Sunday, July 31, 2011

Whew!


Well I made it through my month of daily postings, or daily drivel if you will.  I have two blogs so if I didn't post here then I put something over on the house blog every single day this month.  The latest exciting news over at at the house blog is that we now have gutters on our house.

Anyway, here are my conclusions from this little exercise that I gave myself for the month of July:

  1. Yaaay!  I don't have to do it anymore!
  2. I'm glad I did it and it feels good to see a goal through to completion.
  3. I don't know how you daily bloggers do it year after year.
  4. I'm not sure, but I think that blogging might have just been a temporary hobby for me to amuse myself during a certain phase of my existence.
  5. That phase definitely seems to be over but I might not be be done with blogging just yet.
  6. I still enjoy reading other people's blogs more than I do writing my own.
  7. Goals are good.
  8. Life is good!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Luna

Today I was mowing the grass and came upon this lovely caterpillar.  Doug looked it up and found out that it is probably a Luna moth caterpillar.


video






video

Friday, July 29, 2011

Chanticleer Garden

Yesterday we went to Chanticleer Garden up near Philadelphia.  It's an easy day trip from DC and well worth the effort.  I hadn't ever heard of this place until very recently when I got to see a book my friend's daughter had been working on.  She did quite a bit of editing and selecting of photos for a this very beautiful book that has just come out called Chanticleer, A Pleasure Garden.   I've been wanting to see the gardens in person ever since I saw the book.

Anyway I'm pooped again, so I'll let the photos speak for themselves.



Lace Head Hydrangeas




Look! a frog!




five fairly substantial sycamores growing out of one original tree stump


Thursday, July 28, 2011

Fun in Philly

We somehow ended up going to Philadelphia today and had a splendid time, which I am too exhausted to go into at the moment.  So these pictures will have to do for now. . . . .





Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Count Basie in the Movies

I'd seen this before but somebody sent it to me again today and I just had to share.  Jerry Lewis sits down at the boss's desk and starts pantomiming to Basie's "Blues in Hoss's Flat  The best part is where he starts laughing near the end.





And that reminded me of another famous incident of Count Basie in the movies - the scene in Blazing Saddles where the new sheriff comes across the Basie band playing "April In Paris" out in the middle of the desert.  Hilarious!  Youtube would not let me embed this one minute video, so here's the link:

Count Basie, Blazing Saddles, April in Paris

Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I Hate Sewing, Part 2

The stupid slipcover continues to kick my butt - physically, not mentally.  However the tediousness of so many  L  O  N  G  seams is causing my brain to go dull.  It is an incredibly boring and monotonous process to make this thing, although I really did enjoy planning it and figuring out the changes I wanted to make to the pattern.  Unfortunately that means it has about four times as many seams as it would otherwise.  Well it won't get done unless I continue plodding away on it.

In other news, this seems to be a summer of Hawaiian shirt gigs.  I thought last Saturday would be it, but no....it's been decided that the attire for this Sunday (different band) is also going to be Hawaiian shirts and khaki shorts.  Fortunately I don't have to wear the cellophane shirt again because a friend of mine offered me one of her husband's old shirts.  It's a really pretty shirt and best of all - it's made of rayon so it will be cool and comfortable.

Monday, July 25, 2011

I HATE SEWING ! ! !

This stupid slipcover is taking absolutely forever!  I am completely annoyed with how slow it's been going.  Of course I'm making it up as I go along so it's my fault that it's taking longer than it needs to, but still...Well it's going to look really nice when it's finished.  Here's a preview:



They didn't have quite enough of the main fabric (which was only $3.00 a yard!) to do the whole thing exactly according to the pattern so I decided to get all fancy with the contrasting piping around the arm seams.  I'm going to have a two inch elasticized band of the same material going all around the bottom of the main section, with matching ties for the front, if I have enough of that fabric, and then the skirt will be a slightly washed out silky black fabric which will be gathered into a slight ruffle around the very bottom.  I know that all sounds really weird, but I have a vision.  And if it turns out to be a miserable failure, at least I didn't waste too much money on it.

Meanwhile, as of today I am crushing on, or enamored with, or slightly fascinated by a new category of men.  I know there are those of you out there who have a thing for rock stars, or hockey players, or firemen, or whatever, but I've just discovered a whole new world of men in the upholstery business.  Check them out - they have much more useful things to say than most men do, and they really know what they are talking about.  The Men of Upholstery.  Hey - I should do a calendar!


Here's Bubba Austin.  He's a real manly man, no-nonsense kind of guy, but kind of adorable at the same time.  I like watching him sew.





This next video features Ron from Canada.  You never know what you're going to find inside an old antique sofa.  And he knows when to keep quiet and let the video do the talking.





And Mike here, with his tough guy accent, is gonna tell you everything you need to know about the different types of foam that can be used for cushions.


Sunday, July 24, 2011

goals and freedom

Without being too rigid about it, I've decided to start being a little more goal-oriented.  Although I am apparently quite capable of putting my life on hold for who knows how long (5 years comes to mind) I am probably much more the kind of person who finds freedom in structure and setting some smaller goals and seeing them through to completion will hopefully be a great way to free myself from the dreaded "ought" disease and its accompanying guilt.  Of course all of the goals I'm setting involve things I ought to do so I guess there's no escaping it.

So to kick it off, I decided that this would be the summer that I help the 2500 liriope plants that I planted in 2007 to finally beat the weeds.  In order for this to happen, I need to beat the weeds myself and then put down mulch and hopefully the liriope will take it from there.  I think I have about five more days of pulling weeds ahead of me in order to accomplish this goal.  The only real problem is that it KILLS my hands and I need to take days off here and there just to let them recover.  But I don't want to take any days off - I just want to get it done as soon as possible.  So that I can be free of needing to do it anymore.  But it's hard to stop.  I'm somewhat obsessed with getting it done right now.

To help myself get into the right frame of mind to want engage in such a miserable task, I thought it might be useful to launch a parallel activity that I would be able to do every day no matter how exhausted I was physically.  So I made another goal to do a blog post either here or on my house blog every single day this month.  I've discovered that it is quite difficult to come up anything intelligent to say when I'm in a state of total physical exhaustion.  But so far I've managed to do one post each day and I only have a week to go!  And then I'll be free of the obligation I made to myself.  And the people who visit my blog will be free of the random crap I've been posting recently.

Another goal that is not moving along as well because I haven't given it any definite parameters yet is the slipcover for the couch.  If I'd had a goal of working on it for one hour each day it would be finished already.  But that hasn't happened because I'm either too exhausted from pulling weeds or I have a blog post to write.  If I don't get it finished by the end of the month, I'm going to set a goal of sewing for one hour each day and I'm going to include all of the curtains in that goal as well.  They are all cut and ready to go and it shouldn't take any time at all once I get started.  And then the people who visit my house will be free of having to looking at my construction paper "curtains" and so will I.

So back to the weeding - here's what I've accomplished so far:



And here's what I still have left - it's a pretty long stretch, but I think it will go quickly if my hands can take it.




Saturday, July 23, 2011

sweltering

"Wearing this shirt feels just like wearing saran wrap" is what I texted to Doug a few minutes before my gig started this evening.

The uniform for the band this evening was a Hawaiian shirt and white or khaki shorts.  I used to own a couple of Hawaiian shirts back before I lost all of my clothes and an occasion to wear one has not presented during the intervening years until this evening.  I looked in a few stores but didn't see anything that I wanted to pay money for, and I really didn't feel like spending a whole lot of time shopping until I found something.

Hawaiian shirts do not seem to be as readily available this days - I guess they were more popular with the general public back in the 1990s.  It's kind of a dated look, or retro if you prefer.  Anyway, I knew that Doug had one and that he would let me borrow it.  But it was so huge and loose that it looked terrible in spite of the fact that it was actually a very nice looking shirt, as Hawaiian shirts go.

I got out my sewing machine and took in the sides with a basting stitch so that I could easily rip out the seams after I finished borrowing it this evening.  It looked a lot better after I fitted it and it only took about two minutes.  I was very pleased that I was able to get by without a bunch of time spent shopping.

But OMG, after I loaded my stuff onto the stage at the very unairconditioned Glen Echo, I was completely drenched.  The shirt felt fine in my house and in my car, but it doesn't breathe AT ALL.  It literally felt like I was wearing saran wrap.  I guess I should have expected that since it is 100% polyester.  That'll teach me.

So I guess I'll be keeping an eye out for a cotton or rayon Hawaiian shirt to have in case I sub on this gig again.  They probably have a much better selection of these kinds of shirts down at the beach.  I hope.

I really need to start doing a better job of replacing my gig wardrobe.  There are lots of different types of outfits that are required from certain bands, especially in the summertime, and I used to have everything I'd ever need for any type of gig.  It's very inconvenient to have to run out and pick something up at the last minute.  And I don't want to have to resort to wearing a shirt that feels like Saran Wrap ever again.

Friday, July 22, 2011

It's that time of year again....

Apple Time!
This one smells good.

My tongue is bigger than your tongue.


Hey!   Watch me chew some apples!
video


Thursday, July 21, 2011

stream of consciousness from a dull and tired brain

I can barely stay awake.  Let's see.....what did I do today?  Wrote some emails.  Pulled weeds for 2 hours.  Spent another hour putting down mulch.  A bag of mulch weighs 85 pounds.  Went to the dump.  Came home and took a shower.  Went to a concert.  Came home and thought about tunes for tomorrow's gig.  Didn't get too far due to tiredness.  Remembered at the last minute that I had pledged to myself that I would post daily for the month of July.  Wrote this lame post.  Good night!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Gnatfest 2011

Has anyone else noticed the huge quantities of gnats that have been hovering around everywhere this summer?  I can't remember when they were as bad as they've been this year, especially around the end of June and the first part of July.  When the weather got a little drier last week, they were suddenly gone.  But today they were definitely back, aggressively swirling around my face, hoping I would open my mouth so they could fly on in.  It is extremely annoying when that happens!

It's kind of weird to think about the fact that when the outside air temperature gets as high as it was today and will be through the weekend, the various entry points such as the mouth, nose, and ears probably seem like a delightfully cool dark cave for those gnats so of course they are going to fly on in.

And that's as deep as it's going to get today.  My mind has been dulled by endless weeding and my main area of focus today, besides weeding and putting down mulch, was to not let any gnats fly into my mouth.

Hey - that last sentence just reminded me of my very favorite line from the Pirates of Penzance:

My mind has long been gnawed by the cankering tooth of mystery.

I love that sentence, but why in the world did I think about that just then?  Maybe I was hoping I wouldn't get gnawed by gnats and that caused it to suddenly pop out from one of the reserves deep in my brain.  Or maybe I've suffered brain damage due to heat stroke or dehydration.  And with that thought I bid you gnighty gnight.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Doors in Annapolis

I don't think I'm really a door wreath kind of person, at least not for my own house.  But that did not stop me from photographing a bunch of wreathes on doors in Annapolis.  Aren't they lovely?  The bottom one is my favorite.






Monday, July 18, 2011

up to my neck in weeds!


I have made it my mission this summer to eliminate all eyesores from our yard.  The final frontier is a long-neglected hillside which contains a bunch of half dead azaleas, liriope, and huge quantities of overgrown weeds.

I cleared out a space by the fence so that I could set my footstool up there and when I sat down I realized how high these weeds were.  It's been an exhausting process but I think I only need one more day to finish the larger area towards the front.  My hands have been complaining, but I think they'll survive.

Also I have no idea why my hair looks that color.  It is actually light brown/dark blonde.  Maybe the sun was shining on it funny.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

It's time to go outside and enjoy the weather!


If you are indoors this afternoon reading this blog post, I order you to go spend some time outside at once!  The air is fresh and clear and there's a delightful breeze.  It's the best kind of summer weather we ever get around here - it makes even an afternoon of weeding seem like fun.
Enjoy it while you can!




Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Friendly Goats of Wright's Market

One of my favorite things to do on the way home from the beach is to stop and visit the very friendly goats at Wright's Market.


They love to be petted.


Love it!


They get so sad when you stop.  But we wanted to go visit the other goats and the giant steer.  They all dashed over from the other side of the pen to greet us.

video

Watch the stampede!  Here they come!
  
video

The steer is very sociable.  When you say hello to him he says hello back.


Isn't he handsome?  And he has his very own mini-me too except that this one happens to be a goat mini-me.


After we did a little shopping and got some fresh homemade ice cream we saw that we weren't the only ones who were having a treat.



                                                    Yummy cantaloupe!


Yum Yum Yum ! ! !

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Another Trip to the Beach

One of my goals for this summer is to get down to the beach for at least one day each month.  So far I've made it down there in June and I've got days already scheduled for July and August, so it's promising to be a great summer.  It's been excellent so far.

Every couple of years there is a new "thing" that is sold or displayed at the various roadside stands along the way.  For a long time it was huge quantities of very life-like plastic Canadian geese.  The new thing this year seems to be these wooden eagles in a nest.  We saw them displayed a couple of different places on the way down.  Aren't they cute?



I bought my season pass to Assateague.  They got all decorative with the card this year.


It was kind of a hazy day, but the air temperature and the water temperature were both perfect.



On the way out we saw some horses in the distance:


And up close.



There was a giant crab-shaped cloud looming in the sky which somehow caused us to not be in the mood for crabcake sandwiches this time.


It looks like the front porch fell off the chia house sometime over the winter.


We stopped at Darnell's Grille in Easton for rockfish and fried chicken.


And we finally got to the Bay Bridge right around sunset.  How do like those cracks in my windshield?