Posted in Musings and Mutterings

Tables, Couches and Chairs… oh my

Get ready for it…. a blog about furniture.

Yep. I know you are barely able to contain your joy and are gushing with excitement to find out what *I* might have to say about furniture.

I promise I’ll make it short. Promise.

After waiting for 7 years to finally purchase some living room furniture because I couldn’t condone buying something without knowing what my next home would be like, I finally got a living room set. This excites me. And, as an added bonus, I got a dining room table. Whoo hoo! Can you feel the tension in the room rising to a fevered pitch?? WAIT!!? Living room furniture AND a kitchen table?? Sharon, did you lose your MIND??!!

(well, yes, but that was years ago)

My first official dinner on my table was with a full house. Some friends came for Camp Nini happy hour and we decided to grill up some chops and steam some beans. Fine fare for my new boards, I must say. And even though one of the chairs they were delivering today was smashed in two and I’m waiting for a replacement, nothing could dampen the spirits and laughter at the table tonight. ‘Twas all good.

Posted in Musings and Mutterings

On Groundhogs and Libraries

When I moved, I understood that I’d be living in a way I’d never lived before. Growing up, I lived with my parents in a post-war, pre-made, modular neighborhood. Little boxes (on a hillside, little boxes full of ticky-tacky…) literally on a hillside – just as the song suggests – and since they were built in the early 60’s, they were definitely filled with ticky-tacky. They were close together, but nothing like today’s house farms where you can reach out and shave your neighbors face, if you really wanted to.

Then I moved to an older neighborhood and while most houses were spaced nicely away from each other, my house was a new addition that they sandwiched between two existing homes, which meant that one of my neighbors and I enjoyed a cozy relationship just over the fence from one another.

Then I bought what we are lovingly referring to as Camp Nini. I can barely see one of my neighbors, and I’d be hard pressed to know there was anyone on the other side of me, and I’m in a cluster of homes. I’m loving it!

Now today, the issue of proximity was brought up over coffee with one of my neighbors. They casually mentioned that we have a groundhog living under our playhouse in the backyard. Having had a groundhog live peacefully in my backyard at the other house, I didn’t see anything wrong. The neighbor said, “We have to get a gun. Do you think we are 150 feet from another house?”

I wasn’t sure why we had to get a gun… until they said, “Killing groundhogs is fun!”  And then they started talking about mice and how they’d squished one of those little guys. EEK! I could feel the “city girl” in my cringe. But the reality of it is, I’m not in the city anymore, and critters can, and do, damage property and crops around here. I think that if I had my garden up and going this year and I’d found all my juicy tomatoes had been eaten by a critter, I might have another reaction other than squeamishness. After considering the time and effort and labor involved in preparing and tending a garden, I might be saying, “Honey!! Where is my bow?”

(I can shoot, and very well, btw, but I do prefer my re-curve bow which I have had since long before Hunger Games, thanksverymuch!)

After a morning of contemplating the elimination of vermin from the yard, I felt the best thing to do would be to visit the local library and get my brand-new, shiny and all-powerful LIBRARY CARD. Those things are awesome…. just sayin’.  The library in my area is fairly new and by-gosh and golly, it has some new-fangled ideas that my old library (voted one of the best systems in the COUNTRY) didn’t have. 24/7 mailboxes to pick up ordered materials at your convenience, a CD dispenser similar to a vending machine, computers, self-serve check-out tables, three nice meeting rooms, skylights and a drive-through! You read that correctly. A. drive. through. Neato!

Feeling excited about wandering the stacks with the possibility of finding the perfect cookbook for groundhog goulash, I presented myself to the desk and got my new library card. The librarian whisked me over to the cooking section and then left with a breezy offer of help, should I need it. At this point, a few things registered:

  1. There might have been 5 people there, including the staff.
  2. The shelves weren’t higher than my chest and I could look out over the library area easily.
  3. There didn’t seem to be very many books!

Even though there was a good selection and choice of books, there just weren’t many of them. Or at least, not as many as I’ve been used to seeing. Every section was contained in one large room, with adult media on one side and children’s media on the other. That’s when it occurred to me that this was a library the way it should be used and in good standing for the future. It was lean and ready for its role in the future. With the E-book database growing daily and the DVD’s available, I was pretty impressed.

I ended up leaving with a pretty good book called, “Groundhog is Good Eatin'”.

Posted in Musings and Mutterings

Baking Gods

Somehow, by moving, I think I’ve managed to offend the Baking Gods.

Not one thing that’s come from my oven has been “right”. So far I’ve horribly mutilated oatmeal chocolate chip cookies and now some banana bread. WTH?

I’m beginning to doubt my awesome-ness in the baking annals of time. This just will not do. Heck, for years, I baked because I was angry. The measuring and the mixing and the aromas seemed to do wonders for me. My hubby would come home, smell something luscious in the oven and then think, “Uh oh”.

Maybe that’s my problem. I haven’t been angry when I’ve baked. I haven’t given the necessary ritual curses and angry mixing of the batter to properly appease the almighty Baking Gods. I haven’t thrown flour about the room and stomped my feet, nor painted chocolate smears across my apron and smudges on my face. They must not recognize me!! My proper penitence has not been paid. Hubby hasn’t come home and said, “Uh Oh”, looked at what a mess I’d made of my clothes and followed that comment up with, “You should just bake naked.”

THAT’S what it is. It has to be. The Baking Gods are PERVS!!

or… maybe…. it’s because the oven is a few degrees off?…… nah…. the Baking Gods are pervs.

Posted in Musings and Mutterings

Spain

I hadn’t planned on going anywhere this summer. At least not anywhere that was farther than necessary to get or visit with my grandchildren, but an opportunity presented itself to go to Spain for work. At first, I considered it and then decided against it. I’d even gone so far as to throw away the paperwork I had to file by April 15th.

Then an email came to the boss and the boss forwarded it to me and we talked about it and that was about it. I fished the papers back out of my trashcan and away I go to Madrid, Segovia, Seville, Granada and Malaga.

I’ll be armed with cameras since I can’t take Hubby with me. (that’s the biggest bummer of it all, but I need to be nice and get along with the other grown ups) Certainly will be different for me, since I’m used to being the one trailing after 80+ singers, and this time someone will be trailing after me.

Awesome!

Posted in Musings and Mutterings

Work Schmirk

SO!

All I want to do now is be creative. I want to work on the YouTube videos I’ve promised I’d “get to” now that I’ve sorted through and filed the over 25,000 photos I collected from our Italy trip. (that’s a real number, btw) Instead, I’m making CD’s. One. At. A. Time. It’s great to watch the number decrease as I put in each disc, but it’s kind of mind-numbing.

In between each cd, I turn to my space heater and thaw my fingers out, since it’s pretty darn chilly in my office loft today. Meanwhile, just so I don’t go totally mad, I’ve listened to some pretty interesting stuff about quantum physics. A topic, I might add, that I was trying to enlighten people with about 6-7 years ago – before it became something everyone was chattering about.

OMG – I’m so cold today!

 

 

 

 

Of course, I just ordered – and will be having installed, two pellet stoves in my home next week. Thus, we are guaranteed to be having above average temperatures from Monday on…. s’ok. Saves my pellets for next year.

Next on my list – figure out how to merge solar power into my world and having it make sense for what I want it to do. That….. and create some YouTube vids for the kids. Yeah… I still want to do that.

OOOoooo… the sunshine is peeping through the clouds, and look! a sparkly butterfly….on a cupcake even…. yeah…. there’s no lack of focus going on here today….

 

Posted in Musings and Mutterings

Musical Moods

I was listening to a friends music mix today and found myself feeling more and more disturbed. Sometimes their mix is fine, but it does usually carry the same message and tone. Maybe it should be called “Relationship Radio”. Most of the music is about someone who does someone wrong or professing undying love, or how after professing undying love…love dies. Anyway, the majority of it is depressing and the feeling I come away with is angst. Angstidy angst angst angst… Mind you, if you are in the mood for love songs – good and bad love – then that’s the place to go, but there are more days in my world that I choose happy songs.

That’s when I starting thinking about how much listening to music can change your mood. (she says as “Scotland the Brave” on pipes and drums is echoing around her office) See, that immediately makes you either run for cotton for your ears, or you feel perky and patriotic. I don’t think anyone can listen to the tattoo of a marching drum line like that and not think of a parade. Now, I have Symphony no. 4 in G minor floating around my office,  which I find soothing and playful at the same time.

Since songs are catchy melodies that rattle around in our heads and produce a strong emotion in them, then the words that are attached to them – and that we repeatedly sing – are equally important when it comes to influencing your mood and your world. If you are constantly singing about a love gone wrong and feeling torn up inside, what are you telling the world you want? Maybe you’ll get just what you are asking for without realizing you are asking for it so much.

That’s why, after listening for a bit and starting to feel a bit morose on a beautiful sunny day, I opted to go back to my music collection for an attitude adjustment. (Endicott, by King Creole and the Coconuts playing now) Not only is my music widely varied, but it’s mostly happy. Because that’s what I want. To be happy. That’s what I want to sing about and that’s what I think about. I’ll bet most people don’t even think about this and make a conscious choice about lyrics. I wonder what would happen if they did.

In a slightly different vein, but still having to do with music, the concert from our most recent tour of Italy is now up and available. I don’t have an account where I can post the video here, but I can give you the link. www.peabody.jhu.edu/2742  These kids worked very hard on this music, as did the director, and I’m very proud to be a part of an organization that allows them to produce such great music.

(William Shatner and Ben Folds, “Familiar Love” on now! I don’t know who that is in the video, but thought it would be good for you to hear the song) And when I do want a love song, I always have what popped up next on my play list. (Stereo Hearts)

Ok, maudlin feeling is officially gone now!