Thursday, December 25, 2008

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas Eve!

One more day! Yippeee!!

I'm excited...if you couldn't tell. We have a half day today and Friday off (Christmas gifts from our fearless leaders, the wonderfulwonderfulwonderful leaders that they are)! I have one gift left to buy (online), 3 gifts left to make (super simple) and a teensy tiny bit of wrapping left. And then, I will sit and do NOTHING! Nothing but relax and enjoy the evening with family. And tomorrow, I will dig into presents and breakfast with my folks and my brother, then presents and dinner with the whole family, then presents and munchies with my other family (my friends - Fran, Juli, John and Maddie).

It will be present and food mayhem!!

And on the 26th - I will again resort to doing NOTHING! I love it!

Here are some pictures of how I decorated for Christmas this year:

The dining room

The tree, all lit up

The tree, all unlit up

The little tree in the upstairs hallway (someday, I will have a tree in every room - well, maybe not the bathroom)
The kitchen
And my newly completed...uh, I don't know what to call it. It's not a table runner, it's more of a table pad. The center is a panel that my mother gave me and then I added numerous borders to it in coordinating fabric. My curtains, that I year...maybe the year before? Not sure.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas

And more snow!
Now it's beginning to feel like Christmas!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

Oh, how I love snow...well, not when it's 10 below zero with a wind chill of -15˚F...but when it's gentle and pretty, like this morning.

It really makes it feel like Christmas!

Friday, December 05, 2008

A few things

A have a brief moment to share....

Gone is Blue Beard the Pirate Tree Topper, replaced with this:

My little cutie playing on the stairs:
And an almost finished birthday present for a friend: (created this using Triangulations, soooo easy to use)

That's it for, I hope every Friday is this quiet from now on!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

4 vs. 1

Holy crud - busy busy busy, let me tell you!

Yesterday was officially day one of my new job (technically its day 5 as I moved to the new office last Tuesday and Thursday and Friday were considered a holiday), and I’m already wiped out. Before, I worked for one person; one easy going, super, never demanding woman. In my new job, it’s 4 men; 4 completely different men with 4 completely different view points, 4 completely different areas of interest and 4 completely different writing styles/voices.

OH. MY. GOD! I feel like I'm being pulled in so many different directions that my head is spinning. I thought I knew what I was getting myself into with this job. I mean, come on - how hard could it be? Wasn't I already a legislative aide?


Hindsight being 20/20 and all, I've come to realize just how much I took my old job for granted; how many others were there supporting me and I, them. Now it's all on me, times 4. And all I can say is, "gulp."

I know it will get better, it always does.

But for the moment, it's just crazy and when I go home at night, I can't even think about a computer, let alone get on it to read blogs or write in my own. So I may be running a little silent here again, at least until I get into the swing of things and learn how to organize my time properly so I'm not exhausted when I get home at night.
(though hopefully soon I will be able to post pictures of the holiday decorating that's been happening at my house, and of the quilt I've been working on...soon, very soon!)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Peacock Tree

Two years ago, as I was perusing Bloggedy Blog Blog, I stumbled upon one of Saucy's theme trees and inspiration struck!

"A peacock tree - what a fantastic idea! I'm going to make one! I have mardi gras lights and...nothing else." - of course, Saucy's post was Dec. 19th and there was no way in hell I was going to pull together the decorations for this tree. So I got it into my head to start scouting out peacock themed decorations (I even had my mother looking). I hit the craft stores after Christmas that year and found 4 peacocks! Perfect, I was on my way. I found some glittery fern looking things...not exactly peacock, but they might work. Then I found some light blue and purple ball things that looked like grapes but not really...ah hell, they're only 25 cents, get them anyway.

So little by little, I found this and that and packed them away for the future peacock tree. Last year, I opened up the box that I had them in and..."ugh...what the hell is that god awful stench...oh,', it couldn't be...IT IS! IT'S THE PEACOCK TREE STUFF! I can't put that stuff on a smells like the cat had diarrhea in this bag!"

It was the combination of plastic bags and plastic ornaments (the cat really didn't have diarrhea in the bad, don't worry...but it really did smell that way). I was tempted to just throw everything away, how was I ever going to get rid of that smell?

But I couldn't bring myself to chuck the lot, so I packed it in a new box, threw a dozen cinnamon sticks into it and prayed. On Sunday, I opened up the box and did a little dance - the cinnamon sticks worked! Everything smells like it just came out of the oven!

So without further ado (because I've spouted on long enough), here is my peacock tree inspired by that creative genius Saucy!

(my camera doesn't take the best night shots -forgive)

(oh, if you click on the pictures, you'll make them bigger and see everything close up!)

My mother found me this fabric when she went to Maryland this summer
I'm not so enamoured with the mask - it's the fuzzy blue looks like Blue Beard the Pirate went to Mardi Gras...I may have to adjust that.
Thank you so much, Saucy for your wonderous idea about a peacock tree. I've turned my little tree on every night since Sunday and it sparkles and the cat hasn't tried to eat or scale it (bonus)!! I love it!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Doing the Snoopy Dance of Joy

Can you guess why?


The job that I interviewed for last week; the one that will allow me to slide into the other office seamlessly...yeah, that one!

You want to talk about breathing a sigh of's like I've been holding my breath underwater, but I've finally broken the surface, and I can take great big gulps of air, because I'm safe again. Safe for another two years. Okay, so I guess that bout of calmness that I felt was covering my fear (and might I say it did a very good job in doing so, because I didn't lose a single night's sleep).

Out of the 30 applicants and the 20 people that they interviewed, they chose me based on my knowledge and experience.

I'm so relieved - I'm no longer in limbo; I can start planning again, start really shopping for Christmas, pay off my truck without worry. I feel like I could run a marathon right now, I feel so good!

Quiet Friday Joy

"How much of human life is lost in waiting" ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Waiting seems to be the buzz word around here. How do you pass the time when you're so anxious to hear news, any news, good or bad...just to stop the waiting...and the worrying...and the wondering.

(the photo is from 2 years ago. I've been in a snow mood the last few which many other Mainers are saying "Bite your tongue!" - I can't help it, I love snow!)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

33 Things

So my birthday was on Sunday – 32. It was quiet, a little ordinary, but I was okay with it…actually I was rather preoccupied, having had my interview the day before, so it really came and went without fanfare in my mind (though my wonderful friends did give me a little party that was perfect and my friend, who just learned to knit, made me this awesome hat and scarf combo that is supersuper soft and FANTASTICALLY warm).

But I was thinking about the past year and the things that I have done, the things that I wanted but didn’t do and then, in my reacquainting myself with my favorite blogs, I was reminded of Andrea’s list. What an inspiration! And what a great idea; it gives you something to look forward to, and if something doesn’t happen, add it to next year’s list!

This is what I have come up with for ideas, most of which are do-able and won’t take loads of money.

33 things

1. visit a foreign country (even if it’s only Canada to visit friends, but shoot for Ireland)
2. create a studio
3. buy a new sofa and chair…and maybe a recliner, too!
4. paint with abandon
5. take all of my fabric scraps and make a scrap quilt
6. read a book a month
7. go on at least one art walk
8. plant bulbs in the spring
9. pay off as many credit cards/loans/etc. in a year as possible
10. create guerilla art
11. learn to knit
12. stick with WW and be adamant about it
13. take yoga
14. write a short children’s story
15. illustrate said short children’s story
16. spend at least one Saturday or Sunday a month having b’fast in a café, or diner, or little bitty outta the way place, alone.
17. learn a foreign language (French, Spanish, Italian?)
18. go whitewater rafting
19. go camping at least once
20. meditate on a daily basis (because it really does make you feel better)
21. take vitamins EVERYDAY!
22. grow a more successful garden
23. learn to play darts again…or rather bone up on your rather rusty skills
24. make new friends
25. have at least three parties and invite everyone, whether they get along or not, just for the heck of it!
26. dance…often…even if people are looking
27. slide down the banister at work, if only once
28. hike up a mountain, even if it’s only a small one
29. write more (stories, journal entries, whatever)
30. make more interesting dinners, rather than the same old same old
31. pay more attention to my creative voice and run with it (even if there is dirt on the floor, dishes in the sink and laundry threatening to take over the bedroom)
32. cross off at the very least half of these things by November 16, 2009
33. turn 33 on November 16, 2009

The funny thing is, when I first started my list, I was having a hard time coming up with ideas. I mean really, what did I want? But then it just started flowing and now I’m thinking, “oooh, I could add a #34. Make at least one snowman in the yard and #35. Plan more road trips, even if they’re only day trips and #36. Buy a new china pattern and retire the old one and #37…”

Hmmm…I could start the never-ending list and just keep adding to it and adding to it…but for now, I’ll leave it where it is.

(okay, so I lied and posted a list...but I love lists...I love crossing things off's just a part of who I am!)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

FRIG*ID or How I Wish I’d Brought a Hat or How Sometimes a Break is Good

All working titles for this post…couldn’t decide which to use.
I spent some time catching up on blogs that used to be daily reads for me and realized just how much time has passed and how much I’ve missed. Not just in the lives of the bloggers I read, but in the little I’ve had to say in my two month sporadic hiatus here on Mt. Vernon Street. I’m trying to wrap my brain around just where the last two months went. I mean, between campaign stuff and job stuff, yeah, I kinda know where my last two months went, but thinking back on it…it’s all a little fuzzy.
As I read about others creative endeavors, I realized that though I’ve made a few things, the crafty side of my brain hasn’t been in it – things in my creative world have felt mechanical. There was no passion; there was only assembly line production. When I picked up my camera only moments ago and saw the last pictures I took, I realized just when the last time I used my camera was (has it really been a month?). How could I have let myself get so swept up in non-crafty things – I succumbed to the demons of politics and the evil spirits of jobless thoughts. And when I went calm…I also went blank. I didn’t feel the fear, but at the same time, I didn’t feel anything. As I read those blogs, I began to feel the itch to create slide up my spine, down my arms and into my fingers. A gauze of fabric palettes has been pulled down over my eyes making me see patterns wherever I look. And when I became overwhelmed with the need to get back to creating, I stepped outside, where a sharp blast of frigid air slapped me in the face and made me wish I’d grabbed a hat. But that wind cleared the cobwebs and made me see that, indeed, winter is coming. The leaves are gone. Snow is coming. And its time to stop sleep walking through my days in calm-masked fear of being without a job…waiting…waiting to make plans (I’m still holding off on Christmas shopping until I know what my finances look like). There is nothing stopping me from planning my next quilt, finding the joy in finishing that quilt that I started making unpassionately; there is nothing stopping me from drawing and painting and cooking and creating! (On that note, I need peacock feathers, don't ask why - as soon as it's complete, I'll do a show and tell - but I must remember to pick up peacock feathers...and glue...and glitter).
Maybe this break from the norm was necessary…to jump start me…to make me realize that I cannot take for granted all those things that I’ve relied upon, gotten comfortable with, because everything is transient and sometimes I forget that.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Still Waiting

I know that patience is a virtue, but there is nothing worse than waiting when your job is on the line.

It's pretty much guaranteed that my current job (with my semi-private office, wide windowsill for my plants, couch, TV and lots of space) is going to someone else – it’s anyone’s guess when my last day in this office is, though, because no one can talk about it…technically things are still in transition and will be until December 3rd, when it’s all finalized.

I’ve come to terms with this, the knowing that my current job in this office is over. And really, I can’t complain; I’ve had a good 3 year run in this office, with great co-workers that I count as friends. I don’t feel scared…I’m still fairly calm. I know I will find something, but the waiting is the worst

I did have an interview with the office where the person who is taking my job is from…an interview for his job. Apparently, I ROCKED IT OUT! I went in there and knew what I was talking about when it came to a constituent services database, clearly stated how my current position fits well with their office (since it’s essentially the same job, only my tasks here varied more) and caught some smiles as they reviewed my résumé! I’m keeping my fingers crossed, because he and I could switch jobs seamlessly, transitioning us from one office over to another, no fuss no muss.

Yesterday, I was told by the President-elect that she had heard good things about my interview and then I was stopped on the stairs by someone who was a part of the trio that interviewed me. He said that I did awesome in my interview! I have a good feeling about this job, but I’m not taking anything for granted and have covered my bases by sending my résumé to a few other offices.

The only thing that sucks is that I won’t find out about this job until the end of this week/beginning of next week and yes, I know it’s not that long, but I’ve been in limbo since the election, not knowing if I should be scrimping and saving (since I don’t know if I’ve got a job to go to after this month)…and I’d like to get a start on Christmas! Normally, by now, I’ve almost finished my Christmas shopping…this year, I’ve barely begun! I have a grand total of 5 gifts (three of which are fillers) and 11 people on my list. I do have a list of all the things that I want to pick up for each person, but until I find out that I have a job, I really can’t shop. And much as I love Christmas, I hate actually having to go to stores during the Christmas season, because most people become rude and stupid…I say blessed be to internet shopping! Unfortunately, grocery shopping via the internet really isn’t an option ‘round here and I need to start stockpiling baking supplies, if I want to make the tons of goodies that I keep eyeing in different magazines and books!

Okay, I’ve blathered randomly for long enough…must get to work!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Releasing the fear and uncertainty, because in the end, it will all work out...

or so I keep telling myself.

The only bad thing about working in the political arena is that every two years, there is the potential for a complete and major shake up. I survived the last one (happening only a year after I came to work in my current office) because my boss wasn't termed out as a Senator. This year, she is. And now that new Leadership has been elected, the questions begin, the rumors fly and fear and uncertainty set in.

Last week, I had so many people say, "Oh don't worry. They'd be crazy not to keep you on in this office" (refering to new leadership). By Friday, I became increasingly aware that my position in this office was going to go to someone else. For the entire weekend, I slept horribly; everytime I thought about not having a job, I felt sick and on Monday, I spent the day with a boulder of terror in the pit of my stomach.

Tuesday, thankfully, was a day off (Veteran's Day) and a strange sensation of calm started settling in. It was a weird feeling, but at the same time, a very welcome feeling. For a while, my mantra had been "My job is secure, my job is secure, my job is secure"...intent upon staying in this office. But now, new possibilities are presenting themselves and the dawning realization of just how many people are looking out for my well being as I hear "I put in a good word for you with this person," "I overheard so and so telling that person what a great job you did in this office and how they should seriously consider you." So far I've heard that several people have given the right people glowing reviews of my can't imagine the appreciation I feel having these people in my life, for going to the links that they're going to to make sure that I have a place here when the new Legislative session begins.

Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Change is gonna come...

It's done! It's over! We have a Democratic President, a Democratic Majority in Congress and a Democratic majority in the Maine State House! Whoo-hoo!!! Time for the Snoopy Dance of Joy!!
Okay, I'm tired now...wake me when it's time to swear in the new Senators.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Hallowe'en!!

Beware the goblins, ghosts and ghoulies tonight!!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury (my favorite halloween story) in cartoon form

(there are few missing moments of the movie - mainly between the first and second one...unfortunately, youtube didn't have all of it)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Portsmouth, NH

Before heading to Salem, we stopped in Portsmouth, New Hampshire for lunch and a bit of wandering. I love the houses around here. I want to come down at Christmas time and see them decorated. Hmmmm...maybe a morning in Portsmouth with an afternoon at the outlets in Kittery in December is in order!

Monday, October 27, 2008


Spent a great Saturday in Salem, MA with my friend Nicky - we had sooooo much fun! We participated in a spell casting, wandered through many shops, ate at a fantastic pub called The Old Spot where we had the Sweet Potato Sizzler (sweet potato fries, covered in cheese, bacon and sour cream with scallions!). There was so much, we couldn't finish it!

More pictures on Flickr