Monday, February 23, 2015

what's in my brain today?

My new favorite misspelling of my name is Nickie.  It is so random.
A very nice lady wrote that on my Christmas card.

Kathleen Turner suddenly jumped into my brain last night as i was falling asleep.
Whatever happened to her?

Last week i took a broken chair to the dump and saw this:
It was only 4 days after Valentine's. 
Someone hated it enough to take it to the dump, but loved it enough that they just couldn't throw it in.
You know there has to be a good story there.

I am a lot older than i think i am.
I have now known most of my friends for 20 years or more.
In my head i am really not old enough to have known people that long unless we met in kindergarten.

Speaking of fast time flies, last spring Dash and I went to the library after school. There is a brick divider wall in the parking lot and i had the idea to put him into the "decorative" openings to take a picture of him peeking out of it.
Two weeks ago when we passed the same wall leaving the library, he said I want my picture taken in there. He could almost climb into it himself, but then needed i little help because he barely fit:

 Andrew took me to the Gem and Jewelry Show.
I was expecting gems and jewelry.
There were plenty of both, but he didn't warn me that there would be BEADS FOR SALE, dirt cheap.
Oh, so many pretty beads. Some of them had to come home with me.
Also, this lovely, understated purple ring came home with me as well, thanks to Andrew.

What happens to those beads?
I think we all know the answer to that.
It sounds so impressive to say, I worked hard all day and got 80 pairs of Quirkees designed, plus another 60 pairs pulled for design.

The picture doesn't make it look that impressive though.
That's the problem with creating little things.

In case you didn't realize it, i have been updating my 101 progress every week.

Learning never gets old; i love the tingle of new neural pathways being forged in my brain.
Last night i was reading a book and came across a word i'd never seen before: gainsay. From the context of the sentence it seemed like it would mean " to agree with" but in fact it means the opposite - deny or contradict.
Let's all try to use gainsay in a sentence this week, shall we?
And in case you are wondering, yes, gainsaid is the past tense. That makes me smile and i don't even know why.

There are no pictures for it, but i did use one of the neglected kitchen gadgets that is on my 101 - the electric skillet.  It has not been plugged in for at least a decade, but it provided a nice, evenly heated surface for the pancakes i made over the weekend.
One down, three to go: immersion blender, bread tube and my pop chef.

Monday, February 16, 2015

great tastes that don't taste great together

Sometimes completely by accident we stumble upon cool combinations that we would never have thought to put together like spaghetti and corn or chix noodle soup and corn or corn omelettes.
Unfortunately it also happens that by accident we stumble straight into a combo of nasty like moni cheese, Tabasco, bourbon and butterscotch pudding.
Don't do that, people.
Just don't.
Trust me on this.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

brain dump

The jewelry show this weekend went well - meeting new customers and catching up with previous ones. 
It was fantastic to put a newly remade bracelet on its owner. 
She had some wooden letter beads from a broken bracelet that she wanted me to salvage so i added two sizes of jade beads randomly, creating a double wrap that she loved.

Last night while i was brushing my teeth i suddenly realized that the ABC Song is to the tune of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star
Did you know that? How did i not notice that before? 
I stood in the bathroom, mouth full of foam singing both of them to verify my epiphany. 
Incidents like this convince me that i should both have a personal photo/videographer to capture the insanity and that i should never ever let anyone see what i am like at home alone. Not sure how to get both of those things to exist simultaneously. 

42 days into the 101 challenge and i am already happy that i have over 2.5 years to get some of this stuff done. It has focused me, but there are still daily/weekly things that i haven't managed to work in yet. It is nice to know that i have the time to ease into some of these things.

Speaking of the 101, #77 is Blog caught up, which doesn't sound hard until you consider that i have two whole vacations to do, as well as pictures ranging from last week to last year to four years ago.
Ridiculous, Niki.
So i am going to aggressively try to clean out the A BLOG photo folder by doing random posts like this one, combining several small posts into one larger one.

Jason loves BBQ - i mean, that boy loves barbecue - so last year he was stalking a local food truck called The Smoking Swine
a picture of Kate taking a picture of JP and DJP
When it was at  Catonsville ArtVille the family went to try it. 
My pulled pork was very good, but the stand out was the Slap Yo Mama Mac and Cheese. Three cheeses, two noodle shapes, a touch of heat and goldfish on the top add up to a moni cheese that easily makes my top 5 list, possibly my top 3. 
The only disappointment was that the prices were seriously jacked up for the festival, not even close to the advertised prices online.

The older i get the more i appreciate what a fine job my parents did raising me; I was blessed to have both my mother and father actively involved. 
Recently i have been dealing with people that have no idea how to be adults; self-absorbed and clueless, it is obvious that their parents were indulgent or clueless themselves. Both personal and professional activities are conducted with only their best interest in mind and with the maturity of a high-schooler.
Don't get me wrong: in no way do i think i am perfect. 
Please, on a good day i am scattered, nuts, judgmental and vain-glorious (though honestly, who wouldn't be if they were me?). 
But there are good parts as well and i can see that they were created or nurtured by my parents.
The more i realize how much of me is a reflection of them, the less angry i am with these ridiculous people i encounter. In fact, i kind of feel sorry for them because the entitlement and resulting inability to cope with reality didn't come from out of the air: someone fostered it in them.
So if you are reading this Mommy or Daddy, good job.

This hunk of blue glass was in a garden that was the setting for a party i attended last summer.
Does anyone know what it is, how it was made, where i can one?
I am intrigued by things that defy my explanation.

It was from The Pub in Gettysburg. Ron and I ate there again during our stay at the Lodges in August. This time i ordered a calzone.
It was the size of a small house.
Anytime something is served with its own gigantic knife you know you are in for an experience. 
Gosh, it was good.
 All four meals that it took me to finish it, it was good.
The Dessert of the Week was Fruity Pebbles Cake.
You read that right.

It also was fantastic and lasted for three days, being the densest cake i have ever eaten. 

As well as the pinkest.


Friday, February 6, 2015

Cindy-Lou Who

Most of the time at home my hair is up in a bun or a knot because that keeps it out of my eyes and makes it less likely (that would be only less likely) that i end up with paint in my hair.
A lovely consequence is that when i take it down to leave the house i can shake my hair out into nice waves.
Cute hair with no work.
At least that's how it normally works.
Until I am counting on it to work because i am on my way to a lecture and then this:
screw you gravity; i do what i wants


Saturday, January 31, 2015

down to the wire, but done

The last batch of New Year's Cards went into the mail yesterday. It could have even been earlier than that, but snow.
January 30th is almost two weeks later than i have ever been on mailing them, but it is still January so it counts. And after 2 years of not getting them done at all, i'll take it.
Cards to friends once more. 
Blue bird heralds the return.
New year: renewal.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

the difference a zero makes

Oh zero, you rapscallion, you changer of value, you metaphysical quandary.
You are so tiny, yet so mighty.
Years ago, Rob read a book to me about the history of zero, which is complicated and fascinating.
I was reminded of the complex power of that tiny circle this morning when i was updating my 101 progress. 
Goal #94 said Earn 200 gold stars.
Hmm-mm... thought I. That seems awfully easy; wasn't that supposed to be 2000 gold stars?
Yes, yes it was.
I am not sure how that transcription error happened, but i think it is hilarious that it took me almost a month to catch it.  

Friday, January 23, 2015

up to something? what makes you think i am up to something?

credit: llama sanctutary
Just a hard-working llama, working hard on llama things.
Not working on any crazy projects or cockamamie schemes.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Monday, January 12, 2015

driving into the past

We can all agree, i would think, that falling gas prices bring smiles to our collective faces.
Before leaving for Ohio on Christmas Eve i filled up at my local station and was pleased as punch to pay $2.64; i mean, it is not only below $3, but almost half-way to $2.
Prices were consistent through Maryland and West Virginia with a small increase (5-10 cents) in Pennsylvania, which is normal.
Then i crossed the Ohio River and gas was suddenly $2.09.
When was the last time that was the price of gas - 2002?
How in the world did the price drop 60 cents in 60 miles?
Then i got into central Ohio and my mom's local station was $1.98.
What...? How...? Where...?
Isn't that what i paid in the early 90's?
The gas prices between home and mom's are normally within 20 cents of each other.
Is there some sort of time vortex in Ohio?
So all week i tried to drive  down my tank as low as possible to fill up the maximum amount at this below $2 price.
My sister Kris and I were out shopping and she told me that the lowest price was on Rt 13 in Utica, which conveniently enough i pass on the way to the highway.
Which is how in the first week of January 2015 i paid the same amount for gas as i did in 1995.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

i found it!

My missing pink camera card reader has been located.
The culprit was not evil gnomes as suspected or even the increasingly bold mouse that tap dances in my kitchen nightly.
No, indeed.
It was a beloved companion whom i never even suspected: Squeaky Monkey.
I don't know why it was hidden, tucked away at the back of the passenger seat of my car under Squeaky Monkey's feet and he was mum on the subject.
Let's do a quick run down of last month now that we have photos, shall we?

Erin and I (along with baby Caleb) attended the Festival of the Wreaths at the Carroll County Arts Council, which is in a cool converted Art Deco theater. There were over 150 wreaths decorated in every style and theme. Erin had created a fun one out of craft supplies with her friend Amy of One Artsy Mama dot com. In fact, Erin is now working with Amy on the blog.
And now a gratuitous adorable baby shot.

I like to really get utility from things.
It is important to me to not be wasteful.

But mayhaps it is time to get a new laundry basket.

There was one of those you-can-steal-a-present gift exchanges at a Christmas party that i  attended and a designed a ReWearables necklace as my offering. Good news: it turned out well and several people liked it. Bad news: there was almost a fist fight when one woman took it away from another. I was rather conflicted: great for my ego, bad for the Christmas Spirit.
At the same exchange i came away with a cement hedgehog.

The drive to Ohio on Christmas Eve was again fraught with questionable weather. Why can't it ever just be cold, but sunny?
The fog in the mountains was awesome and i mean it in the definition of inspiring an overwhelming feeling of fear.
Here is the visibility in the valleys, on the ascents/descents and on the mountain tops.

I got the best ho socks ever for Christmas,

and an Elf on the Shelf.

But not some ordinary Elf on the Shelf.

Oh, no.

Mine is full of candy, has a fan and LIGHTS UP.
I also have an interesting story about driving back in time, but that will have to wait because i need to go pick up the shawarma.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

101 update

I am back from the holidays in the Mid-West and saw in the comments that my brilliant assistant (and by assistant i mean me) forgot to put the category codes on the master 101 page.
It really is hard to find good help these days.
My goals break down into 9 categories: work (W), home (H), creative (C), fun (F), relationships (R), self (S), culture/learning (L), blog (B), service (P), and food/eating (E).
Anyhoo, the page has been updated to include a listing of all 101 goals by category.
Again, you can find that page at the top of the homepage or simply click here.

Also, in response to Diane: yes, i have a TON of sea glass and sea pottery that i have collected over the years that is taking up almost 2 whole shelves in the studio. I need to reclaim some of that real estate. Why? Would you like some?

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Welcome 2015 - i have some goals for you

It is a well known fact that i love, love, love New Year's resolutions.
I haven't made any for the last couple of years as i haven't felt much like myself so now to make up for time lost i am setting making resolutions and  goals with a vengeance.
101 goals, in fact.
Rea finished her first 101 Goals in 1001 Days in November and decided to start another one today.
And i am gonna play along with her.
The idea is to set goals that are doable, but make you stretch or grow in some way: quantifiable goals that span different facets of your life.
My categories are home, work, fun, blog, creative, charity/service, relationships, culture/learning, food/eating, and self.
You have 1001 days to accomplish everything, which is 2.75 years, 33 months or 143 weeks.
It will run January 1, 2015 to September 27, 2017.
To keep myself honest and have some accountability, I (and by i, i mean Rea) created a second page on The Nikiverse for my 101.
You can access it anytime by clicking on 101 in 1001 right under the header, but you can also get to it now right here.
I will update my progress every few weeks.
Wish me luck and leave your own resolutions in the comments..

Thursday, December 18, 2014

so close, so faraway

Some of you may have noticed that i re-implemented the Gold Stars For Grown-ups program a little while back.
I didn't point it out at the time, just added it to the side as a carrot for me to get back on track doing the things that need done.
Things that i really don't want to do.
Like laundry.
Or taking out the trash.
Or ab crunches.
Mostly i am happy with how it is going, but when i just updated the ticker i realized that i am ONE star short of earning a reward.
Really? One star?
Almost as exasperating as looking for my camera doo-hickey or discovering that the mouse snacked on a jar candle.

Come on now, Niki.
Massage is waiting for you.
Do the @#$%^ laundry!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

i think evil gnomes took it

I can't find the USB converter for my camera's memory card.
Can't pull pictures from my camera.
There are time sensitive photos an there people.
Things that should have been blogged already.
I always have my converter with me.
I had it; then it was gone.
I keep holding out hope that i will find it, but those gnomes are wily.
sigh... i don't want to go to an electronics store a week before Christmas...

Where could it have gone?
I need to get my pictures.
My blog is empty.