Monday, February 27, 2012

Oscar Reflection and Sneak Peak at Progress....

Some in my family (including me) were disappointed I didn't get my act together for a "Boscars" post prior to the Academy Awards as I did last year. Take a peek if you dare...  I had hoped to make it an annual event, but perhaps it will be an every-other-year thing.

I've had my hands full helping some friends, getting some repairs done around the house and of course catching up on some tv and reading.  And, well, I must admit a certain amount of time was spent figuring out Pinterest and then looking at everything on there for-ever!

However, I did watch the ENTIRE broadcast last night and was pleased to see "The Artist" pick up a good number of awards. It was my pick for Best Picture because of it's originality and it's nod to the early days of film.   

The category I felt the most ambivalence about was Best Actress.  I had wanted Michelle Williams to win for "My Week with Marilyn", thought Viola Davis would win it for "The Help" and was pleased nonetheless that Meryl Streep actually got the win for "The Iron Lady".  I loved her somewhat embarrassed acceptance speech, because that had actually been my inital reaction as well. "What? Again?!?!?"  But it is only her second win for Best Actress and after being nominated 17 times, it was time for her to win again.  Her portrayal of Margaret Thatcher was spectacular.

I also did some work on the hope chest I am refurbishing for The Maven.

Here is a picture of the design on the front before:

And here is a peak at it after some Annie Sloan Chalk Paint has been applied and some sanding has been done:

Still have to fine tune the look with some stain to deepen the exposed wood and apply some wax to finish and protect the whole piece.  I hope to get that done this week. And catch up with my favorite bloggers - going to to that right after I hit "publish"!

What will keep you busy this week and if you saw and cared about the awards, what did YOU think?

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Scary Dinosaurs, Good Roof

We had a big whopper of a rainstorm last night.  It was the first real test of the new roof
and the roof passed with flying colors.

I rode the storm out in the family room and watched the "dinosaurs" swaying in the
woods behind our backyard.  I call the trees that because at night and during rough 
weather that's what  they look like to me.

While they were swaying in the strong gusts, I riveted my attention on one dinosaur in 
particular because it is one of the lone "headless" trees that haven't fallen
in the years since 2004 when Hurricane Charley took so many trees from our 
woods and many other's streets and yards. See it there in the middle, just like a huge 

You can see it more clearly in the day time and how tall it is.
Which way will it fall? That's the scary part.  It's tall enough to reach the house, I think, if it falls towards us. 
It will wreak havoc on the power lines and possibly
 bring the poles down with it.  

But, at least the roof held up and the grass got watered.  
May the wind blow from the
east the day that dinosaur goes down and push it away from the house.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Monday, Monday

Some Mondays you just want to laze in a sunny window...

Miss Darcy

Zeke, Darcy's roomie.

Sadie and Bumby

Or just not get out of bed at all...



Have a great week my friends!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Good Bye to an Old Friend....And Hello to Another Old Friend

This weekend our piano will be finding a new home.
A lovely new home with Orlando Grandma.
I've polished it up and it's ready to go where it will be played more and appreciated.

Believe it or not I took piano lessons for nine years when we lived in Toronto
until we moved when I was fifteen.  I found many of my old piano books
that were used during those years of instruction.

They sound fancy.  They sound like they should have produced a piano virtuoso, 
but I was a reluctant student.

Not to mention the overwhelming stage fright I would experience during
recital time.  We had to memorize our pieces and that added to the pressure.
 It was excruciating for me and I think it ruined the joy of playing for me as 
I would anticipate those twice yearly recitals.

I had the same teacher all those years, Miss Aiken. Right out of 1960s central casting
for a piano teacher. A spinster who wore skirts and jackets and hats to each
lesson, with a purse dangling from one arm
and a satchel of theory work (ugh) in the other.
 - AND, she came to our house. She was scary to me.  I'm sure she,
in reality, was quite kind and probably was frustrated at my lack of
progress at times.

I loved to play popular music as you can see by a couple of pieces in the piano bench.  
I remember when I was about thirteen,  Miss Aiken let me work on The Beatles' "Yesterday"
for lesson work.  Probably to motivate me.
I wonder if she liked The Beatles.

The well-worn copy I played from for Miss Aiken.

This is not the original piano I took lessons with.  This is the one my parents bought 
when we moved to Florida in 1974, hoping I might
take more lessons, but I was busy with marching band and
high school distractions.  Besides, Miss Aiken didn't move with us.

My dad could play by ear and had a talent for sight reading. 
I think he hoped that I would get the enjoyment he
got from playing the piano.  I'm not sure he ever had a 
lesson.  Maybe that's why he enjoyed it so much.

Original sheet music of my father's.

The Writer liked to pick out tunes on this old friend and The Maven took lessons for a few years,
and she had the talent for it, but I think her teacher
ruined the experience for her unbeknownst to me.
Even Mr. Tennis took lessons for a time during the early years of our marriage.
He definitely has the talent for piano as he can also play by ear and
sight read after he learned the notes.

Orlando Grandma, I know you will have fun with my old friend.

Meanwhile, this other old friend is getting a facelift.

It was Mr. T's paternal grandmother's hope chest.  It has been
passed on to The Maven after being in storage for many years where it's
top surface suffered a bit.

The Maven has asked me to see if I can bring out the beauty of this gem 
and I'm going to give it a try with the help of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.

A distressed finished was requested and I think the light paint and subsequent sanding,
staining and waxing will bring out the elaborate carved design.

So, that's what I hope to be working on in the near future - I started today
by emptying the chest and admiring it's cedar interior.

Some old friends leave, some stay and become new friends all over again.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Florida in February - You Never Know What You Will Get!

Last Sunday, Mr. Tennis and I were enjoying this.....

New Smyrna Beach, on Florida's East Coast.

And this...

Worth the drive!

Towards the end of the week, Darcy and Bumby were enjoying open windows
and light breezes....

This Sunday, we woke up to 34 degree weather and Sadie is looking like this.....

And Panda is seeking comfort with her latest "woobie",, the decapitated head of a
duck stuffie.

And I'm a happy camper because I'm not ready for the hot and humid temps yet!
Have a great week!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Pay It Forward - Handmade

I took Pat, from Corn in My Coffeepot, up on a little blogging fun project to have the opportunity to create something handmade (yes, by me - stop laughing) to the first five commenters on this post.

Don't worry it will be MY hands, not theirs that will make it!

Before you comment, make sure you read the rules:

By commenting you agree to these rules-
So, here are the two rules:
1.  I promise to make something and send it (before the end of 2012) to the first five people who comment on this post.
2.  If you are one of the first five, you must promise to re-post the rules on your blog (or even Facbook) and send something to the first five people who comment on your post. The item must be hand made by you and the recipient must receive the gift before the end of 2012. The item may be as simple or as complicated as you would like. You just have to promise to follow through.

Because if you do decide to play along, then you need to follow through!

I hope someone will take me up on this offer and thanks Pat
for bringing this to my attention - can't wait to see what you are
going to make me!!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Another February Birthday that Must Be Recognized! Orlando Grandma!

How lucky I was when I married Mr. Tennis and gained a second mother in the deal!
Her positive attitude and can-do spirit are inspiring as are her killer
scrabble moves.

March 28, 1981. Orlando Grandma and us!

Not only has she got the moves on the scrabble board, but she is so physically active,
it puts the rest of the family to shame.  Yoga, Zumba, "Walking with Friends"... the list goes on.

Camping in the Florida Keys Labor Day weekend 1982. The Boston Lady (mullet!), Orlando Grandma and Tita lounging around camp.

She's always game to try anything new and that adventurous spirit keeps 
her young and able to "hang" with the grandchildren and other younger folks.

Happy Birthday Orlando Grandma!

The Boston Lady and Mr. T!
(and the Bostons)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Happy Birthday, Mr. Connor!

It's my oldest brother's birthday and I can't let it go by without a shout out!
To me he is Richard, but in blogland he is "Mr. Connor", so named
after a beloved feline companion.  He is one is my most faithful commenters and 
I appreciate it very much.

There we are about 1972.  You can see the Disney monorail behind us.
It was my first trip to the Magic Kingdom and Richard
met my parents and me during our vacation from Toronto, before we moved,  and
graciously escorted his little sister through the park.  Not sure what he remembers, but I remember that we ran out of "E" tickets and he bought more so we could go on the
"cool" rides. Pretty impressive to a 13 year-old Boston Lady!

Happy Birthday Richard/Mr. Connor!  In addition to the cyber-gifts (which I know you
are trying to become accustomed to, there should be some tangibles at the
P.O. Box)

Love From, 
The Boston Lady and Mr. Tennis
and the "four-legged" folks.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Fun Stuff...

Some times you just walk in the thrift and something perfect is waiting there for you....

Also put to use my pail that came from California with me last month.  One of my smart readers
suggested yellow Marigolds and when I saw some for sale at a local
garden store I decided to try the look.

Thanks for the suggestion, Brenda at Mullin Avenue Workshop!

It looks kinda nice by my swing in the backyard, but I may have to move it to the
front porch to share with more people.

Found this interesting can last week while out hunting around with my friend Country Mouse.  I love the vivid blue and I think I have found the perfect picture to prop up against it.

He was born three months early, but he is quickly catching up.
He looks like such a little imp in this picture.

Finally, I saw my friend Suebee this week and she presented me with something
she found that she knew I would like.

See the "Made in Canada" pressed into the glass top and the crown?

It also says it on the front, but it's hard to see in the picture I took.
Thanks Suebee!  She's always watching out for Canadian things for me...

So, what fun things have you found lately?  Or what fun things do you have planned?
Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Please Get Off My Pillow.....

I went into my room to rest on the bed for a bit and found Panda sprawled across my pillow.
"Please get off my pillow, Panda"  I asked nicely.

I guess she feels that she complied, but I don't know, back legs still count, I think.

It really IS their bed, isn't it?