Sunday, July 31, 2011

Scissors

For some reason, I got it into my head today that the scissors hanging naked in my sewing area just needed clothing.

I made three scissor pockets out of felt scraps and two out of the blue flowered fabric I used for my sewing machine cover.  I also felt the need to make the ironing mitten because I had just enough material left.

If you think all of my scissors are now clothed, you would be oh so wrong.  I actually horde scissors.  I have at least two pair in every room of my house.

There is probably a scientific classification for those who horde scissors.  I'd do some research, but right now I am feeling really sleepy.  I'll save that task for another day.  Making scissor pockets has worn me out.

Friday, July 29, 2011

The Garden in Mid Summer

Bright blossoms are greeting me these days.
Bee Balm

Liatrus and Phlox

Clematis

Day Lily



There are still garden tasks that occupy a part of each day.  I try to pull a few weeds on a regular basis.  This time of year, it does seem that the need for dead-heading increases as well. 


I look at these balloon flowers.  I like their purple presence in my garden.  But it does not take long for them to abandon the job I assign to them--beautifying there designated space.  They quickly--and they are certainly not alone in this mid-summer season by any means--take up their selfish thrust to produce seed and ensure reproduction, taking on their own agenda entirely.  When I pinch them back, they keep on blooming, but they do need reminding who is in charge with each pinch.

They kind of remind me of the politicians we elect, believing their promises of a brighter future for all.  All too soon, they are off on propagating a political future and forgetting those who made it all possible in the first place. Ha! I could lop their heads off!  Is there a lesson here?



Now these Johnny Jump-ups are volunteers.  Someone planted them over twenty years ago along the front sidewalk.  Here, they have migrated their way into the back yard.  They wander where they may, but they are cheery and otherwise harmless.  They have turned themselves into weeds, but I do not have the ruthless fervor to eradicate them that, say, dandelions engender.  Still, some of them can stay and some of them just have to go.  They will come back.  Talk about politicians.
Then there is the crabgrass.  Oh, it is late July and early August, the season of crabgrass.  What an annoyingly opportunistic pest!  I want to believe that there is some kind of intelligent design at work in nature, but then the crabgrass starts popping up and I am no longer so much a believer.

Sure, I could look at myself as a heartless colonial master banishing native plants I consider inferior in order to make room for the desirable plants of my own choosing.  But I'm not going there right now.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

More on Sewing

I had to go to visit the sewing machine shop to get a refresher course on using the buttonhole function on my sewing machine.  It is a NECCHI--a wonderful machine.  Once I was reminded how to use it the the buttonholer just goes ahead and makes perfect buttonholes.  EASY, no kidding!

Before my 40 year old Singer sewing machine went to stitch heaven, I was thinking about buying a serger.   I thought they were complicated and temperamental after trying one out.  My NECCHI 4825 has ability to do overlock stitches and it has a serger setting.  It doesn't have all the threads and complicated threading that I've seen on regular serger machines.  I'm not sure how it works, but it really works well.

I started a knit dress.  Knits are something I have avoided in the past, but this new machine is handling the job like a pro.



I do love my new sewing machine.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Sewing

It was a dark and rainy kind of day here today.  I spent a lot of time sewing.  It is nice to be able to sit on the breezeway and work no matter what the weather.  I made this shirt and a new cover for my sewing machine.

Good grief, I could have used a bit of make-up here.

I spent so much time weeding last week, I thought I could coast for the rest of July.  Guess what...the weeds I missed were about two feet high yesterday.  And speaking of July, I cannot believe it is almost over.  I have been in a bit of a fog lately.
                                                     ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
My sister-in-law introduced me to fennel last winter.  I used it in a spinach salad with dried cranberries and walnuts tonight--really yummy.  Mike had his lettuce, tomato and olive salad.  He had chicken.  I had roasted vegetables.  We shared some brown rice.  Some nights it feels like I am running a restaurant.

Corn-on-the-cob season is just around the corner.  We both appreciate that.  Then it's apple pie season after that.   Oh, I never can get rid of those ten extra pounds!  Darn!

Monday, July 25, 2011

BERNIE BUZZ

I recieved the Bernie Buzz via e-mail today.  This is a newsletter put out by our Vermont State Senator, Bernie Sanders.  I copy it here, because I cannot agree with the man more than I do.  I  know that some pundits say boycott Vermont for our overly liberal ways.  I'm thinking...Bernie for President.


With one week to go before an Aug. 2 deadline for raising the nation's debt limit, the stakes are enormous. Some in Congress continue to press for steep cuts in programs for working families. Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid remain in jeopardy. Funds for education, child care, nutrition, affordable housing, environmental protection and energy independence also are at stake. When Republican leaders talk about $3 trillion or $4 trillion in spending cuts over the next 10 years, with no new taxes on the wealthy and large corporations, please understand what they mean.

SOCIAL SECURITY — The average Social Security recipient who retires at age 65 would get $560 less a year at age 75, under a proposal to change the formula which determines cost-of-living adjustments.  The same retiree would get $1,000 less a year at age 85 than under current law. Another provision pushed by House Republicans would require that Social Security always be solvent for 75 years, an avenue to even larger cuts in benefits.  All of this would take place despite the fact that Social Security has not contributed one penny to the deficit and has a $2.6 trillion surplus.

MEDICARE — Raising the eligibility age from 65 to 67 is one proposal. Another would cut benefits by as much as $500 billion over 10 years. How are 66-year-old Americans with modest means going to afford health insurance with a private company especially if they have medical problems?  It's not going to happen. They are going to suffer.  Some will unnecessarily die.
MEDICAID — At a time when 50 million Americans already have no health insurance, Republicans and some Democrats are proposing to cut hundreds of billions of dollars from Medicaid. That means that many men, women and children will lose the health insurance they have.  According to a Harvard University study, some 45,000 Americans die each year because they don't get to a doctor when they should.  How many more will die if Medicaid is slashed?  How many children will be thrown off the Children's Health Insurance Program?
EDUCATION — Childcare and college education already are unaffordable for millions of working families. Head Start has long waiting-lists.  If Republicans and some Democrats get their way, Pell grants and other educational programs will be deeply slashed.  Affordable childcare and a college education will no longer be possible for many families in our country.
ENVIRONMENT AND ENERGY — Forget about the government having the ability to protect the people from corporations who want to evade Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act regulations. With massive cuts in the EPA, the resources will not be there.  Forget about this country having the investment capability to transform our energy system to energy efficiency and sustainable energy.  Forget about creating millions of jobs rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure and improving our public transportation system.

We don't have to make these cuts. Adopting a fair budget plan which ends tax breaks for the wealthy and large corporations and makes real cuts in military spending is the kind of shared sacrifice that the American people want -- and that Bernie has been fighting for.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Sunset in the Back Yard

We sat on the deck to watch the sunset


as night tried to settle in.

The sun seemed reluctant to give up its hold.


Then we went inside and ate cheesecake.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Heat Lightning

I went to bed last night and watched flickers and flashes of light in the northern sky for the longest time.  I heard not one rumble of thunder--although I do have to admit that the windows were closed because the air conditioner was on.  It was hot and it was humid so I was thinking "heat lightning."
I understand that heat lightning is just a regular old electrical storm that is so far away that you just cannot hear the thunder.  Still, those flashes were persistent and lasted for quite a long time.  Someone was getting a hell of a storm.

It was hot again today, but the humidity was not so bad.  I did my library volunteer gig and then went for a short walk.  I even turned the oven on and baked a cheese cake that I topped with blueberries.  I used my adaptation of a recipe from Moosewood Cookbook by Molly Katzen.  My copy is a 15 year anniversary edition--printed in 1992.  It all of a sudden occurred to me that that makes it a pretty old book--almost an antique.  I still love it, though, and use it a lot.  For one thing, you can really fiddle around with the recipes and they still come out fine.  I used half the ricotta called for and filled in the rest with yogurt cheese, because that is what I had.  No problem. I like recipes that are mere suggestions rather than hard and fast rules.  I don't always succeed, but, hey, I have fun.

Speaking of food--I actually have some bean plants that survived the onslaught of the woodchuck!   I may have some green beans in a few weeks.  There are even a few intrepid leaves of lettuce in my garden, although the recent hot weather has not been friendly to them.  My tomatoes are starting to ripen.  We had grape tomatoes today and they were so incredibly sweet.  The Italian peppers are coming on strong.  All is not as bleak as I had thought a month ago.  I have even harvested a bunch of herbs before they bolted.  Now I think I won't give up on the garden after all.

Hey!  My old dashboard and post page are back!!!  I don't know why Blogger was choosing to toy with me like that, but all is forgiven now.  I could not go directly to my Blogger account from that interim dashboard and it made it so much harder to navigate around reader and Gmail.  I'm happier now.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Hot

I set my sewing machine up in the breezeway during warmer weather.  Today, I had both doors open and, true to the name, a steady breeze was blowing through,  Not a cool breeze.  A breeze that might have originated in a blast furnace.
Now, I know that there are those who would welcome a daytime temperature of 93.  And, I am not complaining.  I like hot weather.  I did not even raise a sweat sitting there sewing in my breezeway.  I did not go out for a brisk walk, though.  That might have turned me into a puddle. 
It is supposed to stay in the 80's through the night.  That's, at the very most, a once a year event in Vermont.  Usually, we would try to arrange to be camping during these glorious summer days, but Mike has been too busy with his e-bay sales of motorcycle memorabilia.  All that "stuff" he collected over the years served him well in coming up with money for the Florida house.  Who would have thought?
This poster was a hefty start to the house fund.  you would not believe what it sold for so I won't even say.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A New House

It is official, now.  We had the closing on the place in
Florida and now have the papers in hand.  We own a winter home in Florida and we are very happy about that for so many reasons.  We will take a trip down again in the fall just to get a feel for living there and to figure out what we may need to make it truly home for us.

It is in Venice, where we wanted to be--about four miles from the beach.  It is further away from the Sarasota County libraries.  I may have to get myself a bicycle to tootle around town.  My brother suggested a Florida car--you know, one where I could not see over the steering wheel.  Three thousand comedians out of work and he makes jokes.

Maybe winters will get longer and longer, now.  Our Vermont house has been very good for us, but it is a raised ranch.  That means those pesky stairs.  (My black and blues are fading now, BTW.)  It also means windows that are a story and a half high.  My ladder climbing days are definitely over.  If I can't handle stairs, think how I could hurt myself falling off a ladder.  Shudder.  We are replacing windows one or two at a time--getting the kind that open inwards to be washed.  For the rest, I got myself a squeegee system with an extension pole (Ettori) at the hardware store.  I have noticed that the new, easy to wash windows don't get any where near as dirty, nor so fast, as those old, take-off-the-storms, wash-from-the-outside windows.

At least I did learn last winter that Mike knows how to wash windows because he wanted to see out the bedroom window in the morning before even getting out of bed.  Shades drawn?  No, that's why we live in the country.  I guess he will have to adjust to living in a neighborhood.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Just Commenting

A recent post on Aunt Amelia's Attic got me thinking and wondering about comments.
I always like to read the comments that readers may leave and I often--but by no means always--like to leave a comment on the blogs that I read on a regular basis.
But I'm thinking I don't really know the standard protocol.
I see that some respond to individual comments on the same comment page.  That means, if you assume a conversation is taking place through comments, that you would have to check back for new comments.  That's extra time and effort I don't always make.
Some bloggers send an e-mail as follow-up to a comment I have made on their blog.  It's nice to get e-mail that isn't selling me something.
Sometimes it seems a response is called for--some kind of acknowledgement--but is it always expected?  Is there and Emily Post for bloggers? 

Friends and family often ask me what a blog is or why I write on.  I say it is just like the diary I used to keep hidden under my mattress.  I would have screamed and hit and had all manner of fits if someone has read those innermost secrets.  Now I blog on the world wide web for everyone to see.  Strange?

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Flea Market

Sunday morning is flea market time for Mike.  Today I took the ride with him and wandered around amongst the many vendors.  Mike wandered in a different direction since we are never likely to stop and peruse the same merchandise anyway.

One lady was selling, according to her sign, "handmade" "soap" with "shea" oil and "lavender" oil and on and on.  I had to wonder is her product was not really made by hand and maybe not even really soap--hence to quotation marks.  I have to believe the scents she used were chemically enhanced since they really were overwhelmingly strong and made me "sneeze" so I kept on walking.

This reminded me that I was in a downtown shop in Venice last winter that prominently displayed ladies' purses.  I had just picked on up when the saleslady (and I think the store owner) proudly announced that all the purses were designer knockoffs.  Now, excuse me, but I was under the impression that that kind of thing was against the law--so I said, "Gee, isn't that illegal?"  And, wow, did she get all huffy and cranky.  That's another reason why I didn't stop to chat with the soap lady--some people just don't appreciate my helpful comments.

There was one guy who had a number of old kitchen utensils on his table.  I picked up a double brush-like thingy.  A part of the original box was attached and that let me know that I was looking at a brush for cleaning screen windows.  "Screen Cleaner" was also stamped on the devise itself (without quotation marks, BTW).
The man said, "I'll bet you can't guess what that is."
"Well, it's for cleaning screen windows," I replied.
He looked at me with utter amazement.  "Your the first person who knew that," he announced.
Good, grief.  I was the first person who happened by that knew how to read?

maybe I should have stuck to my original plan, which was to go out and pull weeds in the garden.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Sticker Shock

I just handed over my debit card at the grocery store and did not even look at the total.  That only delayed the sticker shock.  I had to look at the receipt to enter it in the check book at home.  How do people with large families to feed afford to eat??

There are lots of sites with coupons and lots of sites with money-savings tips available on line.  I was moved to check a few out.  Being the daughter of depression-era parents, most of the tips were second nature to me.
  • Don't shop while hungry--you'll spend more.
  • Shop the periphery of the supermarket.  That's where the real food tends to be stocked.
  • Avoid processed, pre-cooked, pre-washed, pre-chopped, and overly packaged items.
  • Watch the specials, plan meals, and make lists.
  • Buy only the amount of perishable that you can use before it goes bad or you just waste food and the money you spent on it.
  • Use coupons only for something you would buy anyway.
  • Watch the scanner.  Mistakes happen.
Now these things were ingrained in me as I often shopped with my mother.  Still, I find them much easier to follow in my retirement years.  These tips may save money, but they do not necessarily save time and effort.
  • Don't shop while hungry.  Okay, but I passed the grocery store on my way home from work--ten miles before I got home.  I'm going to stop and pick up a few things even though I'm tired and HUNGRY--two conditions that leave me completely at the mercy of impulses.
  • Buy real food and do the prep and cooking myself.  It's five o'clock, dark, and I am TIRED and hungry.  Do prepared, frozen stuffed chicken breasts and a bag of salad look good?  Darn good!
  • Plan meals, have a list.  Of course the plan and the list are sitting on the kitchen counter.  Sometimes  the thought of having to come up with what to fix was more daunting than the actual cooking.  We went out to eat way more often when we were working.
  • Buying limited amounts of fresh fruits and vegetables was a stumbling block for me because in my theoretical "plan" I always figured in more than we would use--what with the impulse buying and the going out, I have thrown out more than my share of slimey produce.
  • Coupons are a marketing ploy.  Manufacturers and processors want you to spend more on their convenience products and they are clever at reeling in shoppers.  "I can afford to pay for this convenience because I have a coupon." 
  • Watch the scanner?  After trudging through the store aisles and unloading the cart, there's a quick nap time while the checkout is happening.
Actually, I have given up on coupons.  Have you noticed that it is more and more that you have to buy two or even three of an item to get the dollar off?  And I rarely see a coupon for broccoli or peaches.  They really are meant to get you to try things you wouldn't necessarily buy otherwise.  For me, a coupon deal rarely passes the "do I need it?" test.

One thing I hadn't really thought about was a tip to buy only groceries at the grocery store.  Personal care products, paper products, and cleaning supplies are cheaper at a discount store.  I just once bought groceries at a Walmart store and did not find it to be cheaper for what food  I usually buy.  I'll give it another try for non-grocery items--well, some kind of discount store, anyway.

Doing way more cooking, I do find the need to have herbs and spices on hand.  I grow my own thyme (use a boatload of that), oregano, chives, parsley, sage, rosemary, basil, and mint.  I dry it or freeze it and make my own blends.  For other herbs and the spices I have to have on hand, I go to the health food store.  I buy small quantities so even though the unit price may be higher, I spend less money and use them while they are fresh.

So now that I am retired I have less money, but way more time.  I'm back to following (mostly) the rules.  I do sometimes buy cold cereal for the grand kids and I still like to have a box of pancake/waffle mix on hand because I am not a morning person and breakfasts need to be easy.  Mike likes the deli selections, but not too often.  We go out to eat, but maybe twice a month instead of twice a week.  Actually, a lot more of our lives revolve around food lately, but we enjoy it more that way.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Lake Champlain

A few errands to run on a foggy, grey Tuesday morning, but by noon the sun was out and the lake beaches are finally open so we spent a long afternoon at the Sand Bar State Park.  It's a nice sandy beach where a four year old boy can spend hours digging  holes and then filling them with buckets of water.  All that is required of a grandma is the occasional  admiring comment and the offer of a drink of water. 
After a hearty supper of ham, noodles and corn on the cob, with strawberry shortcake for dessert, Dane spent the longest time drawing and setting up his own "art exhibit."




Only a minor meltdown from over-tiredness before off to bed.  But Mike pured me a glass of wine and all was well.

Monday, July 11, 2011

My blogger dashboard page is completely different and I now have a hard time getting saved posts to edit and publish.  Not impossible,but much more cumbersome than the previous dashboard and "new post" page."  Also I used to be able to get to GMail and reader from my blogger dashboard and I can't seem to do that at all any more.  It's just weird. 

It's grammy camp week for Dane.  Mike will be working in the basement while we are full tilt energy level going.  Today did a craft project--a card for his mom.  We went shopping for new shoes, then spent the afternoon at the Birds of Vermont Museum.  I'd never been there before and it was just delightful.  We took a walk to the frog pond and found...frogs!!


Then it was a refreshing dip in a cold Vermont stream.


Where there just happened to be an endless supply of rocks that could be either put in a pile to bring home for the "rock collection" or thrown to make a series of splashes.  Boys are so easy to entertain.

Last night...
"Goodnight, Dane.  I love you to pieces.
"Goodnight, Grandma.  I love you seven pieces."

Not so cute at 5 a.m. this morning....
Dane: "It's morning time.  I am all done sleeping!"

Grandma: "No you are not!  Go back to bed."

Friday, July 8, 2011

Bees

There was concern for the past couple of years about bees disappearing.  I haven't heard anything about that this year, but I can say there are definitely bees in my garden--tons of them and it looks like at least three different kinds.  Astible, lavender and thyme seem to be particular favorites.  Oh, yeah, how did I forget the bee balm?  They like that too.  Mike said he was nervous about mowing around the flower beds, but so far they just seem intent on the blossoms.

Some bee facts:
*Honeybees make honey--the only insect produced food for humans--not counting chocolate covered ants.
*Bees are socially tolerant, living in groups of 40 to 45 thousand per hive.
*Honey making is hard work, resulting in a short life span--about 6 weeks.
*Bees are long distance travellers.  A bee can travel up to six miles per pollen gathering trip.  It takes 1600 round trips to make just one ounce of honey.
*Bees are speedy, averaging 13-15 mph.
*Bees are patient and persistent.  If bees from the same hive visit 225 thousand flowers per day and it takes 2 million such visits to make a pound of honey--well, you do the math, but I think that's over a week.
*The queen bee is very demanding and kind of slutty.
*About 8 pounds of honey is eaten by bees to produce 1 pound of beeswax. (Does that mean that the wax is actually a waste product?



 
 
Did I miss a heads-up about the changing format of blogger??  Good grief.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Bang Up 4th of July

We didn't go to the Burlington waterfront fireworks, which are always held on July 3rd.  They always put on a good show, but this year the estimate was 100,000 crowding in to see them.  They set off the fireworks from a barge out in the lake.  People with boats make a day and evening of it.  The waterfront park is always jammed.  The hard part is getting out.  You really can't leave the waterfront without going through the city streets where everyone else is simultaneously trying to make their exit.  I guess we are old.  Watch boomy lights or avoid a two hour traffic snarl--no contest.
But I did have a bang up Fourth of July...quite literally.  I went out to take the picture of my lavender for a previous post in the morning.  I didn't even step into the garden.  I don't know how my shoes got wet, but they surely must have been wet because as I stepped on the stairs to go into the lower level of our spit ranch I slid.  I completely lost my footing and went "ass over tea kettle" (I believe that is the expression) and landed in a heap in the hallway below.  I scared Mike with my thumping and bumping and screams of "OOOOH, NOOOOOO!"  Aches and pains, but no serious injuries--no stitches or casts required.
It's always my dream to have a single floor dwelling.  Mike is coming around to my way of thinking.

Holy Tumbling Tumbleweeds, Batman!

It's not that I am clumsy or anything but consider these vignettes from my life:

*  As a toddler, I am looking for my mother and become convinced she is in the basement.  Fall down steep stairs.  Break my nose.
*  I am riding a bike and hit a walkway decorated with slanted bricks.  Land on brick edge.  Scar just south of eye socket.
*  I try to fly by jumping off the radiator but fall instead and gash my leg.  Crying.
*  I carry a birthday cake I had made and decorated into the living room on my father's birthday.  I trip over my own feet and smash the cake on the floor.  Ha, ha, family laughter.
*  My father had knee surgery and was stretched out on the TV room floor (watching TV int he dark so as to not waste electricity).   I walk into the room and trip over his recently cut open and therefore really sore knee.
Strong oaths and bad words shouted.
*  I walk across the school parking lot on a winter day and slip in front of a stopped (empty) school bus.  Books fly up into the air and I land on my keester.  Classmates are watching out the library windows. Comments in my year book for three years running--never mind that I could have been valedictorian.
*  As I am delivering a high school lesson, I am so engrossed in the subject that I am gesturing and walking backwards, thrilled at the looks of intent interest on the faces of my students.  I back into an unoccupied desk and land on the floor. Major entertainment, little concern for my well-being.
*  I paint the back door exterior.  Since the screen has been taken out, I step through the opening rather than open the door.  I'm in a hurry.  I catch my foot and break the middle toe on my left foot.

Why would I ever, ever try to recover repressed memories.  I'm sure they would be way too painful.  Past life regressions--not for me.  I don't want to know.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Lavender

My lavender has been blooming nicely this year, and my plant has lasted for quite some time now.  I learned how to prune it and that seems to have made a difference.  I am drying some this year to replenish my sachet supply in linen storage.  I also found this recipe for making lavender oil and I just may give it a try.  I love the scent of lavender.  It is supposed to have a calming effect.
I also like Herb Gardener Blog, complete with a recipe and other useful information (like about allergies).
Of course, essential lavender oil can be bought already prepared. 
If you mix about 20 drops or so of lavender oil with 1/8th cup of vodka (I wouldn't use Grey Goose or Stoli, just cheap stuff) and add a couple of cups of mineral water, you get a lovely spay for the linen closet--or spritz it on your pillow before bedtime. 
It also makes a cooling foot spray.  I think it would have deoderant properties as well.
With the marauding critters decimating my vegetables, I may go more and more to herbal gardening.

We had a lovely weekend with sister and brother-in-law.  Saturday was a perfect kind of Vermont summer day. 
We were almost tempted to go to the waterfront fireworks in Burlington, but remembered the crowds and traffic from the last time so we decided to have burgers on the deck instead.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Varmints, 4; Olga, 0

I admit defeat.  I give up.  It's back to growing flowers for me.  The neighborhood woodchuck has struck once again.  That darn critter is under the mistaken notion that I am running an all-you-can-eat salad buffet.  My first planting of lettuce and beans were sheared to the ground.  I was spraying the second planting with a substance that is supposed to be unpalatable to woodchucks, but with all the rain, I guess I should have been more diligent about getting out there every single evening.  Any evidence of the second crop is now gone as well.
Then there is the raccoon that discovered the bird feeders.  Mike started bringing in the feeders at night, but that has only served to piss off the raccoon.  He left a large pile or two on the deck to communicate his irritation.  When that didn't have the desired pay-off, he ravaged my deck planters and broke some pottery.
Meanwhile, Mike is being plagued by a mole in the side yard.  He thinks woodchucks and raccoons are cute, but a mole digging in the lawn pushes him right over the edge.  He will go into Elmer Fudd mode over a mole.
*********
My grand daughter's visit has come to an end.  We went shopping (shopping for a new outfit was her birthday present from me), went bike riding and swimming, visited with my friend's puppy, and made a trip to the science museum.  I also got her started on learning to knit--although I notice she didn't take that home with her.  We made some Sculpy clay figures.  She claimed not to miss her little brother the least little bit.

I did my thing at the library today and now I have to get ready for weekend guests.  Mike's sister and her husband will be here so that will be a good time.  I know we are going to hit an antique mall and eat, drink and be merry.  That's easy.

I did not get to see Michele Obama on her trip to Vermont but I thought it was nice that she came.  Vermont doesn't get a whole lot of attention from the political ins and wannabes...which is not necessarily an altogether bad thing...just sometimes it's nice to be noticed.

A HAPPY and SAFE FOURTH of JULY!