Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Meals to Help A Friend

One of my tennis team captains was hospitalized unexpectedly last week. After a few anxiety fueled days, she was released, but told she needed open heart surgery at the end of the month. She is to "take it easy" until the surgery.
Immediately, one of my friends sprung into action and organized a "Meal Train" where people can sign up to take care of Linda's meals for a day or two.
I'm bringing her dinner tonight and in doing so, I found out a few ways to make it better for her.

1- Find out if there are any dietary restrictions/preferences.
2- Prepare the meal, so that it is as close to "ready to eat" as possible.
3- Use disposable materials for plates, casserole dishes, bowls, so the recipient doesn't have to fuss with cleaning dishes or returning people's belongings.
4- Include a kind note, either describing the meal or wishing the friend good thoughts. It will help boost her spirits or help her to feel appreciated.
5- When dropping off the meal, don't stay long. Let the recipient rest without having to entertain.
6- Include extras - paper goods, snacks, drinks, toiletries, or groceries, so the recipient doesn't have to leave the house.

Menu Ideas include:
Soups - Chicken & Noodle, Chicken and Rice, Tortilla Soup, Onion Soup, Minestrone, Broccoli & Cheddar
Tuna or Chicken Salad
A Charcuterie Platter
Fruit Salad

I'm delivering: Chicken Parmigiana, Garlic & Herb Pasta, A jar of Tomato Sauce, Caesar Salad, a Bottle of Merlot, Fudge Brownies. I'm also including a bag of household goods: paper towels, toilet paper, sucking candies, Snickers, and toiletries

Sunday, January 15, 2017


This week has been full of blessings. Every day is not without trials and challenges, but there are still miracles amongst the difficulties. Finding the blessings is a way to think and strategy to be grateful.
I came back to playing tennis after a holiday break to find myself rusty, with difficulty with my ability to read the ball, and my timing was off. I had lots of opportunities to play and took advantage of all of them. After about ten hours of play, I'm back to where I want to be. It's such a great feeling to have friends to play alongside.
I've been cleaning and am pleased with getting rid of the clutter. I am grateful for a comfortable home.
I went glass fusing with my friend after a short hiatus and loved it. I've enjoyed my new hobby and find myself thinking about new projects and revamping the old ones.
My tennis partners were hard working, patient, and full of jokes this week. It was delightful to be on the court with them.
I was in touch with some old friends this week. It was nice to connect with people who are no longer part of my everyday life.
Jonathan's been busy working on our home and I don't know where he finds the time with all the work he has to do. I'm grateful that he's so capable and determined to take care of our house.

Monday, January 09, 2017

The Process of Working on A Series - Part 1

Anytime someone wants to learn a new technique, language, skill, etc, the best way to do this is to immerse themselves in that particular thing. Cooks do this by cooking the same dish repeatedly, athletes hit the same ball 10,000 times, and those learning the language do so by having to speak it constantly.
Artists do this in many ways, but one way in to work in a series. This means creating the same piece, or a very similar piece, over and over again. The goal isn't to copy the same piece time and time again, but to learn something new, pick up on a common trait, and coordinate the pieces to some degree. Some artists do create the same piece thousands of times (think woodworkers, doll makers, paper artists) but others create a group of similar artwork.
I decided that my first Series of 2017 will be lions. It's a broad topic, but one that interests me.
I started by researching lions, my only real knowledge was what I learned watching The Lion King with my daughters. I jotted down words, phrases, ideas after reading up on them.

Then I went to sketching, looking for very basic characteristics. I wanted to focus on the MANE, LONG NOSE, and TUFT in the tail.

I sketched another face to see if I could make the lion majestic and then hinted at a mane. 
And now, I will continue with more pencil sketches until I find a track that I like.

Sunday, January 08, 2017


2017 and Blessings are plentiful.
Old Befana visited these little angels. In Italy, the witch, Befana, brings gifts in stockings to good little boys and girls on the eve of the Epiphany, January 5th, just like Santa does in the USA. There were smiles all around, excitement, and thrills.
This little angel was busy working on her artwork. Such a cutie pie.
 And this engineer in training was busy building his motor operated ferris wheel, a Christmas gift! Look at that thing go!
NH has been hit with snow, snow, and more snow. Our town gazebo looked rather dramatic against the white background.
One morning, Dad and I went to breakfast, and I stopped along the way to take photos of the ice encrusted on the pine trees. Beautiful nature.
A delicious grilled shrimp Po'Boy, the first one of 2017. It satisfied my craving.
I got my first round of tennis in 2017 in on Friday. What a fun group.
I made a list of goals for the year, some people call them resolutions. More tennis, more family,  more working out, more artwork, more writing, and more gratitude.
2017 is an exciting year for us. We have people celebrating new beginnings, goals and dreams for the year, family and friends to connect with, and lots to appreciate.

Many wishes for a fantastic New Year to all.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Bringing Towels Back to Life

Everyone has towels that need refreshing. Towels, by nature are used to absorb water, whether they are bath towels, beach towels, hand towels, or dish towels. Because they get wet, they offer bacteria a place to harbor, and if it does, the towel can start to smell musty. So, if the towel is left on the floor, in a gym bag, in the dryer, or even in a humid room, it can start to smell musty, which is the bacteria thriving. It's hard to get the clean smell back, but it is possible.
Before giving up on ever getting a clean smell back, try these tips:

BASIC REFRESHER - use this when you first notice the off smell, or for mildly musty towels:
Place towels in the washing machine, set the water temperature to HOT, add 1 cup white vinegar and run the wash cycle. When cycle is complete, wash towels with detergent and then dry immediately, either in the dryer or hanging on a line to dry.

DESPERATELY NEEDING REFRESHING - use this for musty towels:
Run first wash in machine with HOT water, with 1 cup white vinegar.
When the cycle ends, run a second cycle on HOT with 1/2 cup baking soda.
When cycle ends, wash with detergent and dry immediately in dryer or on clothes line

LAST CHANCE AT REVIVING TOWELS - wash no more than 3 bath towels in a load
Run first wash in machine with HOT water, with 1 cup white vinegar.
When the cycle ends, run a second cycle on HOT with 1/2 cup baking soda, 1/2 cup EPSON salts, 10 drops Tea Tree oil
When cycle ends, wash with detergent and dry immediately in dryer or on clothes line

To keep towels smelling clean, be sure to keep them dry between uses and allow them to dry immediately after using or washing. Wash towels after 3 uses at most. Do not store towels in plastic bags or bins if there is a chance of moisture being trapped.