Friday, August 27, 2010

Oh, what a night.....

I am still recovering from my airport mishap 2 days ago. I am recovering with pizza, icecream and wine. 

This may take a few days, or weeks or more.

I actually am very busy taking care of the business I came here for. My mom is still in the throes of a very long recovery and dad is doing the best he can.

Just in case you are wondering, which I'm sure you are, here are the photos from beautiful Philadelphia know....on 'that' night. (Longest night of my life, btw.)

Here is where I sat for about an hour with my tea and a chocolate glazed donut, plus my laptop, of course!! (Thank you Philly airport for free wireless! Not all airports have that.)

The halls of the airport at around 10:45 p.m.  Deserted.

What goes on after 11 pm at the food court. I don't even want to know what's going on. (Looking for the runway?)

My home for the night at gate C 26. I bought a new pair of fuzzy socks at Newport News shop, the Information Desk gave me the pillow and a blanket. Where's the blanket you say? It's there.
That tiny, teeny little rectangle above my new socks. Yup, that's it. It's called a space blanket.
(If you don't know what that is, it's a gigantic, gargantuan, monster sheet of aluminum foil type of stuff that's suppose to retain 90 percent of your body heat. When you take it out of the plastic sleeve, that is. As it is now, it's pretty much useless.)

My view from my bed. I was posting yesterday's post in my new socks. I finally fell asleep with my pillow up against my backpack which was propped up against the wall. Not the most comfortable position, but at least then I'd be alerted if someone tried to steal my stuff.

After around 2 a.m. it turned frigid. I tried to hold out and not get up because I was so danged tired, but I had to resort to the space blanket. Note: Space blankets make A LOT of noise when handled. But I did manage to cover myself with this oddball thing, and it actually DID keep me warm.

What was worse was that the Musak (elevator music) played at ear splitting decibels all night long and the night crew highway repair lighting was never dimmed. A TV was on all night long in the gate area and sleep was very hard.

The night cleaning crew appeared around 11 pm and worked all night. The humming of the floor polishers and vacuums actually were a welcome relief.

After a while I decided in my sleep to find out what time it was. I estimated that it must have been around 3:30 am. I took out my cell phone and discovered it was 5:15 am!!!

I opened one eye and this is what I saw.....

People already there waiting for the 6:45 flight that I was taking!!! I have no idea what they must have thought of that woman in the corner wrapped up in aluminum foil. (that would be me...)

I calmly sat up as if sleeping across 3 seats wrapped in Alcoa wrap was perfectly normal. The hard part was stuffing the Space Blanket into my back pack because it made sooooooo much noise. (Attracting unwanted attention...although nobody seemed to care.)

I combed my hair with my fingers, packed up and headed to Au Bon Pain for breakfast.
Turning back to the gate, this was the view....
There were plenty of people there, going about their business for a normal flight, happy that the seemingly homeless woman was leaving....

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Pissed off....

Right now, and I mean right now, I am pissed off.
It's 11:39 pm. 
That's bad enough, that I am still awake.
The part that makes it pissable, is that I am at Gate C26 at the Philadelphia airport.
I'm the only one at Gate C26 at the Philadelphia airport.
Did I mention that it's 11:41 pm?
My flight is at 6:45 am.
Do the math.

Why am I here?
Good question.

My mom, who lives in Orlando, fell last weekend and broke a vertebrae in her back. She's 89 years old. Not good. She also has heart issues. She's in a rehab facility at the moment.
So, being the good daughter that I am, I took off to help out a little. Dad is also 89 and he's at home.

Got to the Portland Jetport okay. Got on the plane okay. Plane taxied to runway okay.
Plane shuts off engines. NOT OKAY.

Pilot says they didn't know we were going to use the runway so we weren't scheduled.
So we have to wait about 25/30 minutes. Then we'll go.

"...they didn't know we were going to use the runway???????"

You can't make this up.

Understand, I had 44 minutes between flights. If all goes ok, that's not a lot of time.
So now I'm down to 20 minutes between flights.

So we take off. When we are almost in Philly, the pilot comes on and says, "They won't let us land, so we have to circle for a while."

"They won't let us land????????"

Now I KNOW that I'm in the Twilight Zone. 

Using the runway? Silly us. Needing to land? Preposterous.

So by some miracle we  land and I calculate that my next plane is leaving in 11 minutes. It's still actually here. BUT, I'm in the back of the plane and nobody seems to be opening the door.
(Another foreign concept, I'm sure. I am convinced that they are making this all up as they go along.)

We landed at Gate C-24. My plane is leaving from Gate B-5. Not good.

After an excruciating amount of time goes by, I hit the terminal floor running. Along with about 10 other people, not all going to the same place.

I notice that some people can run faster than me. So fast, in fact, they are yelling out "excuse me! excuse me!" 

I am yelling out "&^%$#^&*#*&", and  " (make  heavy breathing sounds)".

 These people appear to be 30 to 40 years younger than me. That might have a wee bit to do with it.

No one pays any attention to me clopping along.

I run until I can run no longer. Running in sandals is not good. Running with a backpack on and pulling a rolling valise is not good. None of this is good.

Look. What's ahead? Why, it's B-1 ! Followed by B-2 and 3, then 4! Can B-5 be far behind, I joke to myself?

No joke. B-4 is followed by B-6. 


B-6 .....B-9 then what to my wondering eyes should appear? But, yes, yes, yes B-5!!!!!!


 I'm sure there were people there once.

Did I mention that it's 12:03 am?

more later......

Saturday, August 21, 2010

I found my lock....

I found a lock!

In a plastic box in the bowels of our linen closet, amid old, rusty thumbtacks, plastic wire caps, dried up tubes of superglue (which are still there), that iron-on stuff you cut and iron onto the back of a hole in your clothes to try and disguise the hole and
myriads of other unidentifiable, dried up, rusty things, I find a lock......with the key!

I actually found 2 locks, a little one and a bigger one.

I took the little one because it was so cute.

If you read my
previous post, you already know that the latest trend and must-do for all people in love (lest being deemed as uncool) is to attach a lock with your name on it to something somewhere and toss the key.

Apparently this signifies that your love will be locked forever in this world to infinity and beyond.

I would like that.

But where to put it without someone unromantic person using the jaws of life to remove it?

This is what I have to think about today.

Where would you put it?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

No bagels, but some locks.....

Locks on a Ponte Milvio street lamp

My husband posted a photo on his photoblog today of some locks. A comment was left by someone in France named Maylss that described how it's become a trend around the world for lovers to put locks on public places to signify their everlasting love.

Super sleuth that I am (trained at Google U) I discovered this....

Locks of love are the padlocks fixed by loving couples, on to a fence or a pole or metallic chain/string alongside some wall etc at a public place, to symbolize their eternal love. A couple would hang a padlock after inscribing their name or initials on it and throw the key away so that their love is locked forever. Some couple use two inter-twined locks, each lock bearing their name/initials. Besides lovers, often family members and close friends also put such locks at these places, to lock their relationship forever.

The tradition probably originated from China where the love locks can be seen at several locations alongside the Great Wall of China and also in many temples and on the steps/paths leading to sacred peaks.

The tradition has spread around the World and is now quite prevalent in South Korea, Japan, Guam, Italy, Hungary, Latvia, Russia, USA etc.

I gotta find a spare lock somewhere.....

Sunday, August 15, 2010

I'll drink to that.....

Setting the scene....

Mr. DEDS and I, his brother and girlfriend are enjoying a beautiful summer evening, sitting around a nice, round outdoor table on her patio enjoying glasses of wine, beer and shrimp.

She has a dog chained to a long, long rope nearby. Said dog keeps a yellow ball in her mouth 24/7. This dog likes depositing the yellow ball near or on people so that said people pick up and toss the saliva coated ball. Dog races to catch it and brings it back, hoping to repeat the scenario.

Guess what happens when dog meanders around the table trying to get us to toss her ball (she's being ignored as we have much more stimulating conversations to tend to...), resulting in her rope being wrapped around the table legs one time, and then, and THEN brother-in-law decides to not just toss the ball gently into the yard, but to heave-ho it at 90 miles an hour to parts unknown behind where I am sitting? 

Said dog launches at rocket speed to retrieve the ball, simultaneously catapulting the entire table at super sonic speed in my direction. If that wasn't bad enough, the entire contents of everyone's wine and beers are now soaking into my carefully thought out ensemble. I have never been so wet in public in my regular clothes.

The following picture was taken AFTER I already changed my alcohol 100 percent SOAKED top.

As I told my brother-in-law, it's a good thing I like him.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Sticks and a stone....

While Mr. DEDS was away last week, I puttered a lot. Here is a result of one of my putterings.

A vase made out of sticks!  Artfully placed next to a stone. (I collect stones with lines on them.)

I tied the sticks together with thin gold wire I found in my junk drawer. I added beads as I went along looping the wire around each stick. This is a shot from the BACK, where I put a few dabs of hot glue here and there to give it all a little suppport.

Come to find out, the sticks were still a little wobbly when stood up, so I glued a piece of black felt onto the back to hold everything in place.

This is all wrapped around an empty spaghetti sauce jar. (Did I really have to say 'empty'?)

I also added a few more wires here and there with more beads and I twisted some of the additional wire into spirals.
Fill with water and flowers I found along the side of the road and voila. 

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

What a great idea....why didn't I think of this?

OK, I confess. I've been watching 'LOST' this summer on

I did not watch it when it was watchable, nor did I want to.

But a friend of mine mentioned shortly before school was out that she was going to rent LOST this summer to see what the hullabaloo was all about.

So I said, "What the heck". I was tired of watching Alfred Hitchcock Hour on hulu and thought I'd give LOST a chance.

Well, I'm into Season 5, Episode 11 as of today.

I     am      hooked !!

Come to find out, Hurley aka Hugo has a blog! He has two of them. (Maybe more...)

And one of the posts was this...... Genius!!  Check it out. (Nothing to do with LOST at all.)


Monday, August 9, 2010

It stinks....

....or at least it stank.

OK, so Mr. Downeastdoingstuff goes off for a few days. This is something that has been in the works for many months and marked on his calendar. This event was not sprung upon him at the eleventh hour rendering him a frenetic valise packing fool. Oh no. He knew about it.

I had to get up at the ungodly hour of 7 A.M. to transport him to the other people that also had this occasion marked on their calendars.....for months. I didn't mind (too much)....I love him....and I know that he would get up at any time, day or night to transport me to anywhere in the world that I wanted to go. 

So while I'm still bleary-eyed and semi-unconscious in bed at 6:45 A.M. he announces to me that there is a skunk in his havahart trap.

"A what?" Blink. Blink.

"A skunk. And I don't have time to do anything about it, so you are going to have to handle it."

Sensing a nervous breakdown approaching, I have a nervous breakdown.
(why, oh, why didn't he de-activate the trap the day before KNOWING he was leaving????)
sob. sob.


"Yeah, but you know what to do."

(I know what to do. ) Blink. Blink.

ONLY because he has had to do it before, several times. And I've 'heard' him 'talk' about what he does. BUT, and this is a big BUT, I've never seen him do it, and I've never even operated the friggin Havahart trap. (Just the word 'trap' doesn't sit well with me. Things can go awry rapidly.)

So that's it. Off I go, good wife that I am, taking him to his destination designated in ADVANCE. Did I mention he knew he was leaving?

I drop him off, come back home armed with good intentions of taking control of the situation, and.........go back to bed.

Can't sleep. Toss. Turn. Thinking about something I shouldn't be thinking about. What are my options?
1. Do nothing. (I presume the creature will eventually go to skunk heaven, what in this heat and all....) (Heaven is supposed to be good, isn't it?) (But visions of the skunk named 'Flowers' from the movie BAMBI enter my head and this does not become an option.)

2. Have my grown son still living with us take care of it, which is the same as option #1.

3. Do 'it' myself.

So, after grumbling and pacing, I go up into the garden area to assess the situation.

Here is what I see.

It IS a little 'Flower'. Just a baby, all black and white and fluffy and pretty. 


I KNOW first thing I have to do is to quietly cover the dang trap with a cloth of some sort. This apparently confuses the skunk and she thinks everything is ok. (Not too bright, are they?)

So I go grab an old sheet in the garage and like a professional stealthy burglar on cat paws, I slowly, carefully cover the cage and like hell.

OK. Step One. Check.

Step two. Text husband. Check.

"Now what?", I type on my cell phone.

"Open the trap with a stick pushing the front lever.", is the response.

"&$(__&@$*&@^", I mumble. 

OK, I find a stick, expose the lever, and push it.


Push harder.


Text him again. "Try harder", he instructs. (YOU try harder is what I wanted to say.)

Now I knew I had to take matters into my own hands. So I did what any intelligent person would do. GOOGLE it!!!

After 45 minutes of watching videos about different types of traps and how not to get too close because these animals have TEETH, and how you don't want to get rabies and stuff, checking out the latest recipes on , I come to the realization  that I can open the lock to the door if I have some sort of a hook apparatus. So I made one with some metal strapping, some pvc pipe and masking tape. See?

Now, if you look closely you can see a wire that's up in the air in the front of the trap. I did that. With my hook.
(key smug look).

Then I took the stick and pressed down on the front lever. The door opened! And I didn't smell anything! Flower was a good girl thus far.

Yeah!!!!! I took the stick off of the lever. 

The door slammed shut.

"*&^%$#^*" and "grrrrrrrrrr".

I had to think fast. How much of this ruckus was Flower going to take?

Aha. I did make a hook, didn't I?? So I opened the door again with the stick on the lever routine, took my nifty hook and latched it over the edge of the open door, laid the hook and pvc pipe handle on the top of the trap, placed a shovel over it as a counterweight and backed away.
(If you want to take notes, you can biggify the pic by clicking on it.)

Voila!!!!! Door open...... and I didn't get bitten or sprayed and it only took  from 7 A.M. to  4 P.M. for the  completion of the job. 9 hours. 

What was I going to do with myself  the rest of the day?  ;-/

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Using my Blackberry (s)...........

We are lucky enough to have a field FULL of a million blackberry plants, give or take.
I look forward to this every summer. I will stand out in the field and using both hands, gobble down blackberry after blackberry. They are soooooooooooooooo delicious!

BUT, in a couple of weeks they are gone. Why I haven't attempted to freeze them in the past, I don't know.

But this summer I did just that.

Here's how.....

Pick non-mushy berries. Wash them and then dry them. (I put them on a dish towel and wiggle the dish towel around and then gently roll them onto another dry dish towel  and further dry them. 

Then I spread them out on a cookie sheet and pop into the freezer just as they are, overnight.
The next morning each and every berry is like a marble human zygote.
I immediately pop them into a zip lock bag (one of the greatest of inventions ever) and put them in the freezer. I have 4 bags frozen. 

Made a  cobbler  cobbler  yesterday. (Note: If you try this recipe, the baking time is too long. I set the timer for 45 minutes and when I checked it at 37 minutes, it was already too long. I would watch it like a hawk after 30 minutes.....)

One of life's greatest joys. Berry, berry good.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Road Trip downeast....

Last week we decided to take a drive up to Belfast, Maine for lunch. Here are some images.

Stopped in Wiscasset, Maine for a potty break at the boat launch. The famous Red's Eats wasn't even open for business yet. (When we left, after strolling around a bit, there was a line at Red's Eats, 30 minutes before they opened at 11:30 am)

Mr. Downeastdoingstuff, aka Birdman, lingered here....

Finally arrived at the historic, waterfront village of Belfast.

Quaint shoppes (note the quaint spelling) and eateries.

Had to stop at Perry's Nut House. (Some think Mr. Downeastdoingstuff aka Birdman was born here. I can attest to the fact that he was not. Wishes he was, but he wasn't)

I stopped here over 25 years ago on my way back from a workshop at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in Deer Isle and bought a pair of gold sanddollar shaped earrings, my favorite. After a while, the 'gold' wore off and I had to discard them. Hoped to replace them, but the inside of Perry's Nut House was not as I remembered it. Plastic lobsters and dog poop,  magic tricks, and, of course, NUTS, (They are big on nuts, it would make any man green with envy)
but no jewelry. 

I need to find a better source for my fine jewelry.

Stopped at Camden Harbor for supper.

There's money here......

Mussels in wine sauce...yum.

The weather was around 80, sunny and breezy. A perfect day with my sweet Birdman.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Do you find this scary?

It's called a scarecrow. It's supposed to be scary. 

It scares me. I don't think it scares the birds. Which is what it's supposed to do.

Mr. Downeastdoingstuff made it. I'm hoping it's not finished yet, a work in progress. I don't dare ask him. It's been at least a week. Maybe it's the best he can do. 

I think he needs my help. He just has to ask.....

At least this guy is scared.....

P.S.  To be fair, he DID ask me for help when he started and I, good wife that I am, said "no way".