Friday, August 31, 2012


I finished painting the kitchen this morning. It looks so nice and fresh and clean. Painting is not a bad job; it is the before and after work that I don't like.  Moving things, making sure the surface is ready to paint, putting the floor cover down, and getting all the paint stuff-- brushes, roller, pan, paint, and stirrers ready-- is a job unto itself so I did all that yesterday. Today was just the actual painting. Since JMM is on PTO today, he was home and did the bulk of the cleaning up for me.  He's a keeper!

This ends my painting for this year.  Next year I will paint the family room because the kitchen is open to family room and already I can see the nice, fresh kitchen walls are making the family room walls look grungy. It never ends...

Monday, August 27, 2012

Goals for week ending Saturday, September 1, 2012

Goals for week ending Saturday,  September 1, 2012

1. Follow ReadThe Bible In A Year Chronologically Plan--done.  We are in Ezekiel and I am looking forward to getting through all the doom and destruction and on to the New Testament. 
2. Exercise 5 days -- only 3 days. Will do better this week. 
3. Weight Watchers 26 PointsPlus per day -- yes but only managed to maintain weight. Nothing lost. Will do better this week. 
4. Finish quilting Block#2-- done. 
5. Cook 4 dinners--done. 
8. Reading--done. 
     Bruno, Chief of Police by Martin Walker
     The Sacred Balance by David Suzuki
     Predator Nation by Charles Ferguson
9. Finish painting the kitchen--done. Yeah!!!
10. Take Daisy home --done. 
11.  Go to bed on time and get up at 7am to get enough sleep.  This is a work in progress. 

An Entirely Synthetic Fish: How Rainbow Trout Beguiled America and Took Over the World

An Entirely Synthetic Fish by Anders Halverson 

Thoroughly enjoyable read on a subject about which I knew absolutely nothing. His style of writing is so easy and conversational that it's like having a favorite professor explaining the subject.  Humorous at times and in earnest at others but always carefully researched and clearly explained. Good book.

Dear Daisy

This morning I took Daisy back home. Daisy is my daughter's cocker spaniel and we have been dog-sitting.  Daisy is an elderly dog now. She is rather stiff in the mornings and likes to go back to bed for a morning nap after necessities have been taken care of.   She no long strains at the leash to be ahead of everybody but now would rather sniff around for interesting smells in the clover in the front yard.  She is good around the cats and gives them wide berth.  She no longer barks at passing trucks or cowers at thunder and lightning because she is mostly deaf and can't hear them. She still loves her grub and a nice ride in the front seat of the truck (although getting in and out of the truck is a bit dicey these days.).  She's a good companion just wanting to be around.  Good dog, Daisy, I miss you.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Maine Fall Foliage Trip

I've been busy planning our fall foliage trip to Maine.  JMM has wanted to go to Acadia National Park for ages so we will combine the two.  We will fly into Boston and drive up the coast with the first stop being at LL Bean in Freeport, Maine. JMM wants to get some new hiking boots and I want to get a couple of pairs of warm slacks and a heavy pullover.  We will spend most of the time in Bar Harbor and make trips out from there.  The weather is of course the unknown element--it can be clear, cool, and crisp or it can rain the entire week.  Oh well, we will play the hand we are dealt.  I was able to use our Mileage Plus miles to pay for the round trip tickets which is nice. I found good hotel rates since we are going so late in the season.  The rental is to be a Toyota Rav4 and was no bargain but not too bad.  We are taking 2 bags so that JMM can take his pillow and I can take my quilting.  This is going to be such a pleasant trip. (I hope.  )

One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp

One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp

I anticipated loving this book, I wanted to love this book, I really tried to love it but the fact is that I just didn't.  There were interesting parts like when she told about her family and there were inspiring parts--I've started my 1000 things list.  But it was wordy and poetic and too  much stream of consciousness which drove me nuts.  To tell the truth, I didn't finish it. Maybe I will come back to it and see if it is more digestible in small doses...but probably I won't.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Weight Watchers Report

Lost 0.8 lb.  Total lost 21.6 lb.  Weight 153 lb.  I am so looking forward to getting under 150 lb.

Hurdles ahead next week: Family birthday party for Aunt Liz's 89th birthday.
                                           Neighborhood Ice cream social

With proper prior planning I can keep to my 26 points per day!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Dog Stars by Peter Heller

The Dog Stars by Peter Heller

This Post-Apocalyptic novel takes place in the not very distant future in Colorado. The human population has been almost wiped out by a virulent strain of influenza that was perhaps developed as a biological weapon but was accidentally released as a result of a plane crash.  Survivors are few and very far between and civilization has disappeared as survival became paramount. 
Although it is a typical post-Apocalyptic story, it is well written with enough description and enough emotion to make it worth reading. 

Fed Up

Fed Up

I am well and truly fed up. I am fed up with Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria, and most of the rest of the world too. I am especially fed up with candidates, PACs, SuperPacs, and The Election in general. I'm fed up with NPR and the whole culture of everybody's a victim.  Time for a news fast.  The world will just have to get along without my concern.

Time for reading good books, quilting, cooking, and keeping the roses watered and me cool.  Time to plan our fall foliage trip to Maine.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

7 more today

7 more killed in Afghanistan.  Got to keep feeding the Department of Perpetual Warfare.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

I wonder who will be the last

American soldier to die in Afghanistan?   Last week there were six more Americans to die in a place where we have no possibility of achieving anything lasting. Six more families will forever have an empty place in their homes and a tear in their hearts. And nobody cares.  It's a few minutes on the news and then a commercial and it's forgotten. Why are we doing this?  The long term result is going to be no different if we declare victory today and come home or if we keep plugging along until 2014 or whenever. But the Department of Perpetual War will keep going or risk losing funding. So young men will keep losing arms, legs, vision, and lives.  I wonder who will be the last one.  How about your brother or son or husband?  Would you really think Afghanistan is worth their lives?

Friday, August 10, 2012

Hieronymus Bosch by Gary Schwartz

Hieronymus Bosch by Gary Schwartz

I had never heard of Bosch before reading this book for my art history project.  I was just blown away by his work.  We have definitely left the Madonna and Child era of the Renaissance. It is hard to describe Bosch's work other than imaginative, inventive, creative.  This book is a wonderful introduction to Bosch and the world he lived in.  It is brief but gives enough information about several of his paintings that you can begin to see that there is more than first meets the eye in the pictures.  In fact, I bought a magnifying glass so that I could more closely examine the smaller figures and the detail in the larger ones.  What I wouldn't give for a trip to the Prado to see The Seven Deadly Sins and The Garden of Delights!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Goals for the Week August 5 - 11

1. Continue with chronological Bible reading. 
2. Exercise 29 minutes on stationary bike 5 times.
3. Layer, pin, and baste Jacob's Ladder quilt. 
4. Reading
     Elegy for Eddie by Jacquelyn Winspear
     Some Assembly Requires by Anne Lamont
     Hieronymus Bosch by Gary Schwartz
5. Continue with Weight Watchers Points Plus program
6. Make reservations for fall foliage trip
7. Finish painting kitchen (This will probably stretch into next week.)

We can do so much better

The outstanding achievement of landing Curiosity on Mars shows that we can do better. We can do better than starting stupid useless wars. We can do better than having millions of people without health insurance. We can do better and we should.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

A Lesson in Secrets by Jacquelyn Winspear

Another Maisie Dobbs adventure, this time to the halls of academia. Maisie is beginning to see the evil of fascism rising as she uncovers the murderer of a man whose life was ostensibly devoted to promoting world peace. A good read.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Weight Watchers Weekly Report

This week I lost 1.6 lb.  Total lost 21 lb.  Weight 153.4 lb. The best part of all this is that JMM and I are eating more healthy than ever and that I am learning how to cook and eat to stay healthy.  

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Leonardo (Art History Project)

Leonardo the Artist and the Man by Serge Bramly

This book was an excellent biography of an exceedingly complex man.  It is very readable. While including information on daily life and politics of Italy during Leonardo's life, it avoids going into minute detail.  The author clearly indicates when he is speculating on some aspect of Leonardo's life and work.  His life was certainly one of constant investigation and imagination. He was an illegitimate child, he worked as an apprentice in Verrochio's studio,  he felt unappreciated in Florence & relocated to Milan.  The book includes many little vignettes which give the reader a flavor of what life was like at the time and even more what Leonardo was like. For example,  he signed a contract with a certain monastery to produce a very staid, stiff Madonna and Child but it was obvious from the beginning that he had no intention of producing such a painting;  what he did produce was the masterpiece, The Madonna of the Rocks. His interests were as varied as can be imagined--from anatomy to astronomy to machines of war to horses of bronze--everything interested his inventive mind. 
I am neither an artist nor an art historian. I found this book a wonderful introduction to the genius that was Leonardo da Vinci. My only wish is that there had been more color plates included in the book.