Thursday, November 16, 2017

Visualize a Trillion Dollars

Hi Dear Folk,

I like visuals don't you?

1 Million stack of $1,000 dollar bills is 4 inches high

1 Billion stack of $1,000 dollar bills is 364 feet high

1 Trillion stack of $1,000 dollar bills is 65 miles high

That kind of puts the deficit into prospective.

Did you know that in the USA the middle class earn $450,000 per year according to some in Washington?

Even though the Tax Policy Center puts its "middle quintile" between $48,300 and $85,600

Some people are so far removed that they haven't got a clue, how the other 99% live.

Richest 1% own half the world's wealth.


Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Pink Roses and Amber Necklace

Hi Dear Folk,

A friend KK surprised me with pink roses, how lovely are these.

It's been a rough week, not sure my eyes are up to all day work on the computer, but such is life.

Today was fun, a dear friend over for lunch,  and used some of my English pottery.  Forgot to take photos.  Quiche, salad and baked apple for desert.  C spoilt me with NZ cheese, the cheese of my childhood, crackers and truffles along with pumpkin scones which we shared over tea, out of my Canadian pottery tea set.

I bought that many years ago when my sister and family came over, Rob was about four and we took a trip up to Niagara Falls and into Canada.  Just fun memories of walking around the studio and picking out some special pieces.

Then we popped over to my local thrift and look what little gem I found, a vintage amber necklace.  It is very long well past my waist $3.99,  just love it.


Saturday, November 11, 2017

Mr's Magic

Hi Dear Folk,

We are having a lovely long sunny autumn.  With everything that has been going on I have not got out and really enjoyed it as I should, at least a walk in the park, but such is life.  Today though is windy and a sharp frost tonight, so that may be the end of it.

Mr. B. worked his magic on this old record keeper that I bought off eBay, cleaning up the metal and polishing the wood.  He is very good at taking old furniture that looks dull and lifeless and making the wood live again.  He has done this with several pieces in our house over the years.

I am going to use this for another journal.

Rob has always been interested in bikes right from when we bought his first teenage bike he has worked on them and added parts to make them better.  A few months back he bought a second hand bike which would have cost several thousand dollars originally, and has since then been doing it up and adding his stamp on it.

Parts for this bike seem not to be found in all of the USA, so are coming in from all over the world.  Here is something that came in from New Zealand, and another part from Finland.  In fact the part that came in from Finland was hand made by this man, for this particular part that Rob wanted to replace.  A long correspondence back and forward was held on this.  He had had the same problem on his bike and had made two, one of which he sold to Rob.

Rob said the expense of buying bike parts, in ratio, is like buying parts to a Bugatti.


Friday, November 10, 2017

Engaging with Autumn

Hi Dear Folk,

With all my comings and goings this autumn I have not been very engaged with the season and feel it has now passed me by.  I had my camera with me and took the opportunity to take these two photos, to just note the passing of autumn 2017.

I have had time while at home this week to think over much of my thoughts of 2017, I have felt like I have been marking time all year, just treading water.  I want to make some life changing decisions in 2018 which I have long contemplated, but needed to get through a few hurdles before I would be able to do that.

It all comes down to time and the frenetic pace of life.   Just want more time, more time to travel, spend time with my family in the UK and time with friends, a good meal, a glass of wine and some gut wrenching laughter, time for a cup of tea shared with a friend and friends.  Time for spiritual things.


Hammond Castle, Cape Ann, MA

Hi Dear Folk,

After some time jornaling by the harbour in Gloucester I drove over to Hammond Castle  a little about Hammond Castle.  I stopped by on Saturday afternoon on my way to Manchester by the Sea, but there was a wedding being held, so was closed for that event.  Such a lovely setting for a wedding.

John J. Hammond, Jr. built the castle between 1926 and 1929, as a home and backdrop to hold his Roman, Renaissance and Medieval artifacts.

I hobbled around very carefully, just the grounds as it was also closed on Tuesday, probably enough for my poor ankle.

The weather changes very quickly on Cape Ann, notice the lovely sun in this picture.  Note the similar picture at the bottom a sea mist has rolled in, in just half an hour and then it rolled out again.

After my time here I went over to lunch at Tierney's and then left for our trip home.

Such a lovely time spent on Cape Ann, I certainly look forward to going back again, so much still to see.


Thursday, November 9, 2017

Keeping On

Hi Dear Folk,

Mr. B. drove me down to Philly for my appointment with the surgeon.  I met with his assistant and she tested my eyes, took some measurements and asked how things were going since my op.  Then I met with the surgeon, he said to come back in a month after everything has calmed down.  I found out that my stitches are soluble so do not need to have them taken out.  He may need to tweak the position of my eyelids, I thought oh no more surgery, but he said this is something they do in the office.  It seems that some stitches that were done under the eyelid are permanent and they adjust these.  My eyes were not symmetrical before the operation, so I think they will not be totally symmetrical now, but at least closer.

Still enjoying my time at home, crocheting and doing some cooking.  Yesterday I made a fish pie out of this book.

 My dear mum collected these cook books from Sainsbury's for me, I treasure them.

Could have been a little neater with the potatoes, but it still tasted good.

My new kitchen mats.  When you go to a discount store you have to take what they've got, so these were the only three that matched, so this was the pattern chosen, but I don't dislike them.  They look good with the woodwork.


Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Blepharoplasty - Upper Eyelid Surgery

Hi Dear Folk,

I will give you an update on how I am doing with my blepharoplasty, upper eyelid surgery.  It went well, I had the surgery on Monday 6th November, at Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia. We arrived at about 5:45AM for check in at 6:00AM.  All went quite quickly with all the paperwork and things that you electronically sign.  They ask you what you are having done, and go over several times that the operation is on both lids. My insurance company pre-approved the operation, very good news.

Led into the pre-op area along with Mr. B.  Get changed, plugged in to the monitor and intravenous, the anesthesiologist stops by and questions you, and then the surgeon briefly stops by.  After all this you are wheeled into the operation room.  I sat up for him to mark my eyeslids, you are then put under light anesthetic and then I think they give you an injection around the eye area.

I was in the op room by about 7:30AM out by 8:30AM, came to in post op area, drank some liquids, ate a cracker and then Mr. B. was there to help me dress, and then you are on your way.  The parking area is right where you come out of the operating floor, so no distance to walk at all.  Although Mr. B. did say that the parking might cost as much as the operation, LOL.

You have so much ointment in and around your eyes that my vision was totally blurred, so could only listen and talk the rest of the day.  I put ice packs, on and off every twenty minutes, took Arnica Montana for the bruising.  I was told to not bend my head down and to sleep more upright with a couple of pillows, not to lift more than a gallon of milk.

The second day I was much more swollen including under my eyes.  My left eye is more swollen than my right eye because I think he had to do more work on that one.  Also it's not uncommon for one eye to be more swollen than the other one.

Today, day three, the swelling has gone down a little.  I drove out to get rugs for the kitchen,  wearing my sunglasses, trying to be incognito, because it is not a pretty sight.  I knew my peripheral vision would be better, but my entire vision is better, everything is that much sharper in focus.  Like when you try and focus your camera and you know if you tweaked the picture just that little bit more it would be in sharper focus. Well that's how my vision is, the world is literally a brighter place and my vision is more crystal. I never expected that, now I can see what I have been missing clarity.

I have down loaded videos to my You Tube very basic, but some folk may wish to view them, especially if they are having the surgery and would like to know what to expect.  My dad had this surgery when he was about 65, so not surprising that I had to.

It's a beautiful day today, and I am enjoying my time off work, crocheting and taking it easy.  Miss Tupp has been keeping me company by the stove.


My Journal By The Sea, Gloucester, Cape Ann, MA

Hi Dear Folk,

Winding down my trip to Cape Ann, MA.  Here I am on our last morning, sister on the promenade at Gloucester Harbor.  It was such a crystal clear morning, after filling the car up with gas for our trip home, I drove along to the waterfront and parked here to soak up the sun and do some journaling.

I will definitely keep a journal on future trips, because I enjoyed doing this one so much, the time I spent putting the journal together was fun, and it's a lovely record of a trip kept in one place.

A fishing boat heading out.

What a lovely place.


Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Dinner For Two Sixties Style

HI Dear Folk,

The sixties as with each decade had it's style and no better place to see some of that style than in a sixties cookbook.  How could I resist picking this up for $0.50 cents at the library, than if for nothing else than the wonderful sketches that fill it.

Just right for a newly married couple.

A little lamb.

Baking pastry.

What the couple would need in their kitchen.

The above sketch reminded me of Cape Ann.

How about this awesome dragon, enmeshed around a skillet?


Sunday, November 5, 2017

Favourite Gadgets

 Hi Dear Folk,

One of my favorite little tools to use in the kitchen is this.  My friend gave it to me because she had never used it, it was a 1980's wedding present.  The colour of the time cream and brown.  It's just the right size for a dinner for three or four.

I made this on a Saturday. Mr. B. got out of work early and we went over to a new shopping, restaurant and apartment complex, they have built on an old golf course. It's been there several years but we had yet to visit, even though just a few miles down the road. There is a Wegman's there too, my big splurge a $0.99 box of Stash Acai Berry Tea on clearance, which is very good and wish I had bought more.  Mr. B. treated me to a chai latte and coconut macaroons, just for me, he hates coconut.  I found a take out Indian Restaurant called Choolaah, it has these giant kettles which I assume are full of curry, you can sit and eat there it has seats in and outside.  Will try it out another time.  Have to go with Tierney and The Boy, because Mr. B. does not like curry.

It was nice to come home to the smell of a cooked dinner.

My intense little girl.  I have never known a cat who can so stare you out, I know she's working on her mind communication skills.  I like this photo, her little paws are perched right on the very corner.


Saturday, November 4, 2017


Hi Dear Folk,

My book eventually came, The Boy ordered it for me and it had to come all the way from California so took almost two weeks, probably was not mailed out straight away, it didn't matter I wasn't in a hurry, just expectant.

For one thing it was much bigger and heavier than I thought, I already love it just reading and looking at the pictures.

Michael Slomonov has incorporated his journey to becoming a chef and a restaurant owner along with his families story in the USA and Israel.  Lots of pictures.  If you remember I mentioned that he also has a film on Netflix, well worth watching.

Now to get down to the cooking.  He also owns a restaurant in Philadelphia Zahav and I definitely plan to go, in fact all three of us, the Boy too, I said I'd pay for his meal and he can pay for parking and drinks.

Have a great weekend.


Friday, November 3, 2017

Squeezing The Garden Into The House

Hi Dear Folk,

Do you do this?  Walk around the garden in Autumn and see all the potted plants that you have tended all summer looking at their best and know that any moment they will be meeting their demise, a sharp frost and it's all over, cut off in the bloom of life, what to do?  Not much except to bring them into the house.  Easier said than done.  Nursing them along all winter is hard and by Spring I know I will be ready to throw them out the door.

It's a lot of work, manhandling them into the house, cleaning them up, washing the plates they've sat on all summer, picking of old leaves and trying to come up with the place to put them.

With limited space here we are.

It took all summer for my Tahitian bridle veil to come back after the squirrels dug in the pot and decimated it.

My Boy said "Mum I will go away and come back and you will be walking through highly stacked corridors in this house."  I know what he means, floor space is becoming more and more at a premium.

Enjoying this.

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