Sunday, June 29, 2008

On his way home...

Phew! What a busy past few days. With Jon in Montreal going to various lectures and what knots, I had to pull double shift at the museum. Usually he covers for the weekend, but I had to do this. Thankfully, I had some help from the in-laws and this was nice. I was so busy most of the time, I had little chance to worry (well, most of the time, I didn't). Fortunatly, he's on his way home! :) :)

It was nice today as I did a little gardening. I have to say with all this rain/humidity, my garden is doing very well. I have basil, lettuce, turnips, radish, cucumber and much more growing. I guess I was thinking of a salad when I planted all of that! lol! The funny thing about the garden is after I planted the seeds, we had a this big rain storm. I was worried some of the seeds would not take or wash away. Well, they didn't wash away but they turned up in odd places...I have basil growing under the turnips and lettuce under the zucchini plant. lol! And a few bare, I guess I'll stick some more seeds in the ground and grow some other veggies. I love this time of year. :)

One of the reasons my garden is growing so well is I finally got the right combination of compost (mushroom) and topsoil. The first time I did this, I did pure compost which burned all my seeds up. I was very disappointed. This time, I had a mix and it came out excellent.

I can hardly wait to get some cucumbers and corn...I wish I could have a garden all year but this isn't going to happen. I guess all things have a definite time and place in the East. Unless I win the lottery or something, a year long garden is a dream. :)

The weather outside is sticky and muggy...but I did finish up a few projects...made a few simple shelves for the gals rooms and another cute chalkboard for the museum. I used scrap wood for the chalk board this time. It came out rather nice.

After all of that, I was pooped and had a nap. Then, I got bugged to make lunch and did that. I feel better too and now I'm being stared/whined at by Mr. Nelson. I guess he just wanted a biscuit (gave him one).

Last night I saw this old movie at my mom-in-law's called the The Spiral Staircase. Boy, did that give me goose bumps! It's especially bad when you have to go home by yourself and the house is all dark. Thankfully, I wasn't totally's just the weather was so similar to the film, it sort of creeped me out. Plus, I watched Ghost Whisperer the other day.

Nelson is more protective, I notice when I'm just here. Otherwise, he's a bit calmer. Also, the strangest thing about my cats is happening. Ever since Jon went on his trip, they have stopped peeing on the bathroom mat. I just thought that was funny. I don't think that the cats dislike Jon, they like him a lot. I just think they realize something is different.

Well, I've decided I have to learn to trim the guinea pigs nails. They are way too long and scratch me up every time I clean their cage or just try to hold them. They are totally unused to being picked up and squirm/run for dear life. It would be funny, however, they make it feel like your abusing them or something. Sigh...

It's so nice to write a blog, finally. The annoying thing at the museum is there is NO internet access. It's very frustrating and I find myself feeling frustrated and having more work to do at home because of this. It would be so nice to have internet access (we already have two donated computers) as I could get a lot of things done, inform people about the museum while I'm there and just get things moving (esp. for grants). Anyway, one of my peeves.

Some exciting news is happening as looks like we may be working with the Blair Historical Society for a partnership fundraiser. I'm very excited as Jon's co-worker has just gotten the job as head of the society and is an excellent contact. This sounds very promising.

Well, besides rain and achy joints, I've been doing a bit of artwork as well. I'm 1/3 finished with this new doll I'm making. I haven't made one in a long while and had a feeling I really wanted to make this idea. I'll have photos of the progress soon. I'm debating whether to sell it on eBay or submit it to a design company....maybe both, in opposite order. Or I could send it as a prototype to this one company I've been lusting about signing up with.

Anyway, stuff to do. Thank goodness for naps, it's really cleared my head. Have a great Sunday! :)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Happy News

I just found this website called and it's good. I read the story about the bus driver who saved a little girls life and just started crying. I think more news stories like these need to be reported.

Well, Jon left for his trip to Montreal. I hope he has a safe journey, learns a lot of new publishing stuff and we can have him home again soon. Sigh...

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Had a clean-up day

at the museum with my friend/volunteer. We took it easy and did windows, swept the basement and emptied trash. Not too bad a job, actually. The gals played in the sand pit and were really great.

Came home and I made some cucumber yoghurt soup. It's basically slightly watered down plain yoghurt with some salt/Mrs. Dash for taste. I diced up one cucumber and added this as well as some spearmint from the garden (it's growing really well and I have to watch that it doesn't take over the whole garden, apparently). This is a cold soup perfect for hot summer days and fast to make. It's actually a Bulgarian recipe and is eaten with a few other summer foods like tomatoes that have been sliced, mixed with onion slices and mixed with a vinaigrette of olive oil and vinegar. I have to try that when my tomatoes are ready.

I found out that the recipe some of my relatives have been making with meatballs is not Bulgarian but actually from Greece! All this time, I thought it was Bulgarian...basically the recipe calles for spearmint as well. This is a very tasty meatball that can be used in soup or as is. I love anything with spearmint in it or cilantro. There was this great soup that I loved getting in California called Albondigas soup. I think I'll aim to make this next market trip. Yum!

I'm starting to get interested in making more ethnic type foods lately. I want to try and make some Chinese food from scratch. I have a pretty good book on understand Asian cuisine and may try to go to the Vietnamese market in State College and see what I can do. I'd like to learn and make hot and sour soup and moogoogaipan.

There was a really sweet restaurant in S. Cal called the Happy Family restaurant and they served everything vegetarian with Buddhist influences. One food then had was a fried eggplant with a crust mixed with cilantro. It was very spicy but oh, so good. I wish I could make that right now. :)

Besides the cucumber soup, I had fried bologna. I haven't had that in years! It was pretty good, actually. I've got food on my mind today.

Quote of the day:

"What is Nobility? What is Heroism? Is it the greatness of the strong? Or is it the heart to strive when hope no longer lives?"

Jennifer Diane Reitz

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Miss Berry and Miss Cherry

Miss Berry and Miss Cherry, originally uploaded by emily999.

Happy Nelson!

Happy Nelson!, originally uploaded by emily999.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Day off...

We're going to have a little bar-B-q today! I can hardly wait. I made potatoes salad yesterday after the bake sale and it's nice and chilled. I was tired but in a good way...I must say, it's 1000 times better to sit outside and have a good friend to talk to then stay inside the museum. It was a nice relaxing day because of that. Plus, I met some great people who amaze me with their volunteering and generosity of spirit. All in all, a good day.

I'm getting a bit annoyed at the painting of the front porch of them museum. It's drab gray and very depressing...I want to see white columns and a red door for the and seasonal flags hanging from top of the porch. This would really add so much to the attractiveness of the building as well as be much more welcoming.

The bake sale was all right for an event that was short notice and had literally no advertisement. For what it was, I think it was pretty good. I know the next one will be even better. I'm planning a bar-B-q there too...I think this will be a lot of fun for July. I want to find out who owns this grassy area that is about 1 block down and see if we can borrow it for a day and have some events there to relax and kids can play outside.

Today, we got a off and went to the Bellwood Rails-to-trails that opened up this year. It was a nice walk but someone was burning stuff in their burn barrel and it stunk half the trail up. Otherwise, we saw quite a few cicadas and heard them as well. I think they are amazing insects and would have liked to take some of the dead bugs I found on the trail home for preservation but Lydia was too nervous about that. Jon wanted to pick all these mulberries we saw (just ready to fall off looks like) but we were too tired.

We did a little drive through Riggles Gap and got to see all sorts of trees, plants, insects and neighborhoods. The woods have some very idealic spots but the thought of walking through them makes me nervous as I know it's full of bugs.

It's nice to be home and I wish we had a hammock to sleep on. I know I would right now. It's a nice sunny day and I hope it rains soon so my garden doesn't dry amazes me how I become dependant on the weather for such things. It's still a bit bizarre because in S. Cal you'd just water everything because it never rains in the summer.

I did some simple painting for some chalkboards I'm making. One for the museum and another couple for my self. I love they way they look and they are so cheerful and bright. Maybe I'll sell some on eBay or something. Speaking of which, soon I'll have a donation link for the museum as well as an on-line gift shop to sell artwork by the various artists displayed there. This was a lot slower process then I thought it was going to be...but the good thing is, the bugs are getting worked out and I know we'll do well (esp. come the holidays, which is what I want my goal to have this finished by). We are definitely a non-profit group and the support from the community and more will be something that will help so many children in the area. I feel very excited about this and I know we can do this and what's more, it will do very well.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Busy day!

Yesterday, we had a large literacy/school group come to the museum. They were great as there was enough adults watching the kids, extra staff to help clean up and I had a wonderful volunteer helping me! Thank you, Cristy! :)

The kids had a wonderful time...they seemed to really like the 3rd and 2nd floor. Having the "Grandma's Attic" open was a definite plus. Some, like me, were a bit afraid of heights, so, I had to help a few people down (like my own kids). Otherwise, the energy was wonderful. By 3 I was so tired and my gals were having melt much happened. Cristy helped me as we also had a few walk-ins and I wanted to close early. But it worked out well with Cristy's help.

Today, we're having a Bake Sale at the museum! This is the first event we've had there in probably 2 years, I'd guess. Maybe there was more before, I but I don't recall anything. So, last night I made about 44 cupcakes. We had some lemonade dropped off by one of our group as well as a bunch of fudge. So, all in all we're starting to get things going. I have more volunteers and people interested in dropping off baked goods. So, hopefully, we have a good turn out.

The other day, I made a big sign for the bake sale and we'll get some balloons to brighten the entry way. I want to put a few other signs around the lawn as well.

Wish us luck as we hope to raise a modest amount ($200)from this event. I tried contacting the paper but I was too late (they need 2 weeks in advance notice...well, now I know).

I'm annoyed as I still can't find my battery for my camera and I need to take pics of this event. I may have to use my beat up works but only takes point-and-shoot photos (no focusing).

I'm glad we finished the cupcakes (about 44 were made). They look rather spiffy in the paper bag. Well, I've got to get ready to go. I want to arrive at least an hour before and start setting up, finish a few signs and get ready with balloons/ice. Plus, I have to wash out our cooler. Things to do.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Rainy day and cooler...

Thank the stars above its getting cooler! The weather has been bothering all of us lately...too hot and muggy. The good part of this is my garden is growing by leaps and bounds! I still need to plant zucchini and maybe plant a raised side box for lettuce (it was so hot all my lettuce (and carrot) seedlings died and I have no idea if the seeds I planted in the plot, will take or not). So, something shady would be good for the lettuce. The weather is supposed to mellow out to the 70’s, so I have a feeling the baby plants will be fine.

Speaking of babies, looks like we are officially with child! Yes, we’re having a baby and this explains my tired feelings and moods. I’m excited and just want every thing to be healthy. We did want to have another child (in a few years) but this is just a wonderful blessing. It's funny how I had no idea I was pregnant but my body knew something was up...I would find my mind racing to do something but the next thing I knew, I was walking slowly and taking my time to adjust. Now, I see why! Just amazing how we adapt to the changes of life.

The guinea pigs are doing well...still a bit shy but getting less inhibited. We need to make a more permanent cage as they are living on the dining room table (it's not a big deal as we use the table for a lot of utility type stuff but I would like to have it back!).

If I could, I'd take the guinea piggie’s to the museum with me but they are too skittish. Apparently, this is their 3rd home (they were given away twice) and I do believe animals are bothered by not having a stable place just like people. It took awhile for Mr. Nelson to get used to us too. All my pets where either given to me because they needed a home or else they came to me (Kiwi was a street kitten and found us). I'm pretty happy about this because I know there are animals who need homes and it makes me feel like I’ve done something to help this. I do have a limit and the guinea pigs have us at that point of being at our pet maximum. Though, I would like to have another cockatiel for Odie to be friends with. That will have to wait as he seems content with hanging out with all of us (and the other bird would have to be free).

Museum wise, we're trying out an extended summer hour time slot and it's a bit much for me and the kids. I'm there for 2 (full) days with the kids and physically it's draining for 7 hours. It wouldn't be so bad if people came but I guess the new hours are too new and people aren't used to it. There are other probs but nothing I can't handle. One of the biggest issues is seating. If you're there for 7 hours and there is only 1 cushy chair and everything is hard and stiff, seating is uncomfortable. There is a TV on the 3rd floor that is really hard to move and I'm thinking of putting on the 1st floor, lend some throw pillows and the gals could watch a movie or two while there. They just get so bored. I can find a million things to do, but little kids need time to stretch out and relax...just part of being a kid. I'd also like to get a couch in there.

Anyway, I'm making another chalkboard sign for the front window. I love how the big one I made turned out…very cool and trendy looking. There is a lot of tape on the front window and I'm going to have to clean that off some how. Then, there was a problem with a small fridge that leaked all over the office carpet; let’s just say stinky-poo.

Otherwise, things are going all right, even though I was a bit down about not getting another part-time job. It would have helped out financially and been art related.

As for everything else, just trying to get things cleaned up and organized at my home. We are watching a lot of the “Clean House” show and getting inspired. My eldest wants to hold a yard sale and get the house cleaned up as much as possible. Good for her! Sometimes, I’m surprised at how mature she is mentally at times. At other times, she’s a typical kid, thankfully.

Sometimes I feel like the Little Red Hen at home…I’ll ask for help from some people (Jon or family)and instead, they talk and give advice without any physical helping. This isn’t what anyone wants…you want to have a group that will go the distance and be able to reap the rewards together. Fortunately, I only have a few talkers and usually I can get him to help after awhile...hehehe.

Today is a blessing as we have a volunteer at the museum. So, we have our first Saturday off in a while. Sunday has been nixed as a time slot and frees up our weekends. Jon’s going on a business trip in about two weeks (Canada) and I’ll have to rough it for a bit…I’m not looking forward to this. I wish we could all go too but not likely. He’s going to be in Montreal (where they filmed Jesus of Montreal) and I’m jealous as there is a huge jazz concert happening to celebrate Quebec National Day. Dang. I hope he gets some good pics and has a good time (he’s already happy as they will be driving; he hates to fly).

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


We're supposed to have a big storm just started to rain and there is thunder cracking overhead. About 2 hours ago, I ran outside and got all our things in, covered the garden as best I could as there is supposed to be hail and hopefully, everything will be safe and sound. It was very humid as I did this and didn't make it easy to move around. But I was on "secure house mode" and got it done.

I just saw a very interesting show on Oprah. It was a bit of a blessing, I think, as I don't normally watch TV (esp. afternoon shows) and happened to catch a bit of this one because I was looking for weather reports. One of the ideas was to be more patient with people. The other was not to complain and work harder. I need to put that in practice more. I have a tendency to nitpick and complain, instead of doing what I should be doing. It's a waste of my time and energy...I'm going to work harder instead.


I've got cabbage boiling on the stove. I had to share some with the guinea pigs. They are content now. Boy, do they show you when they want something! They've surprised me a few times now...wheeking when I open the fridge or they hear a rustle of a paper bag. They are funny. I want to take a few pics of them but I've lost my new battery somewhere and until I find it, I'll have to wait for that. They are so cute!

I can hardly wait to have some cabbage with butter and mustard. It's really good. I'm one of those people who love cabbage and sour things in particular. If I make a hot dog, I'll add onions, mustard, maybe and some sharp cheddar cheese. Love it!

The gals are in the basement as this storm is supposed to even have tornados! I hope not! Scary. The threat of hailstones is bad enough...good grief. Crazy weather, we're also 25 degrees above normal.

Today, my friend, Cristy, volunteered with me and we scrubbed the 1st floor in the museum. Thank you, Cristy! This made it look really good, I must say. Plus, it smells good too. The gals were jealous and wanted to help mop...I guess I'll have to get them their own cleaning supplies. They are such sweeties.

It's so humid, I have to keep the doors closed and the air going. It makes cooking a pain...sort of takes away the sweet cold air. Maybe next year, we'll build that outdoor oven (the kind to cook breads/pizza and more in). They seem a bit intimidating but very worth it. This would be so nice on hot days and not have to heat up the house. The past few days were so dry hot, I hung out the laundry. I've never been really able to do that before as it was too muggy. The towels were bone dry...somewhat like California dry weather.

When I lived in California, I'd hang out clothes out all the time. When you have a drought, there are few things you can do to conserve and use to your advantage. One is the sun.

Speaking of which, I'm really excited about a grant one of our board members is trying to get. It's for a geothermal heat pump as well as solar panels for one side of the roof of the museum (hidden from the main view of the street). This would be excellent as it's horrible right now in terms of cooling. Apparently, this freakish heat wave has given me a taste of what it usually is like in July, oven-like. Even today, and it was cooler outside, but inside the musuem I was red as a beet. I finally opened all the doors and got some air flow. I hope this grant comes through and soon.

Wish I could get something like that for my house someday. At least I used sun power to dry some clothes. Well, I think the cabbage is done...hehehe

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Queen- We Will Rock You and We Are The Champion (Live)

Needed a bit of a lift today. This helps

Hot and humid

It's still hot...and no rain, yet. We took a drive to canoe creek on Friday evening and jumped into the lake. I almost didn't care I was in a bathing suit. It was really fun and very cooling to do this, I must say. I hadn't gotten into the water past my knees as I'm a big chicken when it comes to water (plus, I don't like getting it in my ears). Next time, I'll bring one of those floating things and I'll be fine. The girls had a blast and kept finding lake seaweed to show me. People were having a good time and just enjoying the coolness of the water. Plus, going a few hours before dusk you don't have to worry about the sun and getting burnt. Just a good feeling all around.

I splurged and got something called beach socks. These are the best investment I have ever made as they saved all or our feet from the rocks mixed in the sand. What a treat! This has been one of my annoyances to walking along the shore in the East...REALLY rocky sand. In California, it was like butter...there was probably rocks too but it really softer sand.

The only problem with the canoe creek visit was a flurry of bad seems like everyone swears willy nilly among other things. I'm surprised by that because the people swearing were moms and dads too. Not that I don't swear, but I have to have a pretty good reason to do it (usually because of stubbing my toe). It just seems like when some people swear, they don't have much of a vocabulary. I hate to sound elitist about that but when you're in a public place (with a lot of people and esp. children) swearing just be whispered or not used at all. I guess I felt embarrassed by that.

When we left, we saw a big snapping turtle and Jon tried to move it off the road. But it snapped at him. Then, a wagon of teens pulled up and they all stared at the turtle and I had a brief moment of fear they were going to take the turtle. Most likely they moved it off the road...I hope.

In fact, we saw 3 deer as we drove through Canoe creek and various red winged black birds. Then, yesterday morning, I looked at the window and saw a raccoon wandering down our neighbors driveway and climb up a tree! Lots of animals lately...I guess they're looking for water since it's been so hot and humid.

As for projects, I finished making a big chalkboard which I'll bring over to the museum, today. It's mine but I'll loan it for a sign in the window. I think it'll look pretty cool.

I must say, I'm getting a bit better with the hand, I straightened up the garage. Jon likes the way I rearranged it...looks more spacious and I have various spots for working.

Well, the kids are all cranky because it's so hot and I think we'll sit outside for a bit. Maybe we'll make some wax paper boats and float them in the kiddy pool.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Rain and busy...

The gals and I planted about 15 different plants in the garden...mostly seeds. I think there were a few flower seeds thrown in as I was trying to get some transplants into the ground (lettuce and turnips I grew a few weeks ago), and the gals grabbed the seed box and went to town. I don't know if the seeds/transplants will take. I watered them a bit too heavy, I think...and then there was a ton of rain today. So, who knows...

Much to our dismay, birds descended on the garden plot and we built a make shift scarecrow. I hope it works some what. It scared me a few times. We have an owl statue but it's covered by over grown leaves. We need to start trimming a few things.

The weather is supposed to be storms, storms and more storms with lightening...and in the 90's! ACK. I got some tomato plants and hope they do well. We ordered our dirt/mushroom compost and I'm using it everywhere. I hope the rain doesn't wash most of it away.

So we did all that yesterday and now I just finished cleaning out the guinea pig cage. They seem very happy as they have more room and were scooting around...really cute! I need to take more pics and rearrange the dining room. It's more of a family den feel.

I tried to play with Odie (the cockatiel) and he bit me. Actually, he bit me about 6 times and on the 7th, I said, that's enough. I went to wash my hands thinking, at least he didn't draw blood and then realized he did. Oh, well...

I've been slowly trimming Mr. Nelson's hair...he has issues with dog grooming/groomers. I fed him about a dozen treats and he'll sit with me as I trim. This works best while biscuits are coming at a steady stream and we're watching TV. Don't ask me why.

Anyway, I was surprised when I opened Odie's cage for his exercise, he flew to the guinea pigs and looked down at them. They seemed to acknowledge each other in their silent way and be somewhat social. Kind of cute...wish I could have found my camera in time.

Not much other news, I guess. We finished school and are officially in the summer mode. I took the gals out to lunch and we got some ponchos at K-mart as a sort of celebration. I have never seen so much rain in my life, let alone in the summer. It still surprises me but in a good way.

I hope this summer is relaxed or at least pleasantly busy. I wish we had a hammock, but it would be impossible to lay in one with all this rain. I guess this is good for the museum...lots of indoor playing there.

I'm listening to and have it set to Billy Joel. Good tune selection: Queen, Eagles, Hall & Oates (Jon's fave) and now America (my fave). I watched a bit of a Cyndi Lauper interview and she was talking about a line up for her next concert, True Colors. B-52's are going to be! Wish I could go to that one...awesome!

We took a nap today...I was so grumpy yesterday because I skipped my nap. Boy, what a dragon lady I was. Now, I feel much better though sort of antsy because of being in the house so much with the rain. I'd rather be outside planting or trimming.

I can hardly wait to see the fireflies. This will make the humidity worthwhile.

I've got some ideas for the children's museum design wise that will make the theater room have a real wonderful feeling of magic. It needs a little TLC, I think.

I guess my cold is getting better if I'm feeling energized and creative. I was looking at some flickr art and my, what inspirations! Here's one of my favorites. I think I could find a spot to work something like this in...

I watched several films and one, The Science of Sleep, was just wonderful in the use of imagination and magical realism...I'd love to capture some of that at the museum. Sometimes it's so hard to have dreams when you have no budget. Still, there is that part that kicks in and says, we can do it. We can make things and use a bit of know how to create a world of our own that will spark joy in people and children...regardless of the means one has.

Started to think about a Mika...gonna have to share that video now.:)


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