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Archive for June, 2008

Yet another year has passed and I have turned 59! I was so unstrung the months before my 50th birthday. I dreaded the sound of being 50, yuck. However, I’m looking forward to turning 60 next year. It will bring so many new opportunities. At least, that’s my plan. First of all, I can retire. YEAH! Enough driving a fire truck around and taking care of other people’s emergencies. I’m ready for a simple, unexciting part-time job. That’s only because I know I will have to work, a little anyway. I’m looking forward to sleeping in my own bed every night.

Bill took me to Quebec to celebrate my birthday. We love Quebec City. We drove up on Friday, arriving around 6 PM and stayed at a very nice Motel 8 in Sainte-Foy. The drive into Vieux Quebec was only 8-10 miles and very easy to manipulate. We had dinner at one of our favorite restaurants, The Primavera. We love the pizza there, cooked in a brick oven. We ordered two pizzas and shared them. It was a beautiful evening and we took a short walk after dinner. The city was busy, which we hadn’t experienced in our previous visits. Back to the motel and to bed.

We set the alarm for 8 so that we could get a decent start on the day. It dawned overcast, which is typical for any traveling we do. We ate the continental breakfast provided by the motel. It was fairly good but nothing special, quite crowded. We drove into the city, parked in a lot by the river and spent several hours wandering around. We saw some sights that we have seen many times and a few that were new for us.

The sight that saddened us the most was the remains of the historic Armory building that suffered a devastating fire in April. The building was built around 1885 and covered a full block. Many of the museum artifacts were saved along with some musical instruments. Although the building was sprinklered, it was undergoing some renovations and the system was out of service. Murphy’s Law in action. We spent some time at the Joan of Arc gardens which were in glorious bloom. I’m envious although between us we have a number of the same plants.

We stumbled across a bridge along the edge of town that we didn’t know we could walk over; so we did and took a couple of photos. I try to get at least one decent picture of us together wherever we go. It’s fun to look them over at the end of the year and see where we have been.

It started to rain about 3:30 so we headed to our other favorite place to eat; The Portofino. We sat outside under an awning and an umbrella but it eventually was pouring rain and we moved inside. I usually have a wonderful ravioli dish that is the best I have ever eaten. However, the price was up to $24 and I just couldn’t see spending that kind of money for a plate of pasta. Instead I had salmon in a wonderful sauce, along with some vegetables. Bill enjoyed a small steak and fries.

It continued to rain. We walked to the funiculare and bought two rain ponchos. We made quite a site, covered from head to toe with plastic but the $4 was well spent. We continued to wonder around finding our way to the Petite Champlain where we visited the chocolatier and Bill purchased six of my favorite chocolate candies…chocolate covered cherries filled with liquor. Yum, they are fantastic! I eat them sparingly because they are sooooo good and a little pricey. I always forget that they have a pit. Luckily I haven’t broken any teeth. We finally had enough, so we headed back to the car and returned to the motel sometime after 7.

The next morning brought more rain and my birthday! We had breakfast, packed our things and returned home. We saw two deer on the trip up and a moose on the return trip. The wild lupines were blooming along the side of the road in and around Jackman. What a beautiful sight. We met Wendy and Dan for dinner at the Back Street Grill. Wendy brought me a nice arrangement of flowers and a gift certificate to Keepsake Quilting. After finishing a game of cribbage with Bill I headed home to sleep in my own bed.

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Wow, I’m surprised it’s been such a long time since I posted anything here. What have I been doing instead? Good question, just living life I guess.

I’ve been working in the garden, pulling weeds and grass, transplanting some stuff from Bill’s garden that was taking over. I put it on the small hill behind the driveway and don’t really care if it takes over there. That probably means that it won’t, of course.

I heard a House Wren the other day. I remember them from the years I lived in Shapleigh. They are such cute, energetic little birds. I think I need to find (or build) a wren house. Also saw a Baltimore Oriole on the tree next to the street.

I’ve been making a conscious effort to walk more outside when I have the time and the weather is good. I would rather be outside than on a treadmill at the gym but I’ll stop there after work. The weather last week was very nice…sunny, in the 70’s, a little breeze. Bill and I made our first trip to the beach one evening after work. We walked from the Moody Beach parking lot to Ogunquit Beach where we were very bad and had a wonderful ice cream cone. It usually takes us about 30 minutes to walk briskly one way and a little longer to return as we just stroll along on the way back.

Bill and I took a trip to Knight’s Quilt Shop last week. I was looking for a pattern for a super cute wallhanging that I want to make for Ella’s room. I didn’t find it there but Bill found more oriental fabric and ordered another pattern. I will never get all of his wish list made but I will plug along, fitting one in every now and then so he doesn’t think I’m ignoring him.

Since my last post I received the 30’s fabric noodles from the swap on MQResource.

I found a pattern for these fabrics while shopping at Knight’s. This makes 4 or 5 patterns for which I have the fabric organized and ready to cut. I don’t know how I think I will possibly ever get it all done considering the small amount of time I actually sew. I’m still working on cutting all the 1 3/4″ strips for the blooming 9-patch; very time consuming and it hurts my back if I cut too long at one time.

I stopped at Kathie’s Quilt Shoppe and picked up the Peek-a-Boo pattern I wanted and a couple of sale fabrics to use as backing for my penny rug projects.

I have finished the small 30’s wallhanging I have been working on,”Circling Pinwheels”. I used the blue pen to mark the circles which were quite easy to quilt. Unfortunately, when I wet the fabric to erase the blue marks, the red fabric ran. Bummer!! I was able to wash it several times with Synthropol and it appears to be fine. It was a fun little piece to make and I’m actually happy with the final outcome.

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Today we had an opportunity to go for a bike ride for the first time this year. The sky was partly cloudy and the temp was near 70*. We are usually out a couple of times in April or May. We always try to ride from Ogunquit to York before the traffic gets crazy but this year it never warmed up. So, today was the day. We rode for about three hours stopping for lunch at Richards and then again at Gray Farms to look at all the wonderful flowers and plants. Bill had attached new odometers which read 10.9 miles but he thought that was about a mile too high, so we rounded it off at 10 miles; not a bad first trip.

I told myself earlier this spring that I was not going to spend as much money on plants as I have the past couple of years. I have done pretty good but there are a couple of bare spots in the shade garden that need a little something. I picked up another astilbe and a Jacob’s Ladder.

There is a chickadee nesting in the gourd house that Bill hung in the tree by the front window. Today we saw what we think was a Great Crested Flycatcher.

I used up a lot of calories today, starting with the gym right after work. After the bike ride I did some of the Wii fit program, then went to yoga. I was asleep on the couch by 9:30 and once I got into bed I slept like a rock the entire night.

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Most of the people that know me would tell you I am a pessimist and have a negative attitude. I can’t argue with that. I’m not sure when or how it started but the last several years have been very negative ones. I’m not unhappy. I have been divorced since 2000 and have been quite content. I’m healthy, have a job that pays the bills, enjoy two grown children and a new granddaughter. I have a partner that is more than generous and loves me way more than I deserve. Yet I fight with a negative attitude more often than I would like.

However, I am aware of this fault and have been making a serious effort to turn myself into a positive person and one that others want to spend time with. I meditate and do Reiki in an attempt to attract and accept positive energy and attitudes and release and let go of the negative energy that seems to exist within me. Unfortunately, today is a very negative day.

I think it started with the fact that I will spend a significant portion of my savings to put K-1 fuel into my tank for the winter heating season at a cost of $4.48 a gallon. In April I bought 100 gallons at $3.99 which used up all of the money that I had set aside for that purpose. I didn’t fill up then because I thought the price would drop once the heating season was over and summer arrived. I was wrong. My tank is 275 gallons and although I’m not sure just how much I will need to fill the tank, it will be near 200 gallons.

I’m discouraged, angry and quite frankly, scared. While I set aside $20 every week for gasoline, I’m using that and more every week. What happens next year when I actually don’t have the money in my account to buy winter fuel?

On top of that, the weather report for this week suggests that it will be near 60* on Wednesday with rain. However, over the weekend when I’m scheduled to work, it is predicted to be sunny and in the 80’s. It never fails (that would be the negative attitude rearing its ugly head) that my four days off don’t have great weather and the best weather of the week is on the days I’m working. I spend the entire winter waiting for summer, then work on many of the best days. It has been a cool spring, lasting into June and I fear that it will be one of those summers that just never gets started and is over before it begins.

On a positive note, I got a lot done today. First of all, I had coffee with Su, having not seen her for more than three weeks. She is battling severe depression and I wish there was something I could to help. I ran errands, did some work in my checkbook, paid some bills, sent some birthday and encouragement cards and got some of the plants I took from Bill’s into the ground. I spent some time raking up all of the “tree debris” that continues to fall everywhere! It covers the gardens, the patio, the plants, everything. It’s disgusting to say the least. On top of the mess it makes, it stains the patio pavers. This is the second time I have raked and it won’t be the last. I ended up with a pile that was at least 3′ square. I wanted to take a picture but was so anxious to get it all picked up I totally forgot. I watered the gardens and had 20 minutes left to sit in the sun before getting ready for work.

Maybe I just needed to get that out of my system. Each night I take the time to list at least five things for which I’m thankful. I never have trouble filling the list. I complained today about things that don’t really matter so why do I get so angry and negative? I don’t have an answer but I will continue to work on being positive and it appears that I have a lot of work to do.

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