ever since I began quilting, I have wanted a black and white quilt...why I have no idea. Maybe it is because I think Black and White is just classic! So, I have collected fabric to go into this quilt.

My friend, Susan, sent me this wonderful fabric yesterday. Is it not cool looking??? It will go into my new quilt. I don't want to say much about it as I want it to be a surprise when the top is finished.Check out the cool pen cover that she sent along with it. Really nice...

Susan also sent me this charming litle bear ... I know I mentioned him but don't think I put up his photo. So, there you go..

Thanks, Susan for hanging in there with me and for encouraging my quilting!

Today, I am thankful for friends who encourage me in my artistic attempts...

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Friday, November 09, 2007

My Favorite Road...Again...

Half Mile Road is simply my favorite road in Claremont. While it may not go very far - it more than makes up for its lack of length by its quantity of beauty.

Fall brings bright colors and more views of the sky through the branches. It is just lovely. This Halloween they had hung two scarecrows from the overpass that runs across the road. I was too late to take a photo as they had been knocked to the ground.

So, this is fall on Half Mile Road...
And, in case you forgot - this was the photo I took and posted this summer. I tried to get pretty close to the same spot... And, in the spirit of thanksgiving, I am so thankful for roads like this that offer such beauty and allow for a sense of peace.


Thursday, November 08, 2007

A Good Day...

Today was the day hats and mittens were delivered...Check out the happy faces! Each child (one at a time) came up and picked out their own hat. It was so cute! And, so darn heartwarming to see them look at each one and see their little faces light up! This is one of the classes.

And, Cameron loved the hat I made enough to make it his own!

The children have signed releases so their photos can be used. This is especially useful for the newspaper guy who will be coming by tomorrow to write the story - using my photos!

And, in the spirit of thanksgiving, today I am thankful for small children who can warm the heart with just a huge smile!


Wednesday, November 07, 2007

HeadStart Kids...

The Friday afternoon knitting group I belong to has a yearly project. Each year we donate a hat and pair of mittens to each child who is beginning HeadStart. These are sweet little three-year-olds. In addition, the Friends of Headstart, as we are called, purchases two packages each of girls panties and boys briefs and a package of 10 pairs of socks for boys and 10 pair of socks for girls. This way in case of accidents the teacher has clean underwear to put on the child.

This year we will be delivering the hats and mittens tomorrow. Below is Sylvia, she is the head of this project, with all the things we have knit. There are 56 sets on the table. 54 of these sets will belong to some very happy little children.

Below is a close-up of a few of the hats and mittens. Aren't they adorable???

And, another look...

And, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, today I am thankful for the talent to knit and to be able to share that talent by making whatever small contribution I can make that others will enjoy.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Love Reaches Out...

Janet suggested over at her blog something called Love Reaches Out. Basically, each time you knit a charity item you honor a friend...

This is my first time to knit mittens...aren't they cute??? And, so small. I knit the hat and mittens as part of the group knitting project that the group I knit with on Friday afternoon does. But more on that tomorrow.

I am choosing to honor my friend, Ann.

She has been such a wonderful friend to me during this past year. She has laughed with me, cried with me, and cussed with me, but most important she has encouraged me to do what is best for me and my family and helped me learn how to move on.

She taught me that when life hands me lemons to grab the tequila and call her! And, we'll get it solved!

There were a lot of firsts for both her and I during this year...and we both grew and learned...therefore - these mittens are a symbol of the firsts in our lives and of getting things done and learning.

Thanks, Ann. Love ya!

In the spirit of thanksgiving - today I am thankful for friends (yes, can never be too thankful for friends and family!!!)

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Monday, November 05, 2007

New Yarns...

New Yarn is always fun...and it is especially fun when it is a gift...Scarlett recently gave me the following yarns! They are SOCK yarn! Most of the yarn she gives me is as a thank you for watching the babies during times that she cannot be home in time for walks or their dinner mid-day Monday - Friday. It also gives me a chance to play with them...and I know that the time will come when they will be living a lot farther from me than 4/10ths of a mile.

Both yarns are from Knit Picks - 100% Peruvian Wool - in a line which Knit Picks calls Palette.
The above is called Hyacinth! And, it is lovely, soft and in one of my favorite colors!
This one would be 100% Peruvian Highland Wool - in a color called Verdant Heather. It is also in the Palette line.

Looks like I'm going to have some classy looking socks!!!

Today, I am thankful for family and friends...I have been blessed beyond belief.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Fall...Ya'll...and Sunday Sky...

Fall...I love it. Mainly I love the colors. This huge tree is at my former house. I go there every day around noon to let the dogs out and play with them. Took this shot of the tree from the road. The tree behind it is already bare - it had red leaves.

From the back deck this is what part of the tree looks is so tall that I can't get it all in the photo from the deck.

I walked out into the yard and got directly under the tree and shot up to see what it would look like...Amazing! Gorgeous!

The above photos were taken about a week or so, I thought I would show you the same tree from the is very bare!!! And, most of the leaves are in the yard at the bottom of the tree. Still in its bareness it is beautiful. And, the sky is gorgeous. So blue with pretty clouds floating around.

Today, I am thankful for the changes of the seasons...and the beauty each brings into my life.

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Saturday, November 03, 2007

Among the Undecided...but Looking...

New Hampshire seems to get a lot of candidates stomping for our votes...and since we hold the first primary...they all come here. Yesterday, I heard that one of the Democratic candidates would be in, I headed out to see what they had to say.

That first photo might be a little dark...the event was held in a small restaurant! But that would be Hillary...and I have to say, she must be a nightmare to keep secure...mainly because she's short and gets really lost in a crowd.

Never in my life have I seen so many Secret Service men - and that doesn't include the ones that were dressed like ordinary folks in the crowd...cause I couldn't spot them. The others were just a tad bit obvious.

So, there you actual posed photo of yours truly and maybe the future president.

And, in the spirit of Thanksgiving...I am so thankful for the opportunity to be able to vote for the person that I think is the best to lead my country. Many don't have that choice!


Friday, November 02, 2007

232 Years And Counting...

This is the First Congregational Church of Weathersfield and Meeting House. Weathersfield is in Vermont - cross the line and there is Weathersfield. While riding around on our way to the Alpaca farm, we drove up the road toward the apple picking farm and found this gorgeous church. According to the sign it was established in 1775. The stone wall around the area is beautiful and I still marvel at how these stones are placed to make these beautiful walls.

These same walls are used around what used to be sheep farms. When I asked why the walls weren't higher - I was told that sheep can't jump any higher so they were safe behind these low walls...I have no idea how much truth there is to that, so if anyone knows do share with me.

Seems most of the churches from this era are designed the same way...boxy with nice steeples.

The windows are always pretty and are those small panes...I was surprised when I saw that this church had three doors...guess that's so you can get out quick if you don't want to make small talk with the preacher!
The grounds around the church were very well cared for...with huge mature trees.

All in all - it was a pretty area and felt peaceful while walking around taking pictures.