Tuesday, December 30, 2014

A Last Glimpse of Christmas

Part of a very pretty Christmas window display.
Thank you, Sandcastles, for brightening my evening!

Friday, December 26, 2014

Drifting Away...

so far from the appearance that I had hoped for in changing things here.  I guess I've got some work to do this weekend to fix the mess I've made.

Needing to Warm Up

Well, so much for the gloom and doom template trial.  I'm needing something better.  At least for the cold of winter.  So...I'll try this scheme for a bit and see if it will suit me.  It really screws up the print color of the doom and gloom posts but the text wasn't so important there anyway!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

A Gift from New York

My friends M and E (along with K) spent the day in NYC and look what they brought home for me!
This is a challenge to photograph as the camera wishes to focus on the flat surface rather than the 'etched' image on the interior.
This is totally amazing to me.  Especially all the reflections from the top.
How do they make these?  3 - D and all the fine lines...inside.
Baffling.  Thank you!

p.s.  I got a nifty Statue of Liberty pencil, too.  It is displayed next to a Statue of Liberty pen!

The Dark Side

I was up for a change.  Don't know as I'll keep it but it sure makes photos look good.    I have no idea what this font color will look like on the dark gray...

Comments welcome.

Okay, just previewed it to make sure it's readable.  Won't keep the color but fun to play with.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Fine Dining

With the busy-ness of the Christmas season we have done a bit of extra eating out.  Hardly fine dining, but good food.
Denny's...usually attached to a budget motel...breakfast all day.
On Rocky Neck...a fave breakfast and lunch spot only open weekends in the winter.
Inside Sailor Stan's...yes, we were the only patrons at that moment.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

So Many Questions! (Bernard)

Pretty much the size of a standard wooden matchstick with no actual flame stuff on the end.  Many of them have been glued together end to end.
As you can see, it has joined the collection.  The photo shows part of the collection.
They get dusted quarterly.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Ta Da ----------

1250 'matchsticks' later

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Oh, the Suffering

I thought this would be a fun project.
What was I thinking?
Still lots more to go...46 pages of patterns.  And some say delightful things like make 7X or 4X or...
I am making progress, though.  I'm working on the double pedestal.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Keystone Bridge Gets Trimmed

Just some photos to compare with the ones in my last post.  The DPW has started work clearing out overgrowth around and under the bridge.  All that seems to be left is to cut down some vine-y stuff, clean out dead stuff, and remove the remnants of an old chain-link fence.  The photos.......
Now you can see the bridge!
Beautiful at Flat Ledge Quarry
Flat Ledge Quarry
The arch reflected

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Keystone Bridge

Keystone Bridge viewed facing west
"R" and I took a little walk over by Granite Pier to take a look at the Keystone Bridge (Granite Street/Route 127 passes over the bridge).  There is to be a Conservation Commission meeting next week about the DPW's plan to cut back the overgrowth in the area.  This will include some trees and they have been marked with red paint streaks.  Our bank, the Granite Savings Bank is sponsoring a portion of the work and the hope is that there will be a granite bench placed somewhere near the bridge along with a plaque about the history of the bridge.
Flat Ledge Quarry (the cut and bridge enabled quarried stone to be easily transported to the pier to be loaded on boats)
Anyway, we thought we wanted to check it out.  I'll probably be representing the historical society at the Conservation Commission meeting.
Looking toward the coast from just west of the span
The work that they are proposing and the trimming and tree thinning seems appropriate.  Personally, I think it could be more radical!
A keystone bridge of dry fit granite blocks!
It is a really pretty area, supposedly off limits as it is town water supply.  No trespassing and posted so.  Makes me wonder about the bench and plaque.  Oh well, this is Rockport and everyone seems to trespass just like we did.

Saturday, October 04, 2014

Walking in the Fog of a Saturday Afternoon

'A' and I are restarting our efforts toward fitness with a few long walks each week.  Here are some scenes from today.
Mill Pond
The ducks are back
Foggy Front Beach
Driftwood next to Toad Hall Bookstore
Late summer flowers at the former GAR Hall
Pears delivered fresh to the table!
and lobsters direct to the restaurant

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Four Hours on a Sunday

starting to work through the pile of veggies
and more chopping.
Lots of green tomatoes, red peppers, green peppers, and onions.
Pile is about half chopped
  All chopped with a new, nineteen fifty-ish 'blitz hacker'.
Colander number one - before more tomatoes and before onions - filled two colanders piled high
Cooking and stirring two large pots of relish
4 hours later - the yield
Today was Make Relish Day.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

The Motive

The latest and probably the painting that will be exhibited this Spring at the Rockport Art Association.  It is from a night photo that I took of Motif #1, which is often referred to as the motive by native Rockporters.

"Are you willing to sell it?" I was asked today. 
"That's why it is called The Motive, rather than Motif 1."

Monday, August 18, 2014

When Patience Is Priority

The piano was supposed to be on the stage.  The recital was in the afternoon and as I sat it was 11 a.m.  I had other jobs scheduled for later in the day.  A return visit was not an option.
My view of the piano-less stage.

The Stage Manager was frantic.  The guy in charge of moving the piano knew that it needed to be on stage.

I waited.

And waited...for 45 minutes.

The guy wasn't showing up, wasn't answering his phone.  It was a no-go or improvise.

Did I mention that the manager was frantic (and very apologetic)?

Finally, I went backstage and located the piano.  The Stage Manager found me exploring the options for getting the piano from backstage to on stage.

He said that there was a ramp and I found it.  Then I located a power driver and some drywall screws.  I attached the ramp to the edge of the stage and the manager and I rolled the piano on stage.

Not without mishap, though.  Managers do not make good movers, nor are they used to listening and following directions from someone else.  I pushed and steered, he guided and pulled.  I said take it slowly.  He rushed and managed to yank the piano part way off its stage dolly.  The homemade dolly wasn't attached!  Thus, another problem...

Get the piano back on the dolly correctly so that it could be rolled across the stage.  With a bit of searching I found the necessary items to force things back in line. 

Finally, an hour and a quarter later.........ready to tune.  Much to the relief of the Stage Manager who offered to go get me lunch.  I settled on a bottled water, got to work and collected my pay.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

We've Been Lit

Last Saturday evening was Illumination Night in Rockport.  I drove my mom's car down to find a parking space at about 6 p.m. and R followed in my truck.  The only reasonably close parking spot to where we would view the fireworks was at the library.  "Library Parking Only 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. Violators will be towed."  However, the library did close at 5 p.m.  What to do?  I parked, got in the truck, and we drove to the police station to plead our case.  "We needed to find a parking spot for my mom's car and we will drop her off at it for fireworks time.  She isn't handicapped, but she can't walk from home.  It's just too far.  Will her car be okay there?"  After giving a description of her car, we were assured that we could leave it there.  Yay, it worked!

At 8:30, Mom, A, and I headed down in the truck.  I dropped them at the car to wait, drove home and R and I walked back down.

We all sat on the wall on Pier Avenue.  A great spot to watch the fireworks!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Food Frenzy


We have three supermarkets on the island.  The employees walked off the job at one of them.* That one being the lower priced product store. Kinda.  Evidently, their most beloved leader, Artie T. was fired by his board (including his cousin Artie S.)  A family feud that has been going on for decades finally exploded.  First the warehouse drivers left work, then some managers were fired, then the employees started picketing.  Then the customers decided to boycott in support of said Artie T. (and the fact that there were very few items left on the shelves.) "Bring back Artie T.!"  or else.

In the meanwhile, all those Artie T. loving customers had to shop somewhere.  Of course they went to the other two stores on the island...who were not equipped to handle the sudden overload of shoppers.

So, the other two stores have had to scramble to accommodate.  I can't speak too much about one of them, but A works at the other.  The median priced place.

The schedule manager quickly asked if employees could work extra hours.  Then the request went out for employees to give up a day off in the upcoming week.  Work 7 days straight.  A agreed, as did most, she is scheduled to work 50.5 hours this week.  The place is a zoo.  Workers from out of the area affected by the Artie T. walkout are commuting to the store to help out.  The store has even had to rent extra shopping carriages!

And while workers deal with all the mess and the massive extra effort is made to accommodate the folks from the Artie T. store, it would be nice to hear some appreciation from those customers.

What are the clerks hearing?  "I hate shopping here."  Your prices are too high."  "It was better at Artie T's."

Go away, I say.  Find something better.  Hah.

*Rumor has it that many of those 'walk off the job' employees are actually punching the time clock for work and then going outside to picket the store that is paying them for those hours.

An update to the asterisk ...The Boston Globe newspaper reported that managers of several Artie stores have been scheduling employees for full schedules even though there is basically no one shopping at the stores.  They are doing this to further damage the company financially. In my opinion this is theft.  The managers and any employees knowingly participating in this should be fired, or prosecuted, for stealing this money from the company.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

June Is Off to a Good Start


The weather has improved, considerably.  The veggie garden is looking pretty good and we even have tomatoes on the plants. 
Work is good, a bit better than steady.  I currently have a key job in the shop that has required a bit of thought and planning (like first removing 156 little brads that my machine blades don't like).  I enjoy having to think a bit about work. 
"waterfall" style keys...no overhang at front and non-parallel top to bottom
The only hitch this month was that I was scheduled to report for jury duty on the 9th.  Well drat.  No time for that.  Fortunately, when I called the juror line "on the business day prior to the date of service", I was informed by a pleasant recording that my group did not need to report.  Yes, June is starting off great!  More good stuff...I cleaned all our windows last Sunday.  The world looks so much brighter.

I feel somewhat inspired to get caught up with lots of stuff.  I bought stain to re-stain our porch and part of the house than looks worn.  I'm in the process of getting all the materials together to re-roof the weather side roof of the shed.  And finally, I'm designing a new business card.  I think I've come up with a nice design and will head to a real printer this week.  I've tried the online budget-minded cards and don't like the results.

Next week dickiebo and I celebrate our birthdays.  I've not even had any grief from fretting family members about plans for my birthday...still time for that, I suppose.  Right now I'll extend the best of birthday wishes to my blog twin.  Strange how we connected just because of a shared birthday.

Don't know about you, but I'm looking forward to the rest of the month...and to summer.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

It's Spring, So That Means...

My annual exhibit time begins! Tomorrow is the opening reception of the Contributing Members show at the Rockport Art Association. This is my entry titled "Quiet Morning" (11 X 14, oils, priced at the RAA at $580.00). I didn't enter a photograph this year. After seeing some of the photo entries...maybe I should have...well, there is next year. Anyway, it's difficult to capture the true look of an oil painting with a photograph, but you get the general idea. You can see it in real life, and all the other artist's works, tomorrow through April 19th.

Friday, March 14, 2014

The I Give Up Factor

Yep, been thinking a lot along that line lately.  I just seem to be trying to shovel molasses uphill about everything!

The company A works for is dumping health insurance coverage for its part time employees.  95% of the employees are part time. Anyway, this month she MUST sign up for health insurance under the new Affordable Care Act.  (No lectures from those who hate it, please)  So, A hasn't a clue how to deal with such rigmarole as is on the state website...it falls to me to help.  I have spent several hours online trying to get her signed up.  She qualifies for state aid paying for the insurance.  First they wouldn't accept her application as they couldn't verify her information.  I called.  We sent a copy of her state ID as requested.  She got a phone call saying that she could complete her application online.  That was my job this morning.  Over an hour at the computer and four phone calls later (the type where you have to listen to the long intro message then choose 1 or 2 in answering several automated questions) (oh, make that 5 calls, they disconnected me after making my choices one time and I had to start again), they finally accepted her application determining she was eligible for state aid but they needed proof of residency.  Mind you, she has paid state income tax for the last 11 years and has voted here for 12 years...not to mention that they have a copy of her state ID.  So that was my last phone call...what to send them?  They wanted a utility bill in her name...nope. How about her cell phone bill?...nope, family plan.  We finally settled on a notarized letter from me stating that she lives with me, here, at this address, which they should already know.

Just mailed that to them.

Hopefully she'll get a letter with her options for a health plan without having to jump through more hoops.

Then, both of our humidifiers have quit working.  Same style, same manufacturer.  Holmes.  I emailed the company.  They asked for the special date code on the prong.  I sent the two codes.  They replied that they were out of warranty...even though one was purchased only a month ago.  I emailed back that I would never buy another of their products...ever.

The SC estate settlement still sits in limbo.  Just needs the judge to sign off on it and the funds can be dispersed.  We wait..........and wait.  They say that they are running behind.....6 months?

I have my hotel registration all set and, last month, sent a check for my seminar registration for NEESCO (piano technician seminar).  I haven't received confirmation of the seminar payment...I need to check on that. 

Why is everything so darn painful to get accomplished?

What next?

Thursday, February 20, 2014


Been a while since I've posted.  Not that many have noticed!

Anyway, I'm still alive.

Some stuff:
It's has been too darn cold and snowy and that has been taking a lot of my extra energy.  However, it's warm today at 40°. Unfortunately, I'm working in the shop, then going to a meeting at the Sandy Bay Historical.  Back to 20°s next week.

My mom switched her auto insurance.  She went to her agent with the required deposit check and the agent filed all the paperwork.  The company wanted it filed online and then mailed to them, as well.  Well, they goofed and issued two policies using her check and creating an electronic transfer check for funds from her checking account, realized their mistake, cancelled the extra policy AND THEN instead of refunding that extra $500 they took from her checking account, they just applied it, without her permission, to the first policy.  So, they got a double deposit.  She needs the $500 back and we sent them copies of her cancelled check and the cancelled "check" that they created.  They say they won't refund the money unless she proves that both amounts were taken from her account.  This she had to do by getting a letter from the bank.  Idiots.  The required info has been sent and if a check doesn't arrive soon, we'll head to the police station to file a complaint.  We'll also file a complaint with the state insurance commission.

I've got better uses for my time.  Why can no one do their job correctly?

It has been over four months since my lawyer has submitted all the paperwork to Probate to close out the estate of my aunt.  Four months and nothing has been done in Probate.  The papers sit there.  All that is required is a signature to release the funds.  Everything is done except for one signature.  Four months...unbelievable.

Other stuff?  Work, work, work.  Lots of keys in the shop.  Even a set all the way from Hawaii!  'R' has the large reservoir from the church organ in the shop, too.  He works on that - I work on keys.

We've been to a couple auctions and indoor yard sales.  I found six Statue of Liberties to buy at one of the yard sales.  At another antiques show and sale I found a liberty bond poster with the statue's arm and torch as a large part of the illustration.  The dealer wanted $400.  Didn't buy it.  At another table there was a very large bronze medallion commemorating the statue.  They wanted $125 for that.  Didn't buy it.

What I have bought is a laptop computer.  Not using it yet as it is at my computer guy getting set up.  Hopefully being portable will be money well spent.  This desktop on which I'm typing still works fine and will be my main computer until it dies.  Everyone seems amazed that it is still working more than fine after 10 years.  I treat my stuff good!

Stop & Shop supermarket has a 'new' low prices promotion.  They decided to hang banners from the light poles and along the main entrance for the grand celebration - the day before our last blizzard.  Half the banners got destroyed in less than 24 hours.  Didn't anyone think that outdoor displays would not be a good idea...in the middle of winter...the day before a blizzard with predicted winds gust over 50 mph?  More idiots.  What a waste of time and money.

We planted pepper seeds a couple weekends ago.  Last year they came in too late and we only got a few green peppers.  This year we've started earlier.  They're sitting in a nice sunny (when the sun is out) window.  Fingers crossed, nothing poking through the soil yet.

Nascar season has started.  Hooray!  Forced time off while we sit and watch the races.  The Daytona 500 is this weekend.  Wish I were there...the race...the warmth of Florida.

Well, that's a bit of my news.  Must head off to that meeting......

Wednesday, January 01, 2014


from last year.

Last year I made the New Years Resolution to stop using my stairs as a filing cabinet for bills, paperwork, etc.  I am very pleased to report that only one item was allowed to reside on the corner of a step between the posts...the extra car keys.  That's right, I kept that resolution (see link).
As a matter of fact, it worked so well that it is my resolution for this year!  Let's see if I can keep the stairs uncluttered of paperwork for a second year!

Tidying up went even further at the end of the year.  I hired my super electrician to properly wire my workshop.  Thank you Bruce of Bayside Electrical for completing the work on schedule and doing a super job.  As you can see from the clutter of wires photos below, this work really needed doin'.  Each time Bruce had been here for some other minor work, he nagged about the workshop.  I had told him that 2013 would be the year and it was.  It's hard to show neatness in photos but I've added a couple below the messy ones.
A triple plug extension cord to help with my overhead lights.  You can see some of the new work in this photo.
Another multi-plug for overhead lights
Mass mess for a few of the machines.

Nice neat work running wiring for the new circuits.

Now I have convenient wall switches to operate the two sections of overhead lights.
Look how many extension cords have been eliminated!

Yesterday the girls headed to the mall to return/exchange Martha's useless (in my opinion) pan.  See my last post for details!  Macy's readily returned my mom's money, but the salesclerk was unnecessarily flippant.

Mom:  "I need to return this pan.  I was told that it could be used in the oven for a roast and it says it can't be used in the oven.  You can't even wash it in the dishwasher!"
Clerk:  "Well, you can still make a roast in it."

Macy's only had one pan that met our requirements and it was over $200.00.  For one pan!  We went to Sears next.  Nothing.  On to Kohl's where we found nothing except an enameled cast iron dutch oven that was shedding specks of cast iron off the edges.  At least it was too expensive, too.  Well over $100.00 as I recall.  On to Target.

Success!  The Giada De Laurentiis collection had a 6 qt. stainless steel roasting pan with lid.  Oven safe, dishwasher safe...all for $39.99!  Phew, Christmas exchanging done!

So, now that it is a new year...today I,
took down our outdoor decorations before the upcoming blizzard (Thursday/Friday 10 - 14+ inches, winds gusting possibly to 50 mph, and temps too low, wayyy too low for me)

finished my business bookkeeping for the year

got my last estimated tax payments ready to mail

corresponded with 5 techs (some in the last day or two) about upcoming keywork

cleaned up the kitchen table (it had become a dumping spot...remember that resolution? stuff has got to go someplace!)

did some emailing

took A to work (must remember to pick her up tonight!)

2014 is off to a good start!

Except for the weather.