Wednesday, March 19, 2014

St. Patrick's Day 2014

Once again, it was just Declan and I going to the Portland St. Patrick's Day parade. For years its been just our tradition. Tim almost came with us this year but didn't in the end. It was very cold and blustery especially right next to the harbor but we stuck it out.
Declan Patrick Charles McMahon was very excited for the parade. Mostly excited for people to throw candy at him. 
 Once again, we vowed to someday own an Irish Wolfhound. We make this vow every year and it hasn't happened yet. I think Taco would just love it. This one in the parade isn't even full grown. 
 I love the bagpipes. I could listen to them for hours. I also love men in kilts. 
 That is Senator Mike Michaud there on the left. Declan started cheering very loudly for him when I told him he was running for Governor of Maine and had a very good chance of making the current embarrassment in office go away. 
The parade always ends with the Irish Step Dancers. There is a big school of Irish dancing here in Portland. I don't understand the need for the curly wigs or the gaudy outfits but its still fun to watch. 
The parade always goes by too fast and we got out of there in search of heat and hot chocolate. 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce

There is an indoor flea market on the road to my parent's nursing home. Every time I drive past it, I always say I'm going to stop. Yesterday, the whole family was with me when we went to visit and I mentioned I always wanted to stop there. For some reason, Grace really liked the idea of going there. I think she wanted to search for some vintage Pokemon stuff. Tim turned the car right around and we finally went inside. 
 I expected to see lunchboxes but I've never seen a Sigmund and the Sea Monster one! It had the thermos inside and everything. I put it back reluctantly. 
I didn't get this kitchen scale either but this one is really haunting me. If its there the next time I go, I'm going to have to get it. I have no use or space for it which means I totally have to have it.

Here is Declan placing a phone call to 1976. 
 The place was also full of old typewriters. They are the cool vintage thing to own and their prices reflect that. This one was $75 I think. I had been looking online for one for years but always refused to pay those prices. I really had given up owning one and then Tim mentioned there was one on the floor underneath a table. 
 That was when I finally found my typewriter. It was in its original carrying case and the price tag said $20! Nothing on it seemed broken. It basically looked like it has spent the last 30 years at the bottom of someones closet. It wasn't even dirty. 
 It looked like it was from the 50's and I love it. 
 It's the Smith Corona Silent Super. I looked it up online and its worth $100. 

Even the old ribbon still had some ink left in it. I've already ordered a new ribbon for it. Some genius on Etsy realized that everyone buying these would want the ribbons and they are actually making brand new typewriter ribbons and I'm expected it in the mail later this week.

When I took it out of the case, I discovered it still had its original tags on it. The only thing I'm missing is the instruction manual and I'm sure I can find that online. You forget what all those keys and levers do.. 
 Of course I couldn't leave the place without checking for any Royal Family stuff. Right after I found the typewriter, I found this candy tin. That's the Queen Mother and the stuttering King from The King's Speech. You might know them as Queen Elizabeth's parents. 

 Its from England and held Rum & Butter Toffees. 

 Apparently Their Majesties visited the area in 1939 and this candy tin was a souvenir. For $8, it was coming home with me to join my collection. 

 The best surprise of the day was when I went up to the cash register. The owner informed me that the typewriter was 40% off that day which made it only $12 and basically made the tin free. Tim was very excited that the receipt was on old print paper off a dot matrix printer. 
The kids have been playing with it for 2 days. They had a hard time understanding that you really had to pound on the keys to make them work and that there was no delete or spellcheck. I can't wait for my ribbon to arrive so I can type something. I might do something crazy like start writing letters again. 

Friday, February 28, 2014

My Favorite Things 2014

 I feel like I have mentioned this tray before but I'm not sure. Anyway, after watching so much Downton Abbey, I decided I needed an antique wooden tray. So, apparently, did the rest of the world because all the ones I found on EBay were crazy expensive. I went onto to Etsy and didn't have much more luck but I saw this metal tray. I don't know why but I had to have it. It lives on my desk and holds all the stuff I need to get to and deal with. 

 At the after Christmas sale at Joanne's Fabric, I discovered their porcelain cable knit collection. I immediately bought it all because I loved it and it was crazy discounted. The little churches even light up inside. I didn't pack them up with the other Christmas decorations because I think I can get away with them year round. 
 I'm not much of a mystery reader but I am a sucker for historic British girl mysteries. Right now I'm all about the Royal Spyness series and the Flavia de Luce series. Thanks to Half.com, I buy all of them for next to nothing. I just don't have any room for them on my shelves. 

 I swear I'm not going to be one of those crazy old ladies collecting little houses but I find these every time I go into Goodwill. I love these little British houses but I will hold back from getting too many. 

 One of my Christmas presents was this floor cleaner. The mop always seemed sort of a gross way to clean my floors. This thing cleans the kitchen floor and the hardwoods and sucks up the water right away so the floors are dry. You should see the grossness it collects. I saw this in a commercial and Tim says my eyes lit up like he had never seen. Those dogs track in a lot of gross stuff so I need this. 
I just bought myself a new phone case. I bought a pretty generic one when I upgraded my phone last year but I was never in love with it and it was getting worn and dirty. I've been obsessing over these British telephone booth ones on Etsy and I finally just bought myself one. I couldn't be happier with it. 

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Looming It

 All this snow has gotten me in the mood to knit. The problem is, I can't read knitting instructions and can only knit scarfs with knitting needles because those are just straight lines. Have you ever looked at knitting instructions? Seriously, they are worse than Algebra problems. Then I was reading Jen Lancaster's book, The Tao Of Martha and she was talking about knitting with her loom. I remembered I bought one years ago for Grace. I dragged it out and started trying to figure it out. 
 It was surprisingly easy to pick up. There are even YouTube videos out there to show you how it works. You could knock off a hat in just a few hours. 
Before I knew it, I was done. Its very soothing. I could have just gone on making one long tube but I had to figure out how to get it off the loom. 
 This is where I figured I would mess it up. It was a lot like getting a potholder off one of those square looms. I have only recently learned how to do that and it was much the same with the hat. Once its off, then you just run a needle around the top to close it off and there's your hat. 
Its not the most beautiful hat ever made but its the first time I've made anything other than a scarf or a square. We all have found ourselves wearing it in the last week. It came in very handy while I was shoveling a foot of snow off the driveway the other day. 
I liked it so much, I bought myself the scarf loom and I'm hoping to figure that one out soon before it gets too warm out. 

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Our Life So Far

So, I guess it's true that Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest have killed blogs. Its so hard to remember to do this because it seems like I've already talked about stuff in those other places. I don't want to give up entirely though because I like to have this as a journal full of stuff I need to write about or I would forget it all. Anyway, here is a quick rundown of what we have been up to lately. 
It was Valentines Day yesterday. I started the day by going to work at 4am, then coming home and passing out until Tim had to leave for work. All in all, a most romantic day for us. Tim did make me a very crafty card when he was bored at work. A little booklet full of my favorite old movies. Very thoughtful along with the 2 tickets to see Craig Ferguson in Portland next month. 

 I've been looking through our old pictures lately. It makes me sad because its all passing so quickly. Baby pictures of Declan back when we used to measure his size against Peter the cat. Peter won that race for a long time. Then a lot of pregnant pictures of me. I don't remember allowing that but I guess I did. Forgive the pictures off my monitor but they are on some program that I haven't figured out how to save them to my computer yet. You truly don't realize how many pictures you take until you try to sort through them. Remember the days of film and only having 24 pictures to take so you chose carefully and didn't know what they looked like until you got them back from the store? 
 We just got through picking Grace's high school. SO much fun-I can't wait to start looking for colleges. There were 3 choices. We went to 2 of the open houses and skipped the 3rd one. The 3rd choice is in town and I'm sure its a lovely school full of smart students but I'm not sending my baby downtown. At first she was all about the smaller alternative high school right in our neighborhood and we were all into that. Then she visited Deering and realized she had more class choices there and her friends are going there so her decision was made. From the outside, its the classic stately old high school. On the inside, its very beige. Seriously, the school must have gotten a deal on beige paint. The whole place is painted beige. The walls, doors and lockers. Maybe even the ceilings. Anyway, my tiny baby is now going to school with 1000 other kids next year and I don't like to think about it. 

 It's been snowing. A lot. A week doesn't go by where I don't find myself going into work in the middle of the night because of it. We have no where else to shovel the snow. Its snowing again as I write this. 


Carly doesn't mind it. She runs out into it and doesn't want to come in. Taco likes it too because he loves to chew on ice. He can't be out there for more than 5 minutes though or his legs lock up and we have to go rescue him. 
Mostly he spends his time bundled up inside, dreaming of the Spring and being able to go back to the dog park every day. 

Monday, January 27, 2014

Framing Rangeley

This drawing of our house in Rangeley has hung in that house since before I was born. It's just always been there as far as I was concerned. When my parents left this house to move into their nursing home, a lot of pictures were grabbed to make their room somehow seem more like home. This went with them but my parents and my sister and I were very uneasy to have it in their room. If anything ever happened to it, we had no other copies of it. It seemed out of place to be anywhere but on the wall in Rangeley. One day, my sister just grabbed it and brought it home with her and it will be returned to Rangeley if she hasn't already done it. 
 Before that though, she made copies of it for each of us for Christmas. I have never seen it outside of its frame and didn't realize there were parts of the drawing I had never seen. I guess my Mother found a mat & frame that worked and she went with it. 
You can see better here where the parts exposed to the sun darkened and the part covered up by the mat stayed true. I'm sure this is something we could have fixed with Photoshop but I didn't want to. 
 The story I heard behind this drawing was that the father of our neighbor at the time drew it for us. 1've never seen the 1969 part of his signature. 

 I decided to frame my copy the same way it has always looked to me. The lighter edges were too stark compared to the rest of it. I stood in the framing/mat section of the store until my head started spinning. The drawing is an odd shape and there was too much math involved to figure out the best ones to buy. 
I finally just grabbed this chunky off white frame and went with it. I literally couldn't look at any more frames. I like it but I'm not 100% happy with it. Maybe I'm just too used to the old 1969 style thin gold frame it is originally in but they don't seem to make those anymore. I ended up not using a mat either. Again, it was too much math to deal with. I am also toying with the idea of painting the frame but not sure what color yet. My next move is to figure out were to hang it. It will be so weird to have my own copy of this in my house. 

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Christmas 2013

It was a pretty low key Christmas around here. I took the week off as usual and the kids were on vacation. I finished shopping and wrapping before my time off so I could spend it not stressing out. Grace gave me an early Christmas present in that red ceramic pot she made at school. It was the perfect size to fit a poinsettia. I put it next to my new ceramic church and cable knit candle holder along with the Santa that came from my Mothers Christmas stuff. He has been around as long as I can remember. 
 Grace even got into some crafting with me and I snuck a picture of it. We made some 3D paper stars to decorate my parents room with. 
This is what it looked like after Santa came on Christmas Eve. The tree this year was nice but a little crooked. It seems that way every year though. 
The kids have grown past the times of getting up at 5am on Christmas morning and it was 7 or 8 before we all got up. Still no fireplace in our future so I turned on the Yule Log instead. 
 Declan had another Lego Christmas. I wonder how many more of them we have left? He is getting way too old. 
Grace was so excited to get the video game she wanted that she even let me take her picture. Sort of. 



 For Taco and Carly, I got them a walking/yapping chihuahua. Taco did not know what to think of it and Carly just looked resigned that another little dog came into her house. Eventually Taco just knocked it over and stepped on it.