Pinterest Productive

Wednesday’s are usually my day of play. Mah Jongg started off the day, but it was a light day of players and we ended by 11:30. So I turned to my Pinterest list and got to work. The first thing I did was bake maple Apple pie bars for Russ. He loves an Apple pie but I did not have enough apples to make him a whole pie so I tried this recipe. I haven’t tasted it, but they turned out beautifully. I hope Russ is OK eating leftovers for his meal now that I have this treat for him.

Then I went to my sweat shop. The first thing I made was a Japanese apron. I tried to make one this summer without a pattern. It was a fail. It turned out too big and I gave up on that project. My friend Morgan brought me her store bought Apron so I could use it as a sample.

I layed it out on my cutting table and created a paper pattern by taping together note book paper since I didn’t have any big butcher paper. Once I had the pattern, I pulled out some navy linen I had purchased this summer. Thanks to Morgan’s apron I was finally able to make the perfect apron. Now I need to make one for her with a leather pocket for her garden tools. Off to find leather my sewing machine can handle.

Once the apron was done I started making a Christmas table runner. I created a pattern on graph paper so I could count exactly how many squares and triangles I needed to make. I cut them out and sewed my half square triangles. I pressed them open with my iron and began trimming the half square triangles to be perfect squares. I couldn’t wait to do them all before I started laying the pattern out to see how my color choices looked.

Creating your own quilt patterns is like doing a puzzle. That combines two things I love, fabrics and puzzles. Although I did not finish that quilt today I got a really good start on it and can easily finish it tomorrow.

It was a very productive afternoon and that makes for a great day.

Not as Smart

Photo courtesy of the New York Times

The current occupant of the White House likes to portray himself as the smartest guy in the room. I have no need to even discuss that. Everyone has plenty of evidence to make up your own mind as to if you believe that or not. It appears to me that in 45’s desperation to hold on to his “I’m the smartest” position the only way he can do it is by surrounding himself with people who he can possibly beat in an intelligence contest, namely Rudy and Mick. Based on their appearances on TV to shore up 45 they have done him no favors, except in the “45 is smarter than we are” category. This can be the only reason I can see that 45 keeps them around since his ego demands that he be seen as the best.

With the five ring circus that 45 has turned the presidency into I have come to wonder if he keeps doing these these totally moronic and more outrageous things just to see if he can get away with it and shore up his own invincibility in his mind.

“Let’s see, what the most outrageous thing I can do? Take innocent children away from their parents and lock them up? Hey, I got away with that. How brilliant am I to get to do that without even a slap on the wrist.”

“Congratulate China on 70 years of Communism? It’s like my brain can hardly think of a thing I can’t get away with. No one around me is smart enough to do that.”

“Pull the military out of supporting the Kurds without notice or a plan? I must be a genius, I got to do that all by myself.”

With the “brain trust” that 45 surrounds himself with I think it is just one big game for him to see what outrageous thing after another he can get away with.

Finally one event went over the line. The idea of hosting the G-7 conference at Doral. This is so clearly against the law that some idiots finally pushed back. I think the real reason is no one wanted to have to face bedbugs.

Please, everyone who has anything to do with 45, let’s end this game and show him you are smarter than he is. He has gotten away with one upping himself long enough.

Feet and Eyes

The older I get the more I notice the loss of my best parts. For most of my life I had better than average eyesight. Actual eye doctors measured one eye at 20/15 and the other at 20/10 for years. I loved having eyes that saw well and did not appreciate what a gift that was. That was until I started needing glasses. Now I notice that I do see well at both distance and up close and I morn the loss of my younger eyes.

Of course most everyone I know needs help with corrective lenses eventually so I had no trouble adopting glasses all the time, at least around my neck. What I was not prepared for was the loss of my good feet.

As children we ran around bare foot all summer. I could run on pavement without sneakers and as I came of age could wear high heels all day. Beautiful shoes were a major part of my wardrobe. Oh, how I long for days.

Now I judge a shoe not by the way it looks, but by its comforting factor and if I can walk longer than half an hour without pain. Discussing orthotics has replaced oohhing and ahhing over jewelry with my friends. Lane turned me on to some German orthotics and I ordered them within minutes based on her recommendation.

Barefoot is no longer an option. I am not alone in this. I must discuss plantar Fasciitis twice a week with different people. Thankfully I have not suffered from it in a while due mostly to my preventative orthopedic footwear. There is nothing that looks good enough to make me hurt my feet on purpose.

If you have good eyes and happy feet cherish them. There most likely will come a day when you will mourn their decline. Embrace good, but ugly shoes sooner rather than later. You will appreciate it.

Gillian’s Island

After a big night of stormy weather where the rain and wind awoke each of the four of us at different times during the night we rejoiced in the morning sun. Russ and Lane took the four dogs for a morning walk and Jon and I resumed our ongoing Pitch card game tournament. After we all reunited to take the dogs out on the boat.

Our friends have two his and hers boats. Hers is small and easy to anchor at a beach. His is comfortable and fast. We were going to a deserted Island where the dogs would be free to roam and not all eight of us would fit on the hers boat so we took the his.

The sun was shining as we cut through the water, just a ten minute ride to the island. Jon threw out the anchor and pulled the boat as close to shore as he could so we could jump out of the boat into the water and not get our clothes soaking wet.

After all dogs and most people we safe on the soft sand Jon and Russ went about repositioning the anchor so that the boat would be in the best spot when it was time for us to leave. Lane and I started out on our walk with all four dogs running circle around us as they chased birds and flirted with the surf.

We had gotten a good ten minute start on our long legged husbands, but they we able to eventually catch up with us. We searched for special shells and talked as we walked on the beach we had all to our selves, save four teenagers who were surfing . Suddenly a woman appeared on top of the dune ahead of us. She was waving her hands frantically, trying to get out attention.

Jon, being a doctor ran fastest toward her and Russ was close behind with three of the four dogs. It turned out the emergency was not hers, but ours. Jon’s boat and broken free of it’s anchor and was floating toward a sand bar.

Lane and I took the remaining and smallest dog, Rosie and walked quickly back the way we came so we could pick up the bag Jon had left on the beach. As we crossed over the dune Rosie took a turn of her own and got lost in the dunes.

Now, with a loose boat and a lost dog things were on a down turn. Eventually Lane spotted Rosie and we got to the sound side of the island where we could see the big boat 500 yards off shore, but thankfully not going anywhere. Jon hitched a ride close to his boat and swam to get on it. It pays that he is an almost Olympic swimmer.

Other boaters in the area offered help, but it was apparent that the boat was in a difficult shallow area. Jon called Tow Boat Us, his boating equivalence to AAA. Russ and the three dogs were in a cove area that Jon asked us to wait in. So Russ and the three dogs walked halfway to meet me and Lane and the forth dog and we all walked back to the cove to wait.

It was a scene out of Gilligan’s Island. We had the Captain, Jon and his little buddy Gilligan, played by Petunia the pirate dog. Lane, the most glamourous with her red hair was clearly Ginger. Russ was the professor. Shay was Mary Anne and Lane’s two inseparable dogs Clementine and Rosie were the Howells. That left me, Sherwood Schwartz, the producer of the show.

What started out as a little tour turned into our stranded island adventure. Thankfully the Tow Boat came in about an hour and pulled Jon off the sand bar quickly. After we were retrieved from the island and were headed home we all gave the Tow guy a big wave of thanks.

I asked Jon what happened to the anchor and he said it broke at the carabiner. Proving once again you are only as strong as your weakest link.

The Coast

Our friends Lane and Jon invited us to their house on the coast this weekend. October is really my favorite time of year to be here. It was great boating weather yesterday and most of today. Lane took me out on her little boat yesterday and we wore our selves out with fresh air.

Today Jon took us on the big boat. We rode around and surveyed the damage from the last two hurricanes and assessed the repairs. There can hardly be enough contractors to fix things after hurricanes. If only there were more dock builders.

Lane and Jon have three very sea worthy dogs. Our one is the opposite when it comes to water. She is a nervous wreck on the boat and refuses to go in the water. But everyone was most happy when we dropped anchor at the spoils island and hiked out into the middle of it where there is a pristine white sand crater. The dogs ran and ran all around the dunes and down the crater.

As a big storm was coming in for tonight we decided to go to dinner early in town. Russ has been dying to try Vivian Howard’s restaurant in Wilmington, Benny’s Big Time pizza. Despite being there at five o’clock we still had to eat at the bar. We didn’t mind as it was comfortable and the bartenders we entertaining. It lived up to Vivian Howard standards.

After dinner Jon and I continued our big Pitch card game tournament we started earlier in the day. Jon is currently up by one, but there is still tomorrow.

It was an exhausting day, so now all the dogs and humans are snuggled in their beds. We will sleep through the big storm hopefully to awake to another beautiful day at the coast.

Happy News

When Carter was looking at colleges she fell in love with Northeastern University. There were three things that differentiated it for her. One was she could spend her first semester abroad. Secondly, they embraced students who were undecided and helped guide them through finding the right path rather than expecting them to apply to a certain college within the University and hope that is what they really loved. The third and biggest thing is that Northeastern students all do Co-op’s, which are six month real life jobs, that they must find, interview for, be offered and work. Russ and I embraced Carter’s choice and thankfully Northeastern embraced her.

This semester is the one where Carter is taking her Co-op finding course. She has learned to write her resume, search for jobs, interview and follow up. I wish I had this course in college of real life skills.

Carter had some big criteria she was looking for. As it was her first Co-op of the two she is going to do I was unsure what kind of offers would be available to her. I know she is a great worker, but until you have had something more than a summer job it is sometimes hard to show your worth. It’s that old problem of you need experience to get a job, but you can’t get experience until you have a job.

As a parent there was nothing I could do except offer moral support. Last week Carter texted me and Russ in all caps that she had gotten her first interview. It happened to be with a fabulous company. She loved the people she met. They called her back for a second interview.

Then she got two more interviews with two different departments and another fabulous company. Things were happening fast. I was thinking at the least she was having good practice interviewing.

This Tuesday after Carter’s second interview at her first fabulous company she called and said she really hoped she would get this job and that they were going to let her know by the end of the week. They let her know two hours later. She got the job!

She was over the moon. I was over the moon. Russ was understatedly over the moon. So today Carter posted it on Facebook so I think that means I can say that she will be working at Bain Capital in Boston come January. I am thrilled that this all worked out so quickly for her. I know the experience will be invaluable. Way to go Carter.

From Mundane to Fun

Today was one of those rare days when I got to stay home all day. Unfortunately it was not to do something fun, but I spent the day doing all the things that have been on my list that I seem to skip over. You know those things that you know you must do, but really have no interest in. Like changing the sheets, or figuring out that computer program that you need to understand in order to do another equally boring task. Or phoning people you don’t want to talk with, but must. (That doesn’t apply to the FRIEND I did get to talk with today.). I know things are bad when I chose to mop the kitchen floor to avoid doing something else.

I really need to change my attitude about these things because once I get to cross them off my list I have such a sense of peace that they are behind me, but not really all of them. I have to change the sheets again next week.

Just as a I was thinking it was a pretty boring day I walk outside my front door and encounter a big blue gift bag. No one rang my door bell. My ring doorbell never rang me saying someone was on my porch. The bag was a total mystery to me.

Since I don’t know of anyone trying to do me in right this minute, I brought the bag inside and pulled sheet after sheet of tissue out of it Berrey I came to an envelope with a card and a gift wrapped in even more tissue. I opened the envelope and discovered a funny card about missing me from my friend Kelly. The gift was a lifetime supply of new beautiful dish towels for my newly renovated kitchen.

I texted her immediately and she told me her son Adam aphid acted as her delivery elf, my words, not hers, but she had gotten them for me in the summer and only now was getting them to me.

Hey, a surprise any day is welcome, especially one as thoughtful as this. So thanks to Kelly my most boring and mundane day turned into one where I got a big surprise that I loved. Thanks for making my day.