Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Can I just say . . .

. . . I miss my BFF Sue, all the way back in Key Largo.

love you!

I have been having severe sewing withdrawal, so yesterday I spent six hours cleaning and unpacking my studio. Finally in the 60's so it was the perfect day for it. No little dead bodies this year - I went with these all natural peppermint bags which are supposed to repel mice - but they must have been really really repulsed because they obviously came in and used every available space as a toilet. I try to pretend I'm cleaning up birdseed but can't help thinking about death by Hantavirus. ick
My plan is to finish spring cleaning the house and the garden and then I've got a date with Miss Elna. Can't wait!
my sweet little studio
The girls were experiencing a little spring fever themselves and nearly took me out with a huge stick behind the knees. I'm pretty sure it wasn't on purpose . . .
And, I'm off to shovel the ashes out of the fireplace but I don't really like making plans for the day, because then the word "premeditated" gets thrown around in the courtroom.  haha

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Here is my little cottage, looking barren in the watery spring sunlight. Not much in the garden yet. The temperatures finally got into the 50's yesterday and I snapped this picture of the girls soaking up the sun in the yard while I unpacked.
 No leaves out yet but no bugs either so we had a nice long walk.
And did I tell you the pipes burst in my washing machine this winter? Well they did and that's how I found myself downtown at the laundromat - oh joy. And who should I see running at me like a crazy woman?  My friend, Sarah, proud owner of King Eider's Pub - only the best pub on the Eastern seaboard! Here is her smiling face and it was oh so great to see her and hug her after so many months. Oyster madness at the pub (half price oysters all day) so of course I took full advantage!
 Now, I really feel like I'm home.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Today marks the two year anniversary of my divorce. I can't believe how that thought still has the power to make me feel sick and sad. I will say I now realize that I am 100% better off without him. He sucked the air out of a room and I am definitely my own person now, not just an extension of him, which is what I'd become. But, that's life with a sociopath. I do still miss my best friend and the laughing, how we "got" each other, but that person is in the wind. Maybe never even was. And, that hole will fill up altogether soon enough. Those things were not worth the other mean ugly parts anyway. Especially since I have such wonderful friends all my own now, and a better life, albeit quieter. So I really can't complain. Just mark the day and move on and probably next year, April 26th will just be another lovely day and I won't think about such things at all.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

So, I take this as a good omen. I'm driving along, camera at the ready to take my usual picture of crossing into Maine on the Piscataqua Bridge when I hear a horn. And then I hear it again. I look over and it is Joyce! My friend Joyce from New Hampshire whom I haven't seen in a couple of years. We took the first exit and had a little reunion. So GREAT to see her. Don't you think that's a good omen?
And, home again. No dead mice this year, at least so far, so that is a plus. However, nobody told me it is still winter here!! It is COLD. There is a hint of green in the garden, well maybe more of a suggestion of green. But the temperatures are supposed to climb to the 60's in the next few days and that sounds lovely. Here is the sunset to welcome me on my first night back in Maine, The Way Life Should Be.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Had another fun day in Frederick. We visited the Community Bridge, a trompe l'oeil project that is simply amazing and if you are ever in the area, you must visit. Everything you see, the stone blocks, the alcoves, everything is painted on flat concrete. Wow.

the view from in front
the view from the window of the art school

even the ivy is not real! 
So, yesterday we got up early and Stacy departed for points south while the girls and I loaded up and headed north. It was our longest day on the road but I was determined to get to Massachusetts to my sister's house, wanting to hug every one of them and see their faces, after all the crap that went down in Boston. We were on the road for well over nine hours, had terrible traffic in Pennsylvania this year, but flew through Hartford which felt like a miracle, and was mos def a first! We arrived in time for dinner and I loved sitting around the dinner table with everybody, just being in the bosom of my family. (that is such a weird expression, isn't it?)
Also, got to meet the newest member of the family, G, named after Mr. Callum in NCISLA and if you don't get the reference, it doesn't matter. Suffice to say, he/she/it - we're not sure yet - is the cutest little black kitten ever. I did not take one picture. I was so tired that I squirted face wash on my toothbrush and didn't realize it until I put it in my mouth! oy
Final lap today!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Props to Courtyard by Marriott in Statesville, NC, my new fave dog-friendly pit stop!  It cost a little more but hey, no bedbugs, no mold, no cooking smells, no screaming or gunshots.  Yes!  (Although Sophie did come in from her walk with a tick on her.) And, though the temps were in the 80’s again, the humidity was much less.
Had kind of a white knuckle day with some really thick fog around the Blue Ridge. Scary, but I knew it was a possibility when I decided to take this route. Still beats 95. Also, had some back-ups because of bad accidents. Awful accidents. I started to tell you the details but well, why? I’ll tell you what though: it made me hyper vigilant and I haven’t needed to call my mum or Sue to keep me awake, not even once.
I loved watching the lush green of Georgia turn into an earlier and earlier spring as I headed thru the Carolinas. The redbuds, the dogwoods, the forsythia, just gorgeous.
And, now we’ve landed here in Sabillasville, Maryland, at the little log cabin from last year. It is early spring here, the trees just budding, only a hint of green in the garden, the daffodils in bloom. Sophie and Lucy are like puppies, with the cool weather and being liberated from the car. Woohoo!

The girls and I had a long walk in the woods and then I left them in the cabin for a nap while I drove to Frederick to meet up with my BFF, Stacy. We had breakfast at CafĂ© Nola – split the Bella Benedict, two eggs on a portabella mushroom with wilted spinach and gruyere. Fabulous. The art on the walls is ever so glorious. A few examples: 

These were 3-dimensional in that the dresses were actual dresses and then painted over so pleats and buttons sort of stuck out and the girls were painted. I thought they were so amazing.
After breakfast, a little shopping in old town,
including a stop at Zoe’s Chocolates where this totally creepy giant chocolate hen was left over from Easter. (I thought it was a turkey.)
Anyhoo, back to the cabin where we were treated to a fabulous torrential rainstorm complete with tornado warnings and ate a dinner of Lu’s Famous Pesto while we watched the breaking news on TV ad nauseum. I worked on my rug in front of the fire. V. cozy with the rain and in spite of the TV.

And this morning, we're back at Cafe Nola and looking forward to seeing the sights and doing a little more shopping in Frederick. No wifi at the cabin so I'm playing catch up here.  Ciao for now!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

So, I said goodbye to Sue and the girls at the pool and oh will I miss them!
And I celebrated my last mass of the season at Our Lady of Perpetual Mimosas with my dear friend, Lu, and said goodbye for now to the gang.
And I slogged three more loads of stuff to storage without the help of any mental defectives (is that a slur? I hope not. I don't want to be mean or politically incorrect... but it did go quite smoothly without them) OMG it was sweaty work. I mean, how do people live down here in the summer?  Holy mutha! The heat and humidity are unbelievable! Can you imagine being one of the first settlers here, with no AC, no screens to guard against mosquitoes? Oy vey, I am ready to open a vein and I have both of those things and more. But I digress.
Packed the car and repacked the car and took more stuff to storage and packed the car again. And cleaned the house. And cleaned the yard. I want to publicly give a SHOUT OUT to Gloria and Tom and Lu for helping me. What on earth would I do without you three? Thank you thank you.
And then there are the girls. I was tempted to visit the vet for some Xanax, they were that anxious. I heard them whispering in the night, she's going to leave us here, I just know it! So in the oppressive heat and humidity, this is where I found them again and again.  Panting.
hot dogs
I got off 2 hours late yesterday because I had to take yet another load to storage and visit the vet (not for Xanax) and then a visit to Dr. Lu, who fixed my back and got me tuned up for the long ride north; bless. Put on the air conditioning and said goodbye to the Fabulous Florida Keys with the gorgeous turquoise waters and the HORRIFIC heat and humidity and fled.
I made it to Palm Coast before sunset and stayed in the same room at the Days Inn as last year and it was pretty great. I am determined not to stay in any fleabag bedbug-infested motels this trip. A modest goal, I think.
This is what relief looks like. No more stress: we are coming with mommy. I am now in the habit of getting a room with two queen beds, when possible. This is why.
Got up this morning to temps in the 60's - hallelujah! Hotter than hades again today but not like in the Keys. Much gratitude from yours truly. Today was a long day on I-95, then over I-26 with about 60 gazillion obnoxious tractor trailers, and then I-77 all the way to Statesville, NC. I will swallow my diatribe about being in the South. Suffice to say, I look forward to not having any more redneck pickup trucks on my ass because they don't like my bumper stickers. Getting up early tomorrow and heading for Yankee territory!

ADDENDUM: I've got to figure out a better way to stay in the Keys. Since I don't own my own place and my pig of a husband left, it is a real challenge to pack up and move twice a year. Next year I resolve to get rid of more stuff. Even if I love it, I don't necessarily need it. Right?

I just re-read my affirmation for today:  Today I only speak words that are loving, positive, and constructive.  OOPS!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

In the midst of aches, pains, sweat and tears (albeit with sweet friends lightening the load), the moment of ahhhhh . . .  stargazing, good doggies, clean hair and fresh sheets. And, I got out of bed to testify about that. Happy happy good night.  xoxo

Saturday, April 13, 2013

I spent ten hours yesterday packing and moving in the humidity and heat - 86 degrees with a heat index of 93!  Bless Gloria for supervising the two worker bees, several  chromosomes short between them, while I went in search of a truck to rent. They loaded it all up and then we took a 2-hour break. MISTAKE! When I met them to unload at the storage place, it was obvious how they had spent their time off. Beer fumes were oozing out of their pores. Then they saw they were going to have to go up a flight of stairs. Not happy. So, I pitched in and the three of us, drenched in sweat and alcohol fumes, got the job done. I have too much stuff. I let go of a little more every year but still . . . So today, more packing and then schlepping everything I forgot to pack yesterday over to storage. The forecast for the coming week is the same. This is why I go north in April. I am so over Florida.

Anyhoo, I wanted to show you what I and three of my BFFs were up to a couple of days ago. Did you know the African Queen lives in Key Largo? Yes, the real thing. We took a little cruise on Wednesday.

When the boat came in, there was a couple aboard in costume. He even had a bottle of gin and she had a bible.
 Maria and Captain Wayne strike the pose, just like Hepburn and Bogart.
Ok, so flash forward and Florence and Sue came over to help me pack up for the season. Their assignment? To go through two huge boxes of pictures that I've been dragging around and afraid to look at, and get rid of any of he who shall remain nameless.
sorting through pictures
Sue asks Lucy to come up with a stick for the fire and she obliges (really! It was amazing!)
Sunset comes as the pictures burn
Florence brought over her fire pit and it was perfect for a little ceremony. Watching the pictures curl into fire and smoke and letting some of my angst go up along with it. When we were done, I broke out the white sage and we smudged ourselves to get rid of all the bad juju that came from looking at those pictures. It was so good.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

ice dyes

So, how cool is this? (no pun intended) I created my own fabric! These have been rinsed once and wrung out. Now, they'll go in the washer and dryer and then to the iron. I think they are beautiful.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Woohoo! Susan and Bob are in town and when Susan is in town, I get to see Paula so double bonus. We all met up for lunch at Snappers on Sunday.
Then, yesterday I went to the much anticipated Fabric Painting Class with Debbie Jones. Thirteen of us spent the day at Mary Lou's house scrunching, sun printing, sponging, stamping, pleating, salting, splattering, twisting, tilting, shibori-ing and my favorite, ice dyeing. I've been wanting to learn this technique and it was a blast.
setting up in the driveway on a hot day
donning masks for ice dyeing
Teacher, Debbie Jones from New Mexico, demo-ing ice dyeing
For ice dyeing, you soak your fabric in soda ash for 30 minutes, wring it out and scrunch it up on a tray over a pan. Then, you cover the fabric with ice cubes. Then you apply powdered dye over the ice. Then the whole thing goes in to the sun. The dye filters through the fabric as the ice melts, making magical patterns and colors. 
the 3 in the foreground are mine, two ice dyeing trays and a sun printing with leaves
still looks like this today.
Now I have to wash and heat set my fabrics so I'll show you the results later on. It was a great class. And, btw, kudos to David for coming by to visit with the girls so I could be away all day.

I rushed home to meet Bob and Susan and Paula and Gloria and David for a stone crab feast and oh it was good. We had about 8 pounds of crab and Paula and Bob brought out the heavy artillery to crack them down on the dock.
And here is a picture of Bob looking just a bit like a creepy serial killer with our key lime pie. Just kidding, Bob, you are a doll. It was deelish!!
So, a busy day with lots of creativity and good friends. Ah, what a life! 

Sunday, April 7, 2013

We had a doozy of a storm the other night (and don't you love that word? doozy) with hours of lightening and thunder and rain and wind. Two little worried furry faces appeared at my bedside at about 3:00am so I got up and put Enya on the ipod and tried to get back to sleep. It's the wee small hours when the unwelcome thoughts come pouring in and I finally got up so as to stop rehashing what was and consciously focus on what IS. So. Onward to yesterday where I spent the day in a class called "Funky 9-Patch", taught by the fabulous Mary Ellen.  The Florida Keys Quilters had their monthly meeting first
and then efficiently transformed meeting room to classroom.
My work station. You would know it is mine by the Bali batiks! And Miss Elna, of course.
There is no better way to live in the moment than creating something beautiful. The day passed in a pleasant hum of productivity with like-minded women. I consider myself incredibly lucky to have this outlet.